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Ori's Move to St. Mike's

Ori Rotstein was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief at St. Michael's Hospital four years ago with a mandate to expand the academic profile of their surgery department. He was attracted by the hospital's commitment to its academic mission and the prospect of working at a new research institute with a particular focus on critical care and trauma research. Chief of Medicine Bob Highland had recruited 40 physicians to develop an excellent teaching department. There had been many departures in surgery, so there was room to recruit.

To help develop surgery as a centre of academic excellence, Ori has recruited a total of twelve surgeon-scientists, many repatriated from the US. The higher Canadian dollar and better health care environment were helpful factors. Avery Nathens, who holds a Canada Research Chair and is known internationally for his work on trauma systems, was appointed Chief of Trauma and General Surgery. Loch Macdonald was recruited from Chicago to become Chief of Neurosurgery. Claudio Cina was recruited from McMaster to head up vascular surgery. Subodh Verma, another Canada Research Chair, joined Cardiac Surgery, and Nancy Baxter joined St. Michael's as a surgeonscientist in the General Surgery Division.

To strengthen surgical education, education awards and education evenings were introduced. Teaching scores and teaching remediation were emphasized. Ori set up generic Surgical Services rounds with the nursing and anaesthesia departments, following the Surgical Services model he previously managed at UHN. Surgery at SMH already had outstanding leaders in education. David Latter, an extraordinary and insightful teacher, recently became Vice Chairman of the University Department of Surgery.

Urology Program Director Rob Stewart started "Pizza with the Professor" rounds, where medical student presentations are carefully critiqued by the surgical faculty. John Bohnen is a legendary teacher who first gives students and residents knowledge frameworks for understanding surgery, then fills them with memorable essentials.

Ori's lab has graduated two PhD surgeon scientists this year, Pat Tawadros and Simone Birch. Mae Cantos is currently in the lab studying how resuscitation from shock primes cells to injure the lung. This highly productive lab group includes John Marshall, Andres Kapus and Katalin Szaszi. They blend well with the research programs of Art Slutsky and Haibo Zhang studying acute and chronic inflammation. It was Art's vision of the future development of research and his credibility as a scientist that first attracted Ori to SMH.

Energetic and visionary CEO Jeff Lozon, who has served as an Assistant Deputy Minister at Ontario's Ministry of Health, has been very supportive. Patricia Houston, head of Anaesthesia and the Operating Room, and an outstanding educator, creates a synergistic and supportive atmosphere for education in the OR.


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