The University of Ottawa has a proud tradition of strong academic and clinical teaching, leading to excellent graduating clinicians and a strong performance on the Royal College Certification examinations.
The glue of our program is the Residency Program Committee (RPC). This committee meets regularly throughout the year to discuss all sites, rotations and specific resident issues. Resident promotion and evaluation is also reviewed. Core members of this committee include: Dr. Chris Hudson, Resident Coordinator at the Ottawa Heart Institute, Dr. Stéphane Moffett, Resident Coordinator TOH General Campus, Dr. Claudia Gomez, Resident Coordinator TOH Civic Campus, Dr. Amy Roeske, Resident Coordinator CHEO and Dr. Lesley Silver, IMG Coordinator. In addition to the core faculty, we have a number of ad hoc members covering the realm of education research, simulation, family practice-anesthesia and undergraduate anesthesia. Resident representation is very present with our current Chief Resident, Dr. Kelly Au, our Assistant Chief Resident, Dr. Kaitlin Duncan, the CHEO Scheduler, Dr. Evan Cole, the elected Resident Rep, Dr. Joanne Bleackley, and the Resident Research Rep, Dr. Gavin Hamilton. In order to ensure that resident concerns and feedback are heard, not only are there regular updates from our RPC reps but we also have an annual program survey and two “All Resident” sessions with the Program Director, over the year.
As of July 1, 2015, this program began with the CBD stream for all starting PGY-1s but continued with elements of the traditional stream for all existing PGY-2-4 residents. There was considerable overlap as rotations (renamed modules) occurred with all residents under the umbrella of one program.
For existing PGY2-4 residents, the foundation of our academic program is the “Core Program” series which takes place for PGY 2-4 residents on Thursday Afternoons. Residents are freed from clinical duties to attend and sessions are web-casted and archived for those post-call or on vacation. Our current program is a three year rotation covering the subjects of Physics and Fluids, Cardiovascular, Obstetrical Anesthesia, Respiratory, Pediatric Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia, Pharmacology, Neuro/Endocrine and Chronic Pain. In addition, there are sessions on Practice Management on alternating years. We have currently changed examination format to an online examination. As all of our residents spend the majority of time at TOH, they all have a TOH iPad which is compatible with the online web-based examination program. PGY-2 residents take the ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) course as well as the NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Provider). PGY-4 residents have a two-hour pre-core study prep series beginning on alternating weeks starting September to June of the academic year. PGY-5 residents have a Monday half day from September to June to attend Royal College preparation study sessions. Interspersed here are oral examination prep sessions with various staff. All PGY-5s get an Introduction to the Royal College examination session in the summer of their final year.
All residents do 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. There will be an ACLS milestone assessment for all PGY-3s. At the Royal College, there is an initiative to develop a Canadian National Anesthesia Simulation curriculum (CanNASC). The Chair of that committee, Dr. Michelle Chiu, is one of our faculty members. We will soon be starting our first CanNASC simulation scenario for PGY-5s.
Examinations occur throughout the year. All starting residents take an AKT-1 exam, all PGY-2s midway the AKT-6 and all PGY-4s take the AKT-24 in June. Every Core Program has a written examination and there are December and year end Oral examinations for PGY2-5 residents. All Resident Coordinators do conduct regular face-to-face exit interviews and every resident meets with the Program Director twice per year. All PGY1-3 residents also complete a CanMEDS portfolio over the first three years of residency, ultimately covering every non-medical expert role. 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 national conference presentation/poster and publication. Select residents can undertake Masters training within residency; this at the discretion of the RPC. We have had two residents undertake this training in residency over the last few years.
Medicine and critical care rotations are spread out over the PGY2-5 year allowing residents to always maintain a foot in their home program of anesthesia and tailor their training (e.g. CHEO anesthesia followed by NICU or cardiac anesthesia paired with CSICU). Also, as learning and training progress during residency, the approach to critically ill and medically complex patients changes over time with experience, ensuring a very comprehensive approach to these non-anesthesia rotations. Three electives can be taken throughout residency and, for the purposes of job hunting, a fourth elective has been added specifically to be taken in the PGY-5 year. A career guidance session occurs annually in the fall with representatives from the community and academic centre.
For those who started in July 2015, the residency structure changed. There is no longer a Basic Clinical Trainee year and, instead, the first four blocks of training are centered on anesthesia in a boot camp style. As CBD becomes fully integrated, the traditional classroom style of core program and academic half days will dissipate for all residents. All of this material will be revamped and replaced in a case based format within each module. Assessments and targets (milestones) will form the basis of progression from one stage to the next.
Finally, there is nothing better than evidence, and for that we have a solid accreditation record with no major weaknesses identified in our program. Our end-of-year University of Ottawa program survey reflects strengths in every aspect of our program: Program Leadership, Education Curriculum, Resident Well-being, Collegiality of the Department, Professional Development and Career Guidance. Also, the success rates on the Royal College Examinations remain higher than the national average with a 100% pass rate on the first attempt for our Canadian Medical Graduates over the past many years.