SEME Fellows Fall 2017


“SEME is an excellent program that has given me exponentially increased confidence to practice Emergency Medicine in a rural ER.  The academic days are enjoyable and provide a wealth of practical hands-on experience and knowledge, while the rotations (especially the “elective” ones) have helped me develop skills that I would not have gained just by working on my own in the ER.  After completing the program 2 months ago, I have now been working in the ER and feel comfortable dealing with many scenarios that I am sure I would have been unprepared for without the program.  Having just graduated residency prior to the SEME program, I did not feel ready to practice ER independently and think there is a good chance I would have either never started working in the ER or would have stopped it shortly into my career.  Thanks to the SEME program, I feel much better prepared and plan to work in the emergency department to help serve rural communities now and in the future.”

Dr. Zack Bordman – 2017

“SEME has provided me with invaluable tools which I use on a daily basis in my practice as a Family Physician serving remote and under-resourced Indigenous communities.  In the two months since completing the SEME Fellowship, I can think of multiple occasions where my additional training made a significant difference for my patients.  The most memorable occasion involved a seven-person head-on high-speed car crash that I managed in a small remote hospital four hours away from a trauma centre.  Through the training that I obtained through SEME, I was able to quickly triage the patients and decide that the patient that the paramedics were most concerned about, was not the sickest patient.  The sickest patient had subtly abnormal vital signs (fast heart rate and low blood pressure).  I used my ultrasound skills which I practices during my fellowship to identify blood in the patient’s abdomen and was able to secure a quick transfer to a trauma centre where the patient was found to have multiple life-threatening injuries and had lost two-thirds of her blood volume into her abdomen.  Because of my training, I had the confidence to call for and immediate transfer without having any blood tests or x-rays.  Without adequate emergency training, this transfer easily could have been delayed several hours at which point the patient likely would not have survived her injuries.  As a result of this case, this remote hospital has agreed to double the size of their blood bank from two units to four units which will help future patients with life-threatening bleeding.  This is just one example of the positive impact of the SEME program. 

Rural and remote family physicians care for many of the most vulnerable and geographically isolated communities in our country.  SEME provides invaluable training to help us in our challenging practice environments.”

Dr. Sharon Reece – 2017

“I am extremely grateful for the experience I had during SEME.  Prior to the fellowship, I did several rural and remote locums right after graduation where ER work was part of the family practice.  I remember several shifts having to manage very acutely ill CTAS 1 patients, and feeling so nervous and scared.  After having done SEME, I went back to these same rural communities to work and sure enough, I had to run codes and manage very acutely sick patients once again.  This time around felt COMPLETELY different.  I had a lot more confidence.  I felt I had more knowledge and clinical experience under my belt, and a good approach to common ER presentations.  I was also a lot more comfortable with leading a resuscitation and running codes, most of which were directly attributable to the regular SIM sessions through the SEME program.  I am very happy to have had the opportunity to learn through this program, and I have even been recommending SEME to some of the local rural doctors I have worked with because of how much it has helped me in my practice.

Dr. Stephen Lee – 2017

“The supplementary experience in emergency medicine (SEME) program is a well-crafted pathway to clinical courage for rural physicians dedicated to generalist practice.  While the program is designed by urban ER specialists, it is really for us.  The SEME staff honestly care about the lived experience of rural doctors and so they’ve listened to years of feedback to make the program best in class for post graduate enhanced skills training in emergency medicine.

Before I did the SEME program, I was certainly capable, but nervous a lot of the time.  There were things I knew I hadn’t done or seen but could be expected to do on any given shift.  This is still true.  But the SEME program allowed me to see a little more and manage a little more in a structured, high-intensity way.

I am struck by how my skills in visualization of acute resuscitation scenarios and critical procedural skills have improved.  I can imagine more eventualities, and how I would deal with them without feeling mentally blocked by fear and inexperience.

The difference between the SEME program and an emergency medicine residency rotation is clarity of purpose: we were there to get better at being alone in scary situations at home without actually being alone.  We were there to work at the edges of our competencies and to grow.  Not in 5 years.  Not after a licensing exam.  Not even to please our shift supervisors.  Now.  For us and our communities.”

