Global Surgery Program

Who We Are: Our Mission & Values

As part of our commitment to social responsibility, the Department of Surgery at U of T provides surgical expertise around the globe with the goal of improving health in low and middle income countries and underserved communities. We focus on reducing inequities and improving access to quality care in a strategic manner through building local capacity and enabling sustainable improvements in health care delivery.

We have developed important international collaborations and invest in our faculty members and trainees to help them accomplish these important goals.  Our Global Surgery Program, through our Office of International Surgery supports faculty members working abroad, hosts local events and provides a networking opportunities for faculty members interested in global health.


How We Began:

Drs. Andrew Howard and Massey Beveridge spearheaded the establishment of The Office of International Surgery (OIS); the Department’s first efforts in formalizing their global presence. The founding premise was to provide the opportunity for creating lasting impact in developing nations through improved health systems, education of local healthcare providers, political and social advocacy, and formalized partnerships with governments and/or educational institutions.  Today, we have over 25 faculty members participating in activities around the world.



The OIS has established several formal partnerships:

The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration

TheTAAAC was established in 2008 as a multidisciplinary educational initiative between Uof T and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Its mandate is aimed at building and strengthening capacity in medical, social, political, and technological domains. Each year, Departmental faculty provide hands-on skill training, course lectures, and resident/PhD supervision. The TAAAC has a well-established governance model.

Greg Wilkins Barrick Chair in International Surgery

Dr. Mark Bernstein (Neurosurgery, UHN) was appointed to the Greg Wilkins Barrick Chair in International Surgery in 2011. The
Chair enables students to participate in international surgical educational initiatives.   

The A.K Prakash Foundational Fellowship in International Medicine

A generous gift from Toronto-based art enthusiast Ash Prakash to the Department of Surgery has enabled many surgeons from low or middle income countries to gain experience in our academic health sciences centres.  The knowledge and skills gained through their experience has profound life-saving effects on local communities when they return to their home countries. This unique gift facilitates knowledge transfer, builds local capacity and has immediate local impact.

The Bethune Round Table 

This is a unique conference that draws together medical students, residents, surgeons and allied health professionals from across Canada and around the world. The BRT is the first and only international scientific meeting dedicated to the issues of surgical education and research for development. Since its inception in 2000, the BRT has served to build a Canadian consensus on international surgery, it has stimulated the development of international surgery at other Canadian Universities and it has built up Canada's international profile among surgeons from developing countries. 

The BRT is supported by the Canadian Network forInternational Surgery and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Get Involved

Opportunities for Residents

We encourage residents to pursue endeavours through one of two ways:

1. Complete a global health elective

2. Complete a global health certificate


It is your responsibility to discuss participation with your Program Director, as well as finding a suitable mentor. If you need assistance in finding a mentor, please contact


1. Global Health Elective

Engaging in an elective abroad can be a highly valuable learning experience.

Please refer to the following documents and inform when your application is complete. 


a. Elective overview: 

b. Elective guidelines:

c. Application form:



2. Global Health Educational Initiative Certificate

The GHEI certificate is a two-year program (or less, depending on your schedule) for residents and fellows that can be completed concurrently with your clinical duties. 

The upcoming session runs from September 2017 to June 2019. 

Please refer to the following documents and inform when your application is complete.


a. GHEI overview: 

b. Application form:  

c. Core modules:     

d. Full program:


Opportunities for Faculty

If you are interested in becoming involved in international outreach, please feel free to connect with any of our featured Mentors or featured faculty in the prospectus.



Coming in June 2017.


The Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund: Pediatric Fellowship Program

Th eCCCF is a registered charity that provides humanitarian aid to victims of the1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster. In 2013, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto formally launched the Ukraine Pediatric Fellowship Program. Together, they are providing critical care to those affected and specialized medical training to Ukrainian physicians. 

Global Surgical Scholar Program (GSSP)

The Global Surgical Scholar Program is designed to provide postgraduate trainees in the Department of Surgery with an opportunity to learn about health equity, disparities and health care delivery through a surgical lens, focusing on underserved populations at both a local and global level. The Program combines didactic teaching, programmatic opportunities, networking and real-world experience in the fields of global health and surgery. Scholars work with a surgical mentor within the Department of Surgery to design a longitudinal, individualized program that meets their learning needs and career objectives.


