Department of Surgery

RONALD ZUCKER

About Dr. Ronald Zuker

Known as “the Smile Doctor”, Dr. Ronald Zuker is a Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children with an international reputation for his expertise in cleft lip and palate management. He is the former medical director of Sick Kids’ Cleft Lip and Palate Program which helps over 120 newborns and 3500 children each year; the largest of its kind in North America. In addition to full professorship at the University of Toronto, he currently co-directs the Facial Paralysis Clinic at Sick Kids. Dr. Zuker is a pioneer in the field of microsurgery and has received many accolades for his achievements.

Efforts Abroad

Dr. Zuker has been committed to international health since the start of his medical career. After a brief period of family practice in Ontario, he followed his interests to pursue studies in anthropology and jungle medicine. He embarked on a McLaughlin Travelling Fellowship to develop his skills in microsurgery, cleft care, and burn treatment in Japan, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. His global endeavors continued in eastern Peru’s Amazon Basin where he worked as as a river doctor at the Hospital Amazonica Albert Schweitzer.

Dr. Zuker was appointed to the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children in 1978 and served as the Division Chief of Plastic Surgery at Sick Kids from 1986 to 2002. During this time, he was credited for initiating and participating in many international projects. rough Boston-based charitable organization ‘Por Cristo’, he and colleague Dr. Howard Clarke travelled to Ecuador several times each year to establish a modern facility for pediatric burn care in the city of Guayaquil. rough training of local medical professionals and oversight of its development, the center now operates independently.

He is an active member of the plastic surgery council for the international volunteer organization ‘Operation Smile’ and has travelled to Columbia, Kenya, the Philippines, China, and India for microsurgery, cleft lip, and palate care missions. He provides both clinical pediatric care and surgical skills training for the local medical teams. The ultimate goal of the knowledge transfer is to empower the local teams to become self-sustainable. In addition to his clinical mission work, Dr. Zuker is currently the head of an Educational Exchange Program with Operation Smile with teams in Guwahati and Kolkata, India, for multi-disciplinary components of cleft lip and palate surgery.

Dr. Zuker’s educational outreach has been recognized by the Moebius Foundation and the Smile Foundation of South Africa. He holds honorary degrees as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Honorary Fellowship of the College of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa. He was awarded with the Canadian Society Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2014.