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General & Thoracic Surgery

Location:
555 University Avenue, Room 1524, Hill Wing
Phone:
416-813-6357
Email:
anne.apong@sickkids.ca
Fax:
416-813-7477
4 surgeons and assistants at the operating table with a digital display in the background and a bright light overhead

The Division of General and Thoracic Surgery takes care of children with a wide variety of congenital anomalies and acquired diseases of the abdomen, chest, head and neck, endocrine organs as well as the assessment and management of children with multiple injuries and children requiring liver and small bowel transplants. Our multidisciplinary team consists of general surgeons, fellows, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, registered nurses, enterostomal therapists, a dietitian, and administrative staff. See our Key staff section for more information. 

Two locations

We have in-patient and out-patient activities at two sites in Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children and Humber River Regional Hospital, Wilson site. In addition to patient care, members of the Division are involved in research and teaching, and are recognized as experts in fetal and neonatal surgery, paediatric gastrointestinal conditions, paediatric cancer, organ transplantation, developmental biology, immunology, short bowel syndrome, ethics, international surgery and the management of trauma in children. 

Training program 

Our Division has an extensive training program which includes: 

  • Paediatric General Surgery Fellows who are fully trained general surgeons and are completing two-year training program in paediatric general surgery. 
  • Neonatal ICU Surgery Fellows who are fellows with various levels of training from senior general surgery residents to fully trained paediatric general surgeons and are completing a one-year training program in neonatal ICU care. 
  • Paediatric Trauma Fellows who are fellows with various levels of training from senior general surgery residents to fully trained paediatric general surgeons and are completing a one-year training program in paediatric trauma care. 
  • Paediatric Surgical Oncology Fellows who are fully trained paediatric general surgeons and are completing a one-year training program in surgical oncology. 
  • General Surgery Residents (PGY-1) who complete a two-month rotation. 
  • Paediatric Residents (PGY-1) who complete a one-month rotation. 
  • Paediatric Gynecology Fellows who are fully trained Obstetrician/gynecologists and complete a six-week rotation. 

What we do

SickKids has approximately 350 paediatric beds with more than 15,000 operations performed each year. The Division of General and Thoracic Surgery primarily cares for children with abdominal and thoracic problems, although a significant number of children with anomalies, neoplasms or acquired lesions of the head and neck, and extremities and genitourinary tract are also seen.  

Below are some of the programs and services we offer through the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery. 

Programs and services

Expand each section below to read important details.

The Airway Reconstruction Team (ART) is a multi-disciplinary team with a special clinical interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with congenital tracheal stenosis (CTS).  

The purpose of this clinic is to provide a specialized environment for the follow-up and ongoing management of CDH and Esophageal Atresia/Tracheoesophageal Fistula patients post-discharge. The team consists of a paediatric general surgeon, respirologist, gastroenterologist, nurse practitioner, dietitian, occupational therapist, cardiologist, otolaryngologist and nurses. 

The Division of General and Thoracic Surgery participates in the combined Fetal Anomaly Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital. In this monthly clinic, mothers carrying fetuses with a congenital anomaly are seen and assessed. 

The General Surgery Clinic is a specialized service for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with a wide range of congenital anomalies and acquired diseases of the abdomen, chest, head and neck, and endocrine organs. We also care for children with multiple injuries and those requiring liver and small bowel transplants. 

The Surgical Oncology Clinic is a specialized service for the assessment and treatment of: 

  • Children and adolescents with masses of the neck, chest or abdomen which may be related to cancer 
  • New patients with an established diagnosis of cancer, including those involving the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, lungs, mediastinum, skin, lymph nodes and other soft tissues 
  • Patients with an established diagnosis of cancer who require short-term follow-up for their surgical procedure and/or may need long-term surveillance 

Staff from other divisions, such as Heamatology/Oncology and Dermatology, attend the clinic as required. 

The team is composed of multiple disciplines, including Dermatology, Paediatric Medicine, Haematology/Oncology, Interventional Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Plastic Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, General Surgery, Pathology and the Angiogenesis Lab.  

The GIFT program at SickKids began in November 2002 and remains the only formal intestinal rehabilitation program in Canada. The introduction of GIFT has almost eliminated mortality from intestinal failure associated liver disease since 2007. 

