CaRMS numbers alarming

March 27, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA PresidentDear Members,

The first round CaRMS numbers from last week are alarming. We have 42 unmatched family medicine residency positions in Alberta. In BC there are two; in Saskatchewan, none.

Government needs to act urgently. Years of underfunding and uncertainty have put a strain on primary care in this province and have resulted in a disincentive for learners looking to Alberta as a place to train.

Family medicine is in crisis. Out of the ashes of decimated family care a new generation of physicians will arise? The numbers say not. 

The AMA is working on initiatives with government to build up primary care. We have been emphasizing that working on long-term transformation of primary care has value, but there are urgent needs today. Those urgent solutions have been repeatedly presented to government. The CaRMS numbers speak for themselves; time is running out.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via You can also comment on this letter on the AMA website.


fred Rinaldi, MD, CCFP, FCFP, LLB, MBA, MPA(HSA), BCom
President, Alberta Medical Association

"Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'"


Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    Maha Niazi


    10:20 AM on March 27, 2023

    I am the Clinical Assistant and an IMG, i think these should be competitive so atleast IMG's can try applying to those seats.

  • #2

    Alexey Fourman


    10:55 AM on March 27, 2023

    Unfortunately, not only Family Medicine is in crisis. Look what is going on in acute care.
    I am a clinical assistant in IM. By the time I came to Canada I had been practicing for more than 16 years. In 2016 I joined IM CA program in Calgary.
    While it may not be well known, there is an apparent difference between us and fully licensed physicians.
    We can't sign 3 documents: the discharge summaries, Form 1, and the death certificate. We hold a license to work under supervision, but our attendings have assessed us for years with our constant decision-making, diligent patient care, and safe practice. The supervision becomes minimal with time and years into practice. We have proven our mettle and served as the front liners during the pandemic, just like other physicians.
    If this is the only difference, then with my expertise and background, I am amazed that my service is not even recognized as a recency of practice, let alone independent practice despite my expertise and service. How much training, experience, and integration CPSA expects if still this is not enough?
    This province has enough knowledgeable and skillful doctors who are already ready to serve! Unreasonable bureaucracy under the guise of maintaining "SAFE health care " makes the life of health care providers and patients unbearable. AMA, please help CAs to help!

  • #3

    David Smyth


    11:52 AM on March 27, 2023

    Absolute nonsense. We are among the highest paid Physicians in North America. The problem is the AMA and the fee guide work that you don’t finish. Stop blaming everyone else for your incompetence. Once the fee schedule is settled it will incentivize Family Doctors to work as Family Doctors . Stop saying we want to work for PCNs because if they worked we wouldn’t have the crisis we have now.

  • #4

    Dorothy Ward

    Other health care professional

    12:02 PM on March 27, 2023

    As a retired HC professional I have watched the current gov’t decimate healthcare from the ground up , from defunding education both school and post secondary institutions, ripping up the Physician Master Agreement, not bargaining with HC unions in good faith, treating Public Healthcare policy and recommendations with uneducated skepticism and disrespect, treating physicians with disrespect, putting forward private healthcare solutions that draw resources from public Healthcare, and then ignoring the facts about physician shortages, dismal Covid Pandemic performance, burnt out HC staff, and then throwing bandaids to secure re- election. No accountability for the mess we are in with Healthcare. It is our responsibility as taxpayers to take the opportunity to vote this UCP government out in the May 2023 election.

  • #5

    Karla Khan


    12:37 PM on March 27, 2023

    Not surprising - in no other province will these residents have to jump through the hoops of "Connect Care"...

  • #6

    Martina Babin


    12:55 PM on March 27, 2023

    I think we need to not only focus on building up Family Medicine, but also to reiterate to the public what is expected of a Family Doctor.

    We are not the punching bag of a lack of medical attention. We are not Emergency or Urgent care services. Yes, we often provide same day appointments for certain things like colds and ear aches, but if you cannot see your Family Doctor, there are walk-in clinics to help with those issues.

    We need to start pushing back on the pressure that is put on out profession!

  • #7

    Cameron Morhaliek


    1:07 PM on March 27, 2023

    Dr. Cam Morhaliek, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C) psychiatrist here. Thanks for keeping us updated regarding these bizarre bizarre and quite frankly - sickening - circumstances. Usually, it is the other way around. Several physicians who cannot find matches. I've never seen or heard of this before in Alberta - 42 unmatched family med residency positions. If this isn't corrected quickly - well, you know what will happen. Chaos worse than now. It's really hard to take, particularly when physicians and the AMA have been giving the message to our Alberta gov't for decades. We are the canaries in the Coalmine, and the Alberta public will find out and feel the loss later on, obviously. I have given up on Alberta. And, I have already done enough. I am 54 this May. I will continue my slow down plans.

  • #8

    Othman Mosleh


    1:21 PM on March 27, 2023

    As a clinical assistants we are qualified physicians and we are more than happy to fill in the gab through CaRms or any alternative pathway!

  • #9

    Pooja Sindhuri Kantepalli Venkata


    7:21 PM on March 27, 2023

    Please consider a bridging pathway or alternative route for clinical assistants like us to fill in the gap.

  • #10


    Member of the public

    8:36 AM on March 28, 2023

    In response to Maha Niazi [comment #1]

    My understanding is that IMG's can apply in Round 2 of CARMS .

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.