Dr. Robert Chan

Dr. Robert Chan

Roles, titles, accreditations

  • RCPSC - Orthopedic Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgeon, Sturgeon Community Hospital, St. Albert, AB
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta
  • Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program Director, U of A

When we caught up with Dr. Robert Chan, he was working on The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Alberta’s annual January retreat that has been occurring for the past 15 years. Dr. Chan shared that he feels very fortunate to be in a division where all members, surgeons and residents are valued. The annual retreat has traditionally been about sharing orthopedic knowledge, as well as building relationships and camaraderie.

This past year, it was decided to take a different approach and focus on physician wellness. Along with the efforts of Dr. Sukhdeep Dulai and Dr. Edward Masson, the team put together an agenda believed to help all who attended, develop strategies to manage the tremendous stresses in their lives. Based on the thoughtful and honest feedback by the divisional members after last January’s retreat, this upcoming 16th should be even more enjoyable for all!

Dr. Robert Chan gets our physician wellness #GOAT

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For you, what three words describe the current state of physician wellness in Alberta?

  • Challenging
  • Improving 
  • Hopeful

What three words describe your goals related to physician wellness in Alberta?

  • Awareness
  • Attention
  • Action

Tell us about something you are currently working on.

Currently, I am working on restructuring the orthopedic residency program. A successful residency program is more than just meeting the accreditation standards of our College. It is about placing value on the input from our trainees and the teaching staff.

It was mainly based on resident feedback that we made very significant changes to our five-year rotational schedule that was just implemented on July 1, 2019. The changes responded to two main challenges for our training program: 

  • Resident feedback regarding some PGY5 rotations being heavily service-biased.
  • The Royal College implementation of Competence By Design (CBD) curriculum for orthopedic surgery to commence July 1.

Our notable changes involved replacing those heavily service-biased rotations with more educationally balanced ones that, in the end, will hopefully help us address both challenges.

Arguably, this might have negatively impacted the work balance of our teaching staff, but I will closely monitor the effects of these changes. This will certainly not be the end of our ever-evolving residency program!

Got #GOAT?

We know many students, residents and physicians are doing good things for their colleagues' wellness. Let us know who gets your physician wellness #GOAT, by emailing pfsp@albertadoctors.org.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.