Welcome to the Fall 2020 Newsletter!

Welcome to the Fall 2020 edition of the BISC Newsletter! This September, we are welcoming 14 new students in our graduate programs, along with our returning students. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish!

Read on for more news and announcements, faculty and student spotlight, featured publications and upcoming events. Have you noticed our fresh look? Please let us know what you think at, we always invite your feedback and ideas.


Are you a health professional looking to advance your knowledge in global surgical care? Applications to our Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC) and Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC) for January 2021 intake are now available.

Our programs are intended for surgical care clinicians, trainees in surgical care disciplines, allied health care professionals or trainees involved, or who wish to be involved, in global surgical care. Questions can be directed to


This year, we wish to recognize and express our appreciation for the significant contributions of two BISC Instructors, Dr. Norgrove Penny and Dr. Dan Poenaru. Dr. Penny and Dr. Poenaru are co-instructors of SURG 512 – Global Disability: A Surgical Care Mandate. Read their biographies on our website here.


Ryan Falk is a current student in the Master in Global Surgical Care (MGSC) program at BISC. We had the pleasure to interview Ryan about his experiences in global surgical care and as a student in the Masters program as a family physician with enhanced surgical skills (FPESS), practicing in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.

Read Ryan's full profile feature on our website.



Starting this fall, BISC is offering for the first time an online 2-week elective to introduce medical undergraduate students to global surgery. If you are a 4th Year Medical Student at UBC and are interested in taking the elective, please email for more information.

Three Ugandan Colleagues join UBC Faculty and the Branch for International Surgical Care

Since 2008, it has been a tremendous pleasure to work with Ugandan surgical care colleagues on advancing the surgical care of children and their families. This interdisciplinary partnership has led to networks and collaborations spanning several surgical disciplines and specialties, which have resulted in surgical camps for children, teaching and learning exchanges for both Ugandan and Canadian trainees, and advancing research which aims to improve access to high-quality surgical care.

Dr. Sister Mary Margaret Ajiko, Dr. Mary Nabukenya, and Dr. Phyllis Kisa have been honoured with adjunct UBC faculty appointments in the Departments of Surgery, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Urologic Sciences respectively, in recognition of their tireless partnership, collaboration, and commitment to clinical and academic surgery. These three remarkable Ugandan women have not only continued to advance their training, they have made significant contributions to the learning of students, residents, and fellows both here in Canada and Uganda.

Drs. Ajiko, Nabukenya, and Kisa will be participating as facilitators in the global surgery elective for UBC medical undergraduate students, and in the future may assist in our Masters program for students wishing to gain vital, real-world exposure to faculty working in a variety of surgical settings globally.

Please join us and Damian J. Duffy, Executive Director, The Office of Pediatric Surgical Evaluation and Innovation (OPSEI), in welcoming Drs. Ajiko, Kisa, and Nabukenya most warmly to UBC and the Branch for International Surgical Care.



BISC is in the process of developing a new five-year Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2027.

If you are interested in helping shape the future of global surgery education, and wish to provide input to the direction of BISC in the next five years through our Strategic Plan, please email us at

2021 AND 2022 UPDATE

BISC and the UBC Department of Surgery are actively preparing to host the Bethune Round Table 2022. We are currently seeking volunteers to help with various logistical and hosting tasks as well as Steering Committee members to help with planning. If you are interested, please get in touch by email.

Stay tuned for Bethune Round Table 2021, which will be hosted virtually by McGill University, date to be determined. 


  • Falk, R., Taylor, R., Kornelsen, J. et al. Surgical Task-Sharing to Non-specialist Physicians in Low-Resource Settings Globally: A Systematic Review of the Literature. World J Surg (2020) - LINK
  • Truche, P., Shoman, H., Reddy, C.L. et al. Globalization of national surgical, obstetric and anesthesia plans: the critical link between health policy and action in global surgery. Glob. Health (2020) - LINK


  • Oct 28, 2020: 11th Annual Don Rix Distinguished Keynote Address, Genome BC - LINK
  • Nov 18, 2020, 7-8AM PDT: 2020 Chung Lectureship, UBC Department of Surgery - LINK