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Hugh G. Thomson
Hugh G. Thomson

Dr. Hugh G. Thomson (Emeritus, Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery) passed away November 17, 2012 at the age of 82.

Dr. Thomson received his MD degree from the University of Toronto in 1954 and completed his training in Plastic Surgery in the Gallie Program at the University of Toronto in 1960 before doing a preceptorship under the supervision of Dr. H. Campbell in 1961. He commenced his position at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1961, became a full Professor in 1982 and remained in active practice until 2000. During his academic career, he gave over 140 presentations and invited lectures and published 102 peer reviewed publications and book chapters.

Dr. Thomson contributed significantly to the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery. He served as the Society President in 1980 and was instrumental in the development of the "Resident's Corner" which for most, is the focal point of the annual meeting. In addition to creating the Society logo, he should be recognized for establishing the "Beyond the Knife" segment of the Annual Canadian National Meeting. This recognizes the extracurricular activities of the members of our Society and once more typifies the thoughtful nature of this individual who feels that play is as crucial to well-being as work.

In 2009, Dr. Thomson was awarded the highest accolade by the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual meeting in Kelowna, BC.

James Rutka


Earl Bogoch
Earl Bogoch

A research team led by Earl Bogoch has been recognized by The Journal of Hand Surgery for publishing a scientific article that generated interest in the surgical community. This article entitled "NeuFlex and Swanson Metacarpophalangeal Implants for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Prospective, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial", by BG Escott, K Ronald, MGP Judd and ER Bogoch, was selected as one of the 25 most popular scientific articles in The Journal of Hand Surgery in 2010. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) has republished the article verbatim in their e-book, JHS Select, released in August 2012. JHS Select editor Michael R. Hausman, MD determined article popularity by evaluating the online click statistics of every JHS article that was published in 2010.

Dagmar Gross, Editorial Assistant for Dr Bogoch




Avery Nathens
Avery Nathens

I am pleased to inform you that Avery Nathens has been appointed as the new Surgeon-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre effective September 17th, 2012. Avery follows Robin Richards in this position. Robin has served as Surgeon-in-Chief at Sunnybrook since September 2001. During his tenure, Dr. Richards has provided strong, and trusted leadership to an accomplished and diverse surgical faculty that has made many contributions to the University of Toronto. For this, I would like to thank Robin sincerely for all of his efforts and dedication over 11 years.

Dr. Nathens has an international reputation in trauma research, education and patient care. He was a trauma surgeon and Director of Surgical Critical Care at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA, where he was also the Director of the Acute Care Section of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

Since 2006, he has been the Director of Trauma and the Division Head of General Surgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he held a Canada Research Chair in Systems of Trauma Care. He holds appoinvtments in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto as well as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Dr. Nathens is currently a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, who has published over 225 peer reviewed scientific papers, and has received numerous grants from national granting agencies.

Please help me congratulate Avery Nathens on his new appointment as Surgeon-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre!

James T. Rutka, RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto


Ralph Gilbert
Ralph Gilbert

For longer than virtually anyone can remember Pat Gullane has led UHN's Department of Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery. During his term as Chief, UHN's Department has been recognized as a world leaderespecially in the management of patients suffering from head and neck cancer. Pat will continue to work in our Head and Neck group at Princess Margaret and TGH. However he is stepping down as Chief after a remarkable leadership career.

Following an intensive search I am delighted to let you know that Ralph Gilbert will assume the position of Chief of the Department, effective November 1, 2012. Dr. Gilbert is a Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery and the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He completed his undergraduate and surgical training at the University of Toronto in 1980. Dr. Gilbert did a post residency fellowship in Microvascular Surgery at the University of Linkoping in Sweden. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Gilbert's academic focus is in head and neck oncology and reconstructive microsurgery. His current research is focused in clinical trials in Head and Neck Oncology and outcomes based research in Head and Neck with a particular focus on the outcomes related to reconstruction and function. He has delivered numerous international keynote presentations and published extensively on head and neck oncology and innovation in head and neck reconstruction. Most notably in 2010 he was invited along with seven other international leaders in head and neck oncology to be a member of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncology Society World Tour Event.