Important clinic instructions

Contact us

If you are calling to confirm or have a question about your clinic appointment, please call the clinic information clerk at 416-813-7272 or email us at generalsurgery.clinic@sickkids.ca. If you are a new patient calling about the status of your referral, please call our information coordinator at 416-813-2158. 

To ensure your next appointment runs smoothly, please read each section below.

  • You must show valid health-care coverage at every visit. If you do not, you will be required to pay a fee for the visit, unless coverage or insurance can be verified. 
  • Proof of health-care coverage must be valid at the time of visit (not expired). 
  • If you live in Ontario, show your child’s valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card. 
  • If you live in another province, show your child’s provincial health-care card. 
  • If you are a refugee claimant, show your child’s Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) certificate. 
  • If you have private health insurance, show the appropriate information or documentation. 
  • If you are receiving support from a Community Health Centre (CHC), show a letter from the CHC. 
  • Your appointment card or letter 
  • Toys, books, nut-free snacks, diapers and formula to keep your child comfortable and occupied in case there is a wait 
  • Any medical information, such as referral letters, test results, information about current therapies, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds or CT scans 
  • All medications your child is currently taking (in original packaging), including alternative and complementary treatments 
  • If you are separated or divorced, bring along any legal papers that show who has custody of your child and who can make decisions about your child’s care. For more information, see protocol for separated families: roles, expectations and documentation required with respect to custody and access. 
  • Copies of reports and imaging (CDs) pertinent to your appointment 

Your child may be requested to go for testing prior to the consultation, such as an ultrasound or GI study. If so, the clinic information clerk will provide you with details on fasting instructions and where to go for registration. 

Your appointment is for a consultation with a general surgeon. You will be assessed first by the clinic nurse, and then members of the General Surgery team, which may include residents, medical students, fellows and a nurse practitioner, working in collaboration with the staff surgeon. 

If this is a new consultation, you may be booked for surgery on a future date or you may be requested to return for follow-up testing or monitoring. 

If it is determined that your child will require surgery, you will be contacted by the surgeon’s administrative assistant to arrange a surgical date. 

If your child requires a follow-up appointment, you will be instructed to see the information clerk prior to leaving the clinic. 

Key staff

The Division of General & Thoracic Surgery team consists of our Staff Surgeons, Fellows, Residents, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, a Dietitian, Social Workers, and our Administrative Staff. Our team operates various multidisciplinary programs and clinics throughout the hospital.  

Georges Azzie, MD, FRCSC   

Program Director Paediatric Surgery, Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto

 

Reto M. Baertschiger, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP 

Paediatric Surgeon, Surgeon Scientist - Research Institute Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Priscilla ChiuMD, PhD, FACS, FAAP 

Staff Surgeon, General and Thoracic Surgery, Project investigator, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Annie FecteauMD, FRCS(C), FACS, FAAP 

Staff Surgeon, General and Thoracic Surgery 

Peri Operative Services Associate Chief for Patient Safety & Quality Improvement 

Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Sharifa HimidanMBBS, MD, FRCSC 

Neonatal and Paediatric General Surgeon, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Studies OVC, University of Guelph 

Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Jacob C. LangerMD, FRCSC 

Paediatric General Surgeon 

Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

 

Agostino Pierro, OBE, MD, FRCS (Engl), FRCS (Ed), FAAP 
Paediatric General Surgeon, Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Blayne Sayed, MD, PhD 

Staff Surgeon 

 

Paul WalesBSc., MD, MSc., FRCSC, FACS 

Neonatal and Paediatric Surgeon, Director, Group for Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment (GIFT)  

Co-Director, Trauma Program  

Senior Associate Scientist, Research Institute 

Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto 

Associate Professor, Institute of Health Promotion, Management and Evaluation

 

Justyna Wolinska, BSc., MD, MPH(c), FRCSC 
Neonatal and Pediatric Surgeon 
Assistant Program Director, Paediatric Surgery, University of Toronto 

 

Augusto ZaniMD, PhD, FACS, FAAP 
Paediatric Surgeon 
Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto 

