University of Calgary

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

Program Contact Quota (approx): 8
Dr. Margriet Greidanus, CCFP (EM)
Program Co-Director
Email : mgreidanus@me.comDr. Todd Peterson, CCFP (EM)
Program Co-Director
Email : toddpmd@gmail.comStacey Dickinson
Residency Program Administrator
Email  :

Department of Emergency Medicine
Foothills Medical Centre
Room C231, 1403 – 29 Street NW
Calgary, Alberta  T2N 2T9
Phone: 403 944 1635
Fax: 403 944 2419

Website :

Supporting Documents

  1. Reference Letters
    Three letters are required. Please do not submit additional reference letters. If additional references are supplied they will not be read.
    Click here to access the « Referee assessment form »
  2. Assessment by Program Director
    The « Family Medicine Program Director’s Assessment of Applicant » must be completed by your Program Director.
    Click here to access the « Family medicine program / site director’s assessment of applicant form » 
  3. Personal Letter
    Your personal letter should answer the following questions:

    • Why you seek extra training in emergency medicine
    • What your career goals are
    • Your reasons for selecting Calgary as a training site
    • The personal qualities that make you suitable for a career in emergency medicine 


Our selection committee will review all applications and will contact short-listed candidates to arrange an interview. Each candidate will be reviewed via two formats this year. The first will be a traditional interview format by CCFP (EM) faculty and the second will consist of multiple mini interviews (MMI). More information will be provided to those selected to interview prior to their interview date. Candidates will be given the opportunity to meet our current residents and to tour the various Emergency Departments used as teaching sites.

Program Information


The CCFP(EM) program at Calgary has a long history of offering a comprehensive curriculum in emergency medicine by an enthusiastic group of core faculty. The program now benefits from having co-direction by two faculty members who are motivated to constantly improve the learning experience through innovative approaches to teaching and evaluation.

The total number of residents in emergency medicine in Calgary is usually between 28 and 32; 8 CFPC-EM and 22 FRCP. The CFPC-EM residents benefit from a close association with the FRCP residents and the learning atmosphere is cooperative, challenging and dynamic. Most academic rounds are jointly held, however the two groups will separate for program specific rounds periodically. The curriculum is designed to maximize cooperation between the programs while ensuring the CFPC-EM residents still get exposed to all the core topics in their year.

The goal of the program is to offer excellent residents in family medicine a chance to be immersed in a comprehensive environment of emergency medicine training. The year is designed to allow the motivated physician to develop the skills necessary for a career in emergency medicine. Most of our graduates will pursue a full-time career in emergency medicine. Particular emphasis is given to development of habits suitable for lifelong learning.

Adult Emergency Medicine rotations are held at one of three busy community hospitals and one high acuity trauma centre. The emergency rotations are learner focused with no service expectations. All sites have benefited from recent patient flow initiatives that have reduced Emergency Department overcrowding in Calgary significantly.

Other advantages :

  1. The Emergency Departments in Calgary are staffed by over 100 full time emergency physicians and roughly half hold the CCFP(EM) designation. The four adult sites and one pediatric site are fully integrated into one regionalized department of emergency medicine, with over 260,000 visits a year.
  2. The toxicology referral service (PADIS) for all of Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Northern Canada, is located at Foothills Medical Centre. We have numerous board certified toxicologists who are formally involved in clinical and didactic teaching of toxicology.
  3. Calgary EMS and the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) are both led by staff emergency physicians in the Calgary Health Region who are actively involved in teaching residents. Opportunities exist for experience in administration of pre-hospital care services.
  4. The intensive care rotation takes place in a high acuity, high volume ICU with strong emphasis on learning through dedicated academic rounds as well as clinical experience. Residents can typically get as much procedural experience as they want during this rotation.
  5. The pediatric emergency rotations are supervised by a dedicated residency director in a brand new start-of-the-art tertiary care pediatric hospital.
  6. Several faculty have a strong interest in simulation based education, and residents are provided with multiple opportunities to improve their procedural and clinical skills in a simulation environment. Resources include both adult and pediatric human patient simulators and formal sessions on airway and central venous access simulation. There is also an opportunity to practice crisis resource management skills during simulation sessions with ancillary medical staff such as RNs and RTs.
  7. Emergency Department Targeted Ultrasound is widely practiced within the Calgary Health Region with many CCFP(EM) faculty certified in its use. Due to the large number of CEUS certified staff, ample opportunities exist for residents to become certified during the course of their training.


