McMaster University

McMaster University

Critical Care Program

  • Welcome
  • Program Description
  • Research Exchange Day
  • Academic Curriculum
  • Communications
  • CBD

Welcome from the Program Director

Dr. Tim Karachi is the Director of the Critical Care Residency Program at McMaster University. McMaster University is proud to offer this comprehensive program in critical care medicine that is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. This program is dedicated to excellence in patient care, education, and clinical research at our academic hospitals at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. The Program Director, along with the Residency Program Committee oversee the training of residents in Critical Care Medicine.

Our faculty is comprised of 24 members who practice critical care medicine from various specialties and disciplines, including the Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Anesthesia. We are proud of the diversity within our group, which enhances our delivery of care. Our faculty and program are dedicated to world-class research, education, and continuous quality improvement. We have an active research program that supports both basic science and clinical trials research. We are actively involved in the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Canadian Critical Care Society, Canadian Intensive Care Foundation, and the Critical Care Canada Forum.

Program Description

The Adult Critical Care Medicine Residency Program at McMaster University is a two-year program. Applicants must have base specialty training from Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, or Cardiac Surgery. Applications will be considered if the candidate is either already certified in one of these specialty programs or will be eligible for certification prior to the end of the two-year program. The number of residents accepted to the program varies each year.

The Program, while utilizing the regional resources of both the University as well as the affiliated teaching hospitals, is centrally coordinated in a multidisciplinary fashion thus reflecting the cross-specialty horizontal nature of Critical Care Medicine in Canada. Recognizing the varied backgrounds of the Critical Care trainees, the program is set up to enable a great deal of flexibility with regards to the details of training. This will insure that regardless of background, each individual, whether emanating from Medicine, Surgery or Anesthesia, will be able to function as an ICU consultant on any type of patient. Thus rotations will vary according to an assessment of the individual's strengths and weaknesses. The program affords the opportunity to fill in gaps, broaden one's experience, and deepen everyone's capabilities.

The trainee functions at a progressive level of responsibility, assuming the role of ICU coordinator as soon as it is appropriate to do so, although always with direct faculty support. On-call for the ICU is typically out of hospital as support to the in-house physicians. The ICU's are staffed by residents from medicine, surgery, anesthesia, and emergency medicine, as well as independently licensed physicians. Thus, our trainees function in a role that oversees, as supervisory and teaching for junior residents.

During the 2-year program, our trainees are required to complete 16 block rotations in ICU at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. These rotations are designed to provide a broad clinical experience in several busy multidisciplinary intensive care units. These core rotations are distributed throughout the program and ensure that the trainee is exposed to a very large variety of medical and surgical patients. Given the very large referral population, trainees will have great opportunity to care for patients of specialty care programs such as Trauma, Burns, Oncology and all surgical subspecialties including Neurosurgery and Cardiovascular Surgery.

The remaining 10 blocks are available for elective rotations. These rotations are provided to strengthen and diversify one’s skills and abilities. Electives are available in virtually any discipline. They must have clearly described learning objectives for critical care and meet approval by the Program Director.

In addition to the clinical ICU experience, the academic side of the program affords varied and full opportunities to develop and perfect teaching skills as well as to expand and deepen one's appreciation and understanding of the field of critical care. The educational curriculum includes academic half-day seminars, journal clubs, regional rounds, as well as other sessions which all round out a full academic experience.

The Adult Critical Care Medicine Residency Program at McMaster University offers a wide-ranging and full clinical experience complemented by an enthusiastic faculty that support the academic objectives of adult learners dedicated toward a fulfilling career in critical care medicine.

Critical Care Resident Research Exchange Day

Each year, the McMaster-Western Annual Research Exchange Day occurs where CCM residents present their scholarly academic projects in a friendly competition. This highly successful event is alternately hosted in Hamilton or London.

McMaster-Western Annual Critical Care Resident Research Exchange Day Results

First Second Third


Vincent Lau

Directly from ICU Sent to Home: Factors Associations with Increasing Rates of Discharges Directly Home from ICU
(DISH Study)


Brian Buchanan

Comprehensive Ultrasound Evaluation of the Failure-to-Wean Patient: a Pilot Study


John Centofanti

Resident Reflections on End-of-Life Education: a Mixed-Methods Study of the 3 Wishes Project


Erick Duan

OSCILLATE Knowledge Translation – An Audit of ARDS Management


Asher Mendelson

Design of a Headrest for Patients Undergoing Prone Ventilation in the ICU


Andrew Gibson
Rohin Malhotra

The Development of a Critical Care Ultrasound Curriculum for Faculty and Fellows



Erick Duan

Use of a Daily Goals Checklist on Morning Rounds: A Mixed Methods Study


Bram Rochwerg

Fluid Resuscitation in Sepsis: A Network Meta-Analysis


Phil Andros

The Physical Exam in Critical Illness



Rebecca Kruisselbrink

Monitoring of Medical and Surgical Patients in Mulago Hospital, Uganda: A Pilot Observational Study Using the Modified Early Warning Score


Rob Lepeer

A 12 Year Review of the Beneficial Effects of a Non-Operative Management Algorithm for Splenic Trauma


Ian Mazzetti
Simon Oczkowski

Colloids as an Adjunct to Diuresis in Critically Ill Patients: A Systematic Review



Han-Oh Chung
Damien Medina

Sepsis Module – An Educational Tool for the Management of Sepsis


Waleed AlHazzani

Neuromuscular Blocking Agents in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials


Craig Ainsworth

Hypothermia After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Perspectives from Hamilton



Dave Nagpal

Starch or Saline after Cardiac Surgery: Results of a Pilot Randomized, Controlled Trial


Robert Leeper

Resuscitative Outcomes for Surgeon vs Non Surgeon Trauma Team Leaders – 10 Year Experience at a Canadian Lead Trauma Centre


Waleed Al-Hazzani

Proton Pump Inhibitor vs. Histamine 2 Resceptor Antagonist for Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis: a meta-analysis

Academic Curriculum

Academic Half-Day Series

Each Tuesday afternoon, the CCM residents are afforded protected time for educational sessions where the core knowledge and skills for each of the CanMEDS competencies is discussed. These topics vary according to the needs of the CCM residents

Regional Rounds

These are educational sessions that take place bi-monthly. A guest speaker presents a topic that is relevant to the practice of critical care. The rounds allow physicians and allied health professionals to interact and discuss relevant topics.

Journal Club Series

These are educational sessions that take place bi-monthly. Journal articles are selected by the journal club committee, and are critically appraised and presented by the CCM residents. These meetings are preceded by a social time and an informal dinner.

Other Academic Events

All CCM residents at McMaster University are expected to attend the following academic events:

  • Advanced Critical Events Simulation(ACES) Course
  • Critical Care Canada Forum (CCCF) Conference
  • Ultrasound Workshops
  • Canadian Critical Care Review (CCCR) Course



The Critical Care Program has a secure website that allows fellows to stay connected, share resources, and receive regular updates from the program. Please note that to log into this website, you must use your MedPortal account and password.

Content coming soon!
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0