View the most up-to-date faculty list.

This Week in Obstetrics & Gynecology



About Us

For too many years, Saskatchewan was known as a place that didn’t change much. We didn’t change our clocks in the spring and fall, we never changed our government and as we drove across the province the view rarely changed. Thankfully that attitude is now in our rear view mirror, and as we move into 2016 there are significant changes to our department and the College of Medicine.

I was honored to be offered the opportunity to become the first permanent Unified Department Chair to be based in Regina. With the appointment of a permanent chair, we have begun the work of rebuilding and refocusing our clinical research program. While my travel schedule now includes weekly drives to the University campus in Saskatoon (that view still has not changed), the view that has changed is from isolated teaching campuses to one provincial academic department. I see this as an opportunity for all centers to share and adopt their experiences, and best practice models when it comes to patient care, education and research. This cooperation is vital to maintaining a robust educational department in a province with the demographics of Saskatchewan.

The College of Medicine is moving to a one faculty model which has resulted in major changes within the university faculty, the majority of whom will move to Academic Clinical Funding Plans. This faculty model will remove some of the old “town and gown” attitudes that although rare, seem to sometimes linger in the dark corners. I look forward to maintaining and growing the engagement of our faculty in delivering clinical care, and providing excellent undergraduate and postgraduate education.

Life would not be the same without its challenges. We continue to actively recruit in the subspecialty areas, including maternal fetal medicine and gynecologic oncology. I believe that the introduction of the Academic Clinical Funding Plans, with the well defined clinical and non-clinical deliverables and excellent remuneration, will result in successful recruitment of all available positions this year.

One thing that has not changed and is unlikely to change in our department is the ongoing commitment of all faculty members to outstanding clinical care and teaching. This will remain our focus while we build and grow a clinical research program with the same commitment to excellence.

John Thiel, BSc, MSc, MD, FRCSC
Provincial Head and Clinical Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan

Annual Crocker Memorial Lecture

Dr. Keith McLean Crocker was one of the earliest professors in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, after accomplishing his fellowship at McGill University and in Scotland.  Following several years of private practice in Saskatoon, Dr. Crocker joined the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan, and practiced  throughout the 1970s.  Dr. Crocker spent several years in northern Nigeria working in a major hospital and living with most of his family while on leave there. He also worked briefly in Afghanistan, and subsequent to leaving his university practice, in Tunisia and in several places in the United States including The Navajo reservation in Arizona.

Dr. Crocker was an enthusiastic physician, very well-liked by students and residents.  During his tenure, he initiated a number of innovations in the teaching program including pelvic teaching associates and the sexual medicine curriculum in our department. He was a world traveler in both his profession and his personal life, and eventually retired in British Columbia until he passed away in 2013.


Matt Schubert MD, FRCSC - Resident Program Director
Darrien Rattray MD, FRCSC - 
Associate Resident Program Director - Regina Site

General Information
The program is designed to give residents special education and expertise in obstetrics, gynecology and women's health. Housestaff supervision is by academic faculty representing specialty areas of clinical care and basic scientific research. Community specialists on the clinical faculty, who are committed teachers and preceptors, are involved in training in various aspects of obstetrics and gynecology. The patient population is drawn from the entire province of Saskatchewan, providing a wealth of clinical material and an excellent mix of cases. The program is affiliated with five major hospitals, with sophisticated obstetrical and surgical facilities and state-of-the-art equipment.

The first year involves basic clinical training with rotations in internal medicine, emergency room medicine, neonatology, rural and urban obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery. The second year of residency training concentrates on core obstetrics and gynecology, while the third year of training introduces the subspecialties of reproductive endocrinology, and urogynecology. Formal weekly academic half-days and seminars cover a variety of subjects. Elective time is provided to encourage senior residents to explore fellowship and/or job opportunities.

Ambulatory obstetrics and gynecology and Resident Student Health Clinic at the University of Saskatchewan (for senior residents) provide all residents the opportunity to interact and treat patients during the length of their residency and simulate the private practice environment.

Research activities are emphasized throughout the program. Clinical or basic science projects are done with the support and assistance of faculty. First through fourth year residents are required to work on their research projects throughout the year and present the results of their research projects, in PGY 4, at the Annual Resident Research Day Symposium.

The curriculum is based on the specialty training requirements by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for Obstetrics and Gynecology. Successful completion of the residency leads to eligibility for certification (by examination) by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Selection of first year resident positions is done via the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). It is anticipated that residents entering the residency will remain with the program and progress through the five years of training.

