University Rounds

Clinical Epidemiology Rounds
Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH
Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy
University of Michigan
“Measuring surgical outcomes: Rethinking the calculus of quality” Friday December 2, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.

Mount Sinai Hospital
Auditorium 18h Floor


In Memoriam
Dr. Ara Keresteci
Dr. Ara Gabriel Keresteci passed away peacefully on November 14, 2011 at the age of 82.    Ara was born in Istanbul, Turkey and graduated from Istanbul University Medical School in 1954.  He did post-graduate training at the St John’s Episcopal Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, before coming to Canada.  Following further surgical training at the University of Toronto, he joined the Department of Surgery in the Division of Urology at the Wellesley Hospital where he worked for over 30 years caring for thousands of patients.  Following the closure of the Wellesley Hospital in 2002, Dr Keresteci worked at St Michael’s Hospital until his retirement in 2004.   Dr Keresteci was a beloved clinical teacher and helped train a generation of urologists at the University of Toronto.

Newsworthy Items

Oleg Safir Appointed as Director of the Surgical Skills Centre at Mt Sinai Hospital
Helen MacRae has successfully completed a 10 year term as the GH Gales Director of the Surgical Skills Centre (SSC) at Mt Sinai Hospital.  While in this position, Helen has brought great acclaim to the SSC not only with her oversight of the expansion of the unit in 2007, but also with her dedication and devotion to creating a highly academic skills centre with outstanding publications and grants that were highly focused in the field.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Helen sincerely for her extraordinary efforts with the SSC these past 10 years.

I am pleased to inform you that after a comprehensive search, Dr. Oleg Safir, Division of Orthopedics, Mt Sinai Hospital, has been appointed as the new Director of the Surgical Skills Centre at Mt Sinai Hospital to replace Dr. Helen MacRae who will be stepping down from this position after having served successfully for a 10 year term.  Oleg received his FRCSC in Orthopedic Surgery in 2006.   He was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery in 2007. He then completed his Masters in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2009.   He has been actively involved in the competency based curriculum (CBC), and helped design the Boot Camp in Orthopedics this past year.  He has over 45 publications since 2007, and holds grants on the performance of technical surgical skills from several granting agencies.  Oleg will begin his new position effective December 1st, 2011.  Please help me welcome Oleg Safir as the new Director of the Surgical Skills Centre.

General Surgery Receives Accreditation for their MIS Fellowship
The Division of General Surgery has received full accreditation by the Fellowship Council for their MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) fellowship.  Congratulations to Allan Okrainec and the faculty, fellows, and residents that took part in the accreditation process. 
Recruitment of Admissions File Reviewers and Interviewers Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
The Admissions Committee in the Faculty of Medicine wishes to increase faculty participation in the upcoming 2011-12 winter/spring admissions cycle. This will require an additional 40 faculty to participate in the file review and interview processes.  In addition, the committee wishes to implement a new Quality Assurance process which will require an additional 20 faculty participants in the file review process. In total, 60 new faculty participants will be necessary. Faculty time commitment for the file review process is approximately 18-20 hours including file review training, rating of applicant files and participation in a file review day at the Medical Sciences Building (MSB). Faculty time commitment for the interview process is approximately 13 hours including interview training, a brief review of the files of applicants to be interviewed and participation in an interview day. Our interview days occur on weekend days or Friday afternoons. 
We are recruiting for the current admissions cycle with file review occurring from December 2011 through February 2012 and interviews occurring from February 2012 through to April 2012. Current faculty participating in the process find it extremely rewarding to select tomorrow's medical students and future physicians. Furthermore, they strive to recruit the best medical school applicants to U of T.  We invite faculty and residents from across the Faculty to assist us in this important endeavour.

For those interested please contact Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Mark Hanson at:
Undergraduate Medical Education Handbook
The Undergraduate Medical Education program is pleased to announce that it has recently launched a new informational handbook for all of its teachers. The handbook is available on the UME website at:
This publication is intended as a comprehensive resource on all matters related to teaching in UME, from the goals and objectives of the program to what to do if you have a question or encounter a problem. The handbook also features information on the different types of teaching and assessment in UME, course descriptions, e-resources, a number of policies of relevance to teachers, and a complete UME directory.
The file is fully searchable by keyword and includes bookmarks for easy navigation. After opening the handbook, click the blue question mark on the first page for tips. The file can also be saved to your computer for access at any time.
The UME program hopes that this new reference guide will be useful to both current and prospective teachers, and encourages everyone in the Faculty of Medicine to browse through it. A companion student version is currently in development as well.
While visiting the program's website at, teachers may also wish to take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the site's new structure and content, in particular the comprehensive list of policies (choose "Policies" on the menu bar).
UME is grateful to its thousands of dedicated teachers, and invites your feedback on ways to strengthen this new tool in subsequent editions. Comments may be forwarded to
2012 Bethune Round Table

The Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) and the University of Toronto Office of International Surgery are proud to host the 12th annual Bethune Round Table on Global Surgery in Toronto, Ontario, on May 25th - 27th 2012.  For further information, please go to:
You can submit your Abstracts by going to:
The deadline for receipt of Abstracts is:  January 17th, 2012
Registration: will be available in January 2012.

