Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship Program
British Columbia Women’s Hospital

Note:  At this time, all the positions for the 2019-2020 academic year (July 2019 start date) have been filled.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year (July 2020 start date).


Thank you for your interest in our obstetric anesthesia fellowship program at BC Women’s Hospital. We are a tertiary referral centre 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 30%.  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 (>25 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 clinical research. 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 2020 start date or later, please send your application to Ms. Stephanie Yee, administrative assistant via email: Stephanie.Yee2@cw.bc.ca. Please review the information below including application procedures and important deadlines.

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 labours 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: *we do 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 labour analgesia, supervision of high-risk postpartum patients, management of parturients with acute medical problems complicating labour and delivery, labour ward consultations)
  • Elective operative cases (caesarean 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 gynecology cases (e.g. laparoscopic / hysteroscopic procedures, endometrial ablation, ovarian cystectomy, salpingectomy, myomectomy)

Academic Structure:

Fellows spend approximately 40% of the 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.

Research: During the fellowship, fellows are expected to develop a research protocol, obtain ethics approval, recruit subjects for their study and be involved with data collection and statistical analysis. Fellows are also expected to present their research at a scientific meeting and submit their findings for publication. Many of our fellows also publish a review for a journal or write book chapters during their fellowship year.

Teaching: Active participation in the teaching program is expected with the fellow taking responsibility for a weekly rounds involving staff, residents and medical students. In addition, fellows will be involved with 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. 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 the 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.

Research Education: Fellows will gain advanced research and literature appraisal skills through regular monthly Fellows Research Seminars.  There is also opportunity to attend the UBC Anesthesia Residents City-wide Journal Club. During the first two months of the fellowship, introductory epidemiology and research courses are offered to fellows free of charge by the Children’s & Family Research Institute.

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 webinar.

Conferences: Fellows are expected to attend at least one scientific meeting during their fellowship. 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:

The fellowship training duration is a minimum of 12 months and commences July 1 or August 1 of each year. There is some flexibility in the fellowship start date, but we do not offer training duration 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.

Application Procedure:

Click here to application details


2018 Whistler Anesthesia Summit


Anton Chau, MD FRCPC MMSc
Fellowship and Research Director,
Department of Anesthesia
BC Women’s Hospital