Starting Residency

Welcome to PARA!

This website and PARAscope (the monthly e-newsletter newsletter) are your primary resources for answering your questions and keeping track of what’s going on. PARAscope is sent out via email on the first business day of each month.

To update the contact email PARA has for you, please send us an email at

At orientation, you will have the opportunity to enroll in the PARA group life insurance and Long Term Disability plans. You are automatically eligible for these plans at no additional cost. The enrollment form allows you to name a beneficiary. If you do not complete the form at orientation, please complete the form and send it directly to ADIUM Insurance Services.

Resident physicians who do not have provincial health care coverage must apply for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). As well, resident physicians who have health-care coverage from another province, but are planning to stay in Alberta, must apply for AHCIP.

Resident physicians have a three-month grace period from their old province during which they must apply for the AHCIP.  Please be aware Alberta Health Services does not automatically enroll new resident physicians in the AHCIP.

For information on applying, please contact AHCIP:

780-427-1432 (Edmonton)

Toll-free in Alberta, dial 310-0000 then 780-427-1432

Click here for the AHCIP application form and registry agents.

Every academic year resident physicians receive $1,000 in flexible spending account (FSA) credits. Resident physicians must designate how they would like to use these credits each year.

The following are the accounts to which residents can allocate their FSA credits:

Flexible Spending Health – Canada (non-taxable, member and eligible dependent expenses)

This account can be used to cover expenses above your health and dental plan maximums, eligible medical expenses not covered by your health and dental plans, and the health/dental premiums deducted from your pay stubs.

Personal Spending FSA (taxable, member expenses only)

  • Family care: day care, home care, nanny fees, non-medical dependent care, or expenses related to this care
  • Professional development: eligible tuition, books, seminars, course travel costs, etc.; professional and voluntary association fees; software related to professional development
  • Wellness: fitness and wellness instruction (e.g., fitness membership, aerobics, weight counseling); sports league or facility fees; purchase of new or used home fitness equipment or sports equipment (e.g., skis, helmets, bicycles, athletic footwear)

Flex Spending RRSP (tax deductible, member and/or spousal plan contributions)

These funds can only be invested in the group RRSP administered by Manulife. The resident physician and/or spouse must register with Manulife. A selection of funds and investment mixes is available.

Deadline for allocating FSA credits for new resident physicians falls near the end of July. Watch for exact dates and details in PARAscope. 

Allocation instructions are available on Insite.  Credits that are unallocated at the end of this allocation period will automatically revert to your health spending account.

If you’re not sure whether an expense is eligible for any of these accounts, please contact AHS Benefits to clarify before making the purchase, where possible.

For benefit questions or help with the e-People system, call 1-877-511-4455 or email

All AHS Post Graduate Trainees (PGTs) who are “employed by or engaged for services” by AHS and working in AHS facilities, regardless of the duration of the training program, must provide a security check.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ministry funded Resident physicians
  • Non-ministry funded resident physicians
  • Fellows, Clinical Fellows, and Graduate Clinical Trainees
  • Postgraduate Trainees from medical schools outside Alberta

New Residents and PGTs will be required to submit a Security Check before they can commence employment in an AHS hospital or facility.

An AHS Security Check (AHSSC) consists of:

  • A valid Police Information Check (PIC)
  • A Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS)

Why do I need to supply a security check to AHS?

Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, AHS has a legal obligation to ensure compliance with the Act, including ensuring parties engaged in the delivery of care or support services for AHS undergo Security Checks.

Where can I get a security check?

The AHSSC is obtained through your local police agency. All resident physicians and PGTs will need to apply for the AHSSC in person.

Contact one of the following agencies to apply for your Security Check:

How much does a security check cost?

The schedule of fees may vary depending on where you obtain your AHSCC.

Do I have to get a security check every year?

This requirement is a one-time process to bring current records up to date in order to comply with legislation.

To whom do I submit my security check?

Original security checks (copies are not acceptable) should be submitted to the following AHS offices:

For University of Alberta resident physicians:

Victoria Safonova
Academic Medicine, Medical Affairs Office
Alberta Health Services
Seventh Street Plaza, North Tower
Suite 500, 10030 – 107 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E4
Phone: (780) 735-0712

For University of Calgary resident physicians:

Medical Education Office (Physician Services)
Alberta Health Services
10301 Southport Lane SW
Calgary, AB T2W 1S7
Phone: (403) 943-1253

Calgary: 403-236-4841
Toll-free: 1-877-375-PARA (7272)

Call Stipends Assistance
U of C Medical Education

AHS Benefits & Payroll

Physician & Family Support Program
24 Hour Physican Support

Alberta Blue Cross
Calgary: 403-234-9666
Toll free: 1-800-611-6995

Postgraduate Medical Education
G02 (Ground Floor)
Heritage Medical Research Building
3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 4N1

Office of Equity and Professionalism
7th Floor, TRW Building
Foothills Campus, University of Calgary
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 4Z6

Edmonton: 780-432-1749
Toll-free: 1-877-375-PARA (7272)

Call Stipends Assistance
U of A  – Medical Affairs

AHS Benefits & Payroll

Physician & Family Support Program
24 Hour Physician Support

Alberta Blue Cross
Edmonton: 780-498-8000
Toll free: 1-800-611-6995

Postgraduate Medical Education
2-76 Zeidler Ledcor Centre
Edmonton, AB  T6G 2X8

Learner Advocacy and Wellness Office
1-134 Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy & Health Resarch
Edmonton, AB  T6G 2E1
780-492-3092 / 780-492-3150
Fax: 780-492-1329


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