The residency training program in anesthesiology is under the direction of the McGill Department of Anesthesiology.  The main locations for training include the McGill University Health Centre (including the Royal Victoria, Montreal General, Montreal Children’s, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals) and the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital.  The aim of the program is to provide resident trainees with a strong background in the basic sciences and a broad exposure to clinical anesthesiology.  Satisfactory completion of the training program leads to eligibility for the certification examinations of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Collège des médecins du Québec.


The training period is of five years duration.  Students in their final year of medical training in any Canadian medical school are eligible to apply to the program at the PGY-1 level via CaRMS.  Other medical graduates must contact the McGill Faculty of Medicine to determine eligibility for entering the program.



Clinical Program


First Year (PGY-1)

The objective of this year is to provide residents with a broad clinical experience in areas relevant to anesthesiology, and prepare them for the completion of the Medical Council of Canada Part II examination.  Clinical rotations include four periods in anesthesiology, three periods in pediatrics, and three periods in internal medicine (ICU, CCU, emergency), one period in surgery, and one period in obstetrics.  In addition, there is a one-period mandatory McGill course in epidemiology and biostatistics. 


Second Year (PGY-2) – First Clinical Anesthesiology Year

During this year residents do rotations in adult anesthesiology at the major teaching hospitals (Montreal General, Jewish General and Royal Victoria Hospitals).  Residents learn the fundamental knowledge, clinical skills and techniques required for routine and emergency adult surgery.  In addition, there is one mandatory period of acute pain training.


Third Year (PGY-3) – Internal Medicine Year

During this year residents receive training in internal medicine and intensive care.  In cooperation with the McGill Department of Medicine, resident do mandatory training in cardiology, respiratory medicine, and adult intensive care.  Optional rotations in various medical specialties, adult or pediataric critical care, or research, are available to complete the training requirements for this year.  Normally, this year of training is taken after the first clincical anesthesiology year, but the timing is flexible to permit adjustment to individual needs.


Fourth Year (PGY-4) – Subspecialty Anesthesiology Training

This year is composed of specialty training in pediatric, neurosurgical, cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesiology at the McGill affiliated hospitals.  There is also a highly-rated mandatory rotation in community anesthesiology in Hull, Quebec.


Fifth Year (PGY-5)

During the final year, training is tailored to individual learning goals.  Residents use this year to broaden their exposure to clinical anesthesiology, through rotations at all major sites, and they are given increasing responsibility for patient care.  Certain residents may choose to use some of this year to complete research projects.  Steps are taken for PGY-5 residents to prepare for their examinations.



Academic Program


Intensive Orientation Program for Junior Residents

The program consists of an intensive study program of seven sessions at the McGill Medical Simulation Center, with OR familiarization between sessions.  It involves assigned reading material before the sessions, hands-on simulation-based experience, and pre-post exam taking.  The goal of the program is to provide a solid introduction to anesthesia for junior residents as well as a safe environment for the learning of procedures and techniques.


Resident Seminar Program

This program covers the basic areas of anesthesia knowledge.  Seminars are held weekly from September to June, and residents are freed from clinical duties to attend.  The teaching format varies, with a combination of case-based seminars, resident presentations, and lectures.  Visiting professors at McGill are asked to conduct one of these seminars during their visit.


McGill Epidemiology and Biostatistics Course

This is a three-credit McGill course which is a mandatory part of the program.  It is an intensive four-week course and it is usually completed during the R1 year.  Residents are freed from clinical duties during this time.


Hospital-based rounds and teaching sessions

From September to June, each hospital has its own departmental rounds and resident teaching sessions.  Residents are often asked to prepare literature reviews or case discussions for these rounds as a requirement for completing the hospital rotation.


Journal Club

Held monthly during the academic year.  Presented by residents, with faculty guidance.  The format is designed to develop critical appraisal skills.



Research projects are highly recommended but not mandatory in the program.  Residents who opt not to participate in research will be required to complete academic work in other fields like education or quality assurance.


Residents can gain research experience either by joining departmental clinical projects or collaborative studies with other McGill research groups.  In addition, the McGill Anesthesia Research Unit oversees many areas of basic research that may be available for resident participation.  The annual Philip R. Bromage Anesthesia Research Day provides a forum for residents and fellows to present their academic work.  Each resident is expected to present at this event on two occasions during his/her residency.


Resident Education Day and Retreat

Every year invited speakers offer workshops to residents on topics related to the CanMEDS competencies and resident well-being.


McGill Anesthesia Update/McGill Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program

The McGill Department of Anesthesia sponsors a well-known review of current issues in anesthesia, the McGill Anesthesia Update.  Residents are encouraged and supported to attend the McGill Anesthesia Update.  There is also a visiting professor program throughout the academic year as part of the Department’s active Continuing Medical Education Program, and all residents are expected to attend these sessions.


McGill Medical Simulation Centre

McGill Anesthesia Residents have access to the simulator laboratory where small group sessions, as well as the Introductory Sessions for Junior Residents are offered during the year.  Moreover, residents also provide sessions to medical students at the Centre.


Career Counseling

All residents receive formal career counseling from the Chair of the Department and the Program Director.  Efforts are made to tailor the training program to individual needs, particularly during the senior years.


Evaluation System

Residents are evaluated according to the McGill Postgraduate Medical Education Evaluation and Promotions Guidelines.  Additionally, each resident’s training is monitored by a system of feedback and in-training evaluations.  There are also twice-yearly oral examinations (in the PGY-2, PGY-4 and PGY-5 years) and in-training multiple-choice examinations.  Residents anonymously evaluate each rotation and the teaching faculty.


Mentor Program

A mentor program between senior and junior residents is set at the beginning of the residency.  A staff mentor program is also available to residents for professional and/or personal issues.


Training Sites

Royal Victoria Hospital

Montreal General Hospital

Jewish General Hospital

Montreal Children’s Hospital

Montreal Neurological Institute

CSSSG de Hull


Program Governance


The McGill Anesthesiology Training Program is overseen by a Residency Program Committee composed of both faculty and residents.  The Program Director chairs this Committee.  McGill residents play an active part in the organization and implementation of the program through their elected representatives on the Anesthesiology Residency Program Committee.


Requests for further information should be sent to :


Dr. Natalie Buu, Program Director

McGill Department of Anesthesiology

Royal Victoria Hospital - Glen Campus

1001 Décarie Blvd., Room C05.2760
Montreal, Quebec H4A 3J1

Tel. :  (5140 934-1934, ext. 36864

Fax :  (514) 843-1488

E-mail :


McGill Department of Anesthesiology web-site :

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