The GSSP has the following objectives:

  1. To enhance the trainee’s CanMeds competencies as they pertain to global health
    1. Leadership – address the impact of economic, social, political and environmental factors on health and surgical outcomes, advance surgery within global health and development goals, health system strengthening, innovative health service delivery models, innovation and technology, program planning and evaluation
    2. Communication – cross cultural communication
    3. Scholar –  develop research and teaching skills/projects in the field of global surgery and health disparities; needs for education and training of local personnel
    4. Advocate – health equity, policy, economics
    5. Professional - health and human rights; ethics
    6. Collaborator – as part of health care delivery, research and teaching teams in local and international settings
    7. Medical expert – clinical & surgical skills, humanitarian emergency response; explore paradigms for establishing sustainable surgical infrastructure in resource limited environments
  2. To support trainees in acquiring global surgery skills and exposure to enhance their contribution to improving the health of populations in low and middle-income countries and local communities.
  3. To introduce trainees to the university Global Health community, across Departments and disciplines and international agencies  (e.g. WHO)
  4. To prepare trainees for clinical, teaching, research, programmatic and policy work in low and middle income environments
  5. To foster a lifelong commitment to health equity and the achievement of the highest possible global health outcomes, with a particular focus on surgical care


The GSSP is a longitudinal experience comprised of two components:

  1. Participation in the Global Health Education Initiative (GHEI) certificate program, led by University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education; which is typically completed over 1-2 years depending on your schedule and timeline. The GHEI, offered to all programs and specialties is a structured, evidence-based curriculum delivered in a small group format. GHEI sessions typically take place weekday evenings (6pm-9pm) with some weekend (9am-3pm) options.

The University of Toronto is home to one of the largest concentrations of Global Health leaders in the world. As GHEI participants, you will have access to these individuals who have committed to sharing their expertise and passion for global health with you. The GHEI also provides significant opportunity for networking with others in the global health community and so provides a very important foundation for those considering a career with an academic focus in global surgery. More information on the GHEI can be found from this link.

ii) A minimum of four weeks of field work organized as a global health elective with one of several mentors in the Department of Surgery. Opportunities at the local level should also be considered including exposure to rural/remote & indigenous communities. Trainees should identify mentors prior to enrolling in the GSSP.  As arranging a global health elective can be challenging, PGME has developed a step-by-step process to guide you. More information on global health electives can be found from this link.  Options for electives at international agencies (e.g. WHO) might also be considered.

These components of the GSSP do not need to be completed concurrently but the first year of the GHEI should be started no later than the PGY3 year. 

The 4 weeks of field work can be performed anytime over the course of your residency, and is dependent upon approval from you Program Director. You will receive a certificate from GHEI at the completion of the curriculum and be recognized as having completed the GSSP when both the GHEI curriculum and the field work have been completed.

Global Surgical Scholar program participants will be encouraged to attend and contribute to global health educational events at the Departmental and University level (i.e. Global Surgery Journal Club, Global Surgery Symposium and Research Day, PGME Global Health Day), as well as national and international workshops, conferences and partnership programs where appropriate.

For more information on the Global Surgical Scholar Program, the Global Health Education Initiative and Global Health Electives please contact from PGME Global Health or from the Department of Surgery.


The Bethune Round Table in Global Surgery



Full program and registration links coming soon.

The University of Toronto is honoured to be hosting the Bethune Round Table in Global Surgery next spring. This year's program will highlight the contributions of residents and fellows, both those who are currently engaged and veterans who began their involvement during training. We aim to inspire the next generation of healthcare providers to be the greatest game-changers yet, and hope to see you there.


2nd Annual Education Scholars Symposium

Feb 16th 2018, 1-5pm

Peter Gilgan, Multi-Media Room


The Department of Surgery's 3rd Annual Global Surgery Symposium 

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23RD 2018, 1:00-5:00 PM

Guest speaker and full program coming soon.

Our annual symposiums have been fantastic experiences for our MD students, residents, fellows, and faculty alike to hear from some exceptional individuals. 

2017's keynote speakers included Dr. Andrew Leather (King's College, UK) and Dr. Milliard Derbew (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia). Our guest speakers included Drs. Oleh Antonyshyn, Georges Azzie, Rajiv Singal, and Ted Gerstle. A resident panel was moderated by Dr. Andrew Howard and residents Drs. Maeve Trudeau, Joshua Ng-Kamstra, and Anna Dare.

2016's keynote speaker was notable UK neurosurgeon and author Dr. Henry Marsh. Our guest speakers included showcased work from Drs. Jim Rutka, Mark Bernstein, Mojgan Hodaie, Laila Kasrai, Lee Errett, Georges Azzie, Bernie Goldman, Peter Chu, Walid Farhat, and Frank Papanicolaou. 

Global Faculty in the News

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn to receiving Helping Hands Humanitarian Award (17 April 2017)


Canadian doctors rebuild bodies shattered by war (7 March 2017)


A story to lift your heart: Toronto doctor’s book tells the inspiring story of Save a Child’s Heart


Canadian doctors help turn around injured Ukrainian boy’s life (30 Jan 2016)


Ukraine Pediatric Fellowship Program: Impact report


Mission of mercy: Toronto surgeons treat burn victims on remote Bangladesh island (21 March 2016)


Canadian eye surgery could prevent blindness in thousands worldwide


Strengthening smiles and medical carecapacity in India


Transferring knowledge: Barrick beyond borders


Dr. Homer Tien: From the battlefield to the ER

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