More Anesthesiology News

USask College of Medicine Synergy Mentorship Program

Congratulations to Dr. Mateen Raazi, Provincial Department Head, for being selected as the recipient of this year's Synergy Mentor of the Year award. Dr. Raazi is being recognized for his exceptional dedication and guidance during the mentorship program. He will be honored during the SMSS' Fall Formal on Thursday, September 28th at Praireland Park. Learn more about the program

Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation/Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Congratulations to anesthesia resident Dr. Brittany Benson for being chosen as a successful recipient of the 2023 CSCI/CIHR Resident Research Award for the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. This prize is awarded annually for the best resident research project conducted during a RCPSC/CFPC training program at each Canadian medical school. The prize for this award includes $1,000.00, a complimentary CSCI membership for 2 years, and a certificate signed by the CIHR & CSCI presidents. Brittany will be recognized at PGME's Celebration Night and awards ceremony in Saskatoon on Friday October 27th, 2023. Learn more about the award

College of Medicine PGME CanMEDS Awards

Alixe Pellerin is the recipient of the Award for Excellence in the CanMEDS Collaborator Role for the 2022-23 academic year. This award was established to recognize a resident who demonstrates excellence in collaboration in different organizational settings and role models behaviors conducive to improving workplace relationships and culture that result in a positive impact in educational outcomes. Learn more.

2023 REACH- Resident Research Day

Robin Manaloor Implementation of a Novel Multidisciplinary Preoperative Assessment Pathway: Virtually There. Second Place in the Poster Presentation Competition at 2023 REACH-Resident Research Day. June 22nd, 2023 ($300)

Madison Rajchyba Can Video Priming Improve Patient’s Informed Consent for Resuscitation Goals? Third Place and Viewer's Choice in the Poster Presentation Competition at 2023 REACH-Resident Research Day. June 22nd, 2023 ($150 & $100) 

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF):

Jonathan Gamble, Dr. Peter Hedlin, Dr. Jennifer O’Brien, Dr. Michael Prystajecky, Diana Ermel, Heather Dyck, James Macaskill, Robin Manaloor. Using Implementation Science to Expand Access to Virtual Multidisciplinary Preoperative Assessment To All Saskatchewan Residents Using a Pathway Developed and Piloted in a Single Saskatchewan Centre. 2022-23 SHRF Solutions Impact Grant ($147,260.21) Link to SHRF Announcement

Dr. Peter Hedlin, Dr. Jennifer O’Brien, Mrs. Heather Dyck, Dr. Nathan Ginther, & Dr. Liam Dowling. Reducing delirium after surgery in Saskatchewan: a knowledge sharing study. SHRF Research Connections Grant; March 2023 ($8,513.83) Link to SHRF Announcement

Dr. Peter Hedlin, Dr. Jennifer O’Brien and Heather Dyck. Experiences of older patients, their families, and healthcare providers with delirium after surgery: an action research study to improve patient and family centered care. SHRF Connections Program Align Grant; January 2023 ($9,997.00). Link to COM Announcement 

SCPOR Traineeship Award:

Sarah ForanA Scoping Review and Cross-Sectional Survey to Inform Development of an ICU Bereavement Program” Team: Valiani, S., O’Brien, J.M., Goodridge, D., Brons, C., Glessman, J., McIlduff, C., Rukh, M., Waters, S., Earle, D. SCPOR Traineeship Award ($10,000) May 15th, 2023

Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan:

Congratulations to Dr. Alixe Pellerin! Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan Resident of the Month. Link

Congratulations to Dr. Brittany Benson! Winner of the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan Presidential election for 2023-2024.  

Department of Anesthesiology Research Engagement (DARE) Awards:

Jonathan Gamble, Barbara Amros, and Trevor Krysak. Collaborators: Drs. Ban Tsui, Roman Koziy, and Jane Shin. Safety of a Novel Catheter-Over-Needle Epidural System in a Live Porcine Model. Awarded $5,000.

Peter Hedlin. Collaborator Dr. Jonathan Norton. Invasive hemodynamic monitoring, is there a better way? Awarded $5,000

2023 Dean's Summer Research Project Awardees:

Dr. Michelle Clunie "Pragmatic Observational Study of Prothrombin Complex Concentrate Safety and Efficacy for Excessive Bleeding During Adult Cardiac Surgery"

Dr. Jonathan Gamble “Is an abdominal compression test useful to predict fluid responsiveness in children undergoing general anesthesia?”

Dr. Peter Hedlin Incidence of Failed Spinal Anesthesia during Caesarian Sections”

Dr. Peter Hedlin “Subarachnoid Block: Reasons for Insufficiency”

Drs. Sabrina Valiani and Sarah Foran “Interventions to support families through bereavement in the ICU: A scoping review”

CoMRAD Award

Congratulations Drs. Melanie Orvold (PI), Joelle McBain (Co-PI), Gaurav Jain (Co-I), & Brittany Benson (Co-I), collaborators Drs Henry Bi, Eugene Choo, & Erin Prosser-Loose
Pursuing equity, diversity, and inclusion in academic medicine: an action research study aimed at gender equity”  (Oct 2022)
Awarded $ 17,055.70  

The Provincial Department of Anesthesiology has a Podcast: Airway Breathing Conversation 

The Provincial Department of Anesthesiology has a Podcast: Airway Breathing Conversation 

Are you ready to learn your ABC's? Run by Anesthesiology residents at the University of Saskatchewan, this podcast was created with the goal of providing individuals with anesthesiology-related medical information. Created/hosted by Dr. Alixe Pellerin (Anesthesiology PGY3) and produced/edited by Dr. Allan Meldrum (Anesthesiology PGY1), join us twice a month while we speak with co-residents, anesthesiology staff, members of the broader USask College of Medicine Community, and other special guests about all things anesthesia.

The USask Anesthesiology residents are proud to release the first episode of their podcast, "Airway, Breathing, Conversation"! On this inaugural two-part episode, we introduce you to the University of Saskatchewan anesthesiology residency program. We speak with multiple residents, including PGY3 Dr. Alixe Pellerin, PGY2 Drs. Kim Mayville and Anne-Marie Friesen, and PGY1 Dr. Sebastien Turcotte, as well as one of our incredible staff members, Dr. Henry Bi, about the many perks of our program here in Saskatoon. With CaRMS interviews right around the corner, we'd love to give all you fourth-year medical students the chance to hear directly from us about what makes our program great! We have many more episodes releasing soon, so be sure to subscribe on our YouTube channel (USask Anesthesia) or your favourite podcast-listening app to stay up-to-date!

Whether you are an anesthesiologist, resident, medical student, or member of the general public, join us as we demystify the incredible specialty that is anesthesiology!

To see what it's all about, view the video trailer on youtube: ABC Podcast Trailer

Podcast & social media links available at:

About Us

Welcome to the Provincial Department of Anesthesiology, an academic and clinical department within the College of Medicine (CoM), University of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).  With the introduction of a single health authority in Saskatchewan on Dec 04, 2017, our department continues to grow as a cohesive group of over 150 members. This includes 130 Specialist anesthesiologists (115 CoM faculty members), 26 Family Practice Anesthetists and affiliated.

The members of our department are fully engaged as clinicians, physician leaders, academics, educators and researchers throughout the Province. We provide safe and high quality connected clinical care, innovative education and cutting edge research benefiting the people of Saskatchewan and beyond. Our members provide clinical and other services in a variety of locations including hospital and non-hospital facility operating rooms, pre-operative assessment clinics, maternal and child care units, critical care units and other areas. 

We, the faculty, residents, and staff of the department invite you to learn more about what anesthesiology can offer to you as a learner, interested colleague and current or future patient.

Be well,

Dr. Mateen Raazi, MD, FRCPC
Provincial Department Head Anesthesiology
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan

The Provincial Department of Anesthesiology Podcast: Airway Breathing Conversation 

Are you ready to learn your ABC's? Run by Anesthesiology residents at the University of Saskatchewan, this podcast was created with the goal of providing individuals with anesthesiology-related medical information. Created/hosted by Dr. Alixe Pellerin (Anesthesiology PGY3) and produced/edited by Dr. Allan Meldrum (Anesthesiology PGY1), join us twice a month while we speak with co-residents, anesthesiology staff, members of the broader USask College of Medicine Community, and other special guests about all things anesthesia.