Dr. Ashley White – 2017

SEME Fellows Fall 2016


“The SEME program was fantastic.  I was interested in emergency medicine since the start of family medicine residency and did may electives.  However, after all that training I still didn’t feel comfortable practicing in rural and remote areas where resources are low.  The training in SEME made me more confident in my knowledge and my skills.  Though the whole program was amazing, the trauma experience had the biggest impact on my current practice.  In a trauma centre, many consultant services are involved in a single trauma.  But in a rural trauma, I need to be all those services.  Through the SEME training, I am now able to visualize what other consultants would be doing in a trauma setting, but be able to do it all with a small team of nurses and myself.  There are many places in need for physicians and SEME prepares you to serve in low resource areas.”

Dr. Melissa Lui – 2016

SEME April 2016
SEME Fellows Spring 2016


“I had left ER Medicine for about 7 years.  I had been very reluctant to work ER shifts again.  But SEME was amazing and changed my life!  I reinforces by previous skills, learnt clinically relevant new skills.  I am now working as a full-time rural ER Doc.  Thanks SEME.”

Dr. Matyas Hervieux – 2016

“The SEME program has given me much more confidence and better skills and knowledge in caring for my patients in the ER.  Every day that goes by and with every encounter I feel better equipped to handle those emergency situations that caused me a great deal of stress before.  I have acquired great resources and contacts since being in the program.  I feel that I get less push back from tertiary care centers when trying to refer a sick patient because I am more thorough in my approach and diagnosis.  Emergency situations are still stressful for everyone but this program gave me great skills and a consistent approach when dealing with very ill patients.  I can’t stress enough how valuable the SIM lab was in reinforcing team leader skills and not having tunnel vision while caring for a critical patient.  On my first shift back to work on July 1, I inserted a chest tube in a trauma patient (successfully)!  I have since done several intubations, fracture reductions, MIs managed severe sepsis and anaphylactic reactions.  Thanks for creating this wonderful program that we as rural physicians can benefit from.”

Dr. Norma Charriere – 2016

“I am a recent graduate of the SEME program and was very satisfied with the entire experience.  Along with a solid clinical base, the program provided valuable knowledge through a wide range of educational modalities including simulation labs, small group lectures, technical skill seminars, and on-line modules.  The program is designed to and administered with the learner in mind.  I would recommend the program to any family physician looking to enhance their emergency medicine training.”

Dr. William Gott – 2016

“Prior to starting the SEME program, I had worked for several years in two smaller community emergency departments in Southern Ontario.  Although I felt ready to start working in the ER out of family medicine residency, I found the development and enhancement of my skills to be slower than expected.  The SEME program provided a structured set of learning objectives that helped to improve my knowledge and develop my procedural and critical care skills.  It prepared me for life as an ER doc in a busy community ER department in Northern Ontario..   Thanks again!”

Dr. Brian Lemenchick – 2016

“The SEME program has had a definite impact on my clinical practice.  During the program, my preceptors allowed me to tailor my rotations to meet my objective of working in rural settings.  The Simulation Sessions gave me a solid approach to managing critically ill patients and the opportunity to build my procedural skills.  As a result of these experiences, I have been able to work more confidently and competently in the Emergency Department.”

Dr. Rob Ciccarelli – 2015

“SEME is the perfect program for rural and remote family doctors who want to enhance their ER skills. Since finishing the program I feel much more confident in my ability to take care of sick patients. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to take their ER skills to the next level.”

Dr. Adrien Selim – 2015

“What an amazing course.  It made me feel immensely prepared for rural practice and in my subsequent rural locums, my colleagues have recognized my enhanced skills and even treated me as an ‘expert resource’.”

Dr. Adil Shamji – 2014

“I simply would not have felt comfortable staffing an ER prior to taking SEME, and I am fairly comfortable at the prospect of staffing one in the near future.  This course has been invaluable.”

Dr. Luke Russell – 2014