RCPSC: Applying to our program? Great!


Program Director
Dr. Lisa Thurgur, MD, FRCPC 
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa

Welcome from Program Directors

Welcome to the University of Ottawa’s RCPSC Emergency Medicine Residency! The 5-year specialty residency in emergency medicine at the University of Ottawa is designed to graduate clinicians with superlative skills, while providing our trainees the opportunity to foster their own interests within emergency medicine and in doing so, produce the leaders of tomorrow of our great specialty. 

One of our huge strengths is the diversity of talent within our faculty that includes over 70 physicians. Our group includes national and international experts in simulation, EMS, ultrasound, medical education, forensics, journal editing; our teachers have been awarded in excellence and have been rated among the best in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Ian Stiell, our past academic chair, is highly recognized internationally for his major research contributions to emergency medicine and leads a team of fantastic researchers in our department (if you are interested in doing research in emergency medicine, the University of Ottawa is definitely the place for you).

Our core training sites include the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
Recent fellowships that our residents have pursued include: Masters of Science in Clinical epidemiology, Critical care, Paediatric emergency medicine, Emergency ultrasound, Medical education, EMS, Masters of Health administration, Masters of Business administration.

Meeting the PD’s: If you are here on elective with us and are interested in our program, then we’d like the opportunity to meet with you! During our elective student season, the PD’s will regularly have sessions with groups of medical students who are interested in our program. Please contact Lise Levesque, our program coordinator,  before you arrive if you are interested in attending one of these meetings (lilevesque@toh.on.ca).

Welcome from Chief Residents

Welcome to the Royal College Emergency Medicine residency page at the University of Ottawa! This phenomenal program is one of the best emergency medicine residencies in North America. We boast excellent clinical training, early point of care ultrasound exposure, frequent high fidelity simulation and a world renowned research program. In addition, Ottawa EM residents participate in a nation leading EMS curriculum involving air and land ride-outs. As you progress through your residency, a wide variety of fellowships and areas of special interests are available to pursue with mentorship from internationally recognized experts in areas of such as clinical research, education, ultrasound and EMS. Canada’s vibrant capital attracts well-rounded people with various interests, making us a very tight knit group with frequent social outings. We encourage you to explore our city, and thank you for your interest in our training program. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us, as we would be happy to discuss our excellent program!


Dr. Matthew Lipinski and Dr. Jeffrey Landreville
Chief Residents – 2017 - 2018

Curriculum  »

During the PGY-1 and PGY-2 years, residents complete core rotations in internal medicine, orthopaedics, general surgery, obstetrics/gynaecology, psychiatry, critical care, cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery, anesthesia, as well as a mixture of paediatric and adult emergency medicine.

The PGY-3 year includes further rotations in cardiology, critical care, anesthesia as well as trauma, EMS, Administrative Emergency Medicine, and a mixture of both adult and pediatric emergency medicine. 

The PGY-4 year may be spent pursuing a) formal fellowships or b) an area of concentration within emergency medicine for 6 months (as mandated by the Royal College). The remaining rotations are spent in adult and pediatric emergency medicine.

The PGY-5 year is dedicated to preparing the graduating resident for being a staff physician and sitting the Royal College examination. The residents in this year are given a modified clinical schedule for the year and receive weekly oral examinations to prepare them for the exam

Academic Activities and Support  »

Our program has a protected full Academic Day every Thursday from 08:15 to 1700.

- Resident Care Rounds at which the residents present interesting cases for group discussion. These rounds focus on key approaches and decision making in the ER. 

- Grand Rounds are presented by a mixture of staff physicians, visiting professors and importantly, our residents. The residents choose their own topics and are expected to give a talk that would be seen at a national level meeting. The activities allow our residents to hone their presentation skills that are always useful in professional life beyond residency training.

- Core Rounds is a 2.5 year curriculum covering the core essentials of EM; the repetition allows residents to consolidate their knowledge as a junior and senior resident in our program.

- Simulation is done throughout the year in our state-of-the-art Simulation Lab. We have a dedicated group of staff physicians and fellows who run these sessions that have been incredibly well-received.

- Workshop sessions. The Thursday afternoons will also include workshops for the residents that may include short 1 hour sessions on topics like how to use a ventilator or longer ones such as a cadaveric lab for specific procedures.

- Research Time. The Academic Day is also meant to be a time when residents can work on their research projects

Other Academic Activities

Our residents take the following courses: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) with most of our resident becoming ACLS instructors.

- There is a monthly Journal Club that involves a high-level scholarly discussion of the literature of our specialty. (Importantly, this occurs over a meal!)

- There are other Journal Clubs as well! Including Point-of-care ultrasound and Medical Education.

- All residents must complete a scholarly project during their residency and typically present their findings at our annual Research Day in June in their PGY-3 year. Recently, our residency program has been a dominant force at our national meeting of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP).

- Funding exists for residents for books, courses and conference fees. If a resident is presents at a national or international conference, our department will cover the associated costs.

Application  »

The program presently has 7 positions available to Canadian medical school graduates (CMG’s) and up to 2 positions available for international medical graduates (IMG’s).

At present time, we are not accepting externally funded foreign medical graduates for residency training..That is, all graduates from non-Canadian medical schools must apply through the IMG process.

Applications for both CMG and IMG residency positions must be submitted through CaRMS. For further information please contact:

Lise Lévesque
Postgraduate Coordinator
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa/Ottawa Hospital
1053 Carling Ave. Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4E9
613-798-5555 ext 18649

Resident Teaching Skills  »

It is our goal that our residents develop excellent teaching skills during their residency. Our residents take the ED STAT course that focuses on teaching skills in the emergency department and have been responsible for teaching medical student sessions; this year, our residents will take a greater role in teaching in the University of Ottawa’s new Medical Simulation Centre.

Prospective students: who do we want?  »

Competitive candidates will have demonstrated a strong interest in emergency medicine by way of elective training and rotations done in their own medical schools (this however does not necessarily mean that all your electives must be in emergency medicine). Furthermore, we are looking for people who possess the energy, enthusiasm and character to achieve great things during their residency training and beyond.

Resident Perspectives  »

We have a cohesive and supportive group of residents here in the Ottawa EM programs with a variety of interests. Here are some of our resident’s thoughts on our program;

My experience to date in this residency has been nothing but positive. Our program provides a rigorous yet supportive environment where expectations are high and residents are encouraged to achieve success in both clinical and academic pursuits.  Ottawa is a great place to live and all those interested should join us for an elective to see what we’re all about. Jeff Landreville PGY2 RCPSC

We are training world-class academic emergentologists here in Ottawa. The teaching, the clinical experience, and the support for your academic interests (research, medical education, SIM, EMS, ultrasound, etc.) truly set us apart. I have no regrets in pursuing my training here in Ottawa and I’m certain you won’t either. Brandon Ritcey PGY5 RCPSC

The camaraderie within the residency group is remarkable given the size of our program. I truly feel that any resident won’t go out on a limb to help and support one of their colleagues. It’s a great feeling to know that you are part of this incredible team. Michael Ho PGY4 RCPSC

I came to Ottawa to become the best, well-rounded, academic emergency physician that I could be. I want to be the staff physician others lean on when things get out of control. I want to be on the cutting edge of this relatively young specialty. As I near the end of my training, I can confidently say that this program has provided me with the tools and the opportunities to work towards this goal. Michael O'Brien PGY5 RCPSC

Not only is the program awesome, Ottawa is a great place to live. There is a vibrant night life, loads of cultural activities and festivals, access to any outdoor activity you can think of and it’s still affordable enough to live here! If you have a growing family or are thinking about starting one in the years to come, Ottawa is a pretty ideal place to set up shop. Lauren Lacroix PGY3 RCPSC

The EM attending docs are very supportive and encouraging both in academics and outside of work. There is no “demarcation” between CCFP and FRCPC residents, which to me, further encourages cohesiveness and camaraderie with the group. We look forward to further maintaining resident cohesiveness and well-being with the introduction of the EM resident retreat this year, which we are hoping to make an annual event. N. Wang CCFP-EM - Graduate

Excellent teaching environment, a great epidemiology program , and peds fellowship program. T. Al Hamdan FRCPC- Graduate

It’s well structured, the staff are keen to teach, there is a good relationship with colleagues, and having PGY4 to do either electives or start a fellowship is great. M. Al Shamsi FRCPC- Graduate

Our programs strengths are its people. We have staff who are admirable clinicians, teachers and researches and readily available to the residents. R. Jamieson CCFP-EM- Graduate

I have really been impressed with the academic program here since starting in July ’05. Our half-day lectures have great variety of and taught by strong lecturers from the local academic hospitals and from visiting professors from around Canada. Moreover, our half-days are supplemented by full-day hands on courses like ED ultrasound, ultrasound guided central line insertion, and chest tube insertion just to name a few. C. Brulotte PGY5 FRPC - Graduate

About the City  »

The program is of course located in Ottawa, our nation's capital, and as such enjoys many of its benefits. Ottawa is a safe, medium sized city of 1,000,000 inhabitants metropolitan. Besides the many museums and cultural attractions the city has to offer, Ottawa is an outdoor lover's paradise. The city has extensive bike paths, jogging trails, the longest skating rink in the world (the Rideau Canal), world class rapids for kayaking, nearby downhill skiing as well as hundreds of kilometers of cross-country trails.  Ottawa is also one of the most reasonably priced cities to live in North America.

  • Ottawa is an exceptionally easy place to live- no traffic woes, you can probably afford to live somewhere fairly nice, 10 min to get to work, chilly winter but great summer, lots of green, lots of patios, great activities minutes away, people are friendly but it’s still big enough so you can spend five years exploring. N. Wolpert FRCPC Graduate

  • Ottawa is a great sports town and has a great nightlife. You’re also not too far from Toronto, Montreal, New York, and Boston for a weekend road trip (if you’re not on-call or in the ED).If you like the outdoors there are 3 ski hills within 20 minutes of the downtown and you’re within 3 hours of the best skiing in eastern North America. The summer offers arguably the best whitewater paddling in the world as well as great cottage country. C. Brulotte FRCPC Graduate