Family Medicine: Emergency Medicine

Welcome to the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

August TBD
6 pm MDT
via Zoom

CaRMS Info Session

University of Alberta
FM-EM Emergency Medicine
6pm MDT, via Zoom










Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Format: There will be two panel interviews - each about 20 minutes in length. All interviews this year will be via Zoom.

Please refer to the CaRMS site for details.

Selection Process Goals

We are looking for excellent well-rounded candidates who excel in the principles of Family Medicine and are dedicated to mastering the field of Emergency Medicine. It is in the interest of the resident to do a variety of electives in Family Medicine to ensure they cover the material that may not be covered during a busy year focused on acute and critical care. We look for residents who demonstrate evidence of self-improvement and self-assessment during their Family Medicine year.

International Applicants

All applicants must be residents of Canada and have a CFPC certification prior to starting in the program. 

Welcome to Our Program

The University of Alberta Family Medicine-Emergency Medicine (FM-EM) Program began in July of 1993 and has since graduated over 150 residents who now work throughout Canada. Since its inception, the program has been designed to produce physicians who are able to work in any emergency department, from rural to quaternary care. The year is intense, but residents are provided great academic support and flexibility to meet their learning needs.

One of the keys to success in Edmonton is the large number of learners. The FM-EM residents work and learn alongside the RCPS Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine programs in a collegial environment that gives them a larger pool of colleagues to work and attend rounds with. This tightly knit group shares in the many dedicated faculty members with expertise in Evidence Based Medicine, EMS Systems, Disaster Medicine, Medical Education, Pediatric and Adult Trauma, Clinical Research and Health Administration, Emergency Department Ultrasound, and Human Patient Simulation. With this dedicated faculty, the University of Alberta formed Canada's fourth Department of Emergency Medicine in 2004. 

We have also incorporated a guided selection for all residents which allows them to choose between Neurology/Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Orthopedics, or a regional Emergency Medicine rotation. Priority is given to General Surgery or Orthopedics if neither of those rotations were done during the FM year. For residents who have done both General Surgery and Orthopedics, they can choose amongst any of the selective options.

The FM-EM program is a very structured year. Despite this, the program retains flexibility and self-directed learners flourish in Edmonton. There is a comprehensive academic program including monthly Core Content Rounds where residents take exams to test recall of reading assignments from the last month in preparation for the certification exam.

Dr. Navdeep Dhaliwal
Program Director

Overview Video

2020 Video

Our Staff

Staff Staff Biography


Dr. Navdeep Dhaliwal
Program Director

Dr. Dhaliwal is a full time Emergency Physician at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton, and is also the program director of the CFPC-EM residency program. His postgraduate residency training was done through the University of Alberta where he initially started as the co-chief resident in the CFPC-EM program and worked his way through as the Assistant Program director. He was lucky to have experienced the acute trauma environment of Detroit during his medical school education where his initial love of Emergency Medicine was established. Dr. Dhaliwal is originally from Osoyoos, British Columbia. In his spare time he can be found training Taekwondo with his family, playing with his children, or travelling.

michael lai

Dr. Michael Lai
Assistant Program Director

Michael is a full time Emergency Physician at the Grey Nuns Hospital. He is currently enjoying his new role as assistant program director of the CFPC-EM residency program. Michael completed his medical school training and family medicine residency at the University of Alberta, and completed his emergency medicine training at the University of Manitoba. He is originally from Calgary where he completed his Bachelors of Science. Outside of clinical work, Michael enjoys playing hockey, spending time outdoors golfing, and playing volleyball.


Dr. Hazem Shoblak
Tintinalli Coordinator/Faculty Advisor

Dr. Shoblak is a full time Emergency Physician at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton. He serves as a Tintinalli Coordinator for the EM residents, as well as a faculty advisor. He moved around a lot in his younger days, so he decided to stay in one city for his university education: Edmonton. He completed his undergraduate, medical school, postgraduate, and fellowship training at the U of A. He is a previous grad of this EM program too! Outside of work, he enjoys travelling, hunting, spending time with his family, or perfecting his backyard landscaping.

vickie lee

Dr. Vickie Lee
Tintinalli Coordinator

Dr. Lee is a full time Emergency Physician at the Sturgeon Community Hospital. She completed her medical school and residency training at the University of Alberta. She enjoys travelling and spending time outdoors with her family.

