Neonatal/Perinatal

Our program offers excellent opportunities for clinical and research training in all aspects of newborn health, in order to provide outstanding clinicians, investigators, educators, and health administrators who are engaged in their community.

For information about the general pediatrics neonatology rotations please refer to the General Pediatrics Program.

Shadowing opportunities for junior medical students

Please contact the physician directly through Alberta Health Services email

Med 440 Electives

  • Please contact physicians directly to arrange details of a potential elective. 
  • Email should include the following:
    • Dates and times in which you are interested.
    • Note that many doctors only have clinics on certain half-days of the week. Therefore, a 440 elective may not be feasible if the desired dates and time do not coincide with that clinician’s clinics.
  • Contact Education Administrator with confirmation of preceptor agreement as soon as possible. Education Administrator will assist student in fulfilling any hospital- based requirements prior to elective. See Resources for Education Contacts

Clinical Clerks

Refer to the UME section of the website

U of C Clerkship Electives

Please go on to OSLER and locate the elective catalogue for a description of the program and Instructions on how to proceed. Please contact elective@ucalgary.ca with any other questions you may have.

You may then contact the appropriate Education Contact (see Resources)

Non U of C Clerkship Electives

Please review all of the criteria and guidelines for the University of Calgary described on the following link: http://www.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram/visitingelectives

If you meet the criteria, you may then contact the appropriate Education Contact (see Resources)

Once accepted you will need to proceed with the paperwork as described on the website listed above.

  1. Program Highlights

    Clinical: The Neonatal-Perinatal Residency Training Program at the University of Calgary provides excellent opportunities for clinical and research training. The Foothills Medical Centre is the designated high risk perinatal centre for the Southern Alberta and SE British Columbia regions (26,000 births/year). The 39-bed Level III NICU has capabilities for high frequency ventilation and jet ventilation, as well as therapeutic hypothermia, nitric oxide, and functional echocardiography. There is a 14 bed surgical/complex care out born level III NICU including the neonatal neurocritical care unit at the Alberta Children's Hospital. In addition, there are 4 Level II step down units, one at the Foothills Medical Centre and one in each of the three remaining quadrants of the city. There is a nationally recognized Neonatal Follow-Up Program, with a strong national benchmarking and international research collaboration.

    The Calgary region is staffed by 25 full-time neonatologists with diverse specialized interests in education, clinical research, basic sciences research and the Neonatal Follow-Up Program. We have a robust group of neonatologists trained in functional echocardiography and point of care bedside ultrasound who fulfill both clinical and educational commitments. Our Neonatal Perinatal Medicine (NPM) residents are provided with 1-2 blocks (4 - 8 weeks) of time to undertake further training in ECMO and/or pre- and immediate post-operative cardiac care at the University of Alberta or the Royal Alexandra Hospital should they desire. Most post-operative cardiac cases are sent back to Alberta Children's Hospital within a few days after cardiac surgery.

    Academic activity:

    There are many educational rounds and seminars on a weekly basis in neonatology, perinatal medicine, child health epidemiology, high risk obstetrics and development. The SCAN program (Sonographic Clinical Assessment of the Newborn), which offers trainees didactic and hands-on training sessions in performing regional ultrasound assessments (cranial, cardiac, abdominal and vascular) and supports and guides clinical management and interventions, is a strong feature of the program. There is an academic half-day every Wednesday afternoon and this time is protected teaching time for the NPM residents. The annual Functional Echocardiography or Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography (TnE) workshop provides trainees with hands-on practice sessions in functional echocardiography. The weekly Neonatal Grand Rounds provides trainees with an opportunity to listen to talks presented by world renowned experts. There are also weekly Diagnostic Imaging Rounds, Pediatric Grand Rounds, and fortnightly Neonatal Clinical Rounds, in addition to Neuroradiology Rounds and Journal Club.

    Research:

    There are ample opportunities for both clinical and basic sciences research at the Alberta Children's Hospital and the Foothills Medical Centre, which is comprised of the Health Sciences Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and the Heritage Medical Research Building. Many full time faculty members at the University of Calgary are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Opportunities are available to be a part of the Global Health Initiative, which is led by one of our Neonatologists. The University of Calgary regularly publishes in journals such as Nature, Genetics, Science, Cell, Development, Neuroscience Letters and Neuron, in addition to the Journal of Applied Physiology, Pediatric Research and others. The fellows are given opportunities to present their research at national and international conferences and are expected to publish their research.

