Simulation Program

The Anesthesia postgraduate training program embraces interdisciplinary simulation as a valuable learning tool. Simulation allows our residents to participate in and lead crisis scenarios under controlled and safe conditions. The process is completed with post-scenario review and debriefing to solidify learning. Our residents complete their residency training having experienced firsthand almost all anesthetic emergencies imaginable. In addition to experiential learning through low-stake scenarios, residents are also formally assessed through the Canadian National Anesthesiology Simulation Curriculum (CanNASC) for independent practice readiness. Ultimately, this results in improved perioperative care and patient safety.

The Health Sciences Education and Research Commons (HSERC) in the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) hosts high-fidelity human simulators in realistic settings (operating room, trauma bay, post anesthetic recovery room etc.). The anesthesiology residency program utilizes these tools for our annual Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM) course as well as our longitudinal Content-Linked Simulation Program (CLSP). Residents participate annually in the ACRM course which is tailored to developing crucial non-technical skills, such as communication, interdisciplinary collaboration, leadership, and resource management. The CLSP is designed to complement the academic information that residents are learning during their academic seminars. Residents participate in one CLSP simulation every academic block, which results in 4-5 simulations annually for every resident plus observation of 8-10 more.

The residency program also possesses a state-of-the-art fibre optic intubation and bronchoscopy simulator, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiogram simulator, along with a multitude of low-fidelity simulation devices that aid development of regional anesthesia, vascular access, intubation and surgical airway skills. Future patients can rest assured that our trainees will have simulated and/or performed almost all invasive procedures before encountering them in real life.


  • Allows conceptual, physical, emotional, and experiential learning through simulated scenarios.
  • Utilizes Kolb’s learning theory to solidify concrete experiences into practical changes through active reflection and abstract conceptualization.
  • Improves technical and non-technical skills.
  • Provides the opportunity for inter-disciplinary and inter-professional learning.

Program Structure

Emphasis in our simulation program includes:

  • Difficult airway management (algorithms; context-sensitivity)
  • Cardiac and respiratory arrest/CPR ("codes")
  • Rare but vital clinical experiences (i.e. malignant hyperthermia)
  • Crisis Resource Management:
    • Human factors in errors
    • Translating knowledge into clinical action

Vision Statement

To improve skills in managing a crisis; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of intervention"


Provide residents with the experiences so that they are capable of:

  • Demonstrating competence in non-technical skills during crises
  • Demonstrating competence in medical management of common and rare anesthetic emergencies
  • Demonstrating competence in invasive procedures during normal and emergency conditions.

Future Plans

  • Assessment/competency-based promotion
  • Simulation based research
  • Individual learning plans for residents
  • Competency maintenance for practicing anesthesiologist