Postgraduate Anesthesiology

A Message from the Residency Program Director

Dr. Leo Jeyaraj, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa

Leo Jeyaraj MD FRCA
Assistant Professor University of   Ottawa
Program Director, Anesthesiology

Welcome to the University of Ottawa Residency Program. As Program Director, I am at the helm of a dynamic and exciting program. We currently have 48 residents in the program making it one of the largest in the country.

We have a diverse program, including 1 Ottawa/Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) resident, 8 International Medical Graduates and 1 resident from the Canadian Forces. This is a fitting tribute to the variety and diversity of a program that is based in the nation’s capital.

Our residents rotate through 5 major teaching sites. The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus is the base site for all trauma, neurosurgery, high risk obstetrics, bariatric surgery and vascular surgery. The General Campus is the base site for all major cancer surgery, high risk Obstetrics, renal transplant and Thoracic Surgery. The Riverside Campus is our Ambulatory centre. The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute allow for comprehensive training in Pediatric and Cardiac anesthesia, respectively. In addition, there is opportunity to work in community anesthesia rotations at other hospitals in Ottawa such as the Queensway Carlton Hospital and the Ottawa area's only Francophone centre, Hôpital Montfort.

The residency program prides itself on flexibility and accessibility. The residency program is small enough to individualize each resident's experience while also being large enough to offer a full range of anesthesia experiences. We have many highly enthusiastic teachers on staff who are strongly committed to resident education. Ottawa program include regional anesthesia, paediatric anesthesia, cardiac anesthesia and pain medicine. We have state of the art anesthetic machines in all our OR’s (GE-Aisys CS2) in TOH. Since December 2010, we have moved to electronic anesthetic charts and use ACUPAM for e-prescribing and follow up of patients on acute pain service.

Our University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation centre has its roots with one of our founders, Professor Emeritus, former Chair, and Officer of the Order of Canada recipient Dr J. Earl Wynands. This newly designed centre is the largest in Canada. Our residents have access to cutting edge technology and training methods.

Recently, Dr Patrick Sullivan (former uOttawa Anesthesia Program Director), edited the Ottawa Anesthesia Primer. This text book was a follow-up to the ever popular Anesthesia for Medical Students. The Primer includes major contributions from Faculty and residents of the Ottawa Anesthesia Program.

For those wishing to apply for a 2016 CaRMS position: "This program residency is designed to be 4 years in duration, but can be extended as needed to allow residents extra time as required to successfully achieve all milestones and entrustable professional activities (EPAs), and to complete all stages of training . The CBD approach proposes that the Royal College examination can be taken at the end of “core of discipline” stage, rather than the end of the training stage (where it currently sits). Moving the exam will ensure residents are able to focus on further clinical training in their final year, allowing them to use their final supervised training time to hone competencies. Emphasis will be placed on increasingly independent work and skills – creating physicians who are truly ready for independent practice".

As of July 1, 2015, our program began with the CBD stream for all starting PGY-1s but will continue with elements of the traditional stream for all existing PGY2-5 residents. There will be considerable overlap as rotations (renamed modules) occur as all residents will be under the umbrella of one program.

The CBD program is structured according to the Royal College template for all specialties and includes four stages: transition to discipline, foundations, core and transition to practice. Transition to discipline, which is 1 block in duration, consists of a general orientation and exposure to the operating rooms, acute pain service and preadmission unit. Residents also get their first exposure to anesthesia call as they shadow a more senior anesthesia resident. The foundations stage is 6 blocks long and divided into two groups of rotations that are 3 blocks each. The first 3 blocks are ‘boot camp’ style. During this time, residents will acquire basic anesthesia knowledge and skills that will allow them to successfully make the transition to the clinical realm and to solo call responsibilities. The boot camp period includes a significant amount of simulation, academic sessions, hands-on workshops and case studies, in addition to ACLS, ATLS and ACES courses. During the second 3 blocks of foundations, the residents will practice their skills in the general OR setting. After completion of foundations, residents then move on to core where they will complete modules in such areas as acute pain, vascular anesthesia, regional anesthesia and obstetrical anesthesia, to name a few. Operating room experiences in each of these areas are supplemented by learning cases, online modules and other e-learning strategies. At the completion of core, residents move on to the final stage of training, transition to practice, where they will practice in a more independent fashion as they prepare to move on to post-residency practice. Throughout the 4-year training program, residents will be exposed to multiple simulation sessions annually. Additionally, the intrinsic CanMEDS competencies will be taught and evaluated through face-to-face sessions and through a reflective coaching platform with guidance from leads for each of the intrinsic CanMEDS roles. We have currently changed the examination format to an on-line examination. As all of our residents spend the majority of time at TOH, they all have a TOH iPad which is compatible with the on-line web based examination program. PGY-1 residents take the ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) course, the ACLS (Advance Cardiac Life Support) course, as well as the NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Provider) course.

Dept. of Anesthesiology Residents 2014-2015 Group Photo

Dept. of Anesthesiology Residents 2014-2015 Group Photo

All residents participate in at least two simulation sessions per year. Additionally there are obstetrical team sessions as well as opportunity to participate in a number of education research sessions as study subjects. At the Royal College, there is an initiative to develop a Canadian National Anesthesia Simulation Curriculum (CaNASC). The Chair of that committee, Dr Michelle Chiu, is one of our faculty members. We will soon be starting our first CaNASC simulation scenario for PGY-5s.

The resident coordinators at all sites conduct regular face-face exit interviews with each resident at the conclusion of each stage and module, and every resident meets with the Program Director twice per year. All residents are expected to engage in scholarly work and present at least one research poster at our annual Gary Johnson Research day in May with the ultimate goal of presenting at a national conference and/or publication.

A career guidance session occurs annually in the fall with representatives from the community and academic centre.

However, with a Program as large as we are, we haven’t lost our "small town feel". We get to know each other not only as faculty to residents, but also as friend to friend. To that end, we have a mentorship group headed by Dr Anne Lui where every resident is paired up with a faculty member. The mentor group meets formally twice per year: one fall activity and one spring music event. Over the year, mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet informally for small group and individual evenings. Residents also host a summer camping trip to welcome all the new residents.

As Program Director, it gives me a great honor to welcome you to the University of Ottawa Anesthesia Residency Program.

Leo Jeyaraj MD FRCA
Assistant Professor University of Ottawa
Program Director, Anesthesiology

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