Dr. Joshua Bezanson
Tintinalli Coordinator

Joshua is a staff emergency and hyperbaric medicine physician at the Misericordia Community Hospital and a recent Edmonton EM graduate. His interests include disaster medicine and prehospital care and he serves as the department of emergency medicine’s disaster medicine coordinator and also assists with Tintinalli rounds. He completed a masters in disaster medicine and an EMS fellowship. He is the Hazardous Materials Physician for the Calgary Fire Department and a transport physician with STARS as well as serving as the medical director for multiple EMS agencies including an international air ambulance service. He is also active with several disaster relief organizations including Canada Task Force 2 which is Alberta’s all-hazards disaster response team and has been a part of multiple large scale deployments in Canada and abroad. He co-hosts a disaster podcast called EPIC (Emergency Preparedness in Canada).


Dr. Michael Dussault

CFPC-EM Ultrasound Curriculum Director

Mike is an emergency physician at the Grey Nuns Hospital and the Assistant Ultrasound Coordinator. He completed his medical school in Edmonton and Family Medicine residency in Calgary. He then completed his Emergency Medicine Residency in Saskatchewan and continued to work In the ED in Saskatchewan for two years after finishing his residency. He initially worked in Saskatoon to train with point of care ultrasound. Outside of the ED, he loves spending time outside doing whatever activity that gets his heart pumping. He has spent most of his years growing up snowboarding whenever he can, and lately has been enjoying biking, bouldering, and hiking.

Our Program

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

Program Highlights


The combined Emergency Medicine resident groups at the University of Alberta boasts nearly 40 residents between the FM-EM, Peds EM and RCPS EM residents.

There is opportunity for horizontal time in Family Medicine throughout the academic year.

Robust U/S training program with longitudinal training during the academic year.

There is a Disaster Medicine Curriculum!

An annual residents retreat is held in Jasper, Alberta.

Simulation training incorporating procedural skills and U/S throughout the year.

Residency at a Glance

This residency program is for 1 year.

R-3 Rotations


  • Emergency Medicine – 14 weeks
    Royal Alexandra Hospital and U of A Hospital (UAH)

  • Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
    Edmonton Community Hospitals

  • Emergency Medicine  4-8 weeks
    Lethbridge/Red Deer Regional Hospital

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
    Stollery Children's Hospital (UAH)

  • Orthopedic Surgery/General Surgery/Neuro/Ophtho (guided selective) – 0 - 4 weeks
    Lethbridge or Red Deer Regional Hospital or in Edmonton

  • Adult ICU – 8 weeks
    UAH or RAH

  • Pediatric ICU – 4 weeks
    Stollery Children's Hospital

  • Ultrasound & Trauma – 2 weeks
    UAH or RAH

  • Anesthesia and Disaster Medicine – 2 weeks
    Misericordia Hospital

  • EMS – 2 ride-alongs
    Edmonton Ground EMS and STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society)

  • Emergency Medicine Longitudinal – 10 shifts
    At site of faculty advisor

  • CCU Senior – 2 weeks
    Royal Alexandra Hospital

  • Vacation – 4 weeks

Teaching Hospitals

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


The program is centred in Edmonton, and most rotations occur at the two tertiary care hospitals—the Royal Alexandra, and the University. Additionally, all residents spend time in a community hospital in Edmonton, and two months in our regional centres (Lethbridge and/or Red Deer). 

