Dr. Catherine Patocka
The Royal College Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the University of Calgary is proud of its collegial philosophy and cooperative atmosphere. It boasts a mutually supportive attitude amongst the residents, close working relationships between faculty and residents, and an “open door” policy with administrative staff and Program Directors.
One of Calgary’s strengths is the large faculty of Royal College certified, residency-trained Emergency Physicians who are dedicated to teaching and committed to contributing to the value of academic Emergency Medicine. As a result, the Department of Emergency Medicine is well respected throughout each of the teaching hospitals in the city.
Educational resources for residents, including an extensive and varied patient population with ample trauma exposure, are excellent. Particular expertise exists in Pediatrics, Air Transport, Toxicology, and Pre-Hospital care, as the medical directors of STARS, PADIS, and EMS are all Emergency Medicine faculty. The program is closely aligned with the pediatric emergency medicine program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital with many shared academic sessions and Grand Rounds. Furthermore, the cross-appointment of approximately 15 teaching faculty who practice at both adult and pediatric emergency departments is unique in Canada. Residents are provided with a Research Methodology block to provide a high-yield introduction to research and promote cooperation between residents, faculty preceptors, faculty researchers, and university statisticians. Emergency ultrasound is introduced in the first year of the program with opportunities to certify as an independent practitioner by mid-residency. Advanced Skills in ultrasound is taught throughout the PGY 3-5 years.
The academic program is rigorous, well organized, and well supported. In addition to a protected full academic day on a weekly basis, the program provides reimbursement for conference activities, an annual textbook fund, and subscribes to several Emergency Medicine publications which are made readily available to residents. Residents have access to a fully furnished Resident’s Lounge with internet access and a library of study materials and textbooks.
The residency program, although rigorous, is humane and promotes resident wellness through numerous group excursions and bonding activities. These include annual activities such as the welcome/end of year bbq, orientation and team-building days, a resident Christmas party, a Research Day dinner, January Resident Retreat in the Rocky Mountains, and monthly journal clubs hosted by staff.
With a population of over one million, a sunny climate, and a short drive to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is an attractive place to live and work. The city offers a wide range of cultural and recreational facilities that are unique in Canada. There is a lively theatre and art scene with multiple local theatrical and dance companies, numerous art galleries, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Company, frequent performances by internationally acclaimed artists, and the world famous annual Calgary Stampede (aka: the Greatest Show on Earth). For those seeking outdoors activities, the city has an extensive system of parks and bicycle paths, an outstanding zoo, and endless access to skiing, hiking, climbing, kayaking, fishing, skating, mountain-biking, camping, rafting, swimming, racket sports, etc. The cultural diversity of the city is displayed in the wide range of fine dining opportunities that bring together international tastes from some of the most celebrated chefs around the globe.
Calgary is a vibrant city that blends nature and exploration with the liveliness of a large metropolitan centre.