General Surgery

Morad Hameed MD MPH FRCSC FACS Associate Professor and Head, Division of General Surgery

General Surgery, a discipline that includes sub-specialties like trauma and emergency surgery, critical care, oncology, endocrine surgery, bariatric and metabolic surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction, hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery, and transplantation, although diverse, is united by its focus on caring for the sickest and most complex surgical patients. General surgeons and their teams provide care to every size population, in every part of the country, and train hundreds of fellows, residents, and medical students every year in the foundational principles and practice of surgery. In British Columbia, the UBC Division of General Surgery, with close to 200 surgeons, is by far the largest, most diverse, and most geographically distributed of all surgical divisions. At times, sub specialization and the diverse nature of individual practices have been associated with a lack of coherence or shared purpose. General surgeons, from small towns to big cities, have traditionally practiced in isolation, without a shared commitment to excellence or unifying visions for the future.

But the scope, practice, and expectations of general surgery are changing fast. From minimally invasive techniques to complex multidisciplinary trauma and cancer care, to the emergence of genomics and metabolomics in precision medicine, the trajectory of surgery is moving rapidly from individual excellence to team excellence, often faster than individual practices can adapt. The existing models of surgical care are not well equipped to navigate the exponential changes of modern surgery. The structure of surgical practice must be redesigned to capitalize on its unifying themes, identify strengths in diversity, and provide a framework for rapid progress and sustainability. The UBC Division of General Surgery is pursuing this agenda 5 areas: Clinical Excellence, Education, Research & Innovation, Advocacy and a Strong Network. See below for more information.

 

CLINICAL EXCELLENCE

The Division has adopted a surgical systems redesign approach that builds on the concept of value-based healthcare (VBHC), as described by Michael Porter from Harvard Business School. This model reorganizes traditional specialty-based practices, into small, agile, and multidisciplinary integrated practice units (IPUs) focusing on specific patient populations (e.g. breast oncology, gastric oncology). Patient-centered organization enables the coordination of complex multidisciplinary inputs and measurement of the quality, costs, and value of surgical care. These units pursue a holistic and population-specific agenda to optimize value that includes several dimensions of quality (BC Health Quality Matrix).  This work is beginning to gather momentum, and we are excited to see the frontiers of surgical care to which our IPUs lead us.

ACUTE CARE SURGERY

The Acute Care Surgery Section aims to deliver timely, best-practice, value-based, and patient-centered care to all patients presenting or referred to our team.

Section Head: Dr. Philip Dawe, MD FRCSC | philip.dawe@vch.ca

COLORECTAL SURGERY

The Colorectal Surgery Section is committed to providing excellent surgical care and management of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and anorectal diseases. They are dedicated to improving colorectal cancer outcomes in BC through educational programs, research, and comprehensive screening and prevention.

Section Head: Dr. Carl Brown, MD MSc FRCSC | cbrown@providencehealth.bc.ca

For details about Colorectal Surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital, please click here.

HPB

The Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery Section aims to provide excellent and holistic surgical care to patients in British Columbia.

Section Head: Dr. Gareth Eeson MD MSc FRCSC | gareth.eeson@bccancer.bc.ca

MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY

The Minimally Invasive Surgery Section aims to provide safe and sophisticated minimally invasive surgery to patients in British Columbia through innovation, research, and value-based care.

TRANSPLANT

The Transplant Surgery Section is dedicated to providing high-value, patient-centered, and equitable services to all of British Columbia, from pre-transplant preparation to post-transplant care, in partnership with BC Transplant, Canadian Blood Services and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Section Head: Dr. Peter Kim MD FRCSC | peter.kim@vch.ca

For details about BC Transplant, please click here.

For details about Transplant Surgery at Vancouver General Hospital, please click here.

For details about Transplant Surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital, please click here.

TRAUMA

The Trauma Section, based at Vancouver General Hospital, is committed to supporting healthy lives throughout British Columbia by preventing and reducing the impact of injury through leadership in the provision of exceptional, integrated trauma care, innovative education, injury prevention initiatives and research.

Section Head: Dr. David Evans, MD MSc CM FRCSC FACS | david.evans@vch.ca

For details about Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Vancouver General Hospital, please click here.

