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SEME Thunder Bay

In 2020, the Ontario MOHLTC approved an expansion site for the SEME program in Thunder Bay. This satellite site will provide a much needed training option closer to home for Northern Ontario family physicians. Beginning Spring 2021, the Thunder Bay SEME program will welcome three physicians per year to complete the program longitudinally between Sept - March.​ 

Thunder Bay Site

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The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) Emergency Department is an exciting and dynamic place with a vast array of different disease presentations. It is one of the busiest emergency departments in Ontario providing clinical care for patients from Thunder Bay and serving as the main referral site for all of Northwestern Ontario. The Level 2 Trauma Program provides care to approximately 300 patients per year. The Thunder Bay emergency department is a major teaching site affiliated with Northern Ontario School of Medicine and is committed to providing an exceptional learning experience.

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Program Overview

The program is composed of three 4 week rotations: minimum 8 weeks of core clinical emergency work and 2-4 weeks of electives coordinated with and approved by the program. The core clinical placement will occur in the Thunder Bay Emergency Department. This clinical placement will provide learners with practical, real-world experiences in order to build advanced management and procedural skills. Elective placements in Anesthesia, Intensive Care, or Trauma will complement the ED rotation.

Three students per year will be accepted to the Thunder Bay site and complete the program in a longitudinal fashion.


Online Learning Modules

Given the staggered approach of the clinical rotations and geographic challenges of Northwestern Ontario, the academic content will be mainly delivered through a web based platform. These modules will complement the modules already in place through the SEME program.

Academic Content

In addition to the learning modules, Thunder Bay SEME learners will attend a mandatory two day High fidelity simulation/ Skills Bootcamp during the training year but not necessarily at the same time as the clinical placement. During this Bootcamp, learners will participate in simulation scenarios, an airway workshop, a procedural skills session, and an ECG review. This workshop will allow for the development and exposure to fundamental and high yield emergency medicine skills.
Ultrasound training is a key component of any emergency medicine training. Rural practising physicians have limited access to diagnostic imaging and in the acute care setting, this can create many challenges. As a result, the Thunder Bay Emergency Group strives to provide high quality ultrasound training which will be a primary focus for the SEME learners.

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Clinical Evaluation

Learners will receive regular feedback through daily shift evaluations and monthly block evaluations completed by preceptors, as well as mentor and site director feedback.


Each learner will be paired with an experienced emergency medicine physician mentor who will regularly meet and provide guidance to the learner. All mentors will be active group members in the Thunder Bay Emergency Medicine Group. The mentor will meet at minimum 6 times during the placement to help develop appropriate learning objectives and to review the learner’s development and educational experiences.

Program Completion

Requirements for successful completion of the Thunder Bay SEME program include attendance during the 12 weeks of clinical rotations, full participation in all academic sessions, and completion of the course evaluation. The program is recognized for 256 hours towards practice eligibility for application to write the CAC-EM exam.

The SEME Program at Thunder Bay was great! The program director and faculty were very supportive and engaged in my learning. The program provided me with an opportunity to further develop my acute skills in emergency medicine. This was an invaluable experience for me! I appreciated the timely feedback and hands on learning from experts in emergency medicine. The simulation bootcamp was an incredible learning opportunity including the airway sessions with Dr Chow.  I would recommend this program to any family physicians who have an interest in e​mergency medicine.

Dr. Pirathapan Parameswaran, SEME Thunder Bay 2022-2023


The Thunder Bay SEME program was a career-altering experience for me. It was the perfect training to take my emergency medicine skills to the next level, and left me confident in my ability to provide high quality rural emergency medicine. It was adaptable to the learner’s skill level, meeting me where I was at five years into practice, and making similar adjustments to other SEME learners who were at other stages of their careers. Preceptors made time for on the job education while also providing tons of volume and exposure in a busy, high acuity emergency department. Highlights of the program include world-class airway management and ultrasound training (including cPOCUS certification) from masters in these fields. High fidelity simulation training was also invaluable. A critical care rotation in the Thunder Bay ICU provided a tremendous amount of procedural skills practice, and its own cast of terrific educators. The non-longitudinal scheduling allowed me to return to my home practice in between rotations to keep up other professional obligations. I would highly recommend this training to anyone providing rural emergency medicine care, whether new to practice or an experienced EM provider. 

Dr. Brodie Marshall, SEME Thunder Bay 2021-2022

When I graduated from Family Medicine I knew I wanted a little extra training in emergency medicine. At the time I knew there was a SEME program based out of UofT but all my training had been rural-based. When I heard of the opportunity to pursue the extra 3 months of training through Thunder Bay, I quickly signed up. It has been an overall positive experience and I feel better equipped to work emerg because of the additional training. My time in Thunder Bay has been wonderful. Staff are keen on teaching and the emerg department is a legit busy place to work with high acuity. I'd recommend this program to anyone coming out of Family Medicine training hoping for a bit more formal emerg training, or anyone who has been doing emerg on their own for a while but looking to learn more. 

Dr. Jonathan Taylor, SEME Thunder Bay 2021-2022

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