Discipline of Anesthesia

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Discipline of Anesthesia website.

The Discipline of Anesthesia at Memorial University is fully committed to the Faculty of Medicine’s strategic plan Destination Excellence. “Through excellence, we will integrate education, research and social accountability to advance the health of the people and communities we serve.”

In St. John’s our capital and largest city, we have 44 anesthesiologists and 22 residents supported by anesthesia assistants, providing tertiary care services for the entire province. Our St. John’s facilities include two general adult hospitals, with one designated as the cardiac and trauma
centre; a women and children’s hospital for pediatric and obstetric/gynecological care; and a new mental health centre soon to open.

There are numerous opportunities for rural and smaller city anesthesia experiences in the province. Residents have done electives in Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor and Carbonear in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saint John and Fredericton in New Brunswick. These are opportunities for more independent practice, as well as chances to see unfamiliar places.

Our residency program strengths include a very vibrant simulation program, enthusiastic utilization of ultrasound for all anesthesia-related applications, anesthesia machines with a modern electronic record keeping system suitable for research data acquisition, and good one-on-one teaching because of our small program size. We utilize the MUNCAT (Memorial University of Newfoundland Competency Assessment Tool), a locally designed competency app for iPhone and Android that is learner driven, easy to use, formative in assessment design, and comprehensive and rich in data.

Our discipline plays a prominent role in Team Broken Earth, the global health initiative that started here at Memorial University. Team Broken Earth has travelled regularly to Haiti, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Ethiopia, to provide service and education to low-income countries. They also worked on the front lines in Ontario and Alberta during the pandemic.

We believe that our residency program belongs to all of us. Therefore, there are two resident representatives on the Residency Program Committee (RPC), and resident representatives on our RPC working committees, such as Simulation and Wellness. We value our learners’ input in seeking excellence.

Our small faculty includes two book authors, published researchers, Royal College examiners, a leading-edge simulation instructor and researcher, and national experts in global health, ERAS, hyperbaric and diving medicine and mountain medicine. Our staff includes persons with fellowships in airway (1), cardiac (4), medical education (1), pain (2), pediatrics (1, soon to be 2), obstetrics (4), and regional anesthesia (1 in St. John’s and 1 in Corner Brook) and the first diplomate of the Royal College Area of Focused Competence in Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine. We are also fully engaged in the administration of the Faculty of Medicine, with anesthesiologists serving as the Vice-Dean, the Assistant Dean of Admissions, and as the accreditation lead in the Postgraduate Medical Office. We also participate in anesthesia education through ACUDA (the Association of Canadian Universities of Departments of Anesthesia), research through membership in the PACT (Perioperative Anesthesia Clinical Trials group) and national affairs through the CAS (Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Board of Directors and its committees). Our Discipline is leading the revitalization of MEDICOR (Centre for Offshore and Remote Medicine) as well as the provision of a new postgraduate program – the Royal College Area of Focused Competence diploma in Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine.

Anesthesia is an energized and exciting place to be, and excellence is our number one priority.

Geoff Zbitnew M.D. University of Alberta, FRCPC
Interim Chair
Discipline of Anesthesiology
Memorial University


About Us:

The Discipline of Anesthesia provides a full range of anesthesia services - primary and tertiary care for adult, pediatric, obstetrics, critical care, trauma, chronic pain and internal medicine. These services are provided at three hospitals, two adult and one pediatric, within the city of St. John's. Community experiences are provided in Corner Brook and Grand Falls.

Through an excellent simulation program the Discipline of Anesthesia is able to provide comprehensive training to a variety of medical and allied health professionals.  Members of the Department also contribute to the Hyperbaric Medicine program at Memorial University.

There are 13 Full Time Faculty Anesthesiologists and 23 Staff Anesthesiologists affiliated with the University Program. The program has 22 residents ranging from PGY 1 to PGY 5.

Our Mission:

To train competent, specialist anesthesiologists who are capable of providing a full range of anesthesia services for all age groups in varied clinical situations through

  • Innovation
  • Scholarship and
  • Vigilance 
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Faculty of Medicine
300 Prince Phillip Parkway
St. John's, Newfoundland
Canada  A1B 3V6
Telephone: (709) 864-3355 Fax (709) 777-6506
Office Hours: Winter Hours 8:00am - 4:00pm; Summer Hours 8:00 - 3:30pm