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Dr. Christian Finley is a national leader in cancer surgery quality, governance, standardization and benchmarking. He holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Harvard University, a Doctor of Medicine from University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University. After completing advanced training in Leuven, Belgium and England, he started working at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is currently appointed as an associate professor in the Department of Surgery (Division of Thoracic Surgery) at McMaster University. 

Dr. Finley has led many initiatives that have won awards for quality and patient-centered care. Recognizing a local need, Dr. Finley conceived and fundraised for the creation of a palliative suite for patients to die with dignity.    

Dr. Christian Finley is Expert Lead at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. In this role he provides advice, expertise and leadership on improving the quality of surgical oncology, as well as system performance in cancer control in Canada.

Dr. Finley has received over 7 million dollars in research funding, published over 75 papers, and has been invited for national and international presentations. He has received numerous awards, including a prestigious James IV international award supporting outstanding surgical leaders to promote the exchange of knowledge around the globe.

He is the proud father of three girls and an avid outdoorsman.

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Click here to view Dr. ​Finley's CTSNet Profile.


Professional Organizations

2016 - 2017 International, Journal of Visualized Surgery, Editor, Journal of Visualized Surger

2014 - 2017 International, European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Reviewer, European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery

2012 - 2017 National, Canadian Journal of Surgery, Reviewer, Canadian Journal of Surgery

2011 - 2017 Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Reviewer, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

2011 - 2017 Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Reviewer, Annals of Thoracic Surgery

2012 - 2014 Diseases of the Esophagus Journal, Reviewer, Diseases of the Esophagus (16 hours)

2011 - 2014 Journal of Surgical Oncology, Reviewer, Journal of Surgical Oncology

2012 -2017 National, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Reviewer, Canadian Medical Association Journal


European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 2016 ESTS-AATS Graham Foundation award

2015 Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons, Winner, Best Presentation

2015 International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Conference award, Top 20% of posters

2015 St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Dr. Peder Larsen Memorial Award for Excellence in Consultation Services

2015 Visiting Professor, University of Ottawa, University of Ottawa, Surgery, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

2015 Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada, Best abstract presentation

2014 - 2015 Cancer Care Ontario, Cancer Quality Council of Ontario Quality Award

2013 - 2014 Cancer Care Ontario, Honourable Mention, Cancer Quality Council of Ontario Quality Award

2010 Physicians’ Services Inc. Foundation, Physicians’ Services Incorporated Resident Research Prize

2009 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Professional Development Grant

2009 University of Toronto, Pearson Day research Prize

2008 Canadian Journal of Surgery, MacLean Mueller Prize

2005 American Association of Thoracic Surgeons, C. Walton Lillehei Competitor

2004 The University of British Columbia, Department of Surgery Research Prize

2003 BC Medical Journal, J.H. Macdermot Writing Prize

2003 Pacific Northwest Vascular Society, Resident’s Research Prize

2002 The University of British Columbia, Dr. A.B. Schinbein Memoral Surgery prize

2001 The University of British Columbia, Janet L. Berryman Medicine Scholarship

2000 The University of British Columbia, David and Anne Beach Scholarship

1999 The University of British Columbia, Park Davis Prize

1999 The University of British Columbia, Albert Steiner Summer Research Award

1998 - 1999 Queen’s University, Michelle mainland Medal (Elected by Class)

1998 Queen’s University, Mark Latham Scholarship ( for leadership and integrity )

1998 The University of British Columbia, Gwynne-Vaughan Memorial Award

1995 - 1998 Queen’s University, Dean’s Scholar


University Appointments

2015 - present Associate Professor, Surgery, CAWAR, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

2010 - 2015     Assistant Professor, Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

University Roles

2016 - present Program Director, Thoracic Surgery

Featured Publications

Book Chapters and Review Articles

Finley C, Keshavjee SH. Optimal approach for resection of encapsulated thymoma: Open vs VATS, Difficult Decisions in Thoracic Surgery An Evidence-Based Approach. Ed. Mark Ferguson. Jan 2011.

