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Hepatobiliary and Transplant Fellows Reunion Honours Dr. Bernard Langer

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Dr. Bernard Langer and Faculty with Alumni of the Toronto HPB & Transplant Fellowships

On October 26, 2012 a reunion of alumni of the hepatobiliary (HPB) and Transplant Fellowships honoured Dr. Bernard Langer for his mentorship and contributions to their careers. Forty-nine former Fellows from Europe, Australia, Saudi Arabia, South America, the USA and most provinces of Canada were joined by current and former faculty to celebrate Dr. Langer’s international impact on HPB & Transplant Surgery.

The tribute included an all-day symposium entitled “The Future of HPB & Transplant Surgery”. Former Fellows presented their academic accomplishments and speculated on the future. In keeping with the educational objectives of the Fellowships, the afternoon Session on Education and Fellowship training generated some spirited debate on evolving Fellowship educational models.

In his welcoming remarks, Paul Greig noted “Among his notable accomplishments, Dr. Langer has been recognized by the UHN for his “Global Impact”. His growing legacy of over 65 Fellows practicing HPB & Transplant Surgery throughout the world is tangible evidence of Dr. Langer’s truly remarkable global influence. We thank you, BL, for your vision in establishing the Fellowship, your high standards and clinical excellence in HPB & Transplant Surgery that is carried on in your Fellows, and your mentorship that extends beyond clinical Surgery. With this reunion of your Fellows and Colleagues we strive to demonstrate your Fellows’ profound appreciation for your contribution to their academic success.”

Department Chair Jim Rutka expressed the pride and gratitude of the Department: “Dr. Langer’s reputation continues to permeate and influence the practice of HPB surgery in Toronto, around the country, and throughout the world. The scientific program is modelled on Dr. Langer’s approach to academic surgery with an emphasis on basic science, clinical research, regionalization of care, and surgical leadership. I am delighted that you chose to attend this first reunion of Toronto Fellows honouring Dr. Langer. No doubt, it will be the first of many more to come in the future. I wish all of you a successful and productive meeting, and a wonderful time reminiscing over the many good times you enjoyed in Toronto with Dr. Langer.”

General Surgery Chair Andrew Smith commented: “I am delighted to join you in celebrating Dr. Langer’s impact on Hepatobiliary & Transplant surgery and on General Surgery as a whole. Bernie has had a massive impact on training and mentoring a generation of hepatobiliary and transplant surgeons around the world. Additionally, his vision for training surgeon scientists has amplified his impact on academic surgeons who, in turn, have advanced the quality of care around the world. Dr. Langer is to be saluted as well for his vision, persistence and impact in driving changes in policy that have improved the healthcare system. On a personal level, I am proud to serve as the Bernard & Ryna Langer Chair for the Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto and heartily welcome you all back to the U of T to celebrate this terrific event.”

Lorne Rotstein, the head Division of General Surgery at UHN welcomed the alumni: “I am delighted to welcome the HPB and Transplant Fellows back to Toronto for this reunion honouring our mentor, Dr. Bernard Langer. Many of the UHN faculty surgeons throughout the surgical specialties trained under Dr. Langer, and his influence on the practice of surgery in Canada today is immeasurable. The Division of General Surgery at UHN is home to the largest and most successful HPB & Transplant Programs in the country, and one of the largest programs in North America. Our Fellowships are widely recognized and highly sought-after. We are incredibly proud of the global impact of our Fellows and Dr. Langer’s contribution to HPB and Transplant Surgery on the international stage.”

Bernie and Ryna Langer

Bernie and Ryna Langer at the Toronto Reunion of HPB & Transplant Fellows

The day was concluded with a reception and blacktie dinner at the Sheraton Centre. Bernie was joined by his wife Ryna and their children Jack, Pearl, David, and Michael and their spouses. Following a toast to Ryna by Bryce Taylor and a toast to Bernie by Steve Strasberg, Dr. Langer was presented with an oil painting by Dr. John Palmer.

The entire reunion was characterized by a tremendous spirit of camaraderie amongst the Fellows, and their mentors. The profound impact of Dr. Langer on the fellows in attendance was clearly visible in this reunion of Toronto Alumni, many of whom have become international leaders in HPB and Transplant Surgery.

Langer receives painting

Dr. Langer receives an oil painting by Dr. John Palmer from Dr. Paul Greig (right)

Paul Grieg, Director, Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Clinical Fellowship Program

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