Dr Gilbert has served in a number of administrative roles in his career. He served as the inaugural Head of Surgical Oncology at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre from 1991-2001. At UHN he has served as Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee, Chair of the Cancer Committee at Princess Margaret Cancer Center and Deputy-Chief of Otolaryngology at UHN. Currently Dr Gilbert Chairs the Princess Margaret Cancer Center Quality Committee.

It is a tribute to Dr. Gullane that Dr. Gilbert considers Pat to be a mentor and role model. Please join me in congratulating both of these fine surgeons for the past, present and future success of our Otolaryngology Department.

Robert S. Bell,
President and Chief Executive Officer,
University Health Network


Christopher Compeau
Christopher Compeau

St. Joseph's Health Centre is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Compeau as the new Chief of the Department of Surgery, St. Joseph's Health Centre, effective September 1, 2012. Christopher has been a member of the Department of Surgery since 1996. His recent leadership roles include serving as Head of General Surgery for the past 2 years, and Head of Thoracic Surgery for the past 5 years. Dr. Compeau graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto where he completed his residency. He has received a number of prestigious awards and honours for excellence in both research and teaching. This appointment follows the successful completion of a 10 year term by Lloyd Smith whom we thank for all of his many contributions to the Department of Surgery.

James T. Rutka, RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto



The "Next For U" events are luncheon sessions for Associate Professors and Senior Lecturers who started at the University anytime since 2004. These workshops are designed to provide mid-career faculty with the opportunity to meet key people at the University in an informal setting to discuss aspects of career development.

I would encourage the mid-career faculty to attend these luncheon events.

  • Academic Leadership - 12pm-2pm - February 11, 2013
  • Grow Your Research Career - 12pm-2pm - March 19, 2013

Faculty may register at: http://www.provost.utoronto. ca/link/events/mcfevents/Next-for-u-2012-13.htm

If you would like any further information on events or workshops for new or mid-career faculty, please contact academic.hr@utoronto.ca

James T. Rutka
RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair


Reaching Out to Pre-Clerkship Medical Students in Surgery

As many of you recall, last year the Surgery Exploration and Discovery (SEAD) program was launched as a summer program for pre-clerkship medical students at the University of Toronto interested in careers surgery. Details of this course and its success can be found by going to the following youtube link, and seeing the video that was made by Nada Gawad who organized the program with her medical student colleagues.

James T. Rutka
RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair



James Rutka, the R.S. McLaughlin Chair of the Department of Surgery, has been featured in AANS Neurosurgeon (August 2012, Vol. 21, No. 3), published by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The excellent interview reflecting on his training and career-to-date can be accessed online at:


Michael Cusimano and his operating room team were featured on the front page of the Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1278688--3d-camera-for-brain-surgery-a-big-leap-forward on the use of 3D endoscopes for pituitary surgery. Congratulations to Michael for bringing such positive attention to St Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto for the advanced work that is being done with pituitary surgery.


The Best Practices in General Surgery Group led by Robin McLeod received an ARTIC (Adopting Research To Improve Care) grant from the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) to implement the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) guidelines. This grant is valued at over 1 million dollars over two years and will be used to implement the ERAS guidelines at eight of the hospitals within the University of Toronto system, as well as other academic hospitals across the province. Congratulations to Robin McLeod and colleagues for this tremendous achievement!


Taufik Valiante was featured in the video "Epilepsy and the Surgery Solution in Ontario" for his work with the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Toronto Western Hospital. http://www.uhn.ca/applications/iNews/ViewStory.aspx?s_id=2068



We apologize for the omission of the Neurosurgery team name in the Hockey photo on page 19 in the previous issue. The text under the photo should have read: General Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Plastic Surgery Hockey Teams.

Hockey Team

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