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Adult Critical Care

Welcome to the Adult Critical Care Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

 

SUPPORTIVE

OUR PROGRAM IS WELCOMING AND SUPPORTIVE. OUR RESIDENTS ARE PART OF OUR WORK FAMILY

 

DYNAMIC

THIS DYNAMIC PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO MEET THE NEEDS AND CAREER GOALS OF EACH TRAINEE

 

DIVERSE

THERE IS A DIVERSE RANGE OF FACULTY EXPERTISE AND PATIENT POPULATION

 


Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Interviews for the 2021 CaRMS match will be held virtually over the Zoom video conferencing platform on Sep 29, 2021. There will be three sets of interviews which will include our Program Director, Department Chair and a variety of other interviewers which highlight our program. We will also provide a 1:1 session with our current trainees to give you the opportunity to ask questions and see our program from our trainee's perspective.

Applications from gulf state sponsored trainees are required to be sent to our PGME office at pgspon@ualberta.ca via the sponsor, as we have formal agreements in place.

The application package is to include the applicant's letter of intent, curriculum vitae (CV), three reference letters (dated within 2 years), proof of funding, and English language proficiency test results and is due by July 15, 2021.

Sponsors from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain can send application packages to pgspon@ualberta.ca.

Contact Us

Dr. Adam Romanovsky
Program Director, Critical Care Medicine
2-124 Clinical Sciences Building
8440 112 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2B7

asr1@ualberta.ca
780-492-8311
780-492-1500

Ms. Ana Wigger
Program Assistant
ccmedu@ualberta.ca
780-492-8311


romanvsky

Dr. Adam Romanovsky
Program Director

 

ana wigger

Ms. Ana Wigger
Program Assistant

Welcome to Our Program

Welcome to the Critical Care Medicine program at the University of Alberta, one of the leading subspecialty training programs in the country. Our program offers trainees a unique and comprehensive experience, preparing you not only to be excellent clinicians, but leaders in the field of Critical Care Medicine.

We provide a flexible training program that is dynamic and continuously evolving to meet the needs of each resident.  Between our five main teaching units you will experience the entire breadth of critical care medicine while caring for patients from a wide catchment area. Our intensivists have wide-ranging clinical backgrounds, having trained in 14 different base specialties and acquired training in many other clinical and academic areas. This enables us to draw from a wealth of expertise and offer a unique educational experience. In addition to clinical medicine, our program offers a strong academic experience with ample opportunity to pursue clinical and basic science research, quality improvement and informatics.

Our group is collegial and dedicated to providing a supportive environment for our trainees, all in the setting of a vibrant city that provides endless opportunities to relax and have fun outside of work. We could not be more proud of our program, our city, and most of all our residents. 

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Dr. Adam Romanovsky
Program Director


Our Program

The Critical Care Medicine program fulfills the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada requirements for training over a 2-year period which includes 13 blocks of ICU. Between core rotations there is ample elective time to round out the resident’s knowledge and pursue special interests or academic projects.

 

Program Highlights

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International leaders in critical care nephrology facilitating training in intermittent hemodialysis in addition to CRRT.

...
National leader in critical care ultrasound, providing comprehensive ultrasound education and a wide breadth of exposure.
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Our residents are funded for up to $7500/year for courses, conferences, and learning material.

Largest transplant centre in Western Canada offering critical care experience managing donors and recipients of all solid-organ transplants.

Robust academic portfolio with ample opportunity to pursue clinical and basic science research, quality improvement and informatics.

Unparalleled exposure to subspecialty critical care in dedicated units including Cardiovascular ICU, Neuro ICU, and Burn ICU.


Overview Videos

We have put together a series of brief videos from members of our Department that highlights many of the professional and personal reasons why we love Edmonton. 

http://www.ualbertaccmcarms.ca/


Residency at a Glance

We have 3 funded residency training spots per year with 6-8 residents in the program at any given time.

