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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 98-100
Special Commentary

Infectious Diseases Training in Canada: One Size Does Not Fit All

B Craig Lee

Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 28 February 2000; Accepted 19 May 2000

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


PURPOSE: To evaluate training in infectious diseases, determining which components of the training program best prepare residents for their career choices and where improvements are needed.

METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was mailed to all 14 physicians who had graduated from both the Adult and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Training Program at the University of Calgary from 1985 to 1998. Responses about the adequacy of training were measured using a Likert-type scale and a qualitative questionnaire.

RESULTS: Of 14 mailed questionnaires, nine responses were received (64%). Two-thirds of respondents were in an academic setting, and seven (78%) graduates obtained postfellowship training. The specialists in academic settings were all engaged in multiple nonclinical activities. The clinical and diagnostic microbiological components of training received the highest scores in terms of adequacy of training.

CONCLUSION: Graduates of the University of Calgary training program indicated an overall satisfaction with their training. However, improvements are needed in career counselling, health administration, antibiotic utilization, infection prevention and specialized outpatient clinics. Potential strategies for addressing these issues include didactic lectures, enhanced exposure to clinical outpatient settings and provision of designated faculty mentors.