Michael Austin profile picture

Contact Information

Michael Austin, MD, FRCPC, DRCPSC (PTM)
613 737-7228

Research Administrative Assistant:
Jane Marchand
Tel: 613 737-7228
Ext. 77911

Michael Austin

Clinician Investigator, Acute Care Research
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa
Director of Prehospital and Transport Medicine Program, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa
Program Director Prehospital Transport Medicine (PTM) Area of Focused Competency Diploma Program, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa
Medical Director
Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario
National Medical Director/Chair & President of Board
Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation

Research Interests

Dr. Austin's current research program focuses on out-of-hospital care and the advancement of both the practice of paramedicine and optimizing patient care.  

In out-of-hospital research, Dr. Austin contributes to the development of comprehensive program of improvement science that examines patient-centred approaches to care, including appropriate use of oxygen, the importance and management of pain as well as development of a holistic and patient-centred approach to patients with palliative care needs. This work has not only provided evidenced based care but also is contributing to shaping the future of paramedicine by expanding scope of practice (eg. assess, treat and refer pathways and alternate destinations). 

Dr. Austin's programs in improvement science focus on patient safety and care of people in the out-of-hospital setting. Out-of-hospital acute care typically begins with the activation of 911 therefore starts with front-line paramedics bringing evidence-based emergency medical practice to patients.

Brief Biography

Dr. Austin’s unique background provides an exceptional insight into prehospital practice and developing research in the complicated out-of-hospital environment. Before becoming a physician, he worked as both a land and wilderness helicopter advanced care paramedic. Evidenced base approach to care and knowledge translation is an important part of improvement science and he has had the opportunity to disseminate his research findings during multiple invited National and International scientific research meetings. He has also been involved and assisted in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest research with his contribution in the Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortiums (CanROC) and Resuscitation Outcomes Consortiums (ROC). These initiatives have sculpted important guidelines to ensure the highest level of care is provided to those who sustain a cardiac arrest. Dr. Austin's research accomplishments, awards, and grants in the prehospital setting demonstrate an understanding of how paramedics work, what issues are pressing in the current environment, and skills in developing research studies that are methodologically sound and suit the environment.

In 2017, he received the Exemplary Service Award from the Ontario Paramedic Service. This is awarded by Ontario Paramedic Association to a member who is active in any facet of the profession of pre-hospital emergency care, has a history of exemplary service as attested to by the committee through the use of interviews, news articles or any other means at their disposal and has exhibited in their career the ideals of Paramedicine; commitment to patient care, commitment to professional growth, commitment to fellow Paramedics and commitment to positive public awareness of the profession. It was the first time this award has been presented to a physician. Achievements such as the Dr. Janet Nuth Teacher of the Year award, the development of the Prehospital and Transport Medicine (PTM) Area of Focused Compentency (AFC) Diploma Program, which is the first Royal College of Physician and Surgeons accredited program in Canada, and his contributions to the postgraduate paramedic curriculum at Charles Sturt University, established his commitment to the importance of education as well as research.

In his spare time, he volunteers with several community organizations including (GleeCeptional www.gleecptional.ca – a Glee Club for kids and young adults with exceptionalities and as a Christmas meal deliverer for Meals on Wheels (Ottawa). Every year Dr. Austin participates in long-distance cycling fundraising events in Ontario and across Canada to raise money and awareness for First Responders (paramedics, firefighters, and police) for causes such as PTSD Awareness.

Selected Publications

Austin MA, Wills KE, Blizzard L, Walters EH, Wood-Baker R. Effect of high flow oxygen on mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in prehospital setting: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2010 Oct 18. C5462.

Austin MA, Wills K, Kilpatrick D and Walters EH. Continuous positive airway pressure plus low flow oxygen versus usual care of severe acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema in the pre-hospital setting: A randomised controlled trial [version 1; referees: 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2018, 7:708 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.14577.1)

Sinclair, Austin M, Froats M, Leduc S, Maloney J, Dionne R, Reed A and Vaillancourt C. Characteristics Prehospital Management and Outcomes in Patients Assessed for Hypoglycemia. Repeat Access to Prehospital or Emergency Care. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2018 Sep 10:1-13. doi: 10.1080/10903127.2018.1504150.

B Grunau, N Kime, B Leroux, T Rea, G Van Belle, M Austin. Association of intra-arrest transport vs continued on-scene resuscitation with survival to hospital discharge among patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, JAMA, 324:11, 1058-1067. 9/2020.

Alexandra J. E. Carter, Marianne Arab, Cheryl Cameron, Michelle Harrison, Charlotte Pooler, Ian McEwan, Michael Austin, et al (2021) A national collaborative to spread and scale paramedics providing palliative care in Canada: Breaking down silos is essential to success, Progress in Palliative Care, 29:2, 59-65, DOI: 10.1080/09699260.2020.1871173.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches