Fellowship Program

Obstetric Anesthesia Clinical Fellowship Program
British Columbia Women’s Hospital

Updated July 1st, 2023

  • We are currently accepting applications for the 2026-2027 academic cycle (July 2026 start date).
    Click here to apply.

Thank you for your interest in our obstetric anesthesia fellowship program at BC Women’s Hospital. We are a tertiary referral center for obstetrics for the Province of British Columbia.  We have an annual delivery rate of approximately 7000-8000, with a cesarean delivery rate of approximately 40%.  We offer anesthesia and analgesia services primarily for obstetric patients; we perform elective ambulatory gynecologic surgery on weekdays.  We also provide a high-risk antenatal anesthesia consultation service for outpatients with complex medical problems.

Our fellowship program has a long (>30 years) history of excellence. We accept up to 3 fellows each year. Fellows will have ample opportunity to hone their clinical skills during their year as well as learn the many challenges of non-clinical work. Upon completion of fellowship training, the individual will be well prepared to assume the mantle of a consultant obstetric anesthesiologist.

If you are interested in applying for the July 2025 start date or later, please send your application to Dorsa Khormali, administrative assistant via email: dorsa.khormali@cw.bc.ca. Please review the information below including application procedures and important deadlines.

Program Director:

Dr. Clare Burlinson
Contact Information: clare.burlinson@cw.bc.ca

Eligibility / Prerequisites:

Completion of at least 5 years of residency in anesthesia, and possession of the FRCPC (or equivalent) are required (Post fellowship SpR, or equivalent). The successful applicant must also have adequate anesthesia skills to work independently to the level that is expected of Canadian Fellows.

The ideal applicant will have a demonstrated interest in obstetric anesthesia. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. The BC Women’s Hospital hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity.

Clinical Structure:

During their fellowship, fellows will manage both routine and high-risk labors and vaginal deliveries, as well as elective and emergency instrumental/operative deliveries. Fellows will initially be closely supervised by a consultant/staff anesthesiologist with the intent of taking on the full responsibilities of a consultant anesthesiologist. In addition, fellows will develop confidence and competence in devising care plans for parturients with complex medical problems.

Please note: *the hospital does not routinely provide care for parturients with high-risk cardiothoracic conditions or those who require ongoing mechanical ventilation and critical care. 

Fellows are expected to take on 13 clinical shifts per month and approximately 5 of those will be in-house night calls.  These shifts will include coverage of

  • Labour and delivery suite (e.g. management of labor analgesia, supervision of high-risk postpartum patients, management of parturients with acute medical problems complicating labor and delivery, labor ward consultations)
  • Elective operative cases (cesarean deliveries, operative deliveries for multiple gestations)
  • Emergency operative cases (e.g. urgent/emergent instrumental or cesarean deliveries, management of postpartum hemorrhages, emergency cervical cerclages)
  • High-risk antenatal clinic (devising care plans for parturients with complex medical problems)
  • Acute pain service
  • Elective ambulatory gynecology cases (e.g. laparoscopic/hysteroscopic procedures, endometrial ablation, ovarian cystectomy, salpingectomy, myomectomy)

Academic Structure:

Fellows spend approximately 40% of their time on academic activities and 60% on clinical service. All fellows will be provided with their own office desk space and have access to a research/academic assistant.

Teaching: Active participation in the teaching program is expected with the fellow taking responsibility for weekly rounds involving staff, residents, and medical students. In addition, fellows will be involved with the direct teaching of medical students and anesthesia residents who rotate through our hospital.

Simulation: Simulation training is an integral component of the Residency Program at UBC. A structured simulation course is designed to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, and residents will rotate through the simulator in groups of 3 to 4 each year. The BC Women’s Hospital is regularly involved in running obstetric anesthesia simulation training. Fellows will have the opportunity to get involved in running simulation sessions and learn debriefing techniques.

Multidisciplinary Rounds: Fellows will attend regular multidisciplinary meetings with obstetricians and family practice physicians, as well as specialists from obstetric internal medicine, maternal-fetal medicine, and neonatology. Fellows may have the opportunity to present at a formal Multidisciplinary Grand Rounds during the fellowship year.

Clinical Education: Fellows will be registered to participate in monthly virtual grand rounds in obstetric anesthesia. Each month, a lecture from an internationally recognized expert in obstetric anesthesia will be conducted through a webinar.

Conferences: The fellowship program has built-in protected time for fellows to attend the annual Whistler Anesthesia Summit, hosted by the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics at UBC, as well as the annual Society for Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology Meeting.

Duration, Start Date, Salary:

  • The fellowship training duration is a minimum of 12 months and commences on July 1 or August 1 of each year.
  • There is some flexibility in the fellowship start date, but we do not typically offer a training duration of fewer than 12 months.
  • The Fellowship Committee reviews all applicants and the successful candidates are notified at least 15-18 months in advance of the start date.
  • Salary will be equivalent to the Resident VI level as set by the PARBC (see the section on remuneration rate), plus 8% for extended health benefits / educational support.

Application Procedure:

Click here for application details