University of Alberta Hospital 

Royal Alexandra Hospital 

Stollery Children's Hospital 

Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Grey Nuns Community Hospital

Misericordia Community Hospital 

Program Supports


  • Each resident is assigned an academic advisor with whom they also do horizontal EM shifts throughout the year and meet every four months to review their academic progress to date.
  • Each resident has access to a wellness mentor to assist with the personal and academic demands of the year.
  • Residents have unfettered access to the Program Director for any needs that arise throughout the year

Frequently Asked Questions

Any elective time available?
Given the limited time available, no elective time is permitted with the current structure of the program. However, this last year’s cohort was given some flexibility in choosing certain rotations such as ortho and general surgery, based on whether they completed these rotations in their family medicine training. If both had been completed, the option was given to substitute more emergency medicine rotations in Red Deer or Lethbridge. We are constantly looking to add rotations to our selectives list and this upcoming year are adding a combined custom Neuro/Ophtho selective option. All selective options are tailored to provide a high yield educational environment for the residents.
What are rural EM rotations in Lethbridge and Red Deer like?

Our rural emergency rotations are highly rated by residents. Red Deer and Lethbridge both offer incredible learning opportunities for residents, who are often provided with more autonomy when managing patients. These sites typically provide excellent exposure to trauma, pediatrics as well as “bread-and-butter” emergency cases which are helpful in shaping us into well-rounded emergency physicians. 

What procedural workshops are available?

The first month includes procedural workshops on academic days involving the airway, chest tube placement, transvenous pacemaker, central lines and pericardiocentesis (done on mannequins). There is also an orthopedics casting session, as well as a thoracotomy training session on bovine specimens. Additional high fidelity procedures are being added on an annual basis.

Is there an integrated ultrasound curriculum? Will residents receive IP certification?

Although not mandatory, IP certification is highly encouraged throughout the year. Most have either completed the EDE1 course prior to starting or will complete it within the first month of the program. After this, you are responsible to set up appointments with faculty who are IP certified to finish your scans. There are faculty members who kindly volunteer their time to help out and there are ultrasound facilitators who will help connect you to these IP certified faculty members. The trauma block also includes time specifically for ultrasound scanning. Both the PD and APD are Master CPoCUS instructors and are directly involved in teaching the residents.

Is there a formalized mentorship program?

Yes! We pride ourselves on our faculty mentors! Each resident is paired with a faculty advisor (mentors) with whom you will be required to do longitudinal shifts throughout the year and check-in/evaluation every 4 months. The residents from the previous year usually make themselves available as well for guidance and overall help.

What are some of the highlights of the Edmonton program?
  • Exposure to a variety of different emergency departments, including tertiary care centers, community hospitals, and regional centers.
  • As a transplant and referral centre for much of northern Canada, the exposure to acuity and pathology is substantial.
  • Opportunity to complete your CPOCUS Core Independent Practioner certification.
  • Resuscitative thoracotomy lab on anesthetized pigs
  • Opportunities to fly with STARS and air ambulance.
How does the program help residents transition to practice?

This is achieved through:

  • the support of a faculty advisor who acts as a mentor to answer job/business/department questions
  • starting off with two blocks of emergency to help with reference letters for jobs
  • the program forwards all potential job opportunities that they are aware of
  • the centralized hiring cycle for Edmonton begins quite early in the academic year, often in September for employment beginning the following July, and the program will help you meet deadlines for this application process. 
  • financial day
How does Edmonton CCFP-EM help residents meet the academic requirements of this busy year?
  • monthly tint exams with reading list to follow
  • structured ECG teaching
  • rigorous academic days
  • exams throughout the year to reflect the style in Toronto and to practice exam writing strategies
  • monthly practice oral exams
How does vacation time work?
Each resident gets 4 weeks of vacation during the academic year. In this program you are able to take your vacation time in 2 x 2 week blocks or 1 x 4 week blocks. Residents apply for their vacation time at the beginning of the year, and the faculty does their best to accommodate requests. Additionally residents get 5 consecutive days off at Christmas or New Years. This is usually not an issue as the program specifically schedules you for an ER block during the winter holidays.

Resident testimonials

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.

After having done the EM year and now starting practice, I can say with complete confidence the U of CCFP-EM program prepares you in the most rigorous and academic way for staff life and the CCFP-EM exam. It is a challenging year but you come out ready to hit the ground running. Some of the highlights of the program are the critical care exposure, great EM rotations, and the faculty advisors. Edmonton itself is a solid city, moving from the west coast I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved the laid back vibe of the city, no traffic, and great restaurants. Finally, the best part was the tight-knit resident cohort we had, making lifelong friendships and colleagues. 

