Regional Anesthesia

The University of Alberta Hospital is one of the leading centres in Canada in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. The Acute Pain Service group, an enthusiastic team of 10 anesthesiologists and 2 nurses, provide guidance and tuition in all aspects of Acute Pain Medicine, with an emphasis on ultrasound imaging for plexus and regional blockade. Many of our anesthesiologists teach, or have taught ultrasound imaging at national and international regional anesthesia workshops. We typically support 1-2 fellows per year.

We have a dedicated, three-bay, fully equipped and supported regional block area within the Operating Room Complex, where regional anesthesia modalities are initiated before surgery. We perform approximately 30-50 blocks per week; and manage postoperative pain in patients who have a perineural or epidural catheter, or a complex pain history.

Program Structure

The Fellowship is structured with equal time allocated to Clinical and Fellowship components.

The Clinical component incorporates duties expected of the anesthesia staff at the University Hospital: anesthesia delivery in the operative setting, provision of outpatient clinic consultations, teaching of medical students and residents, and participation in the general on-Call rota. The University of Alberta Hospital is the quaternary referral center for many disciplines in Western Canada, and fellows can expect to meet a diverse mix of challenging cases during their time with us.

The Fellowship component is devoted to supervised subspecialty training, research and teaching. Fellows can expect to gain proficiency in single-shot and catheter-based regional anesthetic techniques for upper and lower extremity surgeries; and in addition, to truncal blocks for abdominal and thoracic procedures. As active members of the Acute Pain Service, fellows contribute to resident education as they rotate through the service; and participation in the day- to-day management of our pain patients is expected. The initiation and completion of a research project is an integral part of the Fellowship. Guidance with project preparation will be provided. Findings, regardless of completion, are presented at the annual Research Day, which is held in late spring each year.