Cold Steel: The CJS Podcast

Cold Steel: The CJS Podcast

Hosted by associate editor Ameer Farooq and coeditor in chief Chad Ball, Cold Steel highlights the best research being completed by Canadian surgeons, discusses education topics of interest for surgeons and trainees alike, and provides guidance for career development.

You can find and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitchr, or listen to the episodes using the links below.

Episode 46: In this episode, we were lucky enough to be joined again by Dr. David Feliciano. Dr. Feliciano is a world-renowned trauma surgeon and a passionate surgical historian. Today he joins us to talk about surgeons who won the Nobel Prize and the complex and rich history that surrounds them.

Episode 45: In this episode, we explore the many challenges facing an under-discussed topic: undergraduate surgical education. We were joined by Drs. Andreana Butter and Geoffrey Blair, current and former chairs of the Canadian Undergraduate Surgical Education Committee (CUSEC).

Episode 44: Joe DuBose is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He obtained his surgical training at Keesler Air Force Base Medical Center and the University of Virginia from 2001 to 2006. Lt Col DuBose has been a staff trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist at Wilford Hall Medical Center and an assistant professor of surgery at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center / University of Maryland since 2008. During that period he has deployed as a trauma director once to the Air Force Theater Hospital at Balad Air Base in Iraq (2009) and twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (Kandahar-2010; Bagram Air Base 2011-2012). He presently holds the title of Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In this episode we talk to Dr. DuBose about his training pathway, his experience in the military, and about integrating his vascular training with his trauma background, which includes his thoughts about REBOA.

Episode 43: Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty obtained his Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology and completed the Surgical-Scientist Program from the University of Toronto in 1996, garnering many awards along the way. He continued his training in fellowships in Acute Burn Care & Reconstructive Surgery at Ross Tilley Burn Centre in Wellesley Hospital in Toronto and in Critical Care of Burns at Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle, Washington. He was appointed to the position of Associate Director of the Firefighters Burn Treatment Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital in 1999. In 2007 he was recruited by the University of Manitoba and the Health Sciences Centre to take on the position of Director of the brand new Burn Unit located at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He remains an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Manitoba and was appointed the Director of Research for the Section of Plastic Surgery. In this episode, we get all fired up about burn care. We talk about training pathways for burn surgeons, burn resuscitation, operative management of burns, and about Dr. Logsetty’s innovative research into burn wound management.

Episode 42: Dr. Henry A. Pitt trained in surgery at Johns Hopkins and has been at the forefront of developing HPB surgery over the past three decades. His career has taken him to UCLA (1979), back to Johns Hopkins (1985) in Wisconsin (1997) and Indiana (2004), (2013) to Temple University Health System (TUHS) and now to Rutgers Cancer Center. His focus in recent years has been on quality, both at the hospital and the national level. His accomplishments have been honored by the Surgical Research Society of South Africa, the Surgical Research Society of Australia, the Tongi Medical College of Wuhan, China, the Second Military Medical College in Shanghai, China, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland. In this episode, we delve deep on his initiatives to improve the quality of HPB surgery around the world.

Episode 41: Dr. Mark Campbell has been practising general surgery for 23 years and has been a member of the Space Medicine Branch and The Aerospace Medical Association since 1989. He has authored or co-authored 25 published papers concerning surgical care during space flight and surgical techniques in weightlessness. He also was the author for the surgical section of “Medical Guidelines for Air Travel” published by the Aerospace Medical Association. Dr. Campbell has been a private pilot since 1984 (single and multi-engine ratings) and received his Air Force Flight Surgery wings in 1994. He began performing parabolic flight research with NASA Medical Operations at the Johnson Space Center in 1991 and was a NASA Flight Surgeon at the Johnson Space Center from 1994 to 1996 where he was deployed to Star City, Russia to support the Shuttle-Mir program. In this episode we talk to him about prophylactic surgery for astronauts, developing remote surgical capacity, and telementored ultrasound.

Episode 40: Dr. Melinda Davis is an anesthesiologist at the Foothills Medical Centre. She teaches at all levels of medical education and has received numerous awards for education including the Jones Award for Teaching Excellence in Undergraduate Medical Education. Dr. Davis holds a number of leadership positions in medical education and has a research interest in medical student career choice. She is the lead of the Career Exploration Program which aims to help students make informed, confident career choices in medicine. In this episode, we dissect the surgery–anesthesia relationship and try to think of ways to improve it. We also talk about career counselling for medical students and Dr. Davis’s role as the new program director for the Calgary anesthesia program.