Quick Facts 
  • The training program is based in Saskatoon, where the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine is located.
  • As of July 1, 2009, 4 residency positions are based as full time annually in Saskatoon and 2 residency positions are based full time annually in Regina; these positions must be applied for separately through CaRMS. For more information, see the Obstetrics & Gynecology - Saskatoon program description and/or Obstetrics & Gynecology - Regina program description.
  • Strong emphasis on distributed learning with rotations scheduled in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
  • Strong emphasis on early hands-on labour and delivery, operating room and ward experience in the core obstetrics and gynecology rotations.
  • Attending staff to resident ratio is 2:1; residents have direct 1:1 clinic experience with attending staff in the clinic, case room and operating theatre.
  • Exposure to advanced expertise in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, maternal fetal medicine, urogynecology and gynecologic oncology through rotations in both Saskatoon and Regina.
  • Community obstetrics and gynecology rotation in Prince Albert are a highlight of the curriculum.
  • International and interprovincial electives are supported and encouraged as part of elective time - arranged on an individual basis.
  • Structured and comprehensive academic program, including academic half-day, weekly subspecialty rounds, monthly grand rounds and journal club, most teaching sessions are videoconferenced.
  • Annual resident retreat with residents and faculty to discuss the direction of the program.
  • Web-based evaluation system (One45 WebEval).
  • Twice yearly practice OSCE exams for all residents in preparation for final year Royal College exams.

Distributive Learning at the University of Saskatchewan, The College of Medicine, while physically located in Saskatoon, is a provincial resource in attitude and in practice. Postgraduate medical education at the University of Saskatchewan takes seriously its role in supporting quality health care to all people of the province. This means training physicians to meet the needs of not only urban populations, but also those of rural and remote populations. In so doing, the College of Medicine has developed, and continues to develop, rotations in other communities. These rotations are designed to provide educational experiences to enhance the resident's knowledge and skills, and take maximum advantage of unique educational opportunities in diverse communities. All postgraduate programs are expected to develop and incorporate into their curriculum, rotations in communities other than Saskatoon. The manner in which each program does this is not strictly prescribed by the College of Medicine - but is determined by the Residency Program Committee, taking into consideration the needs of their residents, and the excellent opportunities available in other locations. These rotations continue to evolve as we seek to build stronger and better programs.

Extensive support is available for out of town rotations. The exact nature of this support varies with location and program. The communities involved, individual programs, the College of Medicine,and the Ministry of Health work collaboratively to ensure residents are not financially disadvantaged by the need to relocate.

For residents assigned to short term rotations in Regina and Prince Albert housing is provided. Where necessary, every effort will be made to provide family friendly accommodations.

If you have any questions, please contact: 

Ms. Marj Lens, Resident Program Administrator
Tel: (306) 844-1199
Fax: (306) 844-1526


The Division of Gynecologic Oncology offers inpatient and outpatient care for women with pre-invasive and invasive diseases of the female genital tract.  Among the division's specialized services are brachytherapy and chemotherapy.  The division members work closely with the Allen Blair Cancer Centre in Regina and the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, providing consultative services to other gynecologists in the province.

In Regina In Saskatoon
Allen Blair Cancer Centre
Saskatoon Cancer Centre

The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine cares for patients with high risk pregnancies and offers a variety of diagnostic and treatment options, including:

  • biophysical evaluation
  • obstetric ultrasound
  • maternal medical conditioning monitoring
  • diabetes in pregnancy
  • hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
  • prenatal screening
  • prenatal testing
  • intrauterine fetal therapy

The Division has consultants located in both the Saskatoon and the Regina Qu’Appelle Heath Regions. Appointments are by referral.

The Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery is a national leader in the field of urodynamic testing and urogynecology surgery. There are urogynecologists practicing in the Regina Qu’Appelle and Saskatoon Health Regions. Appointments are by referral. Assessment and treatment navigation is also available on both sites by referral to the local Pelvic Floor Pathway Clinic.
The department's core division offers an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient evaluative and therapeutic programs in all aspects of the specialty. The department is noted especially for being a center of excellence in gynecologic endoscopic surgery.


For a complete list of 2017 publications, see the 2017 Publications Report.


