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The Division of General Surgery

Our division prides itself on providing excellent clinical surgical care, exemplary teaching, and cutting-edge research.

Peter Lovrics
  • Professor
    General Surgery

Faculty

As Division Head for the past 5 years, I have been very proud of all the accomplishments of our Division, with shared goals in providing excellent clinical surgical care, exemplary teaching and leading, relevant research.

There are particular areas that demonstrate our strengths that I would like to highlight. Our Residency Program, under the leadership of Dr Michael Marcaccio, has an unsurpassed record of success. Residency positions at McMaster are highly regarded because of the consistent success in graduation/certification, the generation of clinically competent surgeons, and the ability to place trainees into high quality subspecialty programs. This all occurs in an environment that trainees find supportive and collegial. A sign of this success has been the growth of our Community electives and participation of Community surgeons in our academic structure. July of 2012 was the inauguration of the Residency’s first Community General Surgery Residency position based in St. Catharines.

Overview

The Division of General Surgery is a key component of the Department of Surgery at McMaster University, located in Hamilton, Ontario. There are 25 surgeons in the Division based in Hamilton, as well as surgeons in our affiliated teaching sites in the community. The Division offers full service in all of the sub-specialties of General Surgery (except transplantation) at three acute care sites (Hamilton General Site, Juravinski site and St Joseph’s Healthcare).

The Hamilton General Site houses a Level One Adult Trauma Program servicing Hamilton and the surrounding region, receiving in excess of 500 multiple trauma patients per year. Clinical services for breast and colorectal oncology are distributed at all three sites, with specialized multidisciplinary clinics based at the Juravinski Cancer Centre site. Advanced Hepatobiliary surgery is based at the Juravinski site, while advanced soft tissue oncology is at the St Joseph’s and Juravinski sites. The full breadth of surgical care for Benign Diseases are distributed at all sites. The Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) provides state of the art minimally invasive services, based primarily at St Joseph’s Healthcare. St Joseph’s also hosts the Bariatric Program and is the lead Provincial site for this growing Program. The Division provides comprehensive and high quality support to the busy Hamilton Emergency Departments, inpatient services and outpatient clinics, while also providing tertiary and quaternary care for our region. An important component of clinical care is collaboration with our non-surgical partners in multidisciplinary care. Division members are key members and leaders of Critical Care, and hepatobiliary, colorectal, breast, and sarcoma/melanoma site groups which offer residents of Hamilton and the region timely access to the highest level of care possible.

In addition to providing full general and sub-specialty care to patients throughout Hamilton, the Division also prides itself on its commitment to teaching, at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty levels. The Division holds a key appointment in Education with a member serving as the Associate Chair of Education for the Department of Surgery. As one of the largest residency programs within the Department of Surgery, the Division facilitates the education of 48 residents. The Residency Program is highly regarded and consistently produces graduates that provide high quality community surgical care throughout the country, as well as graduates that go on to subspecialization and academic careers. The Division also supports the key role of the Director of the Surgical Foundations program, mandatory for all residents in all surgical training programs The Division is actively involved in all levels of undergraduate education at McMaster University, and provides high quality clinical learning experiences. Division members are active in Undergraduate Education through the Degroote School of Medicine as tutors, elective supervisors, research supervisors as well as providing faculty support to the Undergraduate Surgery Interest Group. The CMAS program has been an international leader in the training and mentoring of surgeons in minimal access surgery (MIS), and also provides this expertise to McMaster residents and to Fellows in its accredited Fellowship in MIS. The Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOURCE) has long provided surgeons in the region with educational opportunities through workshops and key publications on Surgical Research. The Trauma program has also been a leader in the post-graduate education of surgeons from across Canada and abroad.

Our Division has a long tradition of research excellence. A large portion of the research is based within the Division, but there is also great collaboration with our partners at McMaster University, both in Clinical Epidemiology and basic sciences. CMAS has been a world leader in MIS research, including telesurgery, and is currently actively involved in Robotics development. The Division is likewise an international leader in outcomes research and Knowledge Translation, with particular strengths in Colorectal and Breast Oncology research. There are also active projects on novel surgical technologies and randomized trials. The Division recognizes the great importance of research as a process for improving and optimizing healthcare.  We believe research is crucial to the education of our residents.  Our annual resident research day highlights the innovative work of our residents with their faculty supervisors. The Division is proud of its past research success, but also is continually looking forward, to the future. The research foci have consistently been “ahead of the curve” and laid the trail for others.

While providing clinical care, education, and research, the Division also recognizes the important administrative roles its members provide. From the level of Department Chiefs to hospital and academic committees, it is the capable participation in administrative work that enables our hospitals and academic departments to function at the level required. This valuable role cannot be understated. The Division also has members in key administrative roles at the provincial and national levels through the Ontario Medical Association, Cancer Care Ontario, the Canadian Association of General Surgeons, the Canadian Association of Colorectal Surgeons, the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, and the Royal College.

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