Peri-operative Ultrasound

The University of Alberta Hospital is one of the leading clinical, research and teaching hospitals in North America. It is a 900 bed quaternary referral centre for western and northern Canada. We have been at the vanguard of ultrasound guided regional anesthesia for the past decade. Our anesthesiologists frequently teach at national and international regional anesthesia workshops and have been part of CAS and ASRA faculty and workshop organizing committees for the last decade.

The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute is a quaternary centre dedicated to care of complex cardiac patients. Faculty and fellows have presented nationally and internationally and faculty are involved in national executive committees as well as teaching/organizing workshops at national meetings. The fellow will be exposed to a vast array of cardiac pathology for both transesophageal (TEE) and surface echocardiography/point of care ultrasound (POCUS) under the tutelage of cardiac anesthesiologists certified in Advanced Perioperative TEE by the National Board of Echocardiography (NBE). Completion of the fellowship will prepare fellows to write the NBE exam in Basic Perioperative TEE and apply for certification. A state of the art high-fidelity echocardiography simulator will be an integral part of training.

Novel cardiac anesthesia/surgical training, in Alberta - Intelligent Ultrasound
The University of Alberta has developed a novel training program using Intelligent Ultrasound’s HeartWorks Transthoracic/Transesophageal Echocardiography (TTE/TEE) system to simulate perioperative cardiac anesthesia/surgical scenarios. Exposure to rare but catastrophic surgical incidents in a controlled, realistic environment allows trainees to take a phased approach to scenario management without the stress of a high-stakes environment.

Program Structure

Fellowship time is divided between academic and clinical duties. 60% of the fellow's time is protected for clinical instruction and research related to the practice of peri-operative ultrasound. The remaining 40% of the time will be spent independently delivering anesthetic services as a staff anesthesiologist. Fellows will be expected to participate in the weekend and day / night call roster as part of their clinical responsibilities. The fellowship comprises three 4-month blocks as follows.

Basic Trans-esophageal Echocardiography
At the completion of this block, candidates will be prepared to sit the NBE exam and obtain the certificate of Special Competence in Basic Peri-operative Trans-esophageal Echocardiography (TEE). In fact, our fellows will exceed the number of performed/reviewed exams required by the NBE for basic certification and be comfortable using several hardware/software platforms.

Surface echo / pocus
This block will be spent in both operating room as well as the critical care environment gaining competency in cardiac, pulmonary, airway, gastric and vascular imaging.

Regional Anesthesia
Fellows are expected to gain proficiency in ultrasound-guided single-shot and catheter-based regional anesthetic techniques for upper and lower extremity surgeries in addition to truncal planar blocks for abdominal and thoracic procedures.

Dr. Derek Dillane
Specialty Fellowship Director