Scientist, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program 

Anna Bondoc, RN 6C Ward – General & Thoracic Surgery  
Ambulatory Care Clinic  
Phone: 416-813-7212 Fax: 416-813-7318 
Email: anna.bondoc@sickkids.ca 

  • Dr. Eric Sparks (2nd year Subspecialty Resident) 
  • Dr. Kaitlyn Wong (2nd year Subspecialty Resident) 
  • Dr. Adi Fahy (1st year Subspecialty Resident) 
  • Dr. Joshua Ramjist (Neonatal Surgical Critical Care Clinical Fellow) 
  • Dr. Ali El Ghazzaoui (Neonatal Surgical Critical Care Clinical Fellow) 

Monping Chiang RN(EC), MS, FNP Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 202477  
Email: monping.chiang@sickkids.ca 

Maria Manalo, NP-PHC, RN(EC), MN, BScN 
Nurse Practitioner-Primary Health Care  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 208825  
Email: maria.manalo@sickkids.ca 

 

Anna Polanski RN, BScN, MN-PHNCP(c) Clinical Nurse Specialist  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 206729  
Email: anna.polanski@sickkids.ca 

 

Dina Prajapati RN(EC), BScN, MN, NP-PHC  

Nurse Practitioner-Primary Health Care                                                            
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 204240  
Email: dina.prajapati@sickkids.ca 

 

Julia Smallman RN, BScN, MN, NP-Paediatrics                                                                      

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 204488 
Email: julia.smallman@sickkids.ca 

 

Hazel Pleasants-Terashita RN(EC), MN, NNP-BC  
Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics Neonatal Intensive Care  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 201054  
Email: hazel.pleasants@sickkids.ca 

 

Nicole de Silva RN BScN MSc NP(Paediatrics)

Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics Neonatal Intensive Care 
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 206736  
Email: nicole.desilva@sickkids.ca  

Anne Apong - Supervisor, Administrative Services 
Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Himidan
Phone: 416-813-6357  
Email: anne.apong@sickkids.ca 

Janice Bowers – Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Wales  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 201490  
Email: janice.bowers@sickkids.ca 

Shannon Hannah – Education Coordinator, Fellowship, Junior Resident and Medical Student Coordinator, Administrative Assistant to Dr. Blayne Syed  
Phone: 416-813-6401  
Email: shannon.hannah@sickkids.ca 

Jennifer Ionson –Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Priscilla Chiu and Dr. Jacob Langer  
Phone: 416-813-6405  
Email: jennifer.ionson@sickkids.ca 

Tanya Kovaleva – Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Annie Fecteau and Dr. Justyna Wolinska 
Observership Programs Coordinator, Liver Transplantation Surgical Booking Coordinator for General Surgery  
Phone: 416-813-6402  
Email: tanya.kovaleva@sickkids.ca 

Fatemeh Montazermouod – Research & Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Agostino Pierro 
Phone: 416-813-7340  
Email: fatemeh.montazermouod@sickkids.ca 

Elizabeth Greczylo – Research & Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Reto Baertschiger and Dr. Augusto Zani 
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 204310  
Email: elizabeth.greczylo@sickkids.ca 

Jacquie Whyte – Surgical Administrative Coordinator to Dr. Georges Azzie and Dr. Blayne Syed

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext 202413

Email: jacquie.whyte@sickkids.ca

Christina Belza BScN, RN, MN, ACNP(P) Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics  
The Group for the Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment (GIFT)  
Phone: 416-813-5347 
Fax: 416-813-8471  
Email: christina.belza@sickkids.ca 

Sylvia Wong-Sterling BScN, RN, MN, ACNP(P) Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics  
The Group for the Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment (GIFT)  
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 208076 Fax: 416-813-8471  
Email: sylvia.wong-sterling@sickkids.ca 

 

Megan Carricato  Registered Dietitian 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 202828 

Fax: 416-813-7849 

Email: megan.carricato@sickkids.ca 

 

Alaine Rogers  Occupational Therapist 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 202828 

Fax: 416-813-7849 

Email: alaine.rogers@sickkids.ca 

 

Catherine Patterson  Physiotherapist 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 206755 

