General Surgical Oncology Program

Surgical Oncology Program General Surgery Oncology Fellowship
University of Toronto

The University of Toronto offers a 2-year fellowship in General Surgical Oncology (GSO) which is approved by the Society of Surgical Oncology (2003) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (1997) for three to four new fellows per year. The GSO fellowship at the University of Toronto is dedicated to excellent patient care, research and education. Fellows in this program benefit from exposure to faculty and facilities at two cancer centres with distinct yet complementary strengths: the Princess Margaret Comprehensive Cancer Centre, located in downtown Toronto, and the Edmond Odette Regional Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, located uptown. These two cancer centres serve the Greater Toronto Area (population 5.5 million) and are referral centres for complex cancer patients for the province of Ontario (12 million). The Princess Margaret Hospital and affiliates sees 12,430 new cancer patients per year, completes 6447 cancer surgeries and has 130 in-patient beds. The Edmond Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre serves 17181 new cancer patients per year, completes 2727 cancer surgeries and has 1275 in-patient beds including 103 cancer program patient beds. Both centres are actively involved in clinical trials.

In the first year, fellows rotate through Surgical Oncology services at both centres including core rotations in GI/HPB (4 months, uptown), GI/Sarcoma (4 months, downtown) and Breast/Melanoma/ head and neck (4 months, uptown or downtown). The GI/HPB rotation features experience in laparoscopic assessment and treatment. In the second year, fellows receive training in one-month rotations each of radiation oncology, medical oncology, and surgical pathology. There are clinical electives available in all of the above areas for 3-6 months, or fellows may choose to gain additional experience in musculoskeletal, H&N, HPB, gynecologic, urologic and/or thoracic oncology either in Toronto or at other centres. All rotations involve and emphasize interaction with colleagues in other oncologic disciplines in multidisciplinary clinics, tumor boards, rounds and in the operating theatre. In addition in the second year of the program, 3-6 months are set aside for participation in clinical or laboratory research projects. It is expected that each fellow will complete at least one research project during the fellowship and that this project will be submitted for publication.
The formal education program includes a weekly core curriculum lecture and seminar series shared with the other surgical oncology disciplines, allowing GSO fellows to interact with Gynecologic Oncology, Urologic Oncology, Orthopedic Oncology, H&N Oncology and HPB/transplant fellows. In addition, GSO fellows attend a weekly general surgical oncology specific seminar series. There are also monthly journal clubs organized by the fellows. The seminar series are complemented by a menu of institutional rounds, tumour boards, conferences and teaching sessions that also include trainees in the University of Toronto General Surgery Residency program. Our GSO Fellowship Program makes a concerted effort to respect the learning needs of both the fellows and the residents, and for the most part the interactions between the two are mutually beneficial.

Recognizing that trainees will come from a number of different institutions with various volumes and patterns of activity, and will also ultimately work in a variety of settings, the program addresses distinctive trainee and institutional needs and characteristics. Fellows receive flexible instruction combining considerable individual attention and outstanding breadth of exposure, with comprehensive knowledge and technical skill that enable them to practice as General Surgical Oncologists in academic cancer centres, regional cancer centres or community hospitals.
Successful applicants will have completed or anticipate completion of residency training in a recognized General Surgery training program. Fellows receive full salary support. In addition, all our fellows are provided with support to attend the annual SSO meeting as well as the annual Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology meeting.
The Surgical Oncology Manual reflects the current approach to the management of Surgical Oncology in General Surgery at the University of Toronto (published 2012). It provides a practical, up to date approach to the management of breast cancer, sarcoma, peritoneal malignancies, colon and rectal cancer, gastric cancer, NETs, melanoma, liver and pancreas cancer. The disease site chapters balance clinician experience and guidelines, with evidence-supported practice with seminal papers described in chart form within each chapter. It is used as the basis for the lecture curriculum for the fellows. The Surgical Oncology Manual is available at the University of Toronto Bookstore, St. George Campus and as an eBook for iPads via iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Copia, eSentral, Scribd and Sony. To contact about the manual, email     

The deadline for applications is July 1st, 2013.


Program Coordinator: Jane Hanes

Department of Surgical Oncology
Room 3-130,
610 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5G 2M9

Phone: (416) 946-6583
Fax: (416) 946-6590


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