University of Alberta

College of Family Physicians of Canada
Emergency Medicine Residency Program FM-EM

Contact Information Quota (approx): 7
Dr. Angela Naismith, CCFP (EM)
Program DirectorDr. Navdeep Dhaliwal, CCFP (EM)
Assistant Program Director

Ms. Cindy Heisler
Program Administrator

Department of Family Medicine
#205, College Plaza, 8215 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2C8
Phone: 780.492.9961
Fax: 780.492.8191

Website: Home/Education/ThirdYear/Emergency

Interview Calendar:
Interviews are November 3. Interview invitations will be emailed to selected applicants.

Supporting Documents

  • Reference Letters 
    Three letters are required and each must be accompanied by the « Referee Assessment of Applicant ». At least one letter must be from an Emergency Physician. A second letter must be from your Primary Family Medicine Preceptor, that is whoever has spent the most clinical time with you. The third letter must be from any physician of your choice. (CCFP-certified physicians still require 3 letters, but may substitute a physician of their choice to replace the Primary Preceptor letter.)
  •  Assessment form and letter from Program Director or Site Director
    The « Family Medicine Program Director’s Assessment of Applicant » must be completed by your Program Director or Site Director and accompanied by a letter of reference. (CCFP-certified physicians may substitute a letter written by their chief of staff.)
  • Personal Letter
    A letter describing yourself and your career interest is required.
  • Curriculum Vitae 

Review Process

Applications submitted after File Review has opened:
– will generally not be considered

References and other supporting documents which arrive after File Review has opened:
– will generally not be considered


Date(s) of Interview: November 3

Invitation/ Notification Information: Interview invitations will be emailed to selected applicants.

Program Information


The University of Alberta Family Medicine-Emergency Medicine (FM-EM) Program began in July of 1993 and has since graduated 92 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 tertiary care.

One of the keys to success in Edmonton is the large number of learners. In conjunction with the RCPS Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine programs, the U of A boasts one of the largest resident groups in the country. 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.

The year is intense, but residents are provided great academic support and the flexibility to meet their learning needs. The program is centered 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 one month in Lethbridge, Alberta for a rotation in orthopedics and a second month in Lethbridge or Red Deer for an emergency medicine rotation. Accommodation and travel expenses are covered for these rotations.


University of Alberta Hospital is a comprehensive tertiary care and Level I Trauma centre. Home to regional stroke and transplant services, and the soon-to-be completed Alberta Heart Institute, the U of A sees a broad spectrum of complex, high acuity adult patients.

Stollery Children’s Hospital is a tertiary children’s hospital referral centre for Northern Alberta and British Columbia, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Located adjacent to the U of A Hospital Emergency Department, the Stollery sees many complicated pediatric problems as well as a large volume of common pediatric emergencies.

Royal Alexandra Hospital is a large tertiary care hospital and Level I Trauma centre across the river from the U of A. The emergency department sees very high acuity sub-specialty, medical, surgical and trauma patients.

Grey Nuns, Misericordia and Sturgeon Hospitals Hospitals are busy community teaching hospitals whose emergency departments see a wide variety of pediatric and adult emergencies.

Lethbridge Regional Hospital Hospital is a regional referral centre with excellent specialist backup and a very busy, high acuity emergency department. The dedicated physicians and high volumes provide a very fertile ground for learning. The FM-EM program also uses Lethbridge as a site for an orthopedics rotation that combines clinical, surgical, sports medicine and emergency orthopedics.

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) provides both rotary and fixed-wing dedicated air transport capability, and interfacility transfer of critically ill or injured patients. The flight crew includes paramedics, emergency/critical care nurses and Emergency Physicians and serves a prominent role in our trauma services.


The FM-EM program is a very structured and full 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 you get exams to test your recall of reading assignments from the last month and prepare you for the certification exam.

R-3 Rotations 

Rotation Description
Emergency Medicine
16 weeks
Royal Alexandra (RAH) and
U of A Hospitals (UAH)
Emergency Medicine
4 weeks
Edmonton community hospitals
Emergency Medicine
4 weeks
Lethbridge/Red Dear Regional Hospital
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
4 weeks
Stollery Children’s Hospital (UAH)
Orthopedic Surgery
4 weeks
Lethbridge Regional Hospital
Adult ICU
8 weeks
Pediatric ICU
4 weeks
Stollery Children’s Hospital
Ultrasound & Trauma
2 weeks
2 weeks
Misericordia Hospital
Throughout the year
Edmonton ground EMS and STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society)
4 weeks

Quick Facts

  • The Emergency Medicine resident group at the University of Alberta is one of the largest in Canada. 35 residents form the cadre of FM-EM, Peds EM, and RCPSC EM residents.
  • There is opportunity for horizontal time in Family Medicine throughout the academic year.
  • Each resident has access to a wellness mentor to assist with the personal and academic demands of the year.
  • We have two Human Patient Simulators for high-fidelity code practice.
  • The Professional Association of Residents of Alberta (PARA) recently negotiated one of the top resident contracts in Canada.
  • An annual residents’ retreat is held in conjunction with the University of Calgary Emergency Medicine residents at the beautiful Kananaskis Lodge.
  • There is a Disaster Medicine Curriculum involving learning modules, a certification exam and simulation day.

Seminars and Rounds

The CFPC-EM Program shares an integrated academic curriculum with the RCPS Emergency Medicine program. The academic program includes weekly EM Grand Rounds, core curriculum review (Tintinalli) rounds, monthly Journal Club sessions, exam preparation sessions, and other special academic workshops/seminars. Presentation skills and use of medical informatics are emphasized.

Academic Requirements

In addition to monthly quizzes and an oral/written midterm and final exam, there are several requirements to complete the year. Teaching experience in the form of rounds and small group sessions to both Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine residents is compulsory. A scholarly project is also a component of the residency program. Many residents prepare a written case report, update EM curriculum modules, do a small research project, or critical literature appraisal.


The program was fully accredited 2011. Highlighted in the accreditation were the devotion of teaching staff, the integration with the RCPS EM program, and the rigorous academic program.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents and must be registered in the second year of a CCFP residency program or be CCFP certified.

Candidates must have an acceptable academic record and a commitment to the principles of Family Medicine within Emergency Medicine.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

Candidates should have a proven interest in Emergency Medicine — please note that a well-rounded candidate is usually preferable to one who has done only Emergency Medicine electives.