The ABC Podcast is excited to cover a wide variety of anesthesia-related topics, including life as an anesthesiologist, research here in Saskatchewan, how anesthesia has changed over the past few decades, how other healthcare professionals see anesthesia, residency/CaRMS  information, quick education bites/technical tips, and much, much more!

Whether you are an anesthesiologist, resident, medical student, or member of the general public, join us as we demystify the incredible specialty that is anesthesiology!

Podcast & social media links available at: 


 Anesthesiology Social Media Hub

The USask Provincial Department of Anesthesiology is committed to engaging with the public and demystifying anesthesia's role in caring for patients both inside and outside the operating room. That's why we've created a new "hub" with all of our community engagement links in one place, helping to make it even easier to access our many projects and social media accounts!

Be sure to check out the many links already available: Our social media accounts, the Department's YouTube channel, Our resident-run podcast: "Airway, Breathing, Conversation", and so much more!  

Be sure to bookmark this link to stay up-to-date:

Message from the Director of Quality Improvement and Safety

The Provincial Department of Anesthesiology strongly believes in continuous quality improvement and patient safety. We are pioneers in establishing a departmental Quality Assurance Committee focusing on real life case review scenarios to determine how healthcare systems need to change to improve patient care in Saskatchewan. Dr. Richard Schaan leads this incredible team, communicating the committee’s findings to foster meaningful positive change. Quality improvement and patient safety is innate in the work anesthesiologists in our department do every day as we strive to provide the best anesthesia care possible.

We welcome patients, families, healthcare professionals, and fellow colleagues to share their ideas and stories so that we can continue to improve healthcare in Saskatchewan. Please contact Dr. Lei Xia ( with any thoughts or ideas. 

Dr. Lei Xia
Director of Quality Improvement and Safety
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan


College of Medicine LEAD Professional Developement Series

The COM LEAD sessions are part of the College of Medicine's professional development series for administrative staff. 

On January 12th, 2023 Dr. Mateen Raazi, Provincial Department Head Anesthesiology, shared the presentation "Communication for Problem Solving" To view this presentation and other past LEAD presentations visit the COM LEAD SharePoint site at: Link NSID and password required.

Faculty Profiles

Undergraduate Program

The Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management has significant involvement in the undergraduate MD program.

Members are involved with pre-clinical teaching on local anesthesia pharmacology, general anesthesia pharmacology and perioperative medicine. In addition, many of our faculty participate in small group clinical skills teaching, communications skills sessions, simulation and OSCE examinations.

We have a popular shadowing program for first- and second-year USask medical students looking to explore the specialty and a vibrant student-led Anesthesia Interest Group. Students can also compete in our annual essay competition, the Bev Leech Anesthesia Book Prize.

USask third year clerks complete a core two-week anesthesiology rotation in either Saskatoon, Regina or Prince Albert. The overall objective of this rotation is to provide students with the skills and knowledge that is both practical and generalizable to the primary care physician.

The Department also offers elective anesthesia rotations to clerks from USask, other medical schools in Canada and approved international schools.

Elective students can expect to gain further generalist experience in the provision of anesthetic care in a wide compliment of general and subspecialty surgical services which may include:

  • Pediatric
  • Obstetric
  • Vascular
  • Neuro
  • Thoracic
  • Acute pain
  • Regional
  • Chronic pain
  • and Trauma

We do not offer clerk electives exclusively in any individual subspecialty. Please contact the departmental staff should you have any questions!

Dr. Matthew Johnson
Director of Undergraduate Anesthesiology Education
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Matthew Johnson
Director of Undergraduate Anesthesiology Education

Dr. Ryan Pikaluk
Education Director, Regina Site

Dr. Derrick Williams
Education Director, Prince Albert Site

Shumaila Zafar
Administrative Assistant, Saskatoon Site

Lana Filby
Administrative Assistant, Regina Site

Nicole Toutant
Administrative Assistant, Prince Albert Site

Postgraduate Program

Welcome to the University of Saskatchewan Anesthesiology Residency Program!