Alberta Children’s Hospital is a tertiary children’s hospital referral centre for Southern Alberta and South-eastern British Columbia. The emergency department sees many complicated pediatric problems as well as a large volume of common pediatric emergencies.

Rockyview Hospital is a large community hospital located in Southwest Calgary. The emergency department census is in excess of 70,000 patients per year with a wide variety of adult emergencies. The new emergency department recently opened in June 2010.

Peter Lougheed Centre is a busy teaching hospital in Northeast Calgary. The emergency department census is in excess of 70,000 patients per year with a wide variety of pediatric and adult emergencies.

South Health Campus is a state of the art hospital opened in early 2013 in Southeast Calgary. There is an excellent opportunity to practice community-based emergency medicine with pediatric volumes ranging from 30-40%.

Foothills Medical Centre is a comprehensive tertiary care hospital and Level I trauma centre. It is adjacent to the University of Calgary Medical School and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and serves as a referral centre for Southern Alberta and South-eastern British Columbia. The emergency department sees approximately 65,000 patients per year with very high acuity of sub-specialty, medical, surgical and trauma patients.

Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) is the regional Poison Centre for all of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and is located in the Foothills Medical Centre.

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) provides both rotary and fixed-wing dedicated air transport capability, and inter-facility 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 University of Calgary CFPC-EM program adheres to the standards and meets the objectives of the CFPC, as outlined in the « Red Book ». The program is based at the Foothills Medical Centre; however, residents receive their training at four hospitals in Calgary, and also at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital.

The year is comprised of 13 four-week blocks:

  • Emergency Medicine – 6 blocks (4 adult, 2 pediatrics)
  • Community Banff – (3 weeks)
  • ICU – 1.5 block
  • CCU – 1 block
  • Anaesthesia – 1 block
  • Toxicology – 0.5 block
  • Rural Emergency – 3 weeks
  • Elective – 1 block
  • Ophthalmology – 1 week

An academic/research project is an integral part of the program. This project may be a small clinical trial, contribution to ongoing research, a quality improvement study, a case report with literature review, or a survey. Residents are expected to present in April at Research Day, which is shared with the Calgary FRCPC program.

Residents are required to have ACLS, ATLS and PALS certification.


The formal academic program is intensive and well organized. Approximately six hours per week are spent in various types of rounds and seminars (often interactive or case-based) for the purpose of teaching the curriculum of emergency medicine. This is concentrated in an academic full-day every Thursday. Residents are excused from their clinical responsibilities in order to attend. The academic curriculum has recently been redesigned based on resident feedback to place greater emphasis on clinical and procedural skills. All resident seminars are supported and attended by a designated faculty member. Tintanelli rounds occur once a month. This is staff lead and focuses on select textbook chapters incorporating written exam and case based discussion. Journal Club is also held monthly. This includes a review of the latest literature and important articles in emergency medicine as well as a focus on interpreting statistics. Multidisciplinary simulation sessions using the Human Patient Simulator occur monthly. There is an annual resident educational retreat in the Rocky Mountains which is highly regarded by the residents. Practice exams occur quarterly and written exams twice yearly. Residents are also encouraged to attend CAEP, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Annual Conference.

Selection Criteria

Candidates must hold a CCFP designation at the time of enrolment in the program.

Preference is given to candidates with a history of aptitude and interest in emergency medicine, and who have excelled in their CCFP training and/or clinical practice.

Candidates must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Consideration will be given to the potential contribution that candidates can make to the specialty of emergency medicine/family medicine.

Quick Facts

Residents are invited to an annual welcoming/end-of-the-year barbecue, Department Christmas party, and the annual January weekend retreat in the Rocky Mountains.

Residents receive $500 for book purchases. The University of Calgary provides additional funding for specific educational opportunities on a year to year basis which typically ranges from $500-1500 per year.