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Neonatal Perinatal (NICU) Residency Program

Welcome to the Neonatal Perinatal Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

 

~29,000

DELIVERIES PER YEAR

 

87 BEDS

ACROSS THE ROYAL ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL AND THE DAVID SCHIFF NICU AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA HOSPITAL

 

OVER 550

ACTIVE TRANSPORTS  PER YEAR

 


Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

See full detail of the interview and panel selection process on our Program description at carms.ca.

Interviews will be done via Zoom due to COVID19. Interviews themselves will last 30 – 45 minutes. We will also coordinate virtual meetings with members of our program and tours of our learning sites.

Applicants offered an interview will be assessed for knowledge, skills, and aptitudes with respect to domains of medical expert, communicator, collaborator, leader, health advocate, scholar, and professional (see Interview Assessment).

The interview will be conducted by an interview panel consisting of the program director, a neonatologist, neonatal-perinatal medicine trainee, nurse practitioner, and parent of child who had been cared for in the neonatal intensive care. A standardized set of questions including situational and behavioral questions will be included.

  • Example situational question: Imagine that you are on your morning rounds when a colleague describes a difficult case that you and another trainee worked on earlier in the week and compliments your handling of the difficult situation. In doing so, she gives you sole credit and fails to mention that your colleague played a major role. What would you do?

  • Example behavioral question: Please describe a time when you observed a member of the medical team that you were working with behave in a manner that was inconsistent with an established protocol. Explain what the situation was, what actions you took, and the outcome.

Contact Us

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
DTC 5027 
10240 Kingsway Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3V9
(780) 735-5179
Fax: (780) 735-4072
Email: pedsneo@ualberta.ca

Dr. Sylvie Cormier
Program Director
sylvie2@ualberta.ca
Offie: (780) 407-1890 

Melissa Meaver
Program Administrator
Email: pedsneo@ualberta.ca  
Phone: (780) 735-5179
Fax: (780) 735-4072

 

Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Care


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Dr. Sylvie Cormier
Program Director

 

Melissa Meaver
Program Administrator

Welcome to Our Program

Welcome to Neonatal-Perinatal Care (NICU)! 

Together the University of Alberta Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Care and Alberta Health Services Northern Alberta Neonatal Program offers a two-year subspecialty residency training program in Neonatal-Perinatal Care. The program is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is open to trainees from Pediatrics. The program prepares the resident to practice as a consultant neonatologist for infants needing hospital care for issues related to prematurity, congenital anomalies, and transitional problems. The resident gains exposure to specialized surgical and cardiovascular services.

The Northern Alberta Neonatal Program accepts referrals from northern Alberta, northern British Columbia, western Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. There are over 25,000 deliveries per year in this catchment area and 3,000 admissions annually to the program's five clinical sites. Each year more than 500 newborns from outside the region are transferred, by ground or air, by a specialized neonatal transport team. We strive to provide a rich and supportive training environment for academic neonatology with strong programs in resuscitation research, newborn individualized developmental care and assessment (NIDCAP), perinatal ethics, medical education, infant development and follow-up, metasynthesis and evidence-based medicine, targeted neonatal echocardiography, and quality improvement.

Dr. Sylvie Cormier 
Program Director


Our Program

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Residency Program provides trainees the opportunity to learn and practice knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to provide state of the art neonatal care both in the premature and surgical (including cardiac) neonatal population.

Broad experiences also encompass transport medicine, perinatology and neurodevelopmental follow up with a well supported research/academic pursuit component. This is a core two-year subspecialty training program with an optional third year.

The program is based out of the two tertiary neonatal units of the Philip C. Etches NICU at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) and the David Schiff NICU at the University of Alberta Hospital site (UAH), and the two Level 2 NICUs at the Grey Nuns (GNH) and Misericordia (MIS) hospitals.

Program Highlights

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A large encatchment area resulting in a large number of admissions and broad range of clinical problems to provide comprehensive training in neonatology.