The USask Anesthesiology program is a five-year training program based out of Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan.  Residents have opportunities for training opportunities in Regina the Province’s capital, Prince Albert as well as partnerships with chronic pain in Calgary, AB.

Our competence by design-based training program is supported by weekly academic half-days, weekly case rounds, as well as a longitudinal simulation and POCUS program. Faculty come from diverse backgrounds and bring fellowship training from all areas of subspecialty anesthesia to their practice and are eager to teach and share their knowledge.

We have a very productive research team led [1] by Dr. Jon Gamble and supported by Research Associate Dr. Jennifer O’Brien, Provincial Research Facilitator Darcie Earle, Statistician Dr. Mary-Ellen Walker, Clinician Scientist Dr. Peter Hedlin, as well as partnerships with the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Our program has pioneered a number of initiatives – including a robust wellness program[2], one of the first longitudinal POCUS curriculums in anesthesiology[3] and most recently a Quality assurance curriculum. 

Our residents are well-respected as some of the strongest clinicians as well as kindest colleagues. After residency, our residents go on to pursue fellowships of their choice both nationally and internationally or go straight into independent practice with the confidence to be a well-rounded anesthesiologist.

Dr. Eugene Choo
Program Director                                                              
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan



[2] Chakravarti A, Raazi M, O'Brien J, Balaton B. Anesthesiology Resident Wellness Program at the University of Saskatchewan: curriculum content and delivery. Can J Anaesth. 2017 Feb;64(2):199-210. English. https://doi: 10.1007/s12630-016-0773-0. Epub 2016 Nov 14. PMID: 27844198.

[3] Clunie, M., O’Brien, J., Olszynski, P. et al. Competence of anesthesiology residents following a longitudinal point-of-care ultrasound curriculum. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth (2021).


There are six positions available in the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). Each year there are also up to 2 additional residents that come into our program through re-entry or an alternative pathway. 

The main locations for the five-year training program are Saskatoon and Regina. Residents also have the opportunity to do community and out-of-province electives. CaRMS interviews are held in January and applicants have the opportunity to meet the residents and faculty during the interview process and at an evening event.

For more information, please visit the CaRMS website.

Dr. Eugene Choo
Program Director

Megan Fortosky
Program Administrator, Undergraduate
& Postgraduate Education

Erin Cook
PGME Program Administrator


Continuing Education and Professional Development Events

The Provincial Department of Anesthesiology holds weekly grand rounds at 07:00-08:15 AM on Fridays at Health Science E1130. These are Royal College CME accredited events. The speakers range from residents to staff anesthesiologists. We often have multi-disciplinary sessions. If you have any questions please email:

If you have an idea for Grand Rounds, please complete the Grand Rounds Idea Form to populate the Grand Rounds Idea Repository. 

Dr. Henry Bi
Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan


The Anesthesiology Journal Club provides faculty and residents a valuable opportunity to present their own research and to present on recent publications relevant to the area of Anesthesiology. This forum offers residents the chance to enhance their critical appraisal and public communication skills. Residents will explain the rationale and methodology of their own project for peer-review and lead an evidence-based discussion of selected publications.

The Journal Club meets at 17:30 on the third Thursday of every month from September to April. Each meeting features a minimum of one original research presentation, and one critical appraisal of a journal article and related discussion. The Department of Anesthesiology’s research staff, faculty, residents and collaborators are invited to attend the meetings.

Articles are chosen by the resident and links to the articles are circulated one week prior to the meeting.

If you have a Journal Club idea, please complete the Journal Club Ideas Form to populate the Journal Club Ideas Repository. 

If you are interested in learning more about Journal Club or attending as a guest, please contact Darcie Earle, Provincial Research Facilitator.

Scholarly Activity

Welcome to the University of Saskatchewan Provincial Department of Anesthesiology Research Program.