Learn More

Core Rotations
  • 8 blocks University of Alberta Hospital General Systems ICU (4 per year)
  • 4 blocks Royal Alexandra ICU (2 per year)
  • 1 block Cardiovascular ICU 
  • 1 block Neurosciences ICU
  • 1 block Grey Nuns Hospital ICU
Elective Rotations

9 blocks of flexible elective time to meet your educational and career goals. Common elective rotations include:

  • Critical care ultrasound
  • Echocardiography (level 1 certification)
  • Transport medicine
  • Anesthesiology 
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Respirology 
  • Nephrology 
  • General and/or transplant infectious diseases 
  • Acute care surgery
  • Trauma 
  • Coronary care unit (CCU)
  • Toxicology
  • Palliative care
  • Community/regional ICU (e.g. Grande Prairie, Red Deer) 
  • Research/QI 
  • Out-of-province electives
Scholarly Work
  • Trainees are given both time as well as education and mentorship to meet the RCPSC objectives in scholarly work. 
  • The Department of Critical Care Medicine is highly productive in clinical and basic science research in relation to faculty size. Research opportunities include investigator-initiated studies funded by CIHR, Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (PRIHS - Partnerships for Research and Innovation in the Health System) and the University Hospital Foundation Competition. The Department holds a large number of peer-reviewed grants. In addition, departmental members are involved in a variety of research methodologies (e.g. single-center and multicenter clinical trials, observational studies, meta-analyses, outcomes and health services research). 
  • Some areas of interest of our faculty mentors include: critical care nephrology, acute liver failure, traumatic brain injury, severe respiratory viral infections (including COVID-19),sepsis, antimicrobial stewardship, peri-operative cardiac management and risk reduction, critical care cardiology, vulnerable populations (such as the immune suppressed, frail, elderly), medical simulation, critical care ultrasound, quality improvement and patient safety, ICU capacity strain and other health services research, health informatics, as well as translational and basic science research.
Academic Curriculum
  • Weekly academic half-day every Wednesday afternoon
  • 4-5 high fidelity simulation sessions per year including ventilation and renal replacement therapy simulation
  • Department-wide Journal Club four times per year. Analysis of important trials with an embedded educational curriculum on research methodology and critical appraisal
  • Quarterly Department-wide Quality Assurance rounds
  • Weekly Critical Care Medicine Grand Rounds
Conferences and Courses
  • As per RCPSC requirements, trainees will complete ACLS and ATLS 
  • National ACES course at the beginning of training
  • Encouraged to attend CCCF and ASICP meetings annually 
  • Flexibility and opportunity to attend many other meetings such as difficult airway courses, Canadian Critical Care Trials Group meetings, Critical Care Review Course, and many others.

Teaching Hospitals

We are a fully accredited program that follows the guidelines set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

 

University of Alberta Hospital Intensive Care Unit and Firefighters Burn Treatment Unit

University of Alberta Hospital
The E. Garner King General Systems Intensive Care and Firefighters’ Burn Treatment Unit within the University of Alberta Hospitals, is a 32-bed unit staffed by 17 Royal College certified Intensivists with base training in Internal Medicine and its subspecialties (Nephrology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Neurology), Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology and General/Trauma Surgery.

There are approximately 1800 admissions per year including general medical/surgical, multisystem trauma, burns, multi-organ failure and solid organ transplantation. The site's solid organ Transplant Program is recognized as a national leader in both transplant volumes and success rates, and a large proportion of these patients require critical care support, either pre- or post-transplantation. Consultative coverage is also provided for 4 contiguous high dependency Burns beds.

The GSICU also has special isolation capability for up to 3 patients with a suspected or confirmed infection with highly contagious infectious organisms (e.g. Ebola). An active Medical Emergency Team (MET), Code team, and ICU Outreach Service is also staffed by the Intensivist team with more than 1000 activations per year and greater than 30% of these patients requiring ICU admission. Clinical service is equally proportioned among the three clinical teams and the MET team with four Intensivists on service at a time providing a collegial and mutually supportive environment.

