Welcome to the Spring 2021 Newsletter!

Happy Spring! Welcome to the BISC Spring newsletter with the latest updates on our educational programs, international collaborations and projects, and more.

Read on for the latest news and announcements, faculty and student spotlights, featured publications and upcoming events.

If you have any topics that you would like to see featured in our upcoming newsletters, please let us know at


We are very excited to feature our first cohort of students graduating from the Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC) and several students graduating from our Graduate Certificate of Global Surgical Care in May 2021! We are looking forward to welcoming this class to the BISC alumni and to see the amazing work they will do in global surgical care in the future. Congratulations on completing the GCGSC and MGSC program!


Ryan Falk, Sydney Girard, Regan Guilfoyle, David Isa, Rupinder Khotar, Lorenz Yeung


Stephen Wing Fu Fok, Dalal Hubail, Anisa Nazir, Emma Sumner


Are you passionate about global surgery? Join the next cohort of our Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC) and Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC).

Our online programs are for interdisciplinary surgical care professionals focused on addressing challenges and contributing to solutions in low-resource settings. We welcome surgical care clinicians, trainees in surgical care, and allied health professionals of all disciplines. 


We are excited to share that we have recently released our 2020 Annual Report. 

This document captures our achievements and program highlights of the year, as well as operational updates and announcements for what is to come at BISC. Learn more about this year's education programs, partnerships and global initiatives.


Instructor Appreciation

We wish to acknowledge the significant contributions of Dr. Jane Lea, co-instructor of SURG 518: Surgical Care in Canada’s Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities with Global Comparisons. BISC would like to recognize Dr. Lea for her outstanding contribution in creating an enriching learning environment for our students as she is moving on next year. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours!


Dr. Lea was also nominated as a Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Culture Change Champion for her contribution to a positive learning environment at UBC!


Student Spotlight

Dr. Godfrey Sama Philipo is a medical doctor from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania currently enrolled as a student in our MGSC program. Passionate about global surgical care, he developed a deep understanding of the topic, joining the largest medical student association related to surgery, InciSioN, completing an MPH in China and ultimately working as a research coordinator at his alma mater, Muhimbili University. He speaks about the challenges of studying a new field, where employment opportunities are not clearly defined and where funding can be difficult to obtain. 



SURG 560 Student Reports

In SURG 560, students complete a field practicum placement grounding their knowledge and skills attained in the other courses of the MGSC. A high-level written report is produced as the final graduating requirement. 

Three MGSC students, David Isa, Regan Guilfoyle and Lorenz Yeung, have recently completed their reports which are now available on our website.


YouTube Features

Did you know that BISC has a YouTube channel? We have recently posted video interviews with outstanding surgical care professionals from low-resource settings. Check out some of our features below.


Bethune Roundtable 2021

The Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS), in association with McGill University, is very proud to announce the Bethune Round Table 2021!

The Bethune Round Table (BRT) is an annual interdisciplinary meeting aimed at addressing the challenges of providing accessible, high-quality surgical care to marginalized patients in low-resource settings. The 21st Bethune Roundtable will be held from May 28-31 with the theme of Strengthening Health infrastructure in Under-Resourced Communities.


BISC is honoured to host the 2022 Bethune Round Table on June 16-18, 2022 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC with the theme: Decolonizing Global Surgery. More details coming soon - stay tuned on our landing page!

BISC Advisory Committee Meeting and Strategic Planning Retreat: May 2021

BISC is beginning work on developing a new five-year Strategic Plan for the Branch from 2022 – 2027.

The first planning session to discuss future priorities of the Branch took place on February 18. A special session with the BISC Advisory Committee was held with guest, Dr. John Meara. Original author of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and Founder and current Director of the Harvard Program for Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC), Dr. Meara spoke to his journey in global surgery and, more importantly,his vision for PGSSC, which we hope will inspire our discussions for BISC’s future priorities.

A facilitated Advisory Committee retreat was held May 2, 2021, facilitated by Dr. Jugpal Arneja, Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery and Plastic Surgeon at BC Children’s Hospital. In May 2021, the BISC Advisory Committee met for its annual Spring meeting and BISC instructors also participated to discuss our educational programs and operational priorities.


More details on the Strategic Planning process and BISC’s future priorities will be shared in upcoming newsletters.


  • Joos, Emilie MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACSa,; Zivkovic, Irena BScb; Shariff, Farhana MD, MSc(HPE), FRCSCc Virtual learning in global surgery: current strategies and adaptation for the COVID-19 pandemic, International Journal of Surgery: Global Health: January 2021 – Volume 4 – Issue 1 – p e42 doi: 10.1097/GH9.0000000000000042 (LINK)

  • Philipo GS, Vuhahula E, Kimambo A, Mmbaga EJ, Loon KV, Ng DL. Feasibility of Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy and Rapid On-Site Evaluation for Immediate Triage in Breast Cancer Screening in Tanzania. JCO Global Oncology. 2021. PMID NUMBER: 33493018 (LINK)

  • Greive-Price T, Mistry H, Baird R. North-South surgical training partnerships: a systematic review. Can J Surg. 2020 Nov 30;63(6):E551-E561. doi: 10.1503/cjs.008219. PMID: 33253513; PMCID: PMC7747846. (LINK)

  • Arulanandam B, Dorais M, Li P, Poenaru D. The burden of waiting: wait times for pediatric surgical procedures in Quebec and compliance with national benchmarks. Can J Surg. 2021 Jan 7;64(1):E14-E22. doi: 10.1503/cjs.020619. PMID: 33412000. (LINK)


  • Bethune Round Table 2021 Gala,Canadian Network for International Surgery (LINK) – Virtual on YouTube  May 28, 2021, 10:30 am PST
  • Bethune Round Table 2021: Pre-Conference Workshops (LINK)
  1.  – Virtual, May 27, 2021 | Topic: Building a Consensus Around Sustainability Criteria for Global Surgery Partnerships, moderated by Dr. Emilie Joos (BISC Associate Director) and Dr. Nicole Jedrzejko
  2. – Virtual, May 27, 2021 | Topic: Indigenous Health in Global Surgery, moderated by Dr. Melanie Morris (BISC Instructor)
  • BC Rural Health Conference, Rural Coordination Centre of BC (LINK) – Virtual, May 29-30, 2021