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Dear Colleague,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 38th Annual Assembly of General Surgeons and Residents at the University of Toronto. The Planning Committee, chaired by Rebecca Gladdy and Sean Cleary, has organized a fantastic program that should capture your attention from dawn to dusk.

This is an excellent opportunity for our residents, fellows and students to present their work, and for all of us to learn about the fantastic research that is being done by members of our division. I hope you will actively listen to, discuss with, and challenge the presenters. Please take some time to review a few posters on topics you are unfamiliar with, and engage with the trainees who want to share their findings.

This year, our afternoon symposium focuses on the important subject of ICU-general surgery interactions. Unlike some other surgical subspecialties, general surgery training and practice involves an active and ongoing role in caring for critically ill patients. I have become concerned that the consolidation of the “closed unit” principle and intensivist inclusionism may be discouraging general surgeons from sharing appropriately in the care of the critically ill. (Yes, this is intended as a provocative statement.) I hope the symposium will illuminate some of the relevant issues, and lead us towards real solutions we can implement here at the University of Toronto. Joining the discussion panel of local experts will be our Tovee Lecturer, Lena Napolitano, who is a thought leader in critical care medicine.

Carol Swallow
Bernard and Ryna Langer Chair,
Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto