Department of Critical Care

About Us

Welcome to the Department of Critical Care Medicine! The Department is committed to providing excellence in patient care, research and education. The Department is integrated with the Department of Critical Care Medicine, Edmonton Zone, of Alberta Health Services and supported by a provincial critical care information system, eCritical. The Department consists of 6 primarily appointed and 3 cross appointed full time Faculty and 39 clinical Faculty.

We are particularly proud of our residency training program which was initiated by Dr. E.G. King in 1970 and was one of the first Critical Care training programs in Canada. Our graduates have provided exemplary care to critically ill patients across Canada and around the world. You will find information on our clinical and academic programs here. The site will be particularly useful if you are considering a trainee elective, looking for details on rotations or educational material for residents or if you are a potential applicant to our Critical Care Residency Training Program. We have Faculty actively looking for graduate students in the fields of medical science and epidemiology.

Research in the Department spans the spectrum from fundamental and translational work through medical education, epidemiology and health services research. The Department is internationally renowned for its expertise and research in the field of Critical Care Nephrology and we are actively pursuing growth in the fields of Neurocritical Care, Cardiovascular Intensive Care, and Health Services Research. Our current Department CV can be found here.


Dr David Zygun
Chair, Department of Critical Care


About the Department

The Department of Critical Care Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry provides teaching, research and patient care to the various Critical Care Units around the Edmonton area. These critical care units are where the most unstable and seriously ill patients are cared for. They consist of highly trained inter-disciplinary teams, advanced life-support technology and monitoring equipment. We have integrated the “ICU without walls” concept, where instead of having a dedicated location in the hospital, we take the necessary expertise and support to patients who are at-risk of adverse outcomes or developing critical illness. As a result, outreach services are now recognized as a vital component of Critical Care.

Critical care units fulfill a number of vital functions within hospitals:

  1. Life-support of devastatingly ill patients who would likely die without such care
  2. Post-operative support of previously ill patients, and life-support, of otherwise stable patients, after major surgical procedures such as solid organ transplantation, cancer resections, neurosurgical, and complex cardiac and vascular procedures
  3. End-of-life management for patients who are originally admitted with potentially reversible illness, but whose illness is now clearly fatal
  4. Outreach services to seriously ill patients on medical/surgical units and to distant health regions and hospitals via using tele/videoconference technology

The General Systems Intensive Care Units (GSICU) fulfill the aforementioned functions for critically ill patients with overwhelming multisystem illnesses. Management of these patients requires highly skilled team members using sophisticated physiological monitoring systems as well as various means of life support techniques. The GSICU provides Critical Care services 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.


Our Mission

We are committed to:

  • Providing excellence in academic and clinical programs
  • Delivering exemplary multidisciplinary care to critically ill patients
  • Respecting the human dignity of patients and families, recognizing their unique values and beliefs
  • Designing and implementing systems to improve care delivery to those outside of our critical care units
  • Exploring ways to prevent the development of critical illness
  • Providing the best clinical care by conducting and applying multidisciplinary clinical, applied and outcomes research

Our Goals

  1. To provide high quality, safe, cost-effective care to the critically ill patient by:
    • Providing families and patients with an open and honest assessment of the patient's condition
    • Efficiently utilizing diagnostic and therapeutic modalities
    • Assisting a patient's return to an optimal state of health and providing compassion/comfort when death is inevitable
    • Promoting efficient communication between caregivers involved with critically ill patients
  2. To be recognized as the premier academic critical care program in Western Canada, and as one of the best programs nationally.