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NOSM Family Medicine
Emergency Medicine PGY3 Program

Emergency Medicine

Program Information

The NOSM Family Medicine PGY3 EM program is a fully accredited Emergency Medicine training program leading to Certification of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine by the College of Family Physicians of Canada—the CCFP(EM). Our intensive one-year curriculum is designed to provide CCFP graduates with the confidence and abilities to excel in any Canadian Emergency Department. We can in particular prepare physicians to practise in underserviced, rural and remote areas.

Residents in our program can decide to study primarily in either Sudbury or Thunder Bay. Most of their rotations will then be completed in or near that “home base” location.

The Health Sciences North - Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN) Sudbury Emergency Department (ED) has the second-highest patient acuity rating in Ontario, combined with a patient volume of roughly 70,000 visits per year. 

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is one of the busiest EDs in Canada with approaching 110,000 visits per year and a geographically vast catchment area.  

Both sites are designated Trauma Centres and regional Base Hospitals for pre-hospital care. We are staffed by a mix of full- and part-time physicians, with both CCFP(EM) and FRCP(C) certifications. Our teachers are enthusiastic, and dedicated to encouraging learning.

Ontario’s North is fertile territory for learning Emergency Medicine! Most procedures in our emergency departments are done by Emergency Physicians: complex laceration repair, fracture and dislocation reductions, airway management, ongoing resuscitations, etc. There is ample opportunity for residents to hone their procedural skills. Residents in our program work one- on-one with preceptors.

Our focus is on resident learning, not service provision.

The EM program is built on years of expertise, academic excellence, and a well-developed infrastructure. Ours is a program for physicians seeking a unique and challenging experience in Emergency Medicine.

Based on the resident’s personal learning plan, the content, sequence of training and schedule of movement between teaching sites may vary. 

Rotation Schedule


 # of Weeks 


Core Emergency


Thunder Bay

Community Emergency


North Bay
Sault Ste. Marie



Thunder Bay

Intensive Care


Thunder Bay



Thunder Bay

Pediatric Emergency


Ottawa CHEO
Toronto HSC (Sick Kids)



Toronto (Sunnybrook)





Orientation and Unified Rounds
The NOSM CFPC-EM program begins with a four day intensive warm-up with two days of simulation, procedural skills labs, and a full day U/S course. Throughout the year there are two more of these multi-day full group sessions involving simulation and procedural skills (such as U/S guided central line placement).   

Trauma Horizontal Elective
In addition to the Trauma rotation, our residents participate in Trauma Team call, during Emergency rotations, to further enhance their exposure to traumatized patients.

Emergency Ultrasound
Emergency Ultrasound has always been a strength of the NOSM CFPC-EM program. The Emergency Department Echocardiography (EDE) course is provided at the beginning of the year to all the EM residents during the initial NOSM EM orientation days. We have further U/S teaching and allotted U/S time to ensure full independent practitioner certification in EDUS with the Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society (CEUS) by the end of the residents training. EDE certification is encouraged prior to program start date, if EDE independent practitioner status is achieved prior to program start then there may be an opportunity to achieve IP certification in EDE-2.  

Residents have monthly simulation sessions, in addition to three separate two-day simulation based unified rounds during the year. During these sessions residents have the opportunity to hone their skills in leadership, communication, resuscitation, teaching and teamwork. There are also opportunities to learn how to run and be involved with simulations for undergraduate and postgraduate learners. 

Advanced Life Support Training
Acknowledging the increased independence and resuscitative skills required of Northern and rural Emergency physicians, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine provides funding for an advanced resuscitation course, such as ATLS or PALS, to all NOSM CFPC-EM residents. These courses are often available at our teaching sites, particularly in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Residents must have ACLS certification prior to starting their EM residency and if they have not completed ATLS prior to starting their residency should complete it in their first few months of training.

Residents are required to arrange a minimum of two ride-outs on land ambulance. All NOSM CFPC-EM residents will be certified as base-hospital physicians to respond to calls from our local EMS.

The residents have the opportunity to interact with and teach with off-service residents and medical students, in formal "Residents as Teachers" procedural teaching and case based teaching sessions.  

Feedback & Evaluations
Residents are provided with written, formative feedback on a daily basis on most rotations, based on discussions with their preceptors. Direct Observation is also used. These assessments (of both clinical and academic performance) are compiled into oral and written summative evaluations at mid- and end-rotation. This allows residents maximal opportunities to improve their skills.

Academic Programming

Academic Rounds

Academic teaching is provided in weekly half-day rounds. The year is divided into thirteen, four-week blocks, each with a specified theme, eg Acute Coronary Syndromes, Toxicology, Urology, Trauma, etc. Each topic is explored using a problem-based, small-group learning format. The emphasis is on advanced management skills and evidence-based practice. Residents participate in Rounds on all rotations using online communications technology. There is also a Journal Club held once each block, to review developments in the EM literature and help develop critical appraisal skills.

Research Project

Residents are expected to complete a small research project during the year, for presentation at Research Day in May. Options include chart audits, surveys, practice guideline development or implementation, etc. Educational and statistical support is provided for this endeavour.

Educational Resources

The hospitals have a variety of clinical and educational software, and the major information sources relevant to Emergency Medicine. Residents also have access to the Northern Ontario Health Information Network library system.

Application Process

Interested candidates can apply during their second year of family medicine training. (Family Physicians already in practice must apply as re-entry candidates, via the Ontario Ministry of Health.) Six positions are available each year. The program runs from July 1st to June 30th of each year.

The application deadline, FM/EM interview date, and match day for each year is listed on the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). Please check the CaRMS website at www.carms.ca as they will be overseeing the application process, which usually begins in August of each year with a deadline for application usually set for the beginning of September.

CaRMS Online: 2017 Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Match - NOSM Program Description

Supporting Documentation

1) Application form 

2) Three Reference Letters 

  • one from your primary Family Medicine preceptor
  • one from an Emergency Medicine supervisor
  • one letter of your choice
  • each letter must be accompanied by the “Referee Assessment of Applicant”.

3) Assessment by Program Director 

  • A letter from your Family Medicine Program Director which must be accompanied by the “Family Medicine Program Director’s Assessment of Applicant”.

4) Personal Letter 

  • A personal letter describing yourself and your career interests is required.

5) Curriculum Vitae 


The selection committee is chaired by the Program Director. Each interviewing team will include Emergency Medicine preceptors from the program, and a current resident.

Program Contacts

Dr. Bill MacGregor
Program Director

Marissa Giusti
Postgraduate Coordinator
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
935 Ramsey Lake Rd.
Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6
Tel: (705) 662-7170
Email: marissa.giusti@nosm.ca




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