Royal Alexandra Hospital Intensive Care Unit

Royal Alexandra Hospital 
The Royal Alexandra Hospital is a large, inner city, teaching hospital with a 25-bed ICU staffed by 10 Royal College certified intensivists with subspecialty training in Anesthesiology, Pulmonary, Nephrology, Hematology, General Internal Medicine, General Surgery/Trauma, Otolaryngology and Emergency Medicine.

The unit admits approximately 1350 patients per year and is structured with two clinical daytime teams and a night physician from Monday-Friday. The unit is also responsible for a Rapid Response team at this site. The case mix is varied – including medical and surgical patients (both elective and emergent) and includes all thoracic surgery patients in the region.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital is the regional Thoracic surgery centre and also provides obstetrical and surgical gynecology critical care support for the adjoining Lois Hole Hospital for Women. The unit provides high volume and intensity with graded clinical responsibility.

Grey Nuns Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit

Grey Nuns Community Hospital
The GNH ICU is an active urban community ICU, with approximately eight beds and 500 medical/surgical admissions per year. The unit is staffed by eight Royal College certified intensivists with a variety of base specialties, including Anesthesiology, Nephrology, General Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, and Respirology – structured with two  intensivists on service per week to provide seamless in-house daytime and nighttime coverage. Aside from trauma, neurosurgical, and cardiac surgical care, intensivists provide all tertiary support (including renal replacement therapy and plasmapheresis).

In addition, the Grey Nuns Hospital is the Northern Alberta referral site for all vascular surgery. The GNH ICU therefore provides perioperative support for emergency and high-risk abdominal and thoracoabdominal aortic surgery. The Grey Nuns Hospital also has an extremely busy labor and delivery service, with the requisite that intensivists also provide obstetrical critical care support.

Specialty Teaching Units

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute - Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
The Cardiovascular ICU at the University of Alberta Hospital/Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute is a very active specialized unit with 24 funded beds managed by seven cardiovascular intensivists with two clinical teams at all times. The unit admits an average of 1500 patients per year, the vast majority of which represent the full spectrum of post-operative cardiac surgery patients, including heart and lung transplantation. The unit is also the regional referral centre for patients requiring ECMO or Ventricular zAssist Devices.

Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit 
The Peter B.R. Allen Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital is a 10-bed unit with an additional bed allocated for the support of potential organ donors. An additional four beds are managed by neurointensivists as High Intensity Unit (HIU) beds that support invasive hemodynamic monitoring, low dose vasoactive drug support, non-invasive mechanical ventilation, and external ventricular drains. Both units are staffed by seven Royal College certified intensivists, two of whom hold subspecialty designation in Neurocritical Care by the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties. Base specialties include General Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology, and General Surgery/Trauma.

The Neurosciences ICU/HIU admit approximately 900 admissions per year. The case mix is predominantly neurosurgical including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebrovascular disease and cerebral oncology, but also includes neurological patients such as those suffering from stroke and neuromuscular diseases.

In addition, 90% of regional organ donors (30-40 per year) are managed in the Neurosciences ICU. The neurointensivists have expertise and training in multimodality monitoring including routine and extended duration EEG monitoring, transcranial doppler, and invasive cerebral oximetry (LICOX). In addition, under the umbrella of the University of Alberta Neurosciences Program the neurointensivists share a collaborative model of care with members of the Stroke Neurology program.

Neurointensivists provide support and active consultative services for a 4-bed Stroke Unit which cares for acute stroke patients receiving thrombolytic therapy or catheter-directed thrombectomy. Our stroke program is integrated with the Alberta Health Services Edmonton Region stroke ambulance. Our neurocritical care faculty are actively involved as executive members of the Canadian Neurocritical Care Society and the Organs & Tissues Section of Canada Blood Services.