Episode 39: Dr. Janice Pasieka was the driving force behind the development of a multidisciplinary clinic for neuroendocrine tumours and hereditary endocrine clinic. She was also responsible for the development of the only Canadian American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES)-accredited fellowship program in endocrine surgery. In 2010 she became the first Canadian and second woman to become president of the AAES. In 2007, the Women’s Executive Network named her as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women. In this episode, we ask Dr. Pasieka about conferences, gender equity and her approach to surgical education and training.

Episode 38: In this episode, we do a practice mock oral examination with Drs. Caitlin Cahill and Greg Knapp. We hope that this can help candidates to get a sense of the Royal College oral examinations. Although there are no oral exams this year, we hope to help next year’s examinees get in the mindset for studying and practising for the oral exam.

Episode 37: Dr. Andrew Furey ( is a passionate orthopedic trauma surgeon and educator at Memorial University’s School of Medicine. He also holds a diploma in organizational leadership from Oxford University. His strong work ethic has earned him many local, provincial and national awards and honours. He was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Canadian Red Cross and earned the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Cross. In 2010, Dr. Furey helped create Team Broken Earth to provide medical relief after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Today, more than 1500 volunteers from across Canada, the US and UK have participated in medical missions to Haiti as well as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Dr. Furey is also the new premier-elect of Newfoundland and Labrador after winning the Liberal Party nomination on August 4, 2020. In this episode, we hear about how Dr. Furey started Team Broken Earth, his work in Haiti and his thoughts on leadership and physician advocacy.

Episode 36: Dr. Todd McMullen is a scientist and endocrine surgeon at the University of Alberta with specialized training in thyroid ultrasound techniques. In this episode we talk to Dr. McMullen about a topic that is sometimes a pain in the neck for trainees: thyroid nodules. Dr. McMullen gives us his approach to nodules, how he works them up, a brief overview of how he does his thyroidectomies, and postoperative calcium management.

Episode 35: Since joining the Division of Thoracic Surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton in 2010, Dr. Christian Finley has been awarded more than $600 000 in research funding for his active research program in thoracic surgery quality improvement. He has put considerable effort toward developing the collaborative clinical research program with his thoracic surgery colleagues. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Finely about his work with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) in demonstrating disparities in surgical cancer care across Canada.

Episode 34: Dr. Prism Schneider is an orthopedic trauma surgeon and assistant professor at the University Calgary. Dr. Schneider is well known for her research on many topics, particularly on the use of thromboelastography in postoperative and hospitalized patients. In this episode, we delve into Dr. Schneider’s research on intimate partner violence, and how surgeons might do a better job of recognizing it.

Episode 33: Dr. Charles Vollmer is the Director of Pancreatic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode, we delve into why Dr. Vollmer is so passionate about the pancreas and why he has done over a thousand peer reviews for surgical journals.

Episode 32: Dr. Omar Farooq is a general surgeon at Fort Saskatchewan Hospital in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. He did his MBBS in Punjab Medical College in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He then went on to do his internship at Case Western in Cleveland, general surgery resident at the University of Saskatchewan, and MIS fellowship at McMaster. In this episode, we hear about his experiences as an international medical graduate. Dr. Farooq shares his advice for IMG’s on navigating the system, as well as how we could potentially make the system better.

Episode 31:  In this episode we speak with Dr. Grace Rozycki, a professor of surgery who practices primarily at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She specializes in trauma surgery and surgical critical care, and her research focuses on quality as it relates to emergent general surgery and injury. We asked her about her pioneering work in trauma ultrasonography and her thoughts about gender equity and mentorship in surgery.

Episode 30: Dr. Alex Poole is a general surgeon in Whitehorse, Yukon, but his practice is not a typical general surgery practice. In this episode we talk to Dr. Poole about what it’s like to be a remote surgeon, his advice for those interested in a career in remote and rural surgery, and his work on frostbite injuries.

Episode 29: Dr. Sean Gregg is a general surgeon in Red Deer, Alberta. He has a special focus on hepatobiliary surgery but practises a full range of general surgical operations. Dr. Gregg completed medical school, residency and HPB training at the University of Calgary. In this episode we hear about Dr. Gregg’s fascinating life story and how his experiences with a Thai street artist shaped his approach to surgical training. He also shares his thoughts on how entrepreneurship and advocacy can unlock creativity in a surgical career.