Fax: 416-813-8557 

Email: catherine.patterson@sickkids.ca 

 

Stephanie So - Physiotherapist 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 206755 

Fax: 416-813-8557 

Email: stephanie.so@sickkids.ca 

 

Anna Gold  Psychologist 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 208448 

Fax: 416-813-8839 

Email: anna.gold@sickkids.ca 

 

Jane Darch - Child Life Specialist 

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 208493 

Fax: 416-813-5364 

Email: jane.darch@sickkids.ca 

View of an operating room and doctor in action with surgical lights above

Education and training opportunities

The Paediatric Surgery Training Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is a two-year residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. There is a reciprocity agreement between the Royal College and Residency Review Committee and ACGME in the United States, so that at the successful completion of this experience, the trainee will be qualified for examinations in Paediatric General Surgery given by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Surgery. 

SickKids has approximately 350 paediatric beds, and staff perform over 15,000 operations each year. Primarily, the Division of General Surgery cares for children with abdominal and thoracic problems, although a significant number of children with anomalies, neoplasms or acquired lesions of the head and neck, and extremities and genitourinary tract are also seen. In addition to this exposure, the paediatric surgery trainee receives training in advanced minimal access surgery, liver and small bowel transplantation and trauma.  

Mandatory rotations in Neonatology (NICU) and Image-guided Therapy (IGT) are scheduled, and electives in other specialties as International Surgery, Urology, ENTand Clinical Research are available.

During the two-year training program, the trainee is given increasing responsibility on the wards and in the operating room. The trainee is also expected to assume administrative and teaching roles, especially during the second year when the trainee becomes the 2nd year fellow. 

Selection process

Currently, we select  one person per year for this position through the National Resident Matching Program. All positions start on July 1, and applications must be completed and submitted approximately 19 months prior to the expected starting date. The applicant will be considered for a possible interview once the following has been submitted and are available for review: 

  1. Completed Application 
  2. Letters of Recommendation 
  3. ABSITE or CAGS Exam Scores (please include copies from all years when the exam was taken) 

Applicants must have successfully completed a Residency in General Surgery which satisfies the requirements for examination of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada or the American Board of Surgery by the start of the paediatric surgery fellowship. Please contact the National Resident Matching Program for the Paediatric Surgery Specialty Match Applicant Agreement forms.

We also select one person every other year (in odd years) outside the match. This individual is usually a Canadian who has a commitment to work in an under-serviced area in Canada, or an international candidate (i.e. non-Canadian, non-American), whose intention is to return to their home country after their training. 

Our program also currently offers clinical rotations to junior and senior general surgery residents who are interested in a broader paediatric general surgical experience.

Expand the sections below to learn about our Residency and Fellowship opportunities in detail.

The Division of General and Thoracic Surgery offers three fellowship programs for General Surgeons:

Paediatric General Surgery

The Paediatric Surgery Training Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is a two-year residency accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. There is a reciprocity agreement between the Royal College and Residency Review Committee and ACGME in the United States, so that at the successful completion of this experience, the trainee will be qualified for examinations in Paediatric General Surgery given by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Surgery.

The Division of General Surgery primarily cares for children with abdominal and thoracic problems, although a significant number of children with anomalies, neoplasms or acquired lesions of the head and neck, and extremities and genitourinary tract are also seen. In addition to this exposure, the paediatric surgery trainee receives training in advanced minimal access surgery, liver and small bowel transplantation and trauma.

Currently, we select one person per year for this position through the National Resident Matching Program.  All positions start on July 1, and applications must be completed and submitted approximately 19 months prior to the expected starting date.

Read more on Year 1 of the fellowship - Goals and Objectives (PDF)
Read more on Year 2 of  the fellowship - Goals and Objectives (PDF)

Neonatal Surgical Fellowship

The Neonatal Surgical Fellowship is one year in duration.  Candidates must have completed their adult General Surgery training, or an equivalent amount of training, in their home country.

The Neonatal Fellow is responsible for managing the surgical patients in the NICU in collaboration with the surgical Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, the General and Thoracic Surgery Residents (Fellows) and the Neonatology Team.  This includes rounding on the patients each day, identifying problems and developing a daily plan, performing whatever procedures are required, participating in family and multidisciplinary meetings and acting as a liaison between the surgical staff and the neonatal team.

