“If there is two-tiered medicine in Canada, it’s not rich and poor, it’s urban versus rural.”

Citation de Dr John Wootton (1999)

Richard Fleet

After obtaining a doctorate in Health Psychology (PhD, 1995), Dr. Richard Fleet completed two postdoctoral courses (1997, 2000). From 1999 to 2004 he served as Director of Clinical Research at the Department of Psychiatry at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal. In 2003, he obtained his medical degree (MD) and then completed a residency in family medicine (CCMF, 2005). He went on to certify as an emergency physician (MU-3 Program, 2009). During his residency he developed a keen interest in rural emergency care, and accepted a position as head of the emergency department at Kootenay Lake Hospital, in Nelson, British Columbia (2006-2010).


Since June, 2010, he has held the Université Laval–Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis Research Chair in Emergency Medicine, and is assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Université Laval. He is also an emergency physician at CSSS Alphonse-Desjardins. In 2011, he was awarded a Junior 1 clinical research scholarship by the FRSQ (Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé), and a Junior 2 scholarship in 2016.ere

To learn about the rest of the team click here»

The Research Chair in Emergency Medicine is committed to improving the quality and accessibility of health care for all Canadians.

The Université Laval-CISSS Chaudière-Appalache Research Chaire in Emergency Médecin is the first obits kind in Quebec and is another building block in the partnership between CISS Chaudièere-Appalache and Université Laval. The Chair was created and developed through a contribution of  million dollars by Dessercom Inc., n organization that provide ambulance services and inter-facility medical transport for the CISSS Chaudière-Appalache. 


The research chair is devoted to improving knowledge about emergency medicine, both its organizational aspects and care for people with urgent health problems. Dr. Richard Fleet has been the chair holder since June 2010. 

This research chair is part of the PAIRE program (Programme pour l’Avancement de l’Innovation, de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement) at Université Laval. This program aims to create a research environment that stimulates innovation and creativity  among research professors.


Emergency services represent a crucial link in primary care services in rural Canada. Budget constraints and medical personnel shortages have resulted in the centralization of many healthcare services, leading to a reduction of services in rural areas and hospital closures in many small communities. Consequently, in spite of the Canadian legal requirement that everyone have reasonable access to health services, the quality of emergency services and their accessibility in rural areas is currently under threat.

Providing emergency services in rural areas presents several challenges. The rural population is older and less healthy than the urban population. In addition, people in rural areas are more likely to be injured and more likely to die from their injuries than people in urban areas. In fact people treated in rural hospitals are twice as likely to die from their injuries than in tertiary care centres. An American study suggests as well that the prognosis for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia is worse for patients treated in rural areas. In Quebec and in Canada, very few comparable studies have been done in this area. The aim of the new Chair’s research program is to produce solid data and suggest measures for improving the quality and accessibility of emergency care for the six million Canadians who live in rural areas.



>  Protect patients right by promoting equitable access to quality emergency care.


>  Study the impact of new technologies on the quality of health care and its accessibility.


> Promote knowledge translation.

>  Engage young people to pursue careers in health sciences.

>  Evaluate the accessibility to emergency services in rural areas.

>  Evaluate the need for continuing professional education among healthcare professionals in rural areas.


>  Promote the creation and implementation of new technologies in rural areas.

Research program on the rural emergency departement

Discover the inspiration 


The Research Chair in Emergency Medicine promotes better quality of life in rural areas as well as better working conditions for rural emergency physicians. Its research projects focusing on rural emergency care are alsorelevant to other emergency departments in Canada. The research will thus benefit the health and lives of people throughout Canada, and eventually in several other countries too.


> The Chair’s emergency medicine projects will have an impact on the entire healthcare system in Quebec and Canada, and specifically in rural emergency departments.

> The evidence produced by the Chair will help decision makers understand and appreciate the challenges and particularities of the various Canadian emergency departments. This will enable them to better orient and target service allocation in rural areas.

> The data produced by the Chair’s research team will also facilitate establishing standards of care for rural emergency departments  in Canada to improve the quality of emergency care for residents in rural areas.

> The Chair will contribute to developing emergency and trauma care training programs for rural healthcare professionals.

> The Chair’s research programs will position the l’Université Laval CHAU Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis as a leading authority in rural emergency medicine.


The Chair was created with financial support from Dessercom inc. and the Fondation Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis.

Over time, other donors have helped the Chair pursue its mission.