With support from the College of Medicine and the Provincial Department of Anesthesiology, we strive to advance the science of our discipline. We embrace the University of Saskatchewan’s culture of collaboration and diligence to pursue research excellence. Our goals are to produce high impact knowledge recognized and celebrated locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

With the efforts of our dedicated faculty, students, residents and staff, the Research Division conducts a broad range of research - from the bench to the bedside. These efforts include:

  • Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Medical Education
  • Perioperative Fasting
  • Resuscitation
  • Airway Assessment
  • Mood Disorders
  • Virtual Care

While I am privileged to lead the Research program, we are fortunate to have a highly skilled and dedicated research team. Our team includes: Dr. Peter Hedlin (Clinician Scientist), Dr. Jennifer O’Brien (Research Associate), Darcie Earle (Provincial Research Facilitator), Ms. Una Goncin (Research Assistant) and Dr. Mary Ellen Walker (Statistician).

We have recently launched a provincial research and innovation funding program - Provincial Department of Anesthesiology Research Excellence and Engagement Awards (DARE-Awards). For program details feel free to contact myself or Darcie Earle, Provinicial Research Facilitator.

If you are interested in learning more about our research endeavors, feel free to contact us directly. We always invite collaboration from the broad scientific community to add to the breadth and impact of Anesthesiology research.

Dr. Jonathan Gamble, MD, FRCPC (Anes, Crit Care)
Executive Director of Research
Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan 

Welcome to the Provincial Department of Anesthesiology webpage and our Research Program.

I had the privilege of joining the department in 2018 in both a clinical and research capacity. During my time here I’ve been incredibly impressed by the collaborative and supportive nature of our research members and support staff. 

Being in the early stages of my career, one of the initial challenges has been to develop an area of research focus. There are so many fascinating areas of research in the world of anesthesia and perioperative medicine, it’s hard to narrow the list down.

In our Department, we have ongoing research in multiple and diverse areas of Anesthesiology including Cardiac Anesthesia, Medical Education, Social Equity, and Physician Wellness. My areas of research include Quality Improvement, Cardiac Anesthesia, and in particular, Perioperative Care.

My perioperative care research program builds upon my pre-medicine interests and research activity related to developing a vaccine for prion diseases. Prions are transmissible misfolded proteins that can cause rapidly progressive cognitive decline and death in the affected individual. Still fascinated by neuroscience, I became interested in the cognitive changes that occur in the perioperative period.  More and more evidence suggests that certain populations of patients are at high risk for developing cognitive dysfunction following surgery. In most cases, the effects are temporary, but for some patients it can be a long lasting, or even permanent change. The cognitive decline can end up affecting a patient’s length of hospital stay, and the level of care required once they are discharged. At this point we still don’t have a good understanding of what causes it, or how we can prevent it.                   

Our research program continues to grow. I am currently focused on establishing collaborations with other centres in Canada who are already working in the area of post-operative cognitive dysfunction.  Our department is currently participating in a multicentre trial looking at the effects of benzodiazepines on delirium following cardiac surgery. Next steps for our research program include expanding our research support team so that we can continue our current projects while fostering the increased demand for participation in valuable clinical research collaborations and trials.

Eventually we hope to provide opportunities for graduate students to join our teams working on projects related to perioperative cognitive dysfunction.  

If you are interested in perioperative care or research, feel free to contact our department main office, or our Provincial Research Facilitator, Darcie Earle.

Peter Hedlin PhD, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Scientist

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Anesthesiology
University of Saskatchewan
1. Cardiac Anesthesiology

Cardiac Anesthesia is a subspecialty of anesthesiology related to peri/intra and post-operative care of patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgeries. Cardiac Anesthesia poses significant clinical challenges given the invasive nature of surgery, patient population, and common physiologic instability.

Faculty: Ryan Pikaluk, Michele Clunie, Peter Hedlin, Eugene Choo

2. POCUS and Medical Education

Point of Care Ultrasound is the use of portable ultrasound as a diagnostic tool that leads to improved operational efficiency, expedited triage, shorted time to diagnosis, and improved patient outcomes.

