Cancer Care

This program is designed to help trainees develop skills in cancer management and prepare you for future practice in a wide variety of cancer treatment settings. Your training includes experiences in outpatient medical and radiation oncology, a family physician-led oncology continuity clinic, palliative care out-patient consult service (or in-patient care depending on previous exposure), outpatient pain and symptom management clinics, and rural oncology and palliative care as applicable.

Your learning experiences may be customized with other experiences such as surgical oncology, psychosocial support services, in-patient leukemia/stem cell transplant services and oncology research. This program allows the option of six or twelve months. 

Goals and objectives

The goal of the program is to provide additional training in the management of patients with malignant disease primarily (with the additional benefit of providing learning experience and knowledge in benign hematology, symptom management and palliative care).

As this is a third year Family Medicine Enhanced Skills Program, the trainee will be required to have one half day a week continuity clinics in Family Medicine.

The majority of the training will be under the supervision of Medical Oncology/Surgical Oncology/Gynecologic Oncology specialists, but where available/feasible, at least one half day a week during the rotations should be with Family Physicians in Oncology (FPOs) in the Disease Site Groups (DSG) clinics.

At the completion of training, graduates will be able to confidently work as Family Physicians in Oncology/General Practitioners in Oncology (FPO/GPO) in any of the following nationwide – Academic Cancer Centers, Regional Cancer Centers/Clinics, and Community Oncology Clinics in both urban and rural locations. They will also be able to, as required provide consultative service to other family/generalist physician colleagues.

The training is designed to be entirely out-patient based with the option of an elective in-patient cancer ward exposure as desired by the trainee.   


The program can be anywhere from six to 12 months in length, depending on the needs of the trainee.

Core rotations include outpatient clinics staffed by medical oncologists and FPOs delivering systemic cancer therapy, as well as urgent care clinics, clinics in radiation oncology, palliative care, and symptom management. Trainees will also gain experience doing palliative care consults (or if desired, in an inpatient palliative care unit), and work in a family physician in oncology (FPO)-run continuity oncology clinic.

Other potential exposures include surgical and psychosocial oncology, gynecology oncology, rural family practice oncology and research.

The 12 month (52 week) rotation schedule is divided in to 13 four week blocks. The 6 month (26 week) rotation schedule will comprise 6.5 four week blocks.

Core experiences during training (12 months) will include:

  • Four weeks of gastro-intestinal cancer experience 
  • Four weeks of breast cancer experience 
  • Four weeks of thoracic cancer experience
  • Two weeks each of genitourinary and gynecologic cancer experience 
  • Four weeks of radiation oncology experience 
  • Four weeks of lymphoproliferative diseases/malignancy experience 
  • Four week rotation of quality improvement combined with a rural oncology experience 
  • Four weeks of benign hematology/hemostasis/chronic lymphocytic leukemia to include consult service experience 
  • Two weeks each of palliative care consult service and pain and symptom management out-patient clinics 
  • Four weeks in a specialty oncology disease site – skin cancers sarcomas, etc. 
  • Four week rotation in urgent care clinic with some experience in head and neck cancer clinic 
  • Four weeks of elective of the trainees choosing 
  • Four weeks in total of vacation (may be split into blocks of two weeks each as rotation schedule allows) 

Additional exposure during each rotation as appropriate

Participation/attendance at academic half days during each 4 week block

Attendance/participation at journal clubs

Attendance and possibly presentation during disease site group (DSG) “walk rounds”

The majority of the training will be under the supervision of medical oncology/surgical oncology/gynecologic oncology specialists, but where available/feasible, at least one half day a week during the rotations should be with Family Physicians in Oncology (FPOs) in the Disease Site Groups (DSG) clinics.

