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Editor's Column

Martin McKneally
Martin McKneally
We can feel change in the air as the combination of the axis and orbit of the earth tips us away from the sun. As summer ends in crisp autumn days and colours, we get down to work.

In this issue, Richard Reznick summarizes the outstanding accomplishments of the Department during his first term as Chair - some as unimaginable 5 years ago as parity between the Canadian and American dollars. A robust and well managed Canadian economy is responsible for growth and investment in health care, evidenced in new buildings, personnel, and research at nearly every site.

Eran Shlomovitz describes a new hybrid residency combining general surgery with radiological imaging - a breakthrough into a new generation of minimal access surgery. Four residents report from the Scholarship in Surgery Program on their experience and accomplishments as they train in health policy and management at the U of T Rotman School of Management and Harvard's schools of Public Health and Business.

The Department is on a steady upward trajectory at all sites. Barry McLellan takes the helm as CEO at Sunnybrook, amid a growth spurt for the hospital after release from a decade of paralytic merger. Newly appointed Surgeon-in-Chief John Semple begins a spectacular new building and recruiting program to house ambulatory surgery at the Women's College Hospital. Wayne Johnston caps his outstanding surgical career as President of the international Society of Vascular Surgeons.

Joshua Tepper
Joshua Tepper
The able Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and Long-term Care Joshua Tepper spoke to the Department after the State of the Union address at our opening University Rounds on Sept 7th. Joshua, a family doctor who still takes night call on Tuesdays, helped organize general practitioners into groups of 7 to 10 in the northern part of the province so that they would have reasonable call schedules.

The general surgeons were similarly connected into groups, with the ministry providing transportation to patients so solo practitioners wouldn't be on call 24/7. These initiatives are reversing the trend toward loss of the northern physician work force. They led to Joshua's appointment to head Health Force Ontario (http://www.healthforceontario.ca), reporting to the ministries of both education and health. The Health Force is now focusing on interprofessional education. Teams can provide care better than individual caregivers if they can work together effectively. The hope is that IPE will enhance caring for the caregivers, mutual respect, and a more effective, efficient and satisfying healthcare system.

On a final note of optimism, our entering class of surgical residents is introduced to the Department in this issue. As John Bohnen notes, they are a talented and enthusiastic group; they can look forward to a bright future in surgery.

We are experimenting with a preliminary online version of the Spotlight which can be found at www.surgicalspotlight. ca. It will include links to more content. We hope that readers will help us with their comments and suggestions as we explore this format.

Martin McKneally


Letters to the Editor are welcomed to keep the community informed of opinions, events and the activities of our surgeons, friends and alumni.

Dr. McKneally:
As usual I enjoyed The Surgical Spotlight which arrived today. I was pleased with the Gallie review and of course distressed with the tragic story about the lost aircraft and the transplant staff. Your comments were very appropriate. Keep up the good work.

Phil Ashmore

Paediatric and Cardiac Surgeon Phil Ashmore is the founding editor of The Surgical Times, the newsletter of the UBC Department of Surgery.

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