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A very busy 69 bed prematurity NICU with a high volume high risk delivery suite and exposure to high-risk perinatology.
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A busy surgical/cardiac NICU that manages a wide range of pre and postoperative surgical neonates.

A rich research environment for residents with recognized leaders in the fields of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cardiovascular effects of hypoxic-reoxygenation injury, NIDCAP, and neurodevelopmental follow-up of complex therapies.

State of the art NICU Practices - nitric oxide, high frequency, oscillatory ventilation, affiliated ECMO program.

In addition to an established rotating two year CanMEDS curriculum during a protected academic half-day, residents may attend seminars/rounds in neonatal medicine, perinatology, neurodevelopment, and cardiovascular care.


Residency at a Glance

This residency program is for 2 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Residency program is a two-year program that fulfills the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada requirements for training. Our program (has transition depending on when this document goes live) into Competence-by-Design (CBD) in July 2021.

There is an encompassing established 2-year cycling curriculum that occurs during protected academic half day followed by an afternoon of NICU grand rounds. CanMEDS competencies and academic Neonatology are integrated, as well as a developed leadership course, research curriculum/project review, self-directed reading with SAQs for exam preparation, practice OSCEs, and simulated emergent care scenarios with debriefing.

We expect our curriculum to essentially remain unchanged with respect to clinical experiences:

First Year
This year is divided into 13, four-week blocks with a maximum of 6 calls per block (vacation excluded). Eight to ten blocks will be split between the Level 3 University of Alberta Hospital David Schiff NICU (our surgical and Cardiovascular Surgery site) and the Level 3 Royal Alexandra Hospital (PCE NICU). One to two blocks may be spent at the Glenrose Neonatal and Complex Therapies Follow-up Clinic. One block is also dedicated to research in which residents are exposed to clinical and bench research. Residents are expected to develop a research proposal with the assistance of their research mentor. One block in the first year may be spent in our Level 2 sites - the Misericordia or Grey Nuns hospitals. There is one block of vacation.
Second Year
This year divided into 13, four-week blocks with a maximum of 5 calls/block (vacation excluded). There is a great deal of flexibility built into this year to allow the resident to achieve their education and career planning goals. This year requires residents to perform a minimum 4 weeks of junior staff service at both the Level 3 Royal Alexandra hospital and the surgical/cardiovascular Level 3 David Schiff NICU. There is one block each of Perinatology, Neonatal and Infant Follow-up Clinic (if not done in the first year), and neonatal transport. The resident may choose elective blocks in Cardiology, PICU, Genetics/Metabolics Radiology, Palliative Care or other disciplines as per their learning objectives. A maximum of 6 months can be allotted to research for established projects. In the second year, residents are financially supported to take a relevant university course.
Third Year (optional)
A third year may be available after discussion with the Program Director and Residency Training Committee of the Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Training Program. It can predominantly be a research year with minimal clinical commitments or tailored to the educational needs of the resident.

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 Primary Level 3 surgical and cardiovascular training site

Royal Alexandra Hospital Primary Level 3 training site with high-risk perinatal services

Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Neonatal and Infant Follow-up Clinic

Grey Nuns Community Hospital Level 2B

Misericordia Community Hospital - Level 2A


Program Supports

 

Our primary aim is to support the training of physicians to obtain the requisite competencies in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine to function as Consultant Neonatologists as defined by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. We hope that graduates from our program go on to support the provision of clinical neonatal care within or outside of Canada as well as develop the specialty of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in such domains as research, medical education, and/or quality improvement.

