McMaster University

McMaster University

Critical Care Program


Tim Karachi (M.D., FRCPC) is the current Director of Hamilton Regional Critical Care Program. He is responsible for future “academic” planning of research, education and communications. The Director is also assisted by an executive committee including ICU administration, ICU Chiefs and Unit Directors, Scientists, and the Fellowship Program Director.


An M.D. Chair of Research for Critical Care (Dr. Deborah Cook) has recently been appointed by McMaster University. The role of the Chair is to promote the scientific reputation of Critical Care at McMaster University, supervise research projects, and develop Critical Care scientists through the Health Research Methodology M. Sc. program. Research promotion internationally is achieved through Dr. Cook's acclaimed evidenced-based research in critically ill patients, as well as her administrative role on many editorial boards, and medical associations. The Regional Critical Care Program also has a growing number of other Critical Care career scientists in both basic and clinical science. Local promotion involves an annual research exchange day between the Critical Care Fellows of McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, as well as evening research-in-progress meetings.


Patient information is collected for several reasons. It is retrospective observational information that may be gathered and used to conduct an audit, contribute to policy formation, or stimulate hypotheses for future research. Research applications include studies on utilization, estimates of incidence, and quality assurance. Efforts are currently underway to re-design the database, with improvements in accessibility, and data reporting.


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) Critical Care Fellowship

This is the Intensivist Training Program at McMaster University. M.D.s with a specialty in Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Respirology are able to obtain a second specialty in Critical Care after a two year training program. The program is administered by an Program Director (Dr. Fred Baxter until June 30/02).

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 M.D.s and allied health staff 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 RCPSC fellows. These meetings are preceded by a social time and an informal dinner.



This is an area which we need to promote and develop as an effective communication tool with several roles. It will function as a bulletin board with categories for research, education, and communications. It will also provide hyperlinks to other critical care websites.

Awards Night

This is a social night held annually. The awards honour outstanding contributions to critical care. As well, a guest lecturer is chosen to speak on a relevant topic. Funding is provided by donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

CCTU (Critical Care Transport Unit)

This is a Ministry of Health funded service whose mission is to provide efficient and safe transport of critically ill patients from the “community” of Central South Ontario (2.5 million people) to our Hamilton ICU’s. This includes 21 referring community hospitals. The administrative team is composed of an M.D. director, and a nurse co-ordinator who looks after hiring, budgeting, equipment, emergency drugs, and developing protocols for dealing with emergencies. The rest of the staff is composed of ICU nurses with a minimum of 5 years experience, and a paramedic, or ICU fellow as necessary, depending on the situation. There is an adult, neonatal, and pediatric division of the transport team.

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