The Area of Focused Competence (AFC) in Acute Care Ultrasound Fellowship is a one year training program to train the future leaders of Emergency Medicine ultrasonography. We are proud to be home to an incredible ultrasound fellowship since 2010, and became one of the first ultrasound fellowships in Canada to be officially accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with an AFC in 2021. Fellows will obtain extensive experience in the use of clinical point-of-care ultrasound, as well as in teaching, administration, and research. Graduates will receive an internationally recognized diploma from the Royal College indicating that they have met the highest standard in POCUS skill and leadership.
The Ottawa Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine is a regional trauma centre with over 140,000 emergency visits/year. The high acuity and diverse patient population has benefited from the Emergency Medicine Ultrasonography (EMUS) program since 1998.
As the National Capital of Canada with a population of 1 million people, Ottawa is a beautiful city with countless festivals, concerts, and cultural attractions to offer. Highlights include a visit to Canada’s Parliament, the Byward Market, the annual Tulip Festival, Winterlude festival, the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Rideau Canal, Lansdowne Park, as well as many musical and food festivals each year.
Ottawa is also host to many incredible and family friendly museums and galleries including the National War Museum, the National Art Gallery, The Canadian Museum of History, The Canadian Museum of Nature, and more.
Besides the many museums and cultural attractions, Ottawa is an outdoor lover's paradise. Gatineau Park is just a short 15 minute drive from the downtown core and allows an immediate getaway for hiking, skiing, biking, swimming, camping, and more. The city has extensive green space filled with bike paths, jogging trails, the longest skating rink in the world (the Rideau Canal), and there are world class rapids for kayaking and hundreds of kilometers of cross-country trails nearby.
Accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as an AFC program, granting graduates an internationally recognized diploma in point-of-care ultrasound
Weekly sessions with EMUS Faculty
Opportunities to teach locally and nationally
Pediatric, ECHO, and Critical Care rotations with opportunities for electives
Access to world-class researchers and methodologists
Option to combine the AFC in Acute Care POCUS with a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology for a two year program for those particularly interested in a career in POCUS Research. Any applicants interested in pursuing this unique program are advised to contact us as early as 12-15 months in advance to discuss availability
Applicants must be one of the following:
Emergency Medicine certified physicians who are eligible for independent practice in Ontario (CCFP-EM or FRCPC)
Residents in an FRCPC Canadian emergency medicine program undergoing their year of subspecialisation training
International applicants with emergency medicine certification.
Demonstrated interest in point of care ultrasound
Strong clinical skills
Letter of interest with 3 references (one of which must be from the program director if applicable)
Eligible for appropriate licensure in Ontario by CPSO
Eligible for appropriate medical liability insurance by CMPA
The AFC in Acute Care Ultrasound Fellowship believes in the principles of equity, diversion, and inclusion in our selection process and encourages members of groups who are underrepresented in POCUS leadership including women, visible minorities, Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ2+ groups to apply.
Please note that this is a one year fellowship, or a two year fellowship if combining the AFC Diploma in Acute Care Ultrasound with a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology. The typical start date is July 1st, but we are also able to consider start dates for January 1st depending on availability but recommend you let us know you might be interested as early as 15 months in advance.
Deadline for applications is September 1st for fellows looking for a July 1st start date and February 1st for fellows interested in a January 1st start date. All applicants invited for an interview will take place within the month after the application is submitted.
Completed applications and questions about the application process can be submitted to Erika Donnelly.
Dr. Brandon Ritcey completed his medical degree (2011), ultrasound fellowship (2015), and emergency medicine residency (2016) at the University of Ottawa, which is a testament to the wonderful city, hospital, faculty, and training available here. He served as the Assistant POCUS Fellowship Director for 4 years before taking over as the Director of the newly accredited AFC in Acute Care POCUS in 2021.
Dr. Ritcey currently works as an emergency physician and is an Assistant Professor at The University of Ottawa. Dr. Ritcey has a deep passion and interest in POCUS education and how we can use POCUS across the medical system to improve patient care.
Clinical sonography training will occur primarily within The Ottawa Hospital emergency departments. There will also be opportunities to gain additional exposure in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Echocardiography, and Critical Care. It is expected that Fellows will have performed over 800 abdominal exams (including 200 gynecologic/pelvic exams), 300 cardiac exams, and 50 exams for procedural guidance and will be experienced enough with all indications that they would be able to teach them to someone else. Fellows will complete a portfolio to document how a selection of their scans contributed to patient care.
Education and Teaching
Education and teaching are essential components to the Fellowship. Fellows will develop and enhance teaching skills with a particular emphasis on new methods and web-based technology. Fellows are expected to take turns leading POCUS rounds, give lectures at local courses and may have opportunities to take part in national courses. In addition, bedside teaching is also required and will take part throughout the year.
The Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa maintains one of the most active research programs in Canada. With access to world-class researchers and excellent infrastructure it is expected that fellows will complete and submit a research project for presentation and publication.
As mentioned previously, fellows planning a career path as a POCUS Researcher may want to consider our two year POCUS AFC and Masters of Clinical Epidemiology program which will provide formal direction through coursework and completion of a research project or thesis on a POCUS related topic. The completion of the POCUS AFC requirements will be done longitudinally throughout the two years to balance the requirements of the research component and coursework.
Fellows will learn how to develop, direct, and maintain a Clinical Sonography program. This will include providing physician credentialing and organizing and managing a quality improvement program. The ability to develop and maintain inter-professional relationships is essential. Fellows will understand the process of equipment evaluation and purchasing and provide ongoing equipment maintenance. It is expected that Fellows will take part in leadership activities advocating and promoting POCUS.
A complete list of the Competency Training Requirements as set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is available on the Royal College’s website here
The Department of Emergency Medicine has three different types of ultrasound machines in each of the General Campus and Civic Campus emergency departments.
There is are 1-2 Sonosite XPorte ultrasound machines with curvilinear, linear, and phased array transducers at each site.
There are two Phillips Sparq ultrasound machines with curvilinear, linear, phased array, and transesophageal echocardiography transducers at each site.
There is one Phillips Lumify handheld ultrasound probe at each campus with phased array and linear transducers, as well as one additional unit reserved for ultrasound fellows to use exclusively for education and practice.
Through the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC) fellows have access to advanced ultrasound simulation technology including a VimidexTM and ScanTrainerTM simulator to augment their learning, particularly in transvaginal ultrasound and transesophageal echo.
All of our ultrasound machines have digital image archiving capacity to QPathE and PACS. All cart based machines have a full selection of advanced cardiac packages, Doppler, and echocardiography calculators.
Dr. Hetoum Misirliyan, Attending Physician, Hôpital Montfort and University of Ottawa
Dr. Tatiana Jilkina, Attending Physician, Pembroke Regional Hospital and Carelton Place & District Memorial Hospital
Dr. Adam Jones-Delcorde, Attending Physician, Winchester District Memorial Hospital
Dr. Michael Wong, Attending Physician, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Shuo Peng, Attending Physician, McGill University
Dr. Geraldine Leong, Attending Physician, Singapore
Dr. Robert Suttie, Attending Physician, Deep River & District Hospital
Dr. Talia Burwash-Brennan, Attending Physician, Université de Montréal
Dr. Massimiliano Iseppon, Attending Physician, Université de Montréal
Dr. Rajiv Thavanathan, Attending Physician, University of Ottawa
Dr. Elizabeth Lalande, Emergency Physician, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHUL), CHU de Québec, Laval University
Dr. Frank Myslik, Assistant Professor and AFC Program Director of Acute Care POCUS, Western University
Dr. Sze Joo Juan, Consultant, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore
Dr. Mike Rubin, Attending Physician, University of Ottawa
Dr. Badar Alhamrashdi, Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Director of Medical and Paramedical affairs, Rustaq Hospital, Oman
Dr. Noman Khan, Attending Physician, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Brandon Ritcey, Emergency Physician and AFC Program Director of Acute Care POCUS, University of Ottawa
Dr. Mark Taylor, Emergency Physician, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Hasan Alzharani, Program Director Emergency Medicine, King Khalid University Medical City - Abha, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Faiz Alhrbi, Emergency Physician, Windsor Regional Hospital
Dr. Muhammad Tashkandi, Emergency Medicine, Consultant, King Saud bin Abdulaziz Medical City, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Donna Lee, Emergency Physician, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia
Dr. Khaled Al-Rajhi, Deputy Chair, King Saud bin Abdulaziz Medical City, Saudi Arabia
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Alzahrani H, Woo MY, Johnson C, Pageau P, Millington S, Thiruganasambandamoorthy V. Can severe aortic stenosis be identified by emergency physicians when interpreting a simplified two-view echocardiogram obtained by trained echocardiographers? Critical Ultrasound Journal. 2015: 7:5. doi:10.1186/s13089-015-0022-8
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Ritcey BW, Woo MY, McInnes MDF, Watterson J, Perry JJ. What ultrsonography characteristics predict surgical intervention for testicular torsion? Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 18, Issue S1, May 2016, pp S35-S35 - doi: 10.1017/cem.2016.51
Shefrin AE, Ritcey B, Perry JJ, Woo MY. What ultrasonography characteristics predict surgical intervention for children with testicular torsion? Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 18, Issue S1, May 2016, pp S71-S71 - doi: 10.1017/cem.2016.155
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