Episode 28: In light of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, there has been a renewed international desire to confront the racial inequities that plague our society today. This applies to health care and in particular to surgery. To talk about this we have three phenomenal guests: Dr. Julius Ebinu, a neurosurgeon in Sacramento at UC Davis; Dr. Shahzeer Karmali, a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon at the University of Alberta; and Dr. Morad Hameed, a trauma and critical care surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital and section head at UBC.

Episode 27: It’s not an understatement to say that Dr. David Feliciano is a true giant in trauma surgery. He received his medical degree in 1970 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., completed his general surgery training at Mayo Clinic, in trauma at Wayne State University, and in vascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine (where he trained under Dr. DeBakey). He was Professor of Surgery at Emory University and Surgeon-in-Chief at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia from 1991 to 2011. He is now a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland and an attending surgeon at Shock Trauma. We discuss with him how he recruited such amazing faculty, developing one’s technical skills, research, and the future of trauma.

Episode 26: Tim Pawlik ( is an academic surgeon focused on hepatobiliary diseases. He serves as the surgeon-in-chief of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Chair of the Department of Surgery in the College of Medicine. He has an MPH, PhD, and a Masters of Theology from Harvard Divinity School. We talk to him about his unique training pathway, academic productivity and surgical “regret.” He shares his thoughts on passion and leadership, especially during the COVID-19 pandedmic.

Episode 25: The transition from surgical residency to fellowship is a landmark step. Two fantastic surgery fellows offer us their advice on everything fellowship: Salila Hashmi (hepato-pancreato-biliary) and Greg Knapp (surgical oncology). We talk about applying to a fellowship, obtaining personal letters, the importance of resident electives for setting up fellowship opportunities, and how to get the most out of your time as a fellow. Good luck to all fellows starting this July 1!!

Episode 24: In this episode we take a deep dive into competency-based medical education with Dr. Richard Reznick, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University and chief executive officer of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO). Dr. Reznick’s passion for medical education contributed to the founding of the Wilson Centre, a renowned health profession education research institute based in Toronto. In addition to ushering in competency-based medical education at Queen’s University, Dr. Reznick pioneered the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) that is used each year to assess thousands of medical licensure applicants in Canada.

Episode 23: Dr. Rebecca Auer (@auer_r) is a surgical oncologist and translational researcher studying the impact of surgery on the immune system and subsequent cancer recurrence. In her laboratory the focus is to develop innovative cancer therapeutics that can be administered during the perioperative period and to translate these therapies to the clinic. With three active clinical studies of perioperative cancer therapies, Dr. Auer aims to improve cancer outcomes for all patients who undergo invasive cancer surgeries. Dr. Auer talks about her training pathway, being a surgeon-scientist, developing a COVID-19 vaccine, her work on vaccines and cancer, and her tips for “work-life harmony.”

Episode 22: Dr. David Notrica (@surgery4kids) developed and continues to direct the Level 1 Trauma Center for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He is one of the founding members of the ATOMAC pediatric research network, and co-founder/co-chair of the Western Pediatric Trauma Conference, the Southwest Trauma and Acute Care Symposium, and Trauma Conference International. We discuss all things pediatric surgery with Dr. Notrica, not only on a clinical level, but also on a systems-level.

Episode 21: Dr. Keith Lillemoe, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of the Department of Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, W. Gerald Austen Professor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School, and Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Surgery, talks about his training, equity and diversity in surgery, bile duct injuries, and being the Editor-in-Chief at one of the biggest journals in the world.

Episode 20: Dr. Mohit Bhandari is a orthopedic surgeon and trialist at McMaster University. To say he is productive is an understatement; he is in the top 10 most cited orthopedic surgeons in the world. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Order of Canada. In our conversation, we discuss everything from his career track to productivity to social media to the characteristics of “hyper-performers.”

Episode 19: Dr. Jane Lemaire in an internist at the University of Calgary and is a national expert on the topic of physician wellness. We talked about physician burnout, resiliency and some strategies to help us cope during these incredibly challenging times.

Episode 18: We talk with Dr. Matt Kaminsky, a trauma and critical care surgeon at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He tells us what it’s like to work at a high-volume trauma centre like Cook County and shares with us his pathway to getting there.