Other Community Units

Misericordia Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit
The MCH ICU is an active urban community ICU, with a total of ten beds - 6 ICU and 4 high intensity. The unit is staffed by four Royal College certified intensivists with specialties in Anesthesiology and Respirology – structured with one intensivist on service per week.  The unit has developed expertise in neuromuscular weakness and chronic mechanical ventilation, providing regional assistance for these patients and those who require an extended period of time to be liberated from mechanical ventilation. 

Sturgeon Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit
The SCH ICU is an 8-bed urban community ICU staffed by 5 Royal College certified intensivists with base specialty training in General Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology,  and Cardiac Surgery.

 


Funding or Additional Info 

As a valued member of our team we aim to provide you with the experience and tools needed to achieve your goals, whether to become a researcher at an academic institution or a leader in a community ICU. Educational activities are financially well-supported with up to $7,500 per resident per year during the training period. Covered costs include, but are not limited to: specific/selected conferences (including the Critical Care Canada Forum [CCCF] in Toronto, Alberta Society of Intensive Care Physicians [ASICP] Meeting in Lake Louise, Acute Critical Event Simulation [ACES] Conference, and national or international conferences where primary research is presented), courses (e.g. exam review, difficult airway), Up-to-Date subscription, critical care medicine textbooks, and research costs if not covered by the primary research supervisor.

Program Supports

  • $7500/year to support your educational pursuits. 
  • Flexible elective schedules to suit your learning and career needs.
  • Committed Academic Advisor for each resident to help navigate all aspects of training.
  • Strong attending support when on call—we are all a team.
  • Residency Well-being Subcommittee to help ensure your well-being.
  • Flattened hierarchy with approachable staff and fun social gatherings (when not hindered by a global pandemic…)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I learn more about your critical care ultrasound program?
We continue to lead the way in critical care ultrasound. Our 1 block rotation is very highly regarded and there is the opportunity for 1 year of ultrasound fellowship training. Check out www.AlbertaSono.ca for complete information about our renowned ultrasound program.
What are the call requirements of the program?
To balance education and well-being residents provide call coverage only while on ICU rotations leaving 11 blocks over 2 years without any call requirements. Call is in-house for CVICU and Grey Nuns rotations as intensivists in those units provide in-house coverage. Call on all other rotations is home call.
What career paths do your residents follow?

I’m happy to say that there isn’t one specific answer to this question. Our past residents have gone on to have careers that cover the entire spectrum—from community to academic critical care, basic science to clinical research, expertise in QI to medical informatics, and medical education to high-level administration. Most of our intensivists also continue to practice in their base specialties.

How was the transition to CBD?
Great! With much preparation and an incredible group of dedicated intensivists it has been a relatively seamless transition. It has enabled us to identify a few minor gaps in education, giving us the opportunity to make our educational program even better.
What do you like about living in Edmonton?
We love living here! From the vast amount of green space to non-stop festivals to an amazing food and theater scene it is a wonderful place to live. The city doesn't stop in the winter when there’s as much to do inside and out as there is in the summer thanks to the number of sunny days.  And of course, the Rocky Mountains are just a few hours away and are a world-class way to get away from it all. For more information on Edmonton please visit https://exploreedmonton.com/.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.

 

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What do you like about Edmonton: It's a friendly city that works hard to make you feel welcome. There are outstanding restaurants and a gorgeous river valley full of trails and bike paths. Plus the mountains are only a few hours away!

What are the highlights of the program for you: The program provides an outstanding breadth of experience and education ranging from bread and butter medical and surgical critical care to severe burns and cardiac and pulmonary transplantation. It is a high volume program with excellent acuity and exposure to a wide breadth of cases with staff that are enthusiastic to learn new skills and to teach residents and fellows how to not just survive, but to thrive and help push the field forward.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: When you interview with a program, try to figure out what the program can do for you and whether the structure, education style and location fit with your goals not only for the next two years of training but for the rest of your career. Don't be afraid to ask challenging questions and delve in-depth into the program's strengths and weaknesses.

