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Darlene Fenech is a Course Director with rheumatologist Lori Albert and pathologist Eleanor Latta for the 36 week MMMD (Mechanisms, Manifestations and Management of Disease) course given to second year medical students. The course has evolved as a highly evaluated bridge between basic science and clinical practice. It builds on the excellent work of Martin Schreiber who directed its predecessor - the Foundations of Medical Practice course. Darlene also organizes the clerks in the Division of General Surgery at Sunnybrook and gives lectures to 1st year medical students in the Anatomy Division’s Structure and Function course. This combination gives her an opportunity to watch and mentor students as they evolve over a three year period. The evaluations she receives are uniformly enthusiastic.

In addition, some students at Sunnybrook are assigned to clerkships on her surgical service, where she performs minimally invasive and open operations, focusing on colorectal cancer treatment. She works with Andy Smith, Ted Ross, Shady Ashamalla. They are working in collaboration with Stan Feinberg and Peter Stotland at North York General Hospital. The surgeons work as one group, sharing referrals and protocols. The Sunnybrook group uses Peter’s brochure for describing their clinical practice to patients. To minimize waiting time, patients are offered the opportunity to be treated by the first available surgeon in this well-managed practice, organized by nurse- manager Barbara Anne Maier.

Darlene’s husband, Dennis Di Pasquale, is an orthopedic surgeon at Trillium Health Centre who has been actively teaching medical students at the new Mississauga campus. Together they have two children, 3 year old Peter and 18 month old Lucas. Darlene’s parents facilitate the busy life of this two career family. Darlene’s ideal is to increase the presence of surgeons in undergraduate education and teach medical students how to apply surgical skills in other disciplines.

Fenech Family
Darlene Fenech with her husbad Dennis Di Pasquale and their children - 3 year old Peter and 18 month old Lucas


In earlier versions of her life, Darlene has been a marathon runner and an opera fan. This summer she and Dennis rented a cottage on Lake Huron for their family vacation. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the group mentorship of young surgeons as described in David Latter’s column on the opportunities for surgical program graduates.


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