The NICU Fellow takes on average 1 in 4 call in rotation with the General and Thoracic Surgery residents.  During these calls, the fellow will cover the inpatients on the General Surgery service and consults in the emergency department and the wards, and will also serve as the Trauma Team Leader.  The Fellow will do any emergency cases that are performed during these calls.

Read more on the NICU Fellowship - Goals and Objectives (PDF)

Trauma Fellowship

The Trauma Fellowship is one year in length. The Trauma Fellow is the Trauma Team Leader during weekdays and when on call for the General and Thoracic Service.

The Trauma Fellow must respond to Code 50 activations within five minutes.  They must provide comprehensive TTL care to traumatized patients from trauma room through final disposition and handover to admitting service.  In addition the TTL must handle phone calls regarding transfer of traumatized patients and facilitate their transfer to SickKids.

During the Fellowship, the Trauma Fellow will provide Senior Paediatric Surgical Resident coverage an average of five nights per month.  They will be responsible for the management of the Paediatric Surgical in-service and consultations to inpatient units and emergency along with supervision of junior Paediatric Surgical Residents while on-call.  Operative experience is primarily based on "on-call" exposure.

Read more on the Trauma Fellowship - Goals and Objectives (PDF)

Apply now

The residency training program in General Surgery at the University of Toronto is the largest and most diverse training program in Canada, and most likely in North America. The vision is simply to provide the best training experience for General Surgery residents in North America.

The training program boasts nearly 70 geographic full-time faculty members spread over seven core and three non-core hospitals. Faculty members represent opinion leaders and experts in essentially every subspecialty area of General Surgery.

The University of Toronto teaching hospitals are fortunate to provide surgical care for a large urban population as well as patients arising from a vast catchment area and referral network.  This fact provides outstanding learning opportunities and a breadth of clinical volume that is unsurpassed.

Core training sites

1 - Academic Paediatric 

  • The Hospital for Sick Children

2 - Community

  • St. Joseph Health Care Centre
  • Toronto East General Hospital
Non-core training sites
  • North York General Hospital
  • Humber River Regional Hospital
  • The Scarborough Hospital (General Campus)
  • Trillium Health Centre
  • William Osler Health Centre

Read more information on the General Surgery Residency Training Program at The University of Toronto.  

Contact Jacquie Whyte at SickKids for inquiries. 

Shannon Hannah, Education Coordinator 
Division of General Surgery 
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) 
555 University Avenue 
Roy Hill Wing, Room 1526 
Toronto, ON 
M5G 1X8 
Canada 

Phone: 416-813-6401 ext. 3 
Fax: 416-813-7477 
Email: shannon.hannah@sickkids.ca 

Contact General & Thoracic Surgery at SickKids

 

Phone: 416-813-6357 

General and Thoracic Surgery Clinic: 416-813-7272 

Administrative fax: 416-813-7477 

 

General and Thoracic Surgery Clinic email: generalsugery.clinic@sickkids.ca (Please include your child’s full legal name and Medical Record Number, if you know it, in the subject line) 

General and Thoracic Clinic fax: 416-813-7318 

General and Thoracic Surgery Clinic referrals (Please note that we no longer accept faxed referrals). 

 

Health Records – Release of Information: 416-813-7575 (Please note that we do not keep health records in the division or clinic office. If you require health record information for a patient, you must request it through Health Records) 

 

Ward 5A: 416-813-6948 

Ward 5B: 416-813-6913 

 

Fetal Clinic (All fetal consultation requests must go through the Mount Sinai MFM site): 416-586-4800 ext. 7756 

Fetal Centre Referral Form - Fetal Centre Referrals 

 

Aerodigestive Clinic (Previously known as the CDH and EA/TEF clinics): 416-813-7270 Option 1 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): 416-813-6927 

Locating: 416-813-7500 

Main desk: 416-813-6849 

Our history

The following is a historical account of the Division of General Surgery as written by Dr. Sigmund H. Ein and updated by Dr. J. Ted Gerstle.