    Subspecialty Training within Neonatology:

    Following 2 years of clinical fellowship training, the fellow is given the opportunity to undergo an additional year of training. and may choose from the following subspecialties: Neonatal Neuro-Critical Care, Neonatal Transport, POCUS (Point of Care Ultrasound), Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography (TnE), or Neonatal Nutrition and Gastroenterology.

    Neonatal Neuro-Critical Care:

    This is a competency based program. The trainee will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team who are highly specialized in the provision of neonatal neuro-critical care in state of the art facilities. At the end of this training, the fellow will be familiar with interpretation of neonatal neuroimaging (MRI and US), identification of common neonatal EEG abnormalities (seizure and background abnormalities) and performance of neonatal head ultrasound. The trainee will also have the option of applying to a Master’s program in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary.

    Neonatal Transport:

    The Southern Alberta Neonatal Transport Service is run by Alberta Health Services to provide medical coverage for neonates requiring transport/advice in Southern Alberta. The service shares provincial coverage with the Northern Alberta Transport Service based in Edmonton. The program provides service to a clinical network of neonatal/obstetric programs across Southern Alberta, offering exposure to a large number of infants with a range of medical and surgical conditions including congenital anomalies, complex medical and surgical conditions requiring neonatal and subspecialty services.

    Neonatal Transport training offers trainees opportunities to gain experience in providing medical backup both on-line and hands-on, for the nurses and respiratory therapists on the SANTS team when transporting babies of < 28 days age or < 5.5 kg weight.

    Point of Care Ultrasound: 

    POCUS is currently utilized for the assessment of vascular access and position, brain (IVH), cardiac (function and PDA), urinary bladder and fluid status in neonates. Future plans include assessment of lungs and position of the endotracheal tube by bedside ultrasound. A clinical interest group, comprised of neonatologists and trainees with interest in this sub-specialization, meets on a regular basis to discuss clinical, academic and research activities in the field. The team also performs ultrasound to support clinical decision making. Trainees are provided with hands-on training opportunities with expectation to perform ultrasound independently and participate and publish relevant QI or research projects.

    Neonatal Nutrition and Gastroenterology: 

    The overall goal of the training program is to support the development of knowledge, skills and attitude related to gastroenterology and nutrition of the newborn and young infants with gastrointestinal complications in the neonatal period. Clinical, educational, research and administrative processes will be considered with emphasis dependent on the needs of the trainee and the training objectives. Fellows will be expected to complete a research/QI project related to nutrition during their training in the Neonatal Nutrition Program.

    Leisure:

    Besides the rich academic environment, the city of Calgary offers a wide array of recreational parks including Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country located only 70 and 45 minutes away, respectively. The Rocky Mountains, with their serene beauty, provide ample opportunities to pursue winter and summer sports and leisure activities. The University also has an Olympic Sports Complex, and there are additional world-class facilities located throughout.

  2. Program Curriculum

    The Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Residency Training Program is a 2-year program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A third year may be offered based on availability of funds, after discussion with the program director and Residency Program Committee. This may predominately be a research year with minimal clinical commitment. Enrolment in a relevant Master's Program at the beginning of the second year of clinical fellowship may be supported. Each year is divided into thirteen 4-week blocks.

    First Year:

    • 5 blocks in the Level III NICU at the Foothills Medical Centre1 block in the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic
    • 1- 2 blocks research/elective
    • 1 block research methodology training
    • 1 block Maternal-Fetal medicine, Genetics Clinics and Consultation Service
    • 1 block vacation
    • 2 blocks at the Alberta Children's Hospital Level III surgical NICU

    Second Year:

    • 6 blocks in the Level III NICU at the Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children's Hospital
    • 1 block of elective time which may be used as research time
    • 2 to 3 blocks of research time
    • 1 block in the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic
    • 1 block Transport
    • 1 block Neurology selective
    • 1 block vacation

    Third Year:

    • 4 blocks Level III NICU
    • 8 blocks research
    • 1 block vacation

    On-call requirement: 6 - 7 in-house calls per block, with a staff neonatologist on home call as back-up.

    The cyclical two year teaching curriculum is based on CanMeds competencies and is taught in both didactic as well as interactive method. In addition to topics on academic neonatology, the educational curriculum encompasses sessions on professional development, directed reading, practice OSCE, simulation and presentation of research projects by trainees.

     

    Training Site:

    Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Children's Hospital, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital.

Dr. Prashanth Murthy
Program Director
prashanth.murthy@ahs.ca

Evelyn Villar
Program Administrator
evelyn.villar@ahs.ca