Non-clinician Scientist Retreat

On November 23rd, a special Non-clinician Scientist (NCS) Retreat was held at the Chestnut Residence to discuss challenges and opportunities facing scientists within the Department of Surgery.  There were over 30 participants.  Presentations were given by several new faculty scientists regarding their research programs.  Andras Kapus reviewed the results of a survey that was performed this year, and compared to an identical one performed a few years ago with interesting results and trends.   Karen Davis, Mingyao Liu, Geoff Fernie, and Cari Whyne discussed the successes and obstacles for continued collaborations between clinician and non-clinician researchers.  The afternoon session included perspectives from leaders in the Research Institutes in the city with Gwen Burrows, Director Strategic Projects at Sick Kids, Michael Julius, Research Director Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute, Jim Woodgett, Research Director Mt Sinai Research Institute, and Mansoor Husain, Research Director Toronto General Research Institute as panelists. Vice Dean of Research in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Alison Buchan, also participated, and provided many insightful comments.  The main discussion points from this retreat will be used to inform the ongoing Strategic Planning process in the Department of Surgery to improve the support at multiple levels for scientists within the Department of Surgery.  We thank Andres Kapus for organizing the retreat this year.
Access to World Science
A team at the University of Pittsburgh led by U of T alumnus Dr. Doug Kondziolka of neurosurgery and Ken Sochats of Information Science have led a four year project to create a fully functional science network.   This will enable all involved to learn the elements of writing a scientific paper, while they write. Writing is in a multi-author collaborative environment.  
 World Science is a free, web-based network where authors write collaboratively, and anyone can use, research, read, combine and ask questions of peer-reviewed information.  This has first been launched fully (key words and drop down data menus) for the neurosurgery and radiation oncology communities, but articles can currently be written for any discipline.  There are opportunities for interested students to participate in development for their own future subspecialty (just contact Dr. Kondziolka at
Articles can be written in the network, removed for submission elsewhere, or submitted within World Science for a novel and enhanced peer review process – actually allowing the process of peer-review to be studied for the first time. Articles published in World Science have full interactive functions including the ability to: combine and analyze data from multiple articles can be  with one click, and ask questions of articles directly without reading the full report.  “Help” is already in 10 languages. 
It can be accessed at Upon entering, request a beta invitation for your own password. You can then click “edit me” after log-in to create your own password. Once you have the password, you can start to write any kind of article.

Honours and Awards
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Congratulations to Dr. Kyle Wanzel as he was just presented with the St. Joseph's Department of Surgery Teacher and Mentor of the Year Award for 2011! This is an award given to the surgeon with the highest TES scores as given by residents and medical students that have rotated through the Department of Surgery.  
Dr. Ronald Zuker was the recipient of the Fu Chan Wei Award for Reconstructive Surgery presented at Chang Gung Mayo Clinic Symposium in Microsurgery in Tapei, Taiwan in October 2011.

High Impact Papers Hot Off the Press
Bazerbachi F, Selzner M, Marquez MA, Norgate A, Aslani N, McGilvray ID, Schiff J, Cattral MS.  Portal Venous Versus Systemic Venous Drainage of Pancreas Grafts: Impact on Long-Term Results.  Am J Transplant. 2011 Nov 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03756.x. [Epub ahead of print]
Du WW, Yang BB, Yang BL, Deng Z, Fang L, Shan SW, Jeyapalan Z, Zhang Y, Seth A, Yee AJ.  Versican G3 Domain Modulates Breast Cancer Cell Apoptosis: A Mechanism for Breast Cancer Cell Response to Chemotherapy and EGFR Therapy.  PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26396. Epub 2011 Nov 9.
Northcott PA, Shih DJ, Remke M, Cho YJ, Kool M, Hawkins C, Eberhart CG, Dubuc A, Guettouche T, Cardentey Y, Bouffet E, Pomeroy SL, Marra M, Malkin D, Rutka JT, Korshunov A, Pfister S, Taylor MD.  Rapid, reliable, and reproducible molecular sub-grouping of clinical medulloblastoma samples. Acta Neuropathol. 2011 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Platt J, Baxter N, Zhong T.  Breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer.  CMAJ 110513; published ahead of print November 7, 2011,
Sonnadara R, Rittenhouse N, Khan A, Mihailidis A, Drozdzal G, Safir O, Leung SO.  A novel multimodal platform for assessing surgical technical skills. Am J Surg. 2011 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Tymianski M.  Emerging mechanisms of disrupted cellular signaling in brain ischemia.  Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 26;14(11):1369-73. doi: 10.1038/nn.2951.  PMID:  22030547  [PubMed - in process]

Have a new high impact paper in press or published?  Let us know at
For further information on divisional events, please go to the Surgery Bulletin Board