Family Medicine: Emergency Medicine

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

We invite all FM-EM applicants to attend an information session with current FM-EM residents and Program Director Dr. Navdeep Dhaliwal.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021
19:30-20:30 MST

Registration is required and can be completed  through the registration form via this link. Registrants will be provided with the Zoom link closer to the date of the event.










Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Dates: Dec 1st and 2nd, 2021.

Format: There will be two panel interviews - each about 20 minutes in length. Due to COVID related concerns - all interviews this year will be via Zoom.

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. 

Contact Us

Dr. Navdeep Dhaliwal
Program Director, Department of Family Medicine
Suite 5-16, University Terrace
8303 112 St.
Edmonton, AB T6G 2T4

Dr. Michael Lai
Assistant Program Director

Ms. Allison Alberto
Program Administrator

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


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.



Dr. Joanne Tseng
CFPC-EM Ultrasound Curriculum Director

Joanne is a full time Emergency Physician at the Grey Nuns Hospital, the CFPC-EM ultrasound curriculum director, and the site director for the undergraduate EM program. Originally from Vancouver, Joanne completed her medical school training at the University of British Columbia, and both her family medicine and emergency medicine residency at the University of Alberta. Outside of the ED, Joanne can be found biking in the river valley or walking her dogs. She makes the most of the Alberta winters by cross-country skiing and trekking to mountains to ski and snowboard.


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. 

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

  • Emergency Medicine Longitudinal – 8 - 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 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.

How does the program prepare residents for the exam?

The entire year is truly preparation for the final Toronto exam. Specifically, monthly tintinalli rounds are hosted by ER physicians, some who have been involved in the creation of the national exam. Each resident is responsible for reading ~30 chapters a month which are then tested every 2nd academic day of each month. Practice oral exams are distributed throughout the year on academic days with faculty. The program also includes a midterm in November and final exam in June - all examinations are structured similar to those for EM certification in Toronto.

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.

How does the program support me obtaining employment after completion?
The program helps you obtain references throughout the year, both from the program director and your longitudinal facility advisor. Oftentimes a third reference letter will be required, and is up to you to obtain. 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. 
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.
How has the program changed with regards to the pandemic?
Most academic lectures are now online via video chat. Simulation training is still in-person via the university, although this is dependent on the stage of lockdown. ER shifts and other rotations have adapted, and other than the increased usage of PPE, you will not notice a difference in the in-hospital training. Hospitals are very careful with sick contacts, new symptoms and potential work exposures. The program has worked directly with the FRC-EM program to continually adapt policies and procedures to ensure the residents can safely maintain their educational objectives for the academic year.

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.


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)


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)

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)

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)