  • Shah T, Gastal M, Tazawa S, Da Silva de Tarso, S, Hales D, Cuervo-Arango J, Baerwald A, and Gastal E. 2015. The Mare as a Model for Luteinized Unrupture Follicle Syndrome in Women: Intrafollicular Endocrine Milieu. Reproduction. Dec 8: epub ahead of print.
  • Vanden Brink H, Robertson DM, Lim H, Lee C, Chizen D, Harris G, Hale G, Burger H, and Baerwald A. 2015. Associations Between Antral Ovarian Follicle Dynamics and Hormone Production Throughout the Menstrual Cycle as Women Age. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 100(12): 4553-62.
  • Yapura, J., I. Badea, G. Zamberlam, C. Price, R. Mapletoft, R. Pierson, J. Singh, G.P. Adams. 2015. Formulation and testing of a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor intravaginal device for the control of ovarian function in cattle. Animal Reproduction Science 156:91-102.
  • Christ, J.P., H. VandenBrink, E.D. Brooks, R.A.Pierson, D.R. Chizen and M.E. Lujan. 2015. Ultrasonographic Features of Polycystic Ovaries Relate to the Degree of Reproductive and Metabolic Disturbance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Fertility and Sterility 103(3):787-794.

Conference Proceedings

  • Pierson, R.A. 2015. Focus on the Endometrium: Predicting Receptivity in Assisted Reproduction. Proceedings of the StartART 2015 Reproductive Endocrinology Nurses Conference, Las Vegas, NV. pp 148-157.


  • Jenkins S, Baerwald A, and Chizen D. 2015. Are Endometrial Growth Dynamics Suboptimal in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome undergoing Different Ovarian Stimulation Treatment Protocols? Proceedings of the Annual Resident Research Day. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. University of Saskatchewan. Abstracts: 6.
  • Swan J, Schubert M, and Baerwald A. 2015. Rationalization for a Standardized Protocol for Second Trimester Termination of Nonviable Pregnancies. Proceedings of the Annual Resident Research Day. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. University of Saskatchewan. Abstracts: 2.
  • Pierson, R.A. 2015. Focus on the Endometrium: Predicting Receptivity in Assisted Reproduction. Proceedings of the StartART 2015, Reproductive Endocrinology Nurses Conference, Las Vegas, Abstracts: 147.
  • McBreairty, L., G. Zello, J. Rooke, S. Serrao, R. Pierson, D. Chizen, and P. Chilibeck. 2015. Long-Term Effect of a Pulse-Based Diet and Exercise Training Intervention on Body Composition and Dietary Intake in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 29:912.5
  • Rattray D, Thiel P, Suchet I, Thiel J.  2015.  Post-placement imaging of Essure microinserts in unintended pregnancies using a 10 year retrospective database.  Gynecological Surgery 12:S108.
  • Kamencic H, Ferguson J, Kot E, Thiel J, Thiel L. 2015. The aetiology of surgery for pelvic pain following placement of the Essure permanent birth control system.  Gynecological Surgery 12:S115.
  • Pineda-Rivas M, Rattray D, Suchet I, Thiel J. 2015. Laparoscopic resection of a 16 week pregnancy in a rudimentary uterine horn.  Gynecological Surgery 12:S243.
  • Ferguson J, Kot E, Thiel L, Karreman E, Rattray D, Thiel J. 2015.   Morphologic and histologic changes in hysterectomies after Novasure ablation: a retrospective chart review. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 22:S187.
  • Berman JM, Thiel J, Brucker SY. 2015. Reproductive outcomes in subjects following radiofrequency volumetric thermal ablation (RFVTA) of their symptomatic myomas: a retrospective case series.  Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 22:S237.
  • Pineda-Rivas M, Rattray D, Suchet I, Thiel J. 2015. Laparoscopic resection of a 16 week pregnancy in a rudimentary uterine horn.  Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 22:S126.
  • Fortin, C, Thiel J, Sanders B, Rattray D, Weins L.  2015. Procedure tolerability and pain management techniques for a new device for endometrial ablation.  Obstetrics and Gynecology 125:34S-35S.
  • Epp, A. “Evaluation of Immediate Post-Operative Voiding Dysfunction in Women after AJUST Single Incision Sling for Stress Urinary Incontinence”. Poster Presentation. International Continence Society Meeting. Nice, France June 2015.





Room 4544
Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive
Saskatoon, SK  S7N 0W8

Dr. John Thiel,
Provincial Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Phone: 306-844-1059

Linda Riopel,
Administrative and Financial Assistant
Phone: 306-844-1059

Harold Shiffman,
Finance and Administrative Manager
Phone: 306-844-1172

Marj Lens,
Residency Program Administrative Assistant
Phone: 306-844-1199

Matt Schubert,
Resident Program Director
103 Hospital Drive

Larissa Wudrick,
Undergraduate Administrative Assistant
Phone: 306-844-1023

Terri Lynne Klarenbach,
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 306-844-1055