Division of Respirology


Key Contacts

Program Director

Dr. Rebecca Amer
905.522.1155 X34929

Residency education is a top priority in Hamilton. I believe that enthusiastic trainees fortify the academic spirit of an institution. In Hamilton, the Respirology residents are treated as valued members of our team. The Respirology faculty is committed to provide the highest standard of education to the residents. Our program wants each resident to not only succeed in their chosen specialty, but to feel supported along the way.

In the past, our program has been faced with challenges that have threatened to interfere with our mission. When I took on the role of Program Director in July of 2005,
I was faced with the task of program redevelopment. One of our prior deficiencies was attrition of our staff due to death and retirement. Over the past two years, we have recruited five new young faculty members who have much enthusiasm for teaching. The newly structured program has been operational since July 2006. Our success has been measured by resident satisfaction and by high praise from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada during an April 2007 accreditation review.

When planning our program’s activities, I have reflected upon the more difficult aspects of residency training in order to develop strategies to strengthen the educational experience. In the field of Respirology, the physiology component is one of the most interesting aspects of training, but can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to exam time. Our program now requires mandatory completion of a McMaster Master’s level Respiratory Physiology course that comprises a weekly session that runs between September and December in the PGY4 year. The fundamental knowledge that will be acquired in this course will be enhanced by attending weekly Applied Physiology Rounds. An opportunity to take a McMaster Masters level course in epidemiology will also be available in the PGY5 year.

I believe that a subspecialty resident is a “consultant in training”. Our program is structured as per the Royal College’s standard where a resident assumes an increase in graded responsibilities throughout his or her training period. Early in the PGY4 year, the resident will act as Junior Consultant on the acute care service where he or she will do both consultations and oversee the junior house staff. There will be the opportunity to supervise rotating Internal Medicine residents in the ambulatory setting during the PGY5 year. A Respirology faculty member will always be available for teaching, back-up and role modeling.

In my role as Program Director, I have looked to several sources for guidance. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has standard training requirements and subspecialty training requirements that are essential elements of any training program. The CanMEDS roles are exciting tools for developing competencies to shape medical education. It is my responsibility to ensure that our program has all of the key elements. I am also looking for innovative ways to make the program exemplary and will continue to look to the residents for guidance in this regard. To achieve this goal, I will always be very receptive to resident feedback in my task of program redevelopment.

Lori Whitehead, MD, FRCP(C)