Back to All News & Events

Medical Matters: Next Gen

Back to Messenger
April Messenger 2022, Medical Matters | Posted April 14, 2022
Read time: 2 minutes

By: Dr. Gordon Giddings, Assistant Registrar, Accreditation

This past month, for the first time, I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist for the University of Alberta Medical School interviews, for the class entering in fall 2022. How times have changed since I had my turn in the interview hot seat 26 years ago!

The virtual interviews brought together dozens of physicians, administrators and leaders in medical education to assess the candidates’ readiness. Despite being able to interview from the comfort of their homes, it was a stressful day all-around and one that the candidates had likely been envisioning for years, maybe even decades.

I wondered how the candidates were feeling on the morning of the interview. Was this their very first interview, or were they an old pro by now? Did they get any sleep the night before, or were they too busy rehearsing questions? I imagine it’s a similar feeling and process for anyone who’s ever had to make their name jump off their resume and stick in the mind of the person across from them. How do I show a slight bit of vulnerability but still confidently stand out from the crowd—without being boastful, of course? Talk about pressure.

As I was contemplating this, the weight of my responsibility—essentially deciding the direction of someone’s future—began to set in. How could I judge the merits of someone’s dream and capacity to enter the medical profession in just under eight minutes? I wasn’t as nervous as the candidates, but I did start to get a few butterflies at that point.

And then the steady stream of interviews began.

The interviews were heartening, encouraging and uplifting. I was so very moved by the overall ease, maturity and well-roundedness of the candidates. Though my time with each was limited, I loved listening to their narratives, opinions and musings on many different subjects. With the level of achievement I saw that day, I’m sure I wasn’t the only panelist asking myself, all things equal, would I have been able to meet the same bar required for admission to medical school today?

Sure, there were a couple technological glitches here, a few awkward Zoom delays there, but there was also a unique opportunity to learn. I met other outstanding Alberta physicians (it’s amazing how quickly a conversation lulls when you mention you work with CPSA) and shared stories about my own experiences from back in the day. Yes, I’m that guy now.

More than anything, the experience left me with a feeling of optimism about the future of medicine in Alberta, and a determination to improve the healthcare system for the next generation of Alberta physicians to inherit.


Dr. Gordon Giddings is a 2000 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine. His clinical background is as a hospitalist for The Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme and subsequently as a palliative medicine specialist. After 10 years of clinical work in Ontario, he accepted the position of Medical Director of New Zealand’s Hospice Waikato and Rainbow Place Pediatric Hospice. He arrived in Alberta in 2016 to join CPSA and assumed the role of Assistant Registrar, Department of Accreditation in 2020. He is also an appointed Councillor for the Medical Council of Canada.


Comments for this post are now closed. If you would like to share your feedback on this topic, please email