Our Education

Perfusionist Pump ImageUHN works very closely with the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences and our staff are actively engaged with the Michener to ensure students receive the best education and experience possible. The certified perfusionist, having specialized knowledge and professional expertise, can provide educational services in the following areas:

  • In-service education and orientation of various hospital personnel
  • Clinical perfusion students or fellow education and evaluation
  • Public and community group education
  • Participation in research involving surgical, anesthetic and perfusion related concepts associated with extracorporeal issues
  • Quality appraisal including surgical and perfusion related techniques, perfusion equipment selection, myocardial protection, factors affecting failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass as well as cardiac assist devices and extracorporeal life support systems

Cardiovascular Perfusion at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

The Michener Institute offers a full-time, 19-month cardiovascular perfusion graduate certificate program. The program covers subjects including anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular and related systems, operation of high-tech mechanical pumps and cardiopulmonary support devices, and comprehensive perfusion theory.

For more information, visit the Cardiovascular Perfusion program page at

Professional Education

We perform more than 1,500 open heart surgical procedures each year, not including heart transplants, Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) (HeartMate II and HeartWare devices), Intra-aortic Balloon Counterpulsation, Impella and CentriMag devices, and percutaneous and apical transcatheter valve implant procedures as well as ECLS cases.

The spectrum of cardiovascular services includes the Acute Heart Failure/Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program, Adult Congenital Program high-risk patient surgery, and off CABG surgery.

UHN has a very active Thoracic Surgery Program which includes Canada's largest Lung Transplant Program with advanced technologies including Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusions and ECLS, which comprises of ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation and Interventional Lung Assist (ILA) i.e., Novalung. Other complex procedures are routinely performed such as Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomies.


Student Education

Students must currently be in an accredited Canadian perfusion program to be placed at Toronto General Hospital for a clinical placement. Perfusion students are given the opportunity to witness leading edge Perfusion technology. Our department has a designated clinical educator whose priority is to facilitate student learning. Students are given the opportunity to care for complex patients; cases not seen in community and referral centres. They'll learn and apply advance knowledge and skills in all areas of perfusion practice.

We also offer a Perfusion Fellowship in Advanced Perfusion Techniques. This opportunity is for experienced or entry level perfusionists to expand their current scope of practice through exposure to difficult and special cases. 


Interprofessional Education

The perfusion department at the Toronto General Hospital is an integral part of the cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, general surgery, cath lab, and the intensive care programs. Each program holds an annual retreat for all the involved members to meet and review outcomes, challenge practice methods, brainstorm, and clearly illustrate the goals to which we work towards as a team. The inter-professional education programs include:

  • Anesthesia fellows; cannulation, bypass equipment and theory
  • New cardiac surgery nurse hires; cannulation, bypass equipment and theory
  • Cardiac surgeon residents and fellows; cannulation, bypass equipment and theory
  • Cath lab cardiology fellows IABP education and training
  • MSICU nurses ECLS monitoring, a monthly delivered course of lectures, simulation, assessment and evaluation
  • Physiotherapy and RT involvement in ECLS patients
  • Perfusion student clinical visits and placements
  • Cardiac surgery residents
  • Cardiac, thoracic, and general surgery nurses are trained to set up and start a cell saver


Contact Us

Cyril Serrick MSC, CPC, CCP – Manager – Perfusion and Anesthesia

Valerie Cunningham MEd, CPC, CCP – Perfusion Educator

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