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Preclerkship Education (Year I & II)

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre plays a active role in the University of Toronto Undergraduate Education Program. This includes:

  1. Structure and Function: Year I - Case-based learning 
  2. Art and Science of Clinical Medicine : Year II (ASCM II) 

Clerkship Program

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is the primary Peters Boyd Academy site. Our Department of Anesthesia is committed to teaching pre-clinical and clinical University of Toronto students.

Allocated third-year clinical clerks join us for a two week core rotation utilizing a Flipped Classroom approach — core content is delivered as a series of e-modules blended with daily Faculty teaching in the Operating room.

Clerks are invited to function as part of the Operating team and are booked one to one with Staff/ Fellows and senior residents. There are many opportunities for hands on skills including:

  • learning how to open up an airway
  • bag mask ventilate
  • insert a laryngeal mask
  • IV cannula insertion
  • an approach to intubation.

Simulation Centre

Additionally, all University of Toronto Academies rotate through the Canadian Simulation Centre at Sunnybrook. There are two fully designated days – “Entry Sim” at the start of the rotation, and “Exit Sim” prior to completion.

Curriculum comprises part-task and high-fidelity scenarios. The part-task stations include airway management, intravenous line insertion and ultrasound scanning of the IVC for fluid responsiveness. The High-fidelity simulations broach the complexity of team interaction and evolving crises.

We also offer a highly competitive elective program open to national and international 4th year students. This is coordinated by the Electives office.

For additional information, please contact our Undergraduate site coordinator: Dr. Stephanie Ladowski, stephanie.ladowski@sunnybrook.ca.


Clinical Rotations

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Bayview Campus and Holland Centre are fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Sunnybrook is one of the training sites for the comprehensive postgraduate program in Anesthesia at the University of Toronto. We are dedicated to training physicians to become outstanding anesthesiologists.

Clinical experience and graduated independence is granted according to level of training: junior residents establish competencies in basic anesthesia skills under close faculty supervision in the operating room, while senior residents devote their time to more extensive experiences in anesthetic subspecialties. The subspecialties offered at SHSC include Cardiovascular Anesthesia, Obstetric Anesthesia, Neuroanesthesia, Regional Anesthesia, Trauma Anesthesia, Burns, Acute Pain Service, and Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic. We provide a broad training experience and exposure to diverse working environments, such as Interventional Neuroradiology and Interventional Cardiology. Approximately 18,000 anesthetics are delivered per year. Residents are assigned based on interest and educational experience rather than service need: our site and our faculty members consistently receive high rotation evaluation scores.

Residents also partake in night and weekend call with in-house faculty supervision. Sunnybrook has very busy call. Involvement in the perioperative management of challenging and complex cases supports professional growth and fosters the leadership, communication and collaborative skills necessary for independent practice. Exposure to the tremendous variety, high acuity and large volume of cases develops the confidence necessary for a satisfying career as a consultant anesthesiologist

Didactic program

The didactic seminars and case discussions provided during daily morning rounds complement the Program’s seminar series. The consultant anesthesiologists in our department facilitate rounds, teach seminars, participate in examinations, and prepare residents for their fellowship exam. Our faculty includes award-winning teachers and researchers, simulation and education experts, and examiners for The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Scholarly Activity

All residents prepare and present a critical review of a self-selected topic during informal morning rounds or formal Grand Rounds. Residents also participate in a mentored Patient Safety and Quality Assurance project, with selective chart review and case presentation. Numerous opportunities exist for teaching clerks and junior trainees, both in the operating room and in the Simulation Centre. All these activities help to develop a lifelong commitment to excellence in practice through continuous learning and teaching of others.

For additional information regarding anesthesia electives at Sunnybrook, please contact the PG site coordinator: Dr. Devin Singh, devin.singh@sunnybrook.ca.


We offer an extensive Fellowship Program. Specific Fellowships are offered in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular and TEE
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Regional Anesthesia 
  • Simulation / Education
  • Trauma/Critical Care

We generally have between six to eight fellows in the department on a regular basis. Fellows are encouraged to avail themselves of our extensive regular weekly rounds program. In addition to this they are invited to take part in the "University of Toronto Fellowships Rounds" program offered downtown.

Fellows who come with a research interest will be given regular research time (one day per week). It is expected that they will team up with a staff working in their area of interest and present at the annual "Shield's Research Day" for the University of Toronto Anesthesia Department.

Continuing Medical Education Program (CME)

Members of the Department of Anesthesia at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are highly committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Many of our members regularly participate in CPD events at the local, provincial, national and international level.

In addition to presenting at meetings, members of the department are also coordinating educational events:

  1. Dr. Jordan Tarshis: Royal College Simulation Summit; Dr. Fahad Alam: Co-Chair Royal College Simulation Accreditation Committee. CAS section on education and simulation
  2. Dr. Beverley Orser:
    • Leadership of the SmartTots Program: The SmartTots (Strategies to Mitigate Anesthetic Neurotoxicity in Tots) program (SmartTots.org) represents a private-public partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)
    • Collaborator, World Health Organization: List of Essential medications for Anesthesia.
    • Collaborator, World Health Organization: Perioperative Drug Safety Guidelines.
    • Member, Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society: Canadian Initiative for Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery.
    • Co-moderator, 2019 International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) Scholars’ Program, IARS Annual Meeting, Montreal.
    • Collaborator, First Consensus-based Nomenclature for Postoperative Neurocognitive Disorders, 2018.
    • Collaborator, Best Practices for Postoperative Brain Health: Recommendations from the Fifth International Perioperative Neurotoxicity Working Group, 2018.
    • Member, Canadian Association for Neuroscience Advocacy Committee.
    • Member, Fellows Selection Committee, Department of Anesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
    • Research Advisory Committee, University of Toronto Centre of Pain.

Graduate Program

The graduate research program is focused on developing and validating techniques to recognize perioperative neurocognitive disorders, identifying cognitive risk factors and testing potential preventative (repurposed and novel) interventions.

Given our focus on cognitive risks in surgical patients, we are undertaking several large clinical trials exploring perioperative cognitive care.

Education Committees

The department's dedication to teaching extends beyond the classroom setting to course and circular development. This is accomplished by the many members of our department who sit on educational committees at the hospital, University, National and International levels.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Education Committee
Sunnybrook Clerkship Coordinators

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
U of T Faculty of Medicine Clerkship Committee
U of T Medical Students Selection Committee
U of T Center for Research Committee
U of T Examination and Students Assessment Committee
Council of the Faculty of Medicine Appeals Committee

University of Toronto, Department of Anesthesia
Academic appointments and Promotions Committee
Clerkship Coordinator
Chair of the University of Toronto Anesthesia Undergraduate Education Committee
Members of the Undergraduate Education Committee
University of Toronto Anesthesia Postgraduate Committee

Canadian Simulator Interest Group Chair
Canadian Simulation in Anesthesia

Location and contact

Anesthesia department

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

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2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, 3rd floor,
room M3200
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4864
Fax: 416-480-6039

Holland Centre

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43 Wellesley Street East,
Toronto, ON M4Y 1H1

Phone: 416-967-8500

Simulation Centre

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Susan DeSousa or Agnes Ryzynski  

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 63377

Fax: 416-480-6039

Simulation.centre@ sunnybrook.ca