  • There are resources and supports to promote success in research or an academic pursuit for those residents who show an aptitude including an established working relationship with the Clinical Investigator Program and various master's programs.
  • An active simulation and brief/ debriefing program.
  • A mentorship program.
  • An annual weekend resident retreat and sponsored time/finances to attend at least one conference/year.
  • In a protected academic half day each week, residents will go through a comprehensive two year academic curriculum encompassing all medical and non medical aspects of neonatology to promote the development of a knowledgeable and well rounded neonatologist. It is taught by neonatologists and specialists in the area including physiology, EBM journal clubs, case reviews, exam preparation, leadership and conflict resolution skills, ethics, to name a few.
  • There are thirty Neonatologists in the Program with interests in Clinical and Basic Research, Education, Epidemiology, Quality Assurance, Simulation and Neurodevelopmental Follow-up.
  • Financial and time support for residents to take a relevant university course, a research methodology course, attend at least one conference/year and an annual resident retreat.

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.

 

krystyna ediger

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine program at the University of Alberta provides comprehensive, in-depth and supportive training in Neonatology. Edmonton’s wide catchment area and range of services allows for exposure to a large volume of high-acuity patients, experience with cardiac pathology, and plenty of opportunity for procedural skills. This depth and breadth of clinical exposure is provided by rotations through two separate large Level 3 Units, one a high-risk perinatal centre, and the other a surgical NICU that also serves as the referral cardiac centre for Western Canada. Trainees say that their clinical work here provides the "opportunity to work in large units with high acuity, with a wide variety of pathology ranging from the routine to the rare and wonderful”. Trainees are well supported by the staff on service and on call, and have the opportunity to work with and learn from an excellent multidisciplinary team of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers.

Trainees in Edmonton also have the privilege of learning in a program with an exceptionally supportive Program Director, residency training committee and administration team. Dr. van Manen and his team "always do their best to ensure that we can train effectively while balancing the many demands in our lives.” Other highlights of the program include a weekly full day of protected academic time and a well established mentorship program that provides opportunity to work with neonatologists who have a wide variety of clinical and research interests.

Despite our busy schedule, the trainee group in Edmonton is incredibly close-knit and “the support and friendship we provide each other is crucial during the sometimes stressful times of fellowship.” As a group of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine trainees, we consider ourselves lucky to be training in Edmonton and are “honoured to be part of this program”

Krystyna Ediger

 

I had the benefit of completing my Pediatric Residency at the UofA and as a result, became well aware of the incredible NICU program in Edmonton. What drew me to NICU initially were the people, members of the multidisciplinary team respect and help one another.  I am pursuing my Masters of Pediatrics through the Clinical Investigators Program. The NICU program quickly adapted my clinical schedule so that my academic work could be completed. The CIP program has offered an added layer of mentorship for my academic and career goals. I would recommend this program to anyone keen to develop and foster clinical research skills.

I cannot say enough about Dr. Sylvie Cormier, our program director. She is always prompt to reply to emails, has the fellows' best interests in mind with all decisions and recently, has helped me navigate exceedingly difficult life circumstances . The absolute cherry on top is the neonatal medicine we are exposed to. The large catch-men area offers exposure to many “bread and butter” cases but also complex surgical and cardiology cases. Our surgical NICU has moved into a stunningly gorgeous new space and continues to challenge me with the patient complexity that exists there. I feel honoured to work alongside friends and mentors in this program.

Nicole Anderson

 

Choosing University of Alberta, among many others to continue my education in neonatal hemodynamics & targeted neonatal echocardiography (TnEcho) was the best choice I could make to pursue my goals and aspirations. The curriculum created during the training was challenging yet rewarding. The skills and knowledge I have gained helped me immensely to develop a comprehensive understanding of neonatal cardiovascular physiology and hemodynamics, and to apply TnEcho methodology in the setting of clinical decision-making in NICU. My involvement in research was also one of the most valuable elements of the training. This great learning experience was achieved with the great support of program supervisors and mentors. Through constructive feedback and constant counseling, the team helped me to develop goals, explore different learning opportunities, individualize my training and build a professional network. I do feel confident that the knowledge and practical skills I gained will positively influence my future and make me a better neonatologist.

Eyad Bitar