Research  >  Research  >  Scientist Profiles

Scientist profiles M-R

SRI profiles

Russell D. MacDonald, MD, MPH, FCFP, FRCPC

Associate scientist

Ornge Transport Medicine
5310 Explorer Drive
Mississauga, ON
L4W 5H8

Phone: 647-428-2034 or 416-397-9071
Fax: 647-428-2006


  • B.Sc., 1987, biochemistry, Bishop's University, Canada
  • MD, 1991, Queen's University, Canada
  • CCFP, 1993, family medicine, Queen's University, Canada
  • FRCPC, 1996, emergency medicine, Queen's University, Canada
  • Fellowship, 1999, emergency medical services, Boston University/Boston EMS, U.S.
  • Master of public health, 1999, Boston University, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Associate scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Trauma, Emergency & Critical Care Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Attending staff, emergency services, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Member, Institute of Medical Sciences, U of T
  • Medical director, Ornge Transport Medicine
  • Medical Director, Toronto Paramedic Services

Research Focus:

  • Adverse events, errors and near misses in critical care transport
  • Predictors of critical events in critical care land and air medical transport
  • Evidence-based planning, decision-support and optimization of resource allocation in patient transport

Research Summary:

Dr. MacDonald's research is focused on the reduction of risks and identification of sources of error or near misses in critical care land and air transport. His work includes a comprehensive patient-centred, system-based and vehicle-centred approach that involves working with multidisciplinary teams of experts in medicine, aviation, communication and engineering to address complex interdisciplinary challenges in air and land critical care patient transport. The results are development of predictive strategies and use a taxonomy-based approach to categorize events, perform root cause analyses to mitigate adverse events and improve patient safety in the transport setting.

Dr. MacDonald is also interested in an operations-based approach to system performance improvement and evidence-based resource allocation. Working with experts in operations-based research, he is involved in the development of systems that predict and optimize allocation of aircraft and crew resources to improve access to air medical transport while minimizing health care costs.

Multidisciplinary areas of research allow Dr. MacDonald to assist and supervise graduate students in medical and nonmedical programs that focus on prehospital care and transport medicine research.

Selected Publications:
See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. RD MacDonald (editor-in-chief).  Caroline’s Emergency Care in the Streets, 8th (Canadian) edition.  Burlington, MA:  Jones and Bartlett, 2021.
  2. RD MacDonald, Yuen Chin Leong.  Articles that may change your practice:  prone position ventilation.  Air Medical Journal 2020;39(2):84-6.
  3. I Miles, RD MacDonald, S Moore, J Ducharme.  Evaluation of pain management in medical transfer of trauma patients by air.  Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2019;21(6):776-83.
  4. A Zia, RD MacDonald, S Moore, J Ducharme, C Vaillancourt.  Assessment of pain management during air transport of intubated patients.  Air Medical Journal 2019;38(6):421-5.
  5. JA Tijssen, T To, LJ Morrison, F Alnaji, RD MacDonald, C Cupido, K-S Lee, CS Parshuram.  Paediatric health care access in community health centres is associated with survival for critically ill children who undergo inter-facility transport: a province-wide observational study.  Paediatrics and Child Health 2019; pxz013,
  6. WCW Giang, L Hui, B Donmez, M Ahghari, RD MacDonald.  Dispatch decision making in an air medical transport system.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2016;60(1):259-63.
  7. JM Singh, A Gunz, S Dhanani, M Ahghari, RD MacDonald.  Frequency, composition, and predictors of in-transit critical events during pediatric critical care transport.  Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2016;17(10):984-91.
  8. Z Merali, S Sharma, RD MacDonald, E Massicotte.  Emergent and urgent transfers to neurosurgical centers:  examining access in Ontario.  Prehospital Emergency Care 2015;20(2):1-9. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2015.1086847.

Related Links: