Message From the Chair

bill-sevcik-nameWelcome to the University of Alberta, Department of Emergency Medicine!  Whether you are exploring the world of Emergency Medicine as a medical school elective, considering Emergency Medicine as a residency or looking at relocating your emergency medicine practice, you have come to the right place.  Our mission is to optimize and advance the provision of emergency medical care through excellence in education, research, and community service. The Department of Emergency Medicine is extremely proud to be part of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

As you look through our website and discover who we are and what amazing things we are up to, I would like to highlight a few key areas where I believe we excel.  

The Faculty:

Our Department is especially proud of its amazing group of faculty members.  We have over 200 clinical faculty members that work within the varied healthcare facilities in the Edmonton zone (e.g., free standing EDs, community hospitals and tertiary-care referral hospitals).  These exceptionally committed clinical colleagues, whose expertise and energy, provide the backbone of the outstanding clinical and educational activities that our department provides. Our faculty has an excellent breadth of expertise in areas related to the discipline of Emergency Medicine, including prehospital and transport medicine, aviation medicine, sports medicine, disaster medicine, inner-city health and addictions, end of life care, hyperbaric medicine, clinical informatics, point of care ultrasound, simulation training and emergency medicine administration.

We have a small but amazing group of academics that despite being few in number have an astonishing amount of academic productivity.  For example, our Emergency Medicine Research Group (EMeRG), led by Dr. Brian Rowe is internationally recognized as a premier program in clinically relevant emergency medicine research.  We consider all members of our department as valuable contributors to our team. We are currently recruiting for additional academic positions in order to “fill our bench” and add to our research teams.This opportunity will remain open until filled.    


The Emergency Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program continues to be amongst the top-rated mandatory rotations in the University of Alberta MD program.  Our UME team organizes and manages 160-170 mandatory MD clerkship rotations at our training sites along with > 70 visiting students electives. The students respond very positively to the educational opportunities in our emergency departments and the 1-on-1 supervision and teaching provided by our attending Emergency Medicine faculty. 

Our fully accredited Royal College Emergency Medicine residency program is amongst the most sought-after Emergency Medicine residencies in Canada. We have been very successful in attracting top candidates from the CaRMS match.   In July 2018 we began the transition to Competency-based Education (CBD) for our incoming residents. Our PGME program director and assistant program director, as well as a variety of clinical faculty have been very active in educating our members about the CBD process and as a consequence the transition has been very successful.  

In the opening paragraph I stated that our mission is to optimize and advance the provision of emergency medical care through excellence in education, research, and community service. But what does that really mean?

For our department it’s important that we know what we do and how we plan on fulfilling our mission and vision, but it is critically important to understand and to commit to why we undertake the journey. The fact that we are dedicated to using the best-evidence and technology to provide outstanding patient care to fulfill our mission is laudable.  Our commitment to giving our patients the care, the respect and the dignity that they deserve during each encounter is incredibly important. But at the core of why we do what we do should be our guiding values; we have the privilege to care for patients who are sick, injured, or scared and try to make a difference in their lives.

One of my favorite novella’s is The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Expupéry.  There is a quote that has always resonated with me and in my role as Chair it has really helped me focus and refine my vision for our department.  “If you want to build a ship, do not drum up people to collect wood and do not assign them tasks of work, but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”  My challenge to all of you, is “to long for the immensity of the sea”, embrace the possibilities of what our department can become and to join us on this journey.  

Bill Sevcik BEd, MD, FRCPC, Founder, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Chair, Associate Professor Department of Emergency Medicine
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Alberta