Dr. Robert Saona

Program Director

Phaedra Bennett

Senior Program Assistant
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Events Calendar

Upcoming Events
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CaRMS - UBC Medical Oncology
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University of British Columbia
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CaRMS - UBC Medical Oncology

Program Highlights

The emergency department at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital has up to 72,000 annual visits and is one of the newest departments on the island, having opened its doors in 2013. The NRGH emergency department sees a mixed population of every age group, and is the busiest single emergency department within the Vancouver Island Health Authority. The only procedural service in the country, and the development of several unique emergency training opportunities, including a recent ultrasound fellowship, has led to a unique opportunity for EM residents.

This is an ideal program for those contemplating professional practice outside major urban centers. The Nanaimo Emergency department is staffed by a mix of CCFP(EM) and FRCP physicians who have an interest in teaching and developing independent, cutting edge emergency physicians to work in any setting in the country. One of the most affordable communities to live in, Nanaimo is moments away from unlimited recreational possibilities involving outdoors, mountains and the water, while still being only 20 minutes away from downtown Vancouver by floatplane.

Past resident said “By choosing the Nanaimo program, you will benefit from a training program that emphasizes key strategic skills in emergency medicine that will make you a strong clinician ready to work in the full scope of emergency medicine from rural to urban.”



We provide the opportunity for our residents to become certified as a “Independent Practitioners” by the Canadian Point of Care Ultrasound Society (CPoCUS) As the year progresses this would involve a near fellowship point of care ultrasound training by expert practitioners. Residents will be able to go on to a be a resource to their future department in a community based hospital


We make regular use of the high-fidelity simulation centre at Nanaimo Regional Hospital to deliver a synchronized sim curriculum across all sites


There is a rigorous weekly academic day that consists of various learning opportunities. Every week there is core content that focuses on learning as well as transitioning to practice. These sessions are led by faculty at all sites and videoconferenced to wherever the residents are.

Additional sessions with all EM staff include monthly SPH ED Grand Rounds, monthly Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) rounds, and UBC DEM Provincial Grand Rounds.   Over the course of their training year, EM residents will have the opportunity to present at rounds

Resident EM-based radiology, ECG and research rounds occur monthly.

All residents are provided with a HIPPOEM subscription for the training year. (

All residents attend the St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Update Conference in Whistler.

Several EM-specific workshops and courses are given over the year and include:

    • 2-day introduction to “being a great EM resident boot camp” in the first week of the year
    • Cadaver procedure course
    • PALS or APLS course
    • UBC EM research day

There are monthly evening journal club sessions. Each EM resident is responsible for presenting at one of these sessions.


There are regular practice oral exam sessions throughout the year. There is a practice written exam in the spring.


We have several social events throughout the year including a welcome BBQ, the St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Update Conference, a two-day winter retreat in January and a graduation party.


We strive to meet the training needs of each resident and are always open to creating specific training opportunities when possible.

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General Information

This residency program is for 1 year.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.



  • 17 weeks Nanaimo Regional Hospital ED where they are the senior resident on all shifts. Some of the emergency time will be spent on the procedural consult service in Nanaimo, where residents will become very strong with exposure to high volume procedural skills.
  • Additional 14 weeks of emergency medicine training at distributed sites:
    • 4 weeks in Tofino for a rural experience with high volume, low resource clinical emergency in the seaside hospital in Tofino, during the busy summer tourist season. Hone your clinical skills and judgement, learning to practice, stabilize and transfer patients
    • 4 weeks in the busy inner-city emergency department of St Paul’s Hospital where they are the senior resident on all shifts
    • 4 weeks of pediatric emergency medicine at quaternary referral centre of BC Children’s Hospital
    • 2 weeks of pediatric emergency medicine at Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • 4 weeks of emergency with a focus on orthopedic injury at Whistler Health Care Clinic/ED
  • 4 weeks of trauma at Royal Columbian Hospital or Vancouver General Hospital. Several residents every year do this rotation in one of three hospitals in South Africa if travel restrictions allow.
  • 4 weeks of ICU in a senior resident role in the lower mainland and 2 weeks in ICU in NRGH
  • 3 weeks of CCU at NRGH
  • 4 weeks of combined pediatric and adult anesthesia at NRGH
  • Opportunity to participate in a variety of clinics/specialties (Radiology, ENT, EDE, EHS, Plastics, Poison control, Ophthalmology) on a longitudinal basis. It will work out to the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of shifts and be taken out of emergency rotations. If there is interest in spending the two weeks focused on one topic that can be arranged.
  • Family medicine longitudinal experiences can be arranged with prior approval


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Salary Information

Post graduate salaries and benefits differ by province and are determined by two things: your training year, and the province you work in. See below the salaries and benefits for University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Emergency Medicine - Nanaimo.
British Columbia
Gross Annual PGY-1 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-2 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-3 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-4 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-5 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-6 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-7 Salary
Educational Leave
Annual Vacation
4 weeks
Meal Allowance
Frequency of Calls
1 in 4 onsite/1 in 3 offsite
Maternity Leave
17 weeks, plus up to 78 weeks Parental Leave
Provincial Health Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
Provincial Dues (% of salary)
Extended Health Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
CMPA Dues Paid
Yes, mandatory
Dental Plan
100% Premiums Paid
Statutory Holidays
2x pay plus extra day with pay
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Yes 100% Premiums Paid
Sick Leave
Life Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
Updated July 25, 2023

Terms of Agreement April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022
Resident Doctors of BC website

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Explore Location

Aerial view of the Nanaimo harbour
Nanaimo is a vibrant urban centre found on the east side of beautiful Vancouver Island where an abundance of recreation and cultural opportunities exist giving residents a lifestyle second to none for living, working and playing.