It was not until Dr. A.W. Farmer became the sixth Chief of Surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in the 1950s that the Division of General Surgery was created. Prior to that, the paediatric surgeons (Mustard, Wansbrough, Wilkinson and Walker, to name a few) did most paediatric surgical cases with little subspecialization. This surgery was done at the old hospital on College Street. In February 1951, SickKids moved a few blocks south to the new (present) University Avenue building. Dr. Wansbrough performed the first general surgical operation at noon on the day of the move - a pyloromyotomy for pyloric stenosis. 

In 1956, Dr. Farmer appointed Dr. Stuart Thomson as the first Division Chief of General Surgery. Dr. Gordon Cameron was the first Chief Resident, and in 1959 Betty Coryllos was the first female Chief Resident in General Surgery at SickKids. There were six staff surgeons (Stephens, Simpson, Trusler, Fallis, Shandling and Burrington) who came and went during Dr. Thomson's 10 years, and an Associate Chief Resident position was added. During these 10 years, 18 trainees received their post graduate training in Paediatric General Surgery. Dr. Thomson continued to head the division until 1967. 

In 1967, Dr. Clinton Stephens became the second Division Chief and this started a decade in which the Division moved from national fame to international recognition, because of residents and fellows coming from around the world to complete and enhance their training in paediatric general surgery, and because of the presentation and publication of a rapidly increasing number of significant clinical papers in all aspects of paediatric surgery. It was during this 10-year period, that the training program became officially structured into a two-year fellowship. During Dr. Stephens' decade as Division Chief, there were a total of six staff (Stephens, Simpson, Shandling, Fallis, Burrington and Ein), and 21 trainees received their paediatric surgical training. 

Dr. Robert Filler was not only the eighth Chief of Surgery at SickKids, but he was also the third Division Chief from 1977 to 1992. During this time the training program became one of the most popular and sought-after choices in the annual North American Paediatric Surgery Match. Clinical research, presentations and publications continued at a high rate, liver transplantation started, and a multidisciplinary Trauma Program was officially established. The Surgical Staff usually numbered five from among the following individuals (Stephens, Simpson, Shandling, Ein, Wesson and Superina). It was during Dr. Filler's term as Chief of the Division that the primarily private practice model of reimbursement for surgeons at SickKids was converted to a government-sponsored Alternate Funding Plan, and all of the General Surgical staff moved their offices into the hospital. 

From 1993 to 1999, the Division struggled with its leadership and focus, with three Division Chiefs (Wesson, Pearl and Filler) each holding the Division Chief title for two to three years. Despite this, the busy clinical aspect of the Division continued at its usual high level, and the excellent quality of chief residents and fellows continued unchanged. The number of staff continued intermittently at five, (Shandling, Ein, Superina, Wesson, Pearl, Kim and Gerstle). 

It was in the late 1990s that the end of four decades of one of the finest trios of paediatric general surgeons that ever graced a children's hospital (Clint Stephens, Jim Simpson and Barry Shandling) came to an end. Their experience totaled more than 100 years and would fill 100 textbooks. 

Jacob Langer returned to SickKids in 1999 to become Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto, the seventh Head of the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery at SickKids, and inaugural holder of the Robert M. Filler Chair in Paediatric Surgery. He held these positions until 2012. Dr. Langer and his colleagues, (Azzie, Chiu, Fecteau, Gerstle, Kim and Wales), welcomed an additional two surgeons, (Grace and Himidan), when under his stewardship, SickKids partnered with their paediatric surgery group at the North York General Hospital.  

After an international search, Dr. Agostino Pierro, arrived from The Great Ormond Hospital in the UK to become the divisions eighth division head. Under Dr. Pierro’s leadership the total number of surgeons rose to an all-time high of eleven staff surgeons. (Azzie, Baertschiger, Chiu, Fecteau,Himidan, Langer, Pierro, Syed, Wales, Wolinska and Zani). 

The eight Division Chiefs, from 1956 to 2020, have trained over one hundred young men and women, who presently practice paediatric surgery throughout the world. Among this group there were/are over 31 chiefs. All of these former trainees carry on the fine tradition of paediatric general surgery that they acquired at SickKids. 

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