Department of Critical Care

Fellowship Training

For those interested in continuing their Critical Care Medicine training into specialty areas. We offer fellowship training opportunities in both clinical and research environments.


What is a Fellow?

A fellow is a post-MD trainee who is registered with the Postgraduate Medical Education Office and is pursuing supervised clinical and/or research training which is NOT accredited towards fulfilling certification eligibility requirements of existing residency programs recognized by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

Examples of Post-MD trainees who should be classified as a fellow are:

  • Any trainee who has completed Canadian specialty training requirements and is pursuing clinical training or research within their own specialty field beyond the requirements for specialty or subspecialty certification.

  • Any trainee who may be ineligible for Canadian certification because previous training is not accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

  • Any trainee who is registered for the purpose of obtaining specific experience in a specialty/subspecialty which is not currently recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or for which there is no accredited program at the University of Alberta


Funding

Funding is usually provided by a sponsoring agency such as a country or hospital. For those who do not have a sponsoring agency, there are opportunities to combine fellowship with extender work to provide funding. This type of arrangement requires that the applicant be eligible to register with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) for an extender license which will need both LMCC part II and proof of English language skills (if not from North America).

Regardless of the funding source, the CPSA requires that international fellows from non-English speaking countries have proof of English language skills to apply for fellowship in Alberta. Unfortunately, we are unable to consider applications without attached proof of English language skills. For applicants without home funding, we will need LMCC part II scores included in the application as well as proof of English language skills if relevant. Funding is usually provided by a sponsoring agency such as a country or hospital. For those who do not have a sponsoring agency, there are opportunities to combine fellowship with extender work to provide funding. This type of arrangement requires that the applicant be eligible to register with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) for an  which will need both LMCC part II and  (if not from North America).


Critical Care Cardiology Fellowship

Coronary care units, staffed by cardiologist, have been in existence for over 50 years. Since their advent there has been a substantial fall in mortality. The coronary care unit patient population has also changed with a higher number of comorbidities and more patients requiring advanced life support therapies such as mechanical ventilation, inotropic infusion, and renal replacement. Consequently, coronary care units in many tertiary hospitals bear a striking similarity to an intensive care unit. Therefore, the traditional skill set of the cardiologist working in a coronary care unit has shifted to one requiring familiarity with a wide range of serious and chronic diseases such as diabetes and COPD.

The increase in demand for coronary care units and the increasing complexity of the patient population has brought with it the need for more complex technology and therapies. Communication is also important in patient care. Patients and families who present with complex disease processes may be at the end of their life and cardiologists need to be comfortable with effective communication techniques in order to coordinate end-of-life care.

Recently the American Heart Association has published a position paper advocating for dedicated critical care training for cardiologists attending in coronary care units. They recognize the need for cardiologists to increase their skill set in order to provide quality care to this patient population. At the current time there is only one avenue in which a cardiologist can increase their skills in Critical Care Medicine; completing a two-year Royal College accredited program in Adult Critical Care Medicine.

We offer a one-year fellowship program in Critical Care Medicine in concert with the Division of Cardiology with an emphasis on the care of the coronary care unit patient. This training intends to augment a cardiologist's ability to care for critically ill patients in a coronary care unit with an emphasis on the essentials of Critical Care Medicine, Cardiothoracic Intensive Care, and patient safety. The intent of this program is to train cardiologists to care for sicker patients in the coronary care unit. Based on the recommendations from the American Heart Association, training includes six months of general intensive care divided between the University of Alberta Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital sites, two months of cardiovascular intensive care at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, one month coronary care unit rotation at the University of Alberta Hospital, one month of anesthesia and three months of clinical research with an emphasis on patient safety, quality improvement, and protocol development.

Our program is unique as one of the first in Canada to offer this fellowship in a world class faculty; including high level Critical Care Medicine, Cardiovascular Intensive Care, Solid Organ Transplant and Cardiology.

For more information, please contact ccmedu@ualberta.ca (Program Administrator) and/or Dr Wendy Sligl, Program Director.