Medical Staff Portal
Medical Staff Resources & Services

Acute Care Coverage

Covenant Health Medical Affairs works closely with the AHS Acute Care Coverage office in providing support to various clinical services and sites to ensure that adequate, effective medical coverage is available to patients at Covenant Health acute care facilities in the Edmonton Zone.

Support is provided by using a variety of Acute Care Coverage providers such as licensed physicians working as Clinical Associates, International Medical Graduates working as Clinical or Surgical Assistants and Residents providing service outside of their academic responsibilities working as Physician Extenders.

In addition to administering the Zone Clinical/Surgical Assist and Physician Extender Programs, our Acute Care Coverage offices work collaboratively with clinicians to develop and administer innovative models of acute care coverage that are customized to best meet the needs of the patients in the associated clinical service. 


Contacts (ACC)

Covenant Health Acute Care Coverage Provider Contacts

Name Phone Email Schedules or Inquires
Darla Cote  780.735.2209 EMAIL ACC opportunities & general information
Milly Abraham 780.735.9050 EMAIL Schedules: MCH Medicine In-House; MCH ICU/CCU In-House; GNCH ICU/CCU In-House


Alberta Health Services Acute Care Coverage Provider Contacts

Name Phone Email Schedules or Inquires
AHS ACC office 780.735.0794  EMAIL

Schedules:  GNCH Surgical Services; MCH Surgical Services; GNCH Multi-Service (PCHT, Psychiatry, Neurology)
Plus general information or any ACC opportunities


Definition of Terms (ACC)

Clinical Assistant: 
International Medical Graduates are licensed on the Provisional Register Conditional Practice with the College of Physician & Surgeons of Alberta.  This special license permits them to provide limited services to patients in a defined clinical setting under the supervision of an attending physician.  These individuals obtain special CMPA insurance, and in order to maintain their license from the College are required to complete Canadian medical examinations within a defined period of time.  Individuals interested in working as a Clinical Assistant within Alberta Health Services must first have successfully completed the TOEFL, the Canadian Evaluating Exam and the LMCC Part I (Part II desirable) prior to consideration for employment. Clinical Services may have additional requirements prior to consideration for employment specific to the clinical setting in question (i.e. ACLS, ATLS, PALS, etc.).  Individuals interested in employment as a Clinical Assistant must either be a Canadian citizen or have landed immigrant status.

These individuals receive a program of formal assessment from clinicians within the given service.  After frequent summative and formative evaluations of related clinical performance from their preceptors, these individuals are integrated into the existing call schedules and are able to perform ‘approved’ independent medical activities/decision-making.

Clinical Associate:
Licensed physicians: typically general practitioners.


  • Manage the medical co-morbidities of the patients within a defined clinical service in consultation with or under the direction of the attending physician;  
  •  Respond to consultation requests on behalf of the clinical service from other clinical services or emergency on the direction of the attending physician. 


Clinical Fellow:
Post-M.D. trainees who are registered with the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, Faculty of Medicine and are pursing supervised clinical training in a clinical service which is not accreditable towards fulfilling certification eligibility requirements of existing residency programs recognized by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. These physicians are on the educational register with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.


  • In addition to obtaining experience and meeting educational objectives in the clinical setting, these individuals are integrated into the existing call schedules of the residents and provide supervised clinical care to supplement shortages in clinical coverage.

Licensed physicians: general practitioners, pediatricians & internists


  • Act as the most responsible physician for patients who are without a primary care physician throughout the course of their hospital stay. This involves daily medical management of all aspects of the patient’s care including patient treatment and disposition decisions and coordination of consultations from specialist physicians as appropriate.

International Medical Graduate (IMG):
An International Medical Graduate (IMG) is a physician whose medical degree was conferred by a medical school located outside of Canada or the United States, that is listed in the most recent issue of the World Directory of Medical Schools (published by the World Health Organization), [or], a Canadian citizen who has taken their medical training outside Canada or the United States.

Licensed Physician: 
A “licensed” physician holds a General License with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta to practice medicine in Alberta without supervision. 

Nurse Practitioner (NP):
Nurse Practitioners (NP) are registered nurses who have a Masters or Doctoral Degree in Nursing with a formalized advanced nursing practice component and who have expertise in a clinical nursing specialty.  Through the formalized advanced nursing practice component, the NP obtains advanced knowledge and decision-making skills in assessment, diagnosis and clinical management including prescription drugs. NPs in the CH region must be registered with the CARNA (College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta) on the NP Roster.


The Nurse Practitioner provides expert, often specialized practice including extended health services, across the continuum of patient care within the clinical setting. Their primary role is to provide comprehensive direct patient care as a central member of the health care team.

Physician Extender:
Residents who are placed on the Provisional Register, Postgraduate Training Physician Extender with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta and who obtain special CMPA insurance, approval of program director and LMCC II which permits them to care for patients outside of their academic responsibilities under the direction and supervision of an attending physician.  


  • After-hour coverage of patients in a variety of clinical settings throughout the region.  The clinical service in question may specify additional requirements related to the credentials, clinical experience & level of resident preparation (i.e. PGY level) for Physician Extenders.  In addition, specific expectations of service provision from Physician Extenders may be identified by the clinical service; 
  • Primarily address the urgent/emergent needs of the in-patients in a given service or respond to consultation requests in Emergency on behalf of the service to evaluate patients who are ultimately admitted under the care of an associated attending physician.

Privileged Physician;
A “privileged” physician has been granted access/privileges to practice medicine in the Alberta Health Services and/or Covenant Health facilities by the Regional Medical Staff Office (RMSO).

Surgical Assist:
Licensed family physicians, clinical assistants and retired general surgeons and includes some residents who provide assistance in the operating room while on duty as a Physician Extender after-hours.  


  • Provide assistance in the operating room under the supervision and direction of a surgeon

Surgical-clinical Assistant:
A Surgical-clinical Assistant is an IMG graduate from the IMGCP Program who provides acute care coverage services to Alberta Health Services in the role of a “Clinical Assistant” to in-hospital surgical patients. 


Duties include (but are not limited to) the pre and post-op co-morbidity management of surgical in-hospital patients, pre-op assessment of patients scheduled for elective surgery, pre-op consultation for patients in the emergency department, serving as an assistant to the operating surgeon during the intra-operative phase of surgery, and as needed during the course of an after-hour coverage shift.

A Resident Physician is a physician who is in the process of preparation for licensure by virtue of achieving certification by either the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This preparation includes both theory and practice under supervision of qualified physician preceptors conducted in accredited teaching environments including clinical settings. This includes the provision of necessary medical care and participation in the education of peers, junior colleagues and patients

Clinical or Surgical Assistant Guidelines & Info

The Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistant Program (ACSAP) provides International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with an alternate career path to become Clinical or Clinical/Surgical Assistants.

ACSAP programs put candidates through a six-month assessment and evaluation that, upon successful completion, leads to a full-time and permanent acute care coverage role that addresses clinical and/or surgical coverage shortages.

Completion of an ACSAP program provides IMGs valuable work experience in acute care settings and will help candidates learn more about professional healthcare in Canada, but it does not lead to independent licensure.

Click links for  more information

Physician Extenders (COV) Guidelines & Info

If you have obtained your physician extender license and are interested in opportunities with Covenant Health, please review