SURGICAL ONCOLOGY

The Surgical Oncology Section is committed to improving outcomes for the surgical aspect of cancer care and the wellbeing of cancer patients as a whole by emphasizing multi-disciplinary teams, multi-modality care, and quality improvement research and initiatives.

Section Head: Dr. Trevor Hamilton, MD FRCSC | trevor.hamilton@vch.ca

For details about BC Cancer, please click here.

For details about West Coast Surgical Oncology, please click here.

 

EDUCATION

UBC General Surgery is home to 7 fellowship programs and one of Canada’s largest surgical residency programs, as well as to over 200 faculty members who continuously strive to learn, improve, and contribute to province-wide educational initiatives and movements. Surgical trainees and surgeons have the privilege to care for a large population in high volume and diverse case-mix settings. Despite the size of our Division, the educational network is well-connected and designed to share and scale the best ideas, from wherever they arise. Shared educational experiences such as the Surgical CRASH Course, Innovation Week, the RISE Curriculum, Expert Series, quarterly educational symposia, Divisional and Departmental research days, and social events are the lifeblood of our Division, and the foundation of thought and action across the provincial academic division. More information on our various programs below.

General Surgery Residency Training Program

The UBC General Surgery Residency Program’s mission is to train residents in clinical excellence as well as recognize and optimize the unique strengths, interests, and leadership potential of residents as they go on various high quality and high volume general surgery and surgical specialty rotations throughout British Columbia during their training.

Colorectal Surgery Fellowship

The University of British Columbia offers a two-year Colorectal Surgery Fellowship Program at St. Paul’s Hospital, a downtown teaching hospital with high volume of colorectal patients and five colorectal surgeons. Fellows completing this fellowship program will have had a rigorous training and experience in managing routine and complex colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel and anorectal diseases, and will be expected to have participated in at least one clinical research project for each year of the program. Upon completion of the program, fellows will also be eligible to sit the Royal College exam for certification in the subspecialty of colon and rectal surgery.

Complex General Surgical Oncology Program

The University of British Columbia offers a two-year, Royal College-accredited clinical training program in Complex General Surgical Oncology at the Vancouver General Hospital, the major referral center for cancer patients in BC and the Yukon in partnership with BC Cancer. Fellows will have significant exposure to breast cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, peritoneal surface malignancies, HPB, sarcoma, melanoma, and thyroid cancer. Both local and international specialized elective rotations are also available depending on the fellow’s interests. Upon completion of the program, fellows are also expected to have completed and published one major research project for each year of training.

Advanced MIS Fellowship, VGH

The University of British Columbia offers a one-year, MIS Fellowship Council-accredited clinical fellowship in a variety of advanced laparoscopic procedures at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). The fellowship is also affiliated with the Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation (CESEI), an internationally recognized, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary academic centre. The fellowship has a strong emphasis on colorectal, adrenal, hernia, solid organ and foregut/antireflux surgery. There is also training in advanced hepatobiliary surgery, and an opportunity for flexible endoscopy training. Upon completion of the program, the fellow is expected to have completed at least 2 manuscripts for publication an the to present their results at national meetings.

Advanced MIS and Endoscopic Fellowship, RCH

The University of British Columbia offers a one-year SLS Fellowship in Advanced Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Techniques in General and Colorectal Surgery. This program is offered at the Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH), BC’s first and leading critical care hospital. The fellowship features standard general surgery laparoscopic techniques, as well as Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery (TAMIS), including Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision (TaTME). The fellow is also expected to be involved in research and scientific writing with the goal of presenting at the MIS Week/SLS Annual Meeting.

Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Fellowship, VGH

The University of British Columbia offers a two-year, Royal College-accredited HPB and Liver Transplant Surgery Fellowship Program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), the only liver transplant centre in BC and a quaternary trauma centre. Fellows will participate in a high volume of HPB benign/oncology cases, procurements, and liver transplantation. Fellows are encouraged to take part in relevant clinical research projects and will have access to ongoing and prospective pancreas cancer and liver transplant databases as a source of data for publications.