Episode 17: We sat down with Dr. David Urbach, a bariatric surgeon and health services researcher at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, to talk about checklists, the impact of the word “cancer” on patient decision-making, wait times in Canada in the face of COVID-19, and medical devices in surgery.

Episode 16: We had a unique discussion with Dr. Mary Brindle, a pediatric surgeon at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, about the relationship between art and surgery and how those two disciplines interact with each other. We also heard from Dr. Brindle about her work on updating the safe surgery checklist and her work on enhanced recovery after surgery in pediatrics.

Episode 15: We had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Shahzeer Karmali, a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon in Edmonton, Alberta. He gave us a masterclass on the common types of bariatric operations, postoperative care and bariatric complications. We also discussed his fascinating research of the impact of bariatric surgery on intracranial hypertension, and how to navigate a relationship with industry.

Episode 14: We are joined by repeat guests Dr. Morad Hameed (@moradhameed) and Dr. Neil Parry to talk about how surgeons across the country have adapted to COVID-19. We also talk about the impact COVID-19 has had on final-year residents across the country and the basics of COVID-19 management.

Episode 13: Dr. Emilie Joos (@EmilieJoos) is a Canadian leader in global surgery. We interview her about the global response to the Haiti earthquake and challenges in global surgery, and ask her what advice she has for trainees interested in global surgery.

Episode 12: Dr. Philip Dawe is a trauma surgeon at the Vancouver General Hospital. He has a truly unique perspective, having been both a military and civilian trauma surgeon. We talk to him about leadership, what we can learn from the military, and his path to becoming a trauma surgeon.

Episode 11: We connect with Neil Parry, a practicing trauma surgeon in London, Ontario, who breaks down trauma resuscitation, whole blood in Canada, resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta, and pelvic packing. We even delve into duodenal and pancreatic trauma!

Episode 10: In this episode, we talk about a really important topic to trainees: exams! Dr. Tony MacLean is a colorectal surgeon at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. He is also the new head of the Royal College’s general surgery exam committee. He explains how to prepare for oral examinations, become a competitive applicant for fellowship programs, and get the most out of residency.

Episode 9: Dr. Frances Wright, a surgical oncologist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, dissects the topic of nodal management of melanoma and talks about her groundbreaking work in IL-2 injections for in-transit disease, her research on the patient-experience in cancer, as well as how to get involved in large, multicentre trials.

Episode 8: Dr. Sav Brar gives a masterclass on gastric cancer. Dr. Brar is a surgical oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, specializing in gastric cancer and sarcoma. He is also the new program director for the general surgery residency program in Toronto.

Episode 7: We interview Dr. Paul Grieg — a true legend of transplant surgery. Dr. Greig recently retired from the University of Toronto. He is renowned for developing the transplant program in Toronto and for his teaching of residents and fellows. We talked to him about setting up a transplant program, his thoughts on Competency By Design (CBD) and about how to make a graceful transition to retirement.

Episode 6: We had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Andy Kirkpatrick, a trauma surgeon at the University of Calgary and frequent contributor to CJS. Our discussion focused on some of Dr. Kirpatrick’s unique research interests: telementored ultrasound and space medicine. Buckle up!

Episode 5: We had a blast talking with Dr. Scott Gmora, a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon in Hamilton, Ontario, about the challenges of surgical training in an era of restricted work hours, and strategies on how to get the most out of surgical training.

Episode 4: We sit down at the Canadian Surgery Forum with Dr. Kelly Vogt, a trauma and acute care surgeon practising in London, Ontario, to discuss the complete caseload of patients for an acute care surgery service and what that means for the evolution of ACS in the future. She also has some advice for starting out in academic surgery.

Episode 3: We interview Dr. Tony Gomes, a community general surgeon in Lethbridge, Alberta, on the CAGS consensus statement on the dissemination of advanced laparoscopic techniques in Canada, professionalism in surgery and “surgical satisfaction.”

Episode 2: We interview Dr. Morad Hameed on process-mapping in acute care surgery. We also get his thoughts on what inspired him to pursue surgery, his reflections on diversity in surgery, and why public health approaches should be adopted by surgeons.

Episode 1: We interview Dr. Robin McLeod, Toronto, Ontario, about her work on Evidence-Based Reviews in Surgery (first published in CJS) as well as about her life, career and advice for trainees.