Division of the Month: Thoracic Surgery

The Division of Thoracic Surgery innovates in research, clinical care, and surgical education.

5 June 2024

The Division of Thoracic Surgery under the leadership of Divisional Director Dr. Eric Bédard, innovates in research, clinical care, and surgical education. Active areas of research include biomarker testing in lung cancer, the impact of sarcopenia in esophageal cancer, lung cancer screening, and competency assessment and standardization of learning objectives in thoracic surgery.

Building on the success of the Alberta Thoracic Oncology Program, recent clinical initiatives have included enhanced recovery after lung resection, increased use of minimally invasive surgery and the introduction of per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM). The Thoracic Surgery team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital is recognized as a Canadian leader in the implementation of new neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatments for lung cancer in collaboration with colleagues in medical and radiation oncology. The Division is eagerly looking forward to July 2025 and the opening of its new RCPSC-accredited residency in thoracic surgery.

Surgical Education includes a diverse array of faculty and learners and impacts all phases of training, from before medical school to undergraduate medical students, graduate students in MSc and PhD programs, postgraduate residents and continuing professional development. Members of all Divisions within the Department of Surgery make important contributions to Surgical Education, including clinical and non-clinical specialties.

These educators, researchers and administrators meet regularly at Surgical Education Rounds, where innovative ideas, evolving projects and recent successes are shared. This academic year has seen the development of several exciting new initiatives, such the UpSurge mentorship program for BIPOC students in surgery, the STEEL teacher training certificate for surgical residents, funding for summer studentships and Tom Williams Research Day awards in Surgical Education and funding for external certifications such as the SERF and SELF fellowships via the Association for Surgical Education. The Department’s focus on Surgical Education was reflected in a banner year at Tom Williams Research Day, with an unprecedented number and quality of Surgical Education projects presented.

For more information contact Dr. Simon Turner