Lazar Milovanovic (PGY 5, CCM 2)

 

philip gregoire

What do you like about Edmonton: I came here during the pandemic, so my experience has been mostly with the great outdoors. Mountain biking in the River Valley is great and it's close to the mountains for skiing, hiking and camping. Here's my go-to food recommendations: Little Brick, Khazana, and the Colombian.

What are the highlights of the program for you: Definitely the case mix is excellent with exposure to high acuity cardiovascular, neurocritical, trauma, and general ICU patients as well as all solid organ transplant and ECMO/VAD. However, the best part of the program is for sure the community of the people in the program. As someone who didn't train here before coming to the program, everyone has been so welcoming and made the experience a blast.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: It's so important to be genuine during interviews, which really starts with being honest with yourself. It all boils down to why you actually want to do ICU and come to Edmonton.

Phillip Gregoire (PGY 4, CCM1)

Jocelyn slemko

What do you like about Edmonton: Edmonton is the perfect size. There is tons to do in town and around the province, yet it has a community feel. The people living here are down-to-earth and hard working. It is a very easy and comfortable place to live.

What are the highlights of the program for you: Our critical care program has numerous strengths. The training we get is second to none - from solid organ transplant, to ECMO, to burn medicine - the University of Alberta has an enormous breadth of types of intensive care medicine. The group of intensivists also comes from a wide range of background specialties, offering a wider array of expertise. Above all is the collegiality and lack of hierarchy, as an ICU fellow you are treated with tremendous respect. The program is very supportive in helping you achieve your individualized goals and there is opportunity to tailor the program to fit those needs.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Relax and be yourself!  You've proven you're qualified enough to be a critical care medicine trainee, and the interview is a time to see if your personality fits the culture of the program. It's as much an interview of the program as it is an interview of you.

Jocelyn Slemko (PGY 5, CCM 2)

Graham Mah

What do you like about Edmonton: Edmonton is a city of a million people and lacks for no amenities – if you can’t find something fun to do here I think that’s on you. Highlights include the amazing amount of green space, our wonderful river valley, a stupidly large mall, as well as easy access to the mountains. There’s also a surprisingly good food and arts scene (opera, theater, orchestra, improve, folk fest, etc) for a smaller city. It can be a bit hard here without a car but several of our ICU doctors bike/run to work, even in winter.

What are the highlights of the program for you:

The number one reason I ranked Edmonton first for Critical Care was that during my rotations in the ICUs around the city I remember thinking to myself “I want to be like these doctors”. The skill, diversity, and personality of the intensivist group in Edmonton was something to aspire to. I’ve learned an incredible amount of medicine from these people but I also learned how to be a better doctor – which isn’t quite the same thing.

I was also drawn to the program because of how much laughter there is even in a place that can often be incredibly dark and sombre. The degree of collegiality at every site in the city is truly wonderful, from our community ICUs at the Misericordia and Grey Nuns to our tertiary care sites at the University and the Royal Alexandra. Even after a taxing year of dealing with a global pandemic I look forward to the sense of humor and community when our intensivists are together.

Graham Mah (PGY6, CCM 1)

Dustin Anderson

What do you like about Edmonton: The river valley is amazing. Some of the best running and cycling trails in the world. Just the best!

What are the highlights of the program for you: The people. From top to bottom, I love them all.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share with applicants about the interview process: Honestly, just be yourself. It is a stressful day but just be genuine and you'll do great!

Dustin Anderson (PGY 7, CCM2)

Sanam Verma

What do you like about Edmonton: Edmonton is a fantastic city with great outdoor activities.  It’s  affordable and a wonderful place to start and raise a family.

What are the highlights of the program for you: The critical care program offers an excellent and comprehensive training experience. Critical care transplant management, critical care ultrasound program, and cardiac critical care are among just some of the strengths of the program.  Throughout my training I felt supported and engaged by various faculty members.  Research opportunities are plenty and you can pursue areas of your own interest with national experts to guide you.

I suggest reaching out to current fellows or program director to express your interest and chat further about the program.  Electives are a great way for you to get to know the faculty and the program.

Sanam Verma (PGY7, CCM1)