– Jas Hans (2023)
levi photo

To aspire to become a competent and independent emergency medicine practitioner capable of working in a tertiary care centre with one year of additional training can properly be considered an ambitious undertaking. However, the University of Alberta CCFP-EM program has this process down to a science. Their time-tested curriculum is rigorous, comprehensive, and supportive. I sought out this program knowing that I would be thoughtfully coached and pushed to become an independent, safe, and efficient emergency physician. Now approaching the end of my year, I can honestly say that I feel well-prepared to step out into independent practice and I am very thankful to have been a participant in this program.

– Levi Johnston (2022)
david photo

The U of A CFPC-EM program is very challenging and academically rigorous. However, you will feel incredibly well prepared for practice at the end of your training here. One of the most unique aspects of the program is that all residents are assigned faculty advisors, who work with us over the course of the year to not only refine your clinical skills but provide guidance as we transition to practice. The program leadership is also very receptive to feedback and advocates on behalf of residents to help us achieve our learning goals. The resident cohort is very tight-knit and we rely heavily on each other through the good times and the bad. Edmonton as a city provides lots of recreational opportunities and an amazing food scene. Overall, my EM year has gone by in a flash.  Everyone I have encountered in the program along the way has truly helped make the experience a blast.

– David Deng (2022)
nicole photo

The Edmonton CCFP-EM residency program is a fast-paced, rigorous program that really elevated my ability to care for patients in an emergency department setting. After a year filled with all aspects of emergency medicine from critical care to transport medicine to toxicology, I feel prepared to work in any emergency department. I have gained knowledge and skills that will act as a foundation for me to continue building on throughout my career.

- Nicole Roshko (2022)

The Edmonton FM-EM Program is designed to prepare residents to be practicing emergency medicine in a city, regional centre, or smaller town by the end of the year. With only one year to do this, there can be a lot going on. We have monthly Tintinalli quizzes, 3.5 months of intensive care between ICU, PICU, and CCU,  multiple presentations/projects to prepare, and a longitudinal disaster medicine/prehospital medicine course and ultrasound training in the background. But as the end of the year approaches, and I'm now staring down my first independent shift as staff, I'm grateful for being pushed throughout the year. The program is filled with ED docs that seem to enjoy teaching and work hard to keep the program one they are proud of”

– Dr. Megan Cook (2021)


What do you like about Edmonton? Everything! I'm from Edmonton, so I'm biased. But the summer festivals are awesome, the river valley is great to explore year round, great restaurants (Swiss 2 go is great for sandwiches/ dessert), and the EM program is excellent!
What advice would you give to applicants about the interview process? 
My advice for interviews in general is be yourself, have fun, don't be afraid to take several seconds to think about your answers. 
– Dr. Chloe LaBrie


“ The Edmonton FM-EM program is excellent. The academic portion will keep you organized and ready for each rotation. The off service rotations will strengthen your experience and knowledge for your emerg shifts. Emergency medicine in Edmonton has wonderful staff to work with and learn from, and interesting patient presentations at every site. ”

– Dr. Carly Rumley (2021)

andrew boivin

I moved to Edmonton for this program not knowing what to expect. The faculty and my peers were incredibly supportive during a rigorous year. I would say the strength of this program lies in the longitudinal faculty advisors and other on-shift preceptors which have been "hand-selected" to ensure the best learning experience for the resident. The information gained during this challenging year is still unfathomable to think of, it has definitely set me up for success in my career and the journey for lifelong learning.

– Dr. Andrew Boivin (2021)

aerial shot of river

The river valley is beautiful, with great trails for running and biking. In more normal times, there's decent cafe's/coffee as well - Eleanor & Laurent, Little Brick, and District being my favs. The almond croissants at Eleanor & Laurent got me through some of my busier ICU calls - highly recommended. “

– EM Resident (2021)