Emergency Medicine
Location: Halifax Infirmary/QEII Health Sciences Centre
1796 Summer Street
Suite 355
Halifax, NS
B3H 3A7
Telephone: (902) 473-2020
Fax: (902) 473-3617
Website: emergency.medicine.dal.ca
Email: emergency.medicine@dal.ca

Emergency Medicine

The Emergency Medicine undergraduate experience introduces medical students to the role of the department in the delivery of health care. The Emergency Department is in essence the “show room” for the hospital center. It is a barometer of the well-being of the community, as well as the entire health care system. In Emergency Medicine, students will notice a wide diversity of undifferentiated illness, from the simple laceration to the complexity of a myocardial infarction leading to cardiac arrest. The student will also be exposed to the triage system to learn how these diseases will be addressed.

First and Second Year Medicine

Our EM/PEM Faculty participate in Undergraduate teaching activities for various clinical programs in the Med I and II year programs, including “Professional Competencies” (Skilled Clinician), Critical Thinking, Simulation, PoCUS, and much more. Med II students are invited to participate in an Emergency Medicine Elective, where their names are entered into a lottery draw.  This is a unique opportunity to have an unparalleled “one-on-one” elective led by EM/PEM Faculty.

Clinical Clerkship (Med III and IV)

PIER (Positioning, Integration, Evaluation, Review) I, II and III are combined in a longitudinal unit that occurs in stages throughout the Med III Clerkship year. Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Faculty take a leadership role in the administration and running of these multidisciplinary units. All PIER units consist of a combination of lectures, small group sessions, simulated patient encounters, skills and procedures sessions, and simulated resuscitation scenarios.  The objectives for the PIER I unit are to familiarize students with hospital and clinical processes, refresh students’ basic clinical and communication skills, and set a framework for clinical problem solving. PIER II occurs in November/December and features more advanced procedural skills, as well as an opportunity for student-led teaching about clinical cases they have encountered. PIER III occurs in September of the fourth year. The unit is meant to consolidate skills learned in clerkship and to expose students to more advanced simulation scenarios and skills including an airway workshop using clinical grade cadavers, prior to commencing their Med IV electives.

All students complete a three-week rotation during clerkship. As the delivery of Emergency Medicine is unique to each hospital, clinical clerks may rotate at either tertiary care centres or community hospitals. Each experience offers the students different rewards and challenges while fulfilling the learning objectives by the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and maintaining the standards of the specialty of Emergency Medicine.


Electives are available for Med II (Dalhousie summer students), as well as for Med IV students. Please contact UGME or Jennifer Day JenniferE.Day@nshealth.ca for details.  For a Med IV elective in EMS, please contact Melissa MacDougall Melissa.MacDougall@nshealth.ca.

Residency Training

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Residency in Emergency Medicine is a five-year program offering extensive exposure to all clinical aspects of Emergency Medicine. Along with core and elective rotations, residents participate in a comprehensive simulation training program and academic half day sessions led by Emergency Medicine faculty.

The Competency By Design Competence Continuum is a series of integrated stages residents will progress and transition through during their training.

Transition to Discipline: Residents will be oriented to the flow and processes within the department.

  • Foundations of Discipline: Residents participate in broad based competencies that every trainee must acquire before moving on to more advanced discipline specific competencies.
  • Core of Discipline: Resident complete core competencies that make up the majority of the discipline.
  • Transition to Practice: Senior residents learn and demonstrate readiness to run the entire Emergency Department independently.

Dal residents participate in original research as a core component of this program. Residents have the option to pursue subspecialty training during their final year in areas such as Pre-Hospital Medicine, Critical Care, PoCUS, Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and more. Residents may alternatively choose to pursue a master’s degree in areas such as Medical Education or Clinical Epidemiology. Our residents have opportunities to travel to multiple sites for both core and elective rotations.

Continuing Professional Development

The Department of Emergency Medicine is very active in the provision of high-quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at local, regional, national and international levels, including many invited workshops and keynote lectures, in addition to submitted workshops and abstracts.  Dalhousie relies heavily on this department for the biannual Dalhousie CPD Emergency Medicine Refresher conference, in addition to the Mini Medical School, webinar series and the faculty development series for the Faculty of Medicine.

This department is home to the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) roadshows, including the Airway Interventions and Management in Emergencies (AIME) roadshow, the Emergency Department Strategies for Teaching Any Time (ED-STAT) roadshow, the Risky Business and the Emergency roadshow, and the Emergency Medicine Review Course (EMR-I and EMR-II).

Last year, the Department of Emergency Medicine collaborated with Dalhousie CPD’s faculty development to establish a program in critical thinking and an online professional development course, “Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking” (TACT-I), and this year they have extended this program to include TACT-II.  The “Teaching is Where It’s AT” series, including RAT, CAT and iCAT, are also dependent on this department.  A new Simulation Training Course in 2014 and 2015 and the new Halifax Resuscitation Course in 2015 complete the new CPD offerings from the Department of Emergency Medicine.



The Department of Emergency Medicine is committed to building research capacity and advancing knowledge in Emergency Medicine. Our investigators have a broad range of research interests that reflect the diverse nature of clinical practice in emergency departments and in pre-hospital care. Our particular strengths are in the areas of EMS, advanced airway management, resuscitation, patient safety and clinical decision-making as well as medical education and knowledge transfer. There are active multidisciplinary research programs in Emergency Medicine at Horizon Health, Nova Scotia Health and the IWK Health Centre. Our residents have successfully secured grant funding and won numerous awards for their excellent research projects.

We have a highly-skilled research support team that works with trainees and investigators to facilitate, support and promote the research activities in our department. They contribute their expertise in database management, research administration, grant applications and Research Ethics Board submissions. The Dal ED Research Council, which includes representatives from our sites in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, meets quarterly to support regional collaboration.