The Office of International Surgery

Who We Are: Our Mission & Values

The Department of Surgery at U of T has provided surgical expertise around the globe, with the ultimate goal of reducing inequities and improving access to quality healthcare in developing nations.

As the world becomes more interconnected, we have prioritized building local capacity in a strategic manner. With this approach, we are proud to offer an academic pathway for our residents, support for our faculty who dedicate their time abroad, host relevant events, and engage in meaningful partnerships that align with our dedication to social responsibility.

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. 


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.


The Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund: Pediatric FellowshipProgram

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. 


Greg Wilkins Barrick Chair in International Surgery

Dr. Mark Bernstein (Neurosurgery, UHN) was appointed to the Greg Wilkins Barrick Chairin International Surgery in 2011. With an already impressive resume of global involvement, Dr. Bernstein is able to use his Chair support to enable students in participating in international surgical educational missions and completing Global Health Professional Masters degrees in International Surgery. 


The A.K Prakash Foundational Fellowship in International Medicine

A generous gift from Toronto-based art enthusiast Ash Prakash to the Departmentof Surgery has enabled many surgeons from developing countries to gain experience in Toronto hospitals that has profound life-saving effects on local communities when they return to their home countries. This unique gift facilitates knowledge transfer and immediate clinical 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 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.


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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