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 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.