Training program details

  • Four weeks each of out-patient exposure in the gastro-intestinal cancers, lymphoproliferative disorders/malignancies, breast cancer, skin cancers and thoracic cancers disease site group clinics. Two weeks each in gynecologic cancers and genito-urinary cancer clinics. These rotations will focus on the presentation, pathophysiology, diagnosis and staging of the various malignancies and well as the various chemotherapeutic regimens for treatment of both early and advance stages of cancers. There will also be emphasis on the potential side effects of the various chemotherapeutic agents, biologic agents as well as immunotherapeutic agents and the prevention as well as management of the side effects. There will also be opportunity provided to learn about long-term follow up of cancer patients
  • Four weeks of radiation oncology service at cancer care Manitoba where they will learn about some of the principles of radiation oncology treatment, have opportunity to observe/participate in treatment planning, be provided opportunity to be part of a rapid assessment clinic. They will also have opportunity to learn how radiation therapy is used in palliation and management of oncologic emergencies. The option to observe or do in-patient consults will be provided.
  • Palliative care/pain and symptom management – a total of four weeks. Emphasis will be placed on palliative care consult service – hospital consults or home consults, as most trainees will have completed an in-patient palliative care rotation during family medicine residency training. They will have the opportunity to learn how to assess a patient in pain and symptom management clinic and learn about the various modalities of symptom management particularly in cancer patients.
  • Four week rotation in benign hematology, hemostasis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia service will be primarily focused on the identification, workup and management of the various conditions that will likely also be encountered by family practitioners. This will be achieved by providing opportunity for participation in the consult services on the in-patient units at Health Sciences Centre and/or St Boniface Hospital.
  • Rural Community Cancer Program Network (CCPN) clinic exposure. Here the trainee will work with and learn from rural family physicians/FPOs that supervise and treat cancer patients in their communities. There may also be opportunity in the community to follow patients who require emergency room treatment for various complications of treatment. This will enable the trainee to put into practice knowledge and skills acquired during other rotations.
  • Urgent cancer care rotation – the trainee will learn how to obtain history, investigate and manage appropriately any complications that may arise as a result of the patients’ malignancies and treatment. There will be opportunity to also see and treat patients with various oncologic emergencies like venous thrombosis (including pulmonary emboli), hypercalcemia and febrile neutropenia. They trainee will obtain skills in, and knowledge of when to refer patients for emergency treatment, including emergency radiation therapy and acquire skills that assist clinicians determine which patients can be safely discharged home. They will also acquire skills in various oncology related procedures particularly paracentesis, thoracentesis etc.
  • Four weeks of elective time in an area of their choosing. Some options include a ‘lumps and bumps’ biopsy clinic exposure, interventional radiology, pediatric oncology survivorship clinic, leukemia/bone marrow transplant clinic exposure, in-patient oncology experience etc.
  • Scholarly activities – the trainee will participate in regularly scheduled academic half days, journal clubs, rounds, walk rounds and disease site group meetings/rounds specific to the various rotations. They will also be expected to identify a quality improvement topic early on in training and will be provided with dedicated time to write up or present a report on the topic before completion of the twelve month training. 

How to apply

1) Confirm your eligibility

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are eligible for full registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
  • You have successfully completed/or are in the process of completing a two-year family medicine residency (or equivalent) and/or have received the CCFP designation.

2) Gather your documents

You will require the following:

  • Resumé
  • Three signed letters of reference written no more than three months before the application deadline
  • Letter of intent, briefly outlining your career and learning goals for the program and stating why you are well-suited for an oncology-focused program
  • Certificate of Professional Standing from The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba or from the regulatory body of your home province

3) Complete your application

Your application is considered complete when you have successfully submitted the documents outlined above. No additional application forms are required.

Your documents can be provided to the program coordinator by mail, fax or email (contact information in the column to the right.).

The deadline for submission is November 1 of each year.

4) Notification

You can expect a response to your application by the second week of November. Successful applicants will begin the program July 1 of the following year.


Upon successful completion of the Cancer Care Enhanced Skills program you will receive a diploma from the University of Manitoba’s Max Rady College of Medicine.

Updated July 3, 2018

Contact Us

Click for contact information and a detailed team profile.


To apply or to ask questions about the process, please contact:

Collette Thiessen
Tel: 204-594-5352
Fax: 204-272-3090

P228 Pathology
770 Bannatyne Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3M 3E9


The application deadline for this program is November 1 of each year