Faculty: Michele Clunie, Lei Xia, Mateen Raazi, Paul Korchinski, Rob Perverseff, Eugene Choo, Henry Bi   

3. Social/Gender Equity in Care

Equity of care is the absence of differences in care attributable to (perceived) differences among people groups defined by social, economic, cultural or geographic characteristics. Equity of care promotes equity in health outcomes.

We work closely with the Saskatchewan Center for Patient Oriented Research and our projects are enhanced by working with patients and patient families as our collaborators and Co-investigators.

Faculty: Michele Clunie, Mateen Raazi, Krissie Urmson

4. Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement research is an iterative process that collects and analyzes data on processes, interventions, and outcomes to promote ongoing evaluation and improvement in practice and performance.

Faculty: Malone Chaya, Lei Xia, Krissie Urmson, Peter Hedlin, Richard Schaan

5. Leadership and Health Care Systems

The study of Leadership in Health Care Systems ultimately aims to improve patient outcomes by improving the field of medicine and anesthesiology at a management and policy level. Research in this area generates data-driven observations, strategy development, and implementation frameworks for improving collaboration, processes, and outcomes at the level of the patient, clinician, individual, team and department level.

Faculty: Mateen Raazi, Lei Xia

6. Physician Wellness

Physician wellness or lack thereof, has an impact on the physician as well as on patient outcomes, and the health care system. Our research in this area explores consistent and novel stressors and challenges faced by physicians and residents, and works with physicians and residents to identify supports and solutions to avoiding burnout, anxiety and other mental and physical health concerns.

Faculty: Mateen Raazi, Joann Kawchuk, Anita Chakravarti, Richard Schann, Justina Koshinsky   

7. Pediatrics

Pediatric anesthesiology is a subspecialty of Anesthesiology concerned with the care of children from newborn to adolescents, providing peri/intra and post-operative care to children, many who have complex medical problems affecting multiple organs and systems of the body.

Faculty: Jon Gamble, Krissie Urmson, Mateen Raazi

8. Critical Care

Critical care anesthesiologists work with patients in the intensive care unit, who have recently experienced surgery, trauma or severe infection, and require intravenous medication, monitoring heart activity, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, respiratory and heart rate and modifying medication accordingly.

Faculty: Jon Gamble, Joann Kawchuk, Brian Brownbridge, Raj Brar

9. Peri-/Intra-operative Care

Peri(intra)operative care refers to the patient care provided surrounding a surgical event. Intraoperative care begins when the patient is transferred to the operating room and involves the administration of anesthesia to induces temporary unconsciousness, and/or eliminate (block) the pain sensation. Postoperative care comprises the time during which patients are still under anesthesia and admitted to the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) where they are monitored for vital stability and surgical complications.

Faculty: Malcom Lucy, Jon Gamble, Ryan Lett, Peter Hedlin, Brian Taylor

10. Regional Anesthesiology

Regional Anesthesiology is the administration of local anesthetic close to a nerve supplying and area of the body on which the surgery/procedure will occur. This includes epidural anesthesia for labor and delivery pain control.

Faculty: Churao Yang

Visit the Provincial Department of Anesthesiology Google Scholar page to find publications from our faculty and trainees. 

Dr. Jonathan Gamble
Executive Director Research

Dr. Peter Hedlin
Clinician Scientist 

Dr. Jennifer O’Brien
Research Associate 

Darcie Earle
Provincial Research Facilitator

Una Goncin
Research Assistant

Dr. Mary Ellen Walker

Patient Information

Many of our patients have questions about our role as anesthesiologists as well as what types of anesthesia we can provide.  Check out the links below to learn more:

What does an Anesthesiologist do?
What are the different types of Anesthesia?


Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
Royal University Hospital
G525-103 Hospital Drive
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 0W8

Phone: 306-655-1183
Fax: 306-655-1279

Manager, Administration & Finance
Brittany Minty
Executive Assistant to Dr. Mateen Raazi, Provincial Head
Teresa Krueger
Scheduling Manager
Clerical Assistant, Reception, and Clinical Support

Karyn Stewart (on leave)
Administrative Assistant