Lim KS, Zhou J, Finley C, Grace JR, Lim CJ, Brereton CMH. Cluster descending velocity at the wall of circulating fluidized bed risers. Circulating Fluidized Bed Technology V, ed. M. Kwauk and J. Li, SciencePress, Beijing, 2000. 218-223.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Nguyen NA, Isfahanian N, Pond G, Hanna W, Cutz JC, Wright J, Swaminath A, Shargall Y, Chow T, Wierzbicki M, Okawara G, Quan K, Finley C, Juergens R, Tsakiridis T. A Novel Neoadjuvant Therapy for Operable Locally Invasive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Phase I Study of Neoadjuvant Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy. LINNEARRE I (NCT02433574). Clin Lung Cancer. 2017 Jul;18(4):436-440.e1.

De Waele M, Agrarian J, Hanna WC, Schieman C, Finley CJ, Macro J, Schneider L, Schnurr T, Farrokhyar F, Radford K, Nair P, Shargall Y. Does the usage of digital chest drainage systems reduce pleural inflammation and volume of pleural effusion following oncologic pulmonary resection? A prospective randomized trial. J Thorac Dis. 2017 Jun;9(6):1598-1606.

Agzarian J, Linkins LA, Schneider L, Hanna WC, Finley CJ, Schieman C, De Perrot M, Crowther M, Douketis J, Shargall Y. Practice patterns in venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in thoracic surgery: a comprehensive Canadian Delphi survey. J Thorac Dis. 2017 Jan;9(1):80-87.

Shakeel S, Elit L, Akhtar-Danesh N, Schneider L, Finley C. Care Delivery Patterns, Processes, and Outcomes for Primary Ovarian Cancer Surgery: A Population-Based Review Using a National Administrative Database. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2017 Jan;39(1):25-33.

Shanthanna H, Aboutouk D, Poon E, Cheng J, Finley C, Paul J, Thabane L. A retrospective study of open thoracotomies versus thoracoscopic surgeries for persistent postthoracotomy pain. J Clin Anesth. 2016 Dec;35:215-220.

Vernon J, Andruszkiewicz N, Schneider L, Schieman C, Finley CJ, Shargall Y, Fahim C, Farrokhyar F, Hanna WC. Comprehensive clinical staging for resectable lung cancer: Clinico-pathological correlations and the role of brain MRI. J Thorac Oncol. 2016 Nov;11(11):1970-1975.

Yeung JC, Finley C, Hanna WC, Miller L, Ferri L, Urbach DR, Darling GE. Treatment Choices and Outcomes of Patients with Manometrically Diagnosed Achalasia. Dis Esophagus. 2016 Jul;29(5):472-8.

Walker S, Zubrinic M, Massey C, Shargall Y, Bedard E, Darling G. A prospective study of patient-centred outcomes in the management of malignant pleural effusions. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2016 Jul 2;22(7):351-8.

Shargall Y, Hanna W, Schneider L, Schieman C, Finley CJ, Tran A, Demay S, Gosse C, Bowen JM, Blackhouse G, Smith K. The Integrated Comprehensive Care (ICC) program: a novel home care initiative after major thoracic surgery. Semin Thorax Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Summer;28(2):574-82.

Agzarian J, Hanna WC, Schneider L, Schieman C, Finley CJ, Peysakhovich Y, Schnurr T, Nguyen-Do D, Linkins LA, Douketis J, Crowther M, De Perrot M, Waddell TK, Shargall Y. Postdischarge venous thromboembolic complications following pulmonary oncologic resection: An underdetected problem. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Apr;151(4):992-9.

Finley C. The effect of surgeon volume on procedure selection in non-small cell lung cancer surgeries. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Apr;151(4):1219.

Akhtar-Danesh GG, Finley C, Akhtar-Danesh N. Long-term trends in the incidence and relative survival of pancreatic cancer in Canada: A population-based study. Pancreatology. 2016 Mar-Apr;16(2):259-65.

Finley CJ. When is the burden of responsibility over for the surgeon? Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Feb;49(2):594-5. 


Degrees and Diplomas

2006 Masters of Public Health, Harvard University

2002 MD, University of British Columbia

1998 BSCENG, Engineering, Queen’s University

Qualifications, Licensures and Certifications

2010 FRCSC: Thoracic Surgery Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Canada

2008 Diplomate, American Board of Surgery, Certified in General Surgery, United States

2008 FRCSC: General Surgery Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Canada

2002 LMCC, Medical Council of Canada, Canada



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