Thoracic Surgery

The Division of Thoracic Surgery is a recognized Western Canadian leader in minimal access thoracic surgical procedures, inclusive of pulmonary, mediastinal and esophageal resections. It is one of the busiest Thoracic Surgical units in the West, and is poised to begin its robotics program.


The division’s research portfolio has greatly expanded. Dr. Simon Turner continue to lead both clinical and translational research efforts. They are conducting an important prospective study examining Stigma in Lung Cancer and its impact on patient care. In 2017, the Alberta Lung Cancer Program Study (Dr. Bédard, local PI) achieved its target enrollment of 800 participants. It will continue over the coming years. The division has increased its commitment to clinical research with summer students and residents working on various clinical and translational science projects.


Under the leadership of Dr. Ken Stewart, associate professor and co-lead of the Alberta Thoracic Oncology Program (ATOP), members of the division continue to support efforts to improve the clinical path for patients in Northern Alberta with thoracic malignancies. Dr. Stewart’s vision and leadership led to the creation of ATOP. The first of its kind in Canada, ATOP transformed existing lung cancer care services into a system that provides patients with timely, coordinated and streamlined access to multi-disciplinary treatment. Expansion of the ATOP diagnostic imaging direct notification process to all major centres in Northern Alberta, has led to significant reductions in wait times for patients with potential lung cancers to be assessed by caregivers in Edmonton. In collaboration with the Division of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Bryce Laing continues to be an active member of Canada’s second-largest lung transplant program. The division is involved in a multi-disciplinary group bringing Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy technique to Alberta for patients with esophageal motor diseases, which will offer a tremendous advance in their treatment options.


Teaching remains a priority for the Division of Thoracic Surgery. Despite its small size, the division contributes to the education of both students and residents with all members participating in discovery learning and/or didactic teaching sessions. Dr. Eric Bédard is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Thoracic Surgery Specialty and Examination Committees. Members of the division have been recognized for their quality of teaching by the following awards: MSA Discovery Learning Preceptor Excellence Awards, the Dr. William A. Shandro Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Surgery, and the Drew Sutherland Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Simon Turner has already made important contributions to both undergraduate and postgraduate learners and is the Director of the Resident-Medical Student Shadowing Program.


The division remains active in administrative roles at many levels, including the University of Alberta, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Scott Johnson continues as President of the Section of Thoracic Surgery of the Alberta Medical Association. By embracing innovation, and working with a collaborative spirit, the division has evolved to become a significant contributor to the specialty at the local, provincial and national levels.

Contact Us

Division of Thoracic Surgery
416 CSC, Royal Alexandra Hospital
Tel: 780-735-5981
Fax: 780-735-4245
Divisional Secretary: Chandra Strasbourg