Dr. Pat Croskerry

Critical Thinking Program (post-retirement appointment)


Related information

Email: pgcxkerry@gmail.com
Phone: 902-494-2234
Fax: 902-494-1479
Mailing Address: 
C-123, Clinical Research Centre, 5849 University Avenue
PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Clinical decision making
  • Medical education reform
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Affective de-biasing
  • Cognitive de-biasing
  • Critical thinking
  • Shift work and fatigue
  • Diagnostic failure


  • BSc (University of Aberdeen)
  • MD (McMaster University)
  • PhD (McMaster University)
  • FRCP(Edinburgh)
  • CCFP (EM)
  • CCFP

Brief bio

Dr. Croskerry has published over 80 journal articles and 30 book chapters on patient safety and clinical decision making. He has worked in patient safety for the last 15 years and has given over 500 talks locally, nationally and internationally. He established the first Canadian Symposium on Patient Safety.

Research interests

Dr. Croskerry’s research is concerned with clinical decision-making, specifically the diagnostic process.  He was a member of the organizing committee of the first conference on Diagnostic Error (2008, Phoenix) and the second conference (2009, Los Angeles). He has contributed at each annual international conferences on Diagnostic Error in Medicine since.

Selected publications

  • Croskerry P. Clinical Decision Making. In: Barach PR, Jacobs JP, Laussen PC, Lipshultz SE (eds). Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Disease: Outcomes Analysis, Quality Improvement, and Patient Safety. Springer: in press 2014.
  • Croskerry P. From mindless to mindful practice--cognitive bias and clinical decision making. N Engl J Med. 2013; 368:2445-2448.
  • Croskerry P. ED Cognition: Any decision by anyone at any time. ED administration series. CJEM 2014; 16:13-19.
  • Croskerry P, Petrie D, Reilly J, Tait G. Deciding about fast and slow decisions. Acad Med. 2014; 89: 197-200.
  • Croskerry P: Bias: a normal operating characteristic of the diagnosing brain. Diagnosis 2014 1: 23–27.

Selected awards and honours

  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Speaker Award, Halifax 6: The Canadian Health Care Safety Symposium, 2006
  • John Ruedy Award for Innovation in Medical Education, Association of Faculties of Medicine (AFMC), 2006
  • James S. Todd Memorial Award for Patient Safety Research (US), 2002
  • Ralph E.J. Ricketts Award (Research Fellowship), Lung Association of Nova Scotia, 1997
  • Award of Distinction,  Dartmouth Medical Staff Association, 1996-1997


  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) (1999-present)
  • Canadian College of Family Physicians (CCFP) (1998-present)
  • Section of Emergency Medicine, Medical Society of Nova Scotia (1995-present)
  • Canadian Medical Association (CMA) (1982-present)
  • Medical Society of Nova Scotia (MSNS) (1985-present)


  • Director, Critical Thinking Program, Division of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2012-present)
  • Emergency Physician, Capital District Health Authority, Cobequid Community Health Centre, Sackville, Nova Scotia (2003-present)
  • Consultant, Drug Dependency Services, Capital District Health Authority (1998-present)
  • Consultant, Drug Dependency Services, Nova Scotia Hospital, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (1998-present)
  • Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dartmouth General Hospital, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (1990-1999)
  • Attending Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dartmouth General Hospital, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (1999-2003)
  • Attending Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine, Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1986-1990)


  • Teaching, Dalhousie University School of Medicine, in undergraduate program Years 1-4,  postgraduate residency program, and faculty development (1998-present)
  • Teaching faculty, Patient Safety Officer Course, Canadian Patient Safety Institute (2009-present).
  • Teaching faculty, The Osgoode Certificate in Clinical Risk, Negligence and Claims Management in Health Care, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada (2011-present)
  • Teaching faculty, Emergency Medicine Fellowship seminar in Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, and Risk Management. University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2010)
  • Has given over 500 invited presentations in continuing professional development at local, national and international levels.

Service & activity

  • Member, Institute of Medicine Committee on Diagnostic Error in Health Care, The National Academies, Washington, DC, United States
  • Member, the Organizing Committee, first International Conference on Diagnostic Error (2008, Phoenix) and the second conference (2009, Los Angeles); active participant annually since
  • Established the first Canadian Symposium on Patient Safety in 2001 in Halifax, which continued annually for 10 years
  • Senior editor on a major text Patient Safety in Emergency Medicine (2009)
  • Board of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (2006-2007)