Welcome to the Fall 2021 Newsletter!

Welcome to the Fall 2021 BISC newsletter! This September, we are excited to welcome 20 new students in our graduating programs, along with our current students and faculty starting a new academic year. If you wish to be updated on our communities’ work and accomplishments, consider taking a look at our social media accounts!

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


Congratulations to Dr. Anise Barton for completing her course requirements and graduating in November 2021 from the Master of Global Surgical Care!


Interested in expanding your knowledge in global surgical care? Applications to our Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC) and Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC) for January 2022 intake are available now. The deadline for the GCGSC is October 15, 2021 and for the MGSC is November 1, 2021. 

Our fully online programs are accessible worldwide in a flexible delivery format and focuses on the global burden of unmet surgical care. We welcome all interdisciplinary surgical care professionals who would like to focus on addressing challenges and contributing to solutions in low-resource settings.


Here at BISC, we constantly strive to innovate, strengthen, and grow to create sustainable improvements in the delivery of surgical care in the world's most disadvantaged countries to build capacity within the field of surgery on the provision of care in low-resource settings.

BISC’s new strategic plan for 2022-2027 will be built upon our foundational five-year strategic plan 2016-2021. A draft plan has been developed based upon discussions at a brainstorming retreat with our Advisory Committee in May 2021 with a revised Vision, Mission and three Strategic Pillars with related goals and metrics for each pillar.

BISC held stakeholder consultation to gain feedback from the global surgical care community on our draft plan in early September 2021.

Please review our draft plan by downloading below and provide any comments to us at

We will be incorporating comments and launching the new strategic plan by the end of 2021 so stay tuned to our website and future newsletters!


Faculty Spotlight

BISC is excited to welcome several new, accomplished surgical care professionals and researchers to our Faculty this year!

SURG 510 - Dr. Sam Bugis 

SURG 517 - Dr. Emily Schaeffer

SURG 518 - Dr. Ryan Falk and Dr. Stuart Iglesias

SURG 560 - Dr. Paul Dubord

We would also like to thank Dr. Shahrzad Joharifard who is helping create a new course on global surgical care research! More information will be provided on this new offering in future newsletters.


Student Spotlight

Dr. Willow Thickson is a recent UBC medical graduate, who is Cree, Ashininaabe and Métis from the Michel First Nation in Alberta.

As a current student in our Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care program, Willow is dedicated in bridging the gap in health care and in health outcomes for her people. Willow hopes to address health care barriers for Indigenous peoples, and why they are suffering at a greater rate than other populations in Canada. She is currently doing her family medicine residency through UBC in the Fraser Valley region.

In her goal to advocate for the advancement of Indigenous peoples' health she has held several positions such as Vice President of Indigenous Health, UBC Medical Undergraduate Society; Board Member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), National Officer of Indigenous Health for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), and member of the Indigenous Health in Specialty Postgraduate Medical Education Steering Committee at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).



MSF-UBC Partnership Update

In 2019, a partnership between Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Center Paris (OCP) and UBC-BISC was agreed upon to create a surgical task-sharing curriculum, in order to help build capacity in MSF-surgical projects in Aweil, South Sudan.

Enrustrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for this curriculum were adapted from the Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) framework, with individual technical and non-technical skills selected based on the case mix of this particular MSF context.

To date, the partnership has achieved noteworthy results including overall, the trainees demonstrated a significant contribution to the surgical volume at Aweil State Hospital, performing 31% of all surgical procedures at the institution. They have completed a total of 416 Procedures and 251 EPAs and more. Read on for the latest results and updates on the partnership by clicking the link below.

BISC Reading Recommendations

Looking for your next read? BISC has created a list of readings based on our students and faculty suggestions. Ranging from fiction books, reports, memoirs, and textbooks, feel free to filter through our list to find your reading preferences! 

Do you have a suggestion for our Reading Recommendations? Send it to us at! 




Bethune Roundtable 2022

BISC is excited to host the 2022 Bethune Round table on June 16-18, 2022 Vancouver, BC with the 22nd theme as "Decolonizing Global Surgery." The conference will be fully virtual to be as inclusive as possible.

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 program is currently being shaped, with more details on speakers, abstracts, registration and sponsorship opportunities coming soon - stay tuned on our landing page and to our social media!




  • Binda C, Zivkovic I, Duffy D, Blair G, Baird R. Evaluation of Interventions Addressing Timely Access to Surgical Care in Low-Income and Low-Middle-Income Countries as Outlined by the LANCET Commission 2030 Global Surgery Goals: A Systematic Review. World J Surg. 2021 Aug;45(8):2386-2397. doi: 10.1007/s00268-021-06152-x. Epub 2021 May 10. PMID: 33973069. (LINK)
  • McVicar JA, Poon A, Caron NR, Bould MD, Nickerson JW, Ahmad N, Kimmaliardjuk DM, Sheffield C, Champion C, McIsaac DI. Postoperative outcomes for Indigenous Peoples in Canada: a systematic review. CMAJ. 2021 May 17;193(20):E713-E722. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.191682. PMID: 34001549; PMCID: PMC8177941. (LINK)

  • Philipo GS, Nagraj S, Bokhary ZM, Lakhoo K. Lessons from developing, implementing and sustaining a participatory partnership for children's surgical care in Tanzania. BMJ Glob Health. 2020 Mar 17;5(3):e002118. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-002118. PMID: 32206345; PMCID: PMC7078648 (LINK)

  • Whitaker J, O'Donohoe N, Denning M, et al Assessing trauma care systems in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and evidence synthesis mapping the Three Delays framework to injury health system assessmentsBMJ Global Health 2021;6:e004324. (LINK)

  • Joos E, de Jong N, Ball CG, Quigley S, Trottier V, Massé M, Engels PT, Rao J, Gillman LM, Visser R, Widder S, Hameed MS, Vogt KN; Canadian Collaborative on Urgent Care Surgery (CANUCS). Time to operating room matters in modern management of pancreatic injuries: A national review on the management of adult pancreatic injury at Canadian level 1 trauma centers. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2021 Mar 1;90(3):434-440. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000003025. PMID: 33617195. (LINK)


  • The 12th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health, (LINK) - Virtual, September 28 - October 1
  • CUGH Virtual Summit ,The Road to COP27: Climate Change and Health Through Three Lenses (LINK) - Virtual, October 15, 2021

  • Public Health 2021, Canadia Public Health Association (LINK) – Virtual, October 6-8, 2021

  • Engineers in Scrubs MedTech Cafes, (LINK) - Zoom. 1st and 2nd MedTech Cafe on 22nd September and 6th October respectively from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm PST. Contact for more info.
  • WB and MH Chung Research Day, (LINK) - Virtual and In Person at Vancouver General Hospital, November 1, 2021.
  • Canadian Conference on Global Health, Canadia Society for International Health (LINK) – Virtual, November 24-26, 2021
  • CUGH Annual Conference, (LINK) In-person & Virtual, Los Angeles, California April 1-3, 2022

  • Bethune Roundtable 2022. (LINK) - Virtual, June 16 - 18, 2022


Stay connected with news, updates and events!