In 1971, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) proposed that educational programs be developed in the discipline of emergency medicine and by 1972 the proposal for the concept of an EM specialty be accepted. By 1975, Queen's University received EM divisional status within the Department of Surgery and opened the doors of its residency-training program by 1977, following only McGill University and The University of Western Ontario. The following year the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) was formed and by 1980 emergency medicine had been approved by the RCPSC as a new Canadian specialty.
In the ensuing years, tremendous developments occurred in the discipline of Emergency Medicine worldwide, where members of our department played a major role in the process. Members of the Queen's University Division of Emergency Medicine have been intimately involved in both the Canadian and American development of Emergency Medicine through activities with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the University Association for Emergency Services.
Nineteen years after EM received divisional status, Queen's University amalgamated with Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital in what has been regarded as a national model. Furthermore, our faculty brought the first Medical Research Council of Canada funding to the discipline of emergency medicine through a project testing the validity of an assessment process for airway management skills.
By 1990 the majority of North American medical schools had well-established academic units for Emergency Medicine. The division of EM at Queen's University received departmental status in 1996, making us the first Canadian University Department of Emergency Medicine.