Trauma Fellowship, VGH

The University of British Columbia offers a one-year clinical fellowship in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the Vancouver General Hospital, BC’s provincial Level 1 Trauma Centre. The fellowship is designed to prepare general surgeons for imaginative and dynamic careers dedicated to caring for patients with acutely life-threatening surgical conditions. The program provides a high-volume operative experience in trauma and acute care surgery, and fellows will also rotate through highly relevant surgical subspecialties, such as thoracic, vascular, HPB, and transplant surgery. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in a 6-8 week clinical and research exchange in a high-volume academic trauma centre.

 

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

The Division has a strong record of academic productivity in trauma surgery, breast oncology, endocrine surgery, colorectal surgery, global health, and planetary health, and emerging research programs in a spectrum of other clinical areas. We are beginning to merge our research programs and academic agendas with innovation principles from business transformation, design thinking, and learning health systems to address complex, real-world, and systemic surgical challenges across BC and around the world. 

The Surgical Innovation team leverages expertise across the domains of medicine, surgery, entrepreneurship, and design thinking to deliver polished and evidence-driven Surgical Innovation workshops to students. The goal has been to use interactive lectures and design sessions to give surgical residents the practical tools and confidence they need to become innovators in healthcare. The curriculum not only serves as a multidisciplinary innovation training program which culminates in pitch competitions that yield tangible and scalable solutions to real-world surgical problems, but also as a pipeline aimed at producing innovative projects at the intersection of surgery, engineering, business, and healthcare administration, attracting the best and brightest healthcare innovators to UBC.

For more information or to join the team, please visit the Surgical Innovation page.

The UBC Division of General Surgery is transforming the way complex and systemic challenges in surgery are addressed. Using learning health systems, our Integrated Practice Units are able to identify and address real-time problems and continuously improve the quality of care they provide.

 

ADVOCACY

Advocacy, for our patients and their families, for vulnerable populations, for our colleagues, and for our planet, is at the heart of everything we do. Our Division members have established potentially transformative initiatives in global surgery, and planetary health care, and are key contributors to Department-wide initiatives, such as the Branch for Global Surgical Care. Our General Surgery Cultural Safety Committee (CSC) has led efforts to address systemic biases in the way we deliver surgical care across our IPUs, and to reduce workplace inequities among our surgical trainees and staff surgeons. 

The Global Surgery Lab is an interdisciplinary, inclusive, and diverse group that aims to improve knowledge of and access to surgical care in underserved communities through innovative, anti-colonialistic, and equitable educational platforms and research projects.

For more information or to join the team, please visit the Global Surgery Lab site or stay connected through   icon 

The Planetary Healthcare Lab, the first of its kind in Canada, aims to examine the environmental effects of healthcare delivery and services in British Columbia.

The research team will be looking at hospital food-related pollution, unnecessary patient testing, and emissions stemming from the medical supply chain, among many other issues. They will also be studying healthcare sustainability through a broader lens, examining the underlying factors responsible for the increased demand for healthcare services and how care delivery can be better integrated to reduce emissions and ultimately improve the health of patients and communities across the province.

By understanding the environmental footprint of healthcare, they aim to generate evidence-based solutions that will help create a more environmentally sustainable healthcare system to improve the lives of British Columbians.

 

A STRONG NETWORK

The UBC Division of General Surgery aspires to be a strong and diverse network of excellent surgeons, continuously learning and innovating, integrated with shared values and purpose, and greater than the sum of its parts. We are deeply committed to making a positive difference in the health of British Columbians and to the sustainability of excellent surgical systems around the world.

Explore this innovative hub intended to provide a network of research, clinical communication, mentorship and education for general surgeons, residents and fellows in BC.

Access each faculty member's profile through the Department of Surgery directory.

Division Head: Dr. Morad Hameed
Senior Administrative Assistant: Diane Bousadda

Co-Director of Postgraduate Education: Dr. Ahmer Karimuddin
Co-Director of Postgraduate Education: Dr. Tracy Scott

Postgraduate Program Manager: Luiza Shamkulova
Senior Residency Training Program Assistant: Jyotica Saini
CBD & Accreditation Assistant: Seng Keng

Director of Undergraduate Education: TBC