Chair’s Personal Pledge to the Surgeon Scientist Training Program

October 23, 2017

It is my honour and privilege to serve as the Albert and Temmy Latner Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Toronto. Our Division is steeped in academic history, with giants such as Dr. Robert Salter, Dr. Emil Schemitsch and Dr. Benjamin Alman having made enormous contributions as both clinicians and scientists. I am incredibly proud of the academic achievements of our Division, much of which has been accomplished by our surgeon-scientist trainees.

As a graduate of the University of Toronto Surgeon-Scientist Training Program myself I was able to reap enormous benefits that have helped immensely in my own career path. I initially developed an interest in Orthopaedic Oncology as a career while I was a medical student. As a resident under the supervision of Dr. Robert Bell, I pursued a Master’s of Science Degree examining the effects of injection of healthy skin fibroblasts in aiding healing of surgical wounds exposed to radiation for treatment of sarcoma. This experience has led to many initiatives, collaborations and partnerships that are in use today to help our sarcoma patients. My research interests more recently have expanded into ways to help bone exposed to radiation heal and into development of new ways of removing bone tumours using precise navigation. Without question, the experience and education that I obtained in the Surgeon Scientist Program has been instrumental in my career path and have allowed me to further foster an environment of scientific inquiry in our current trainees.

Our Division recently developed our bold and ambitious Strategic Plan entitled Global Leadership through Innovation and Collaboration. It is our vision to lead the global transformation of orthopaedic care, education and research. One of our key missions is to prepare leaders for the orthopaedic community of tomorrow. Our trainees know that our Division is well suited to prepare them for academic careers and for leadership positions, thanks in large part to the Surgeon-Scientist Training Program.

I am incredibly proud of the leadership of Dr. Jim Rutka, Chair of the Department of Surgery and a surgeon-scientist himself. Dr. Rutka has demonstrated a deep personal commitment to the Surgeon Scientist Training Program through his own philanthropy. The newly established James and Mari Rutka Surgeon Scientist Training Fund will help ensure the Surgeon Scientist Training Program remains accessible to all surgical trainees and continues to enhance health care into the future.

As a strong and ardent believer in the investment of our specialty’s future I can think of no better way than to assist our own Surgeon-Scientist Trainees through the generation of a sustainable funding mechanism to ensure opportunities and financial security for our trainees. I am therefore announcing a personal commitment of $50,000 over the next 5 years to establish the Orthopaedic Surgeon Scientist Training Program Scholarship. I strongly believe that this fund will help fund the future of academic orthopaedics at the University of Toronto. I am hopeful that you will consider joining me on this exciting journey in support of our great Division.


Surgeon-scientists in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery


Number of SSTP Graduates from the Division since the program was established in the early 1980’s


Number of residents currently enrolled in the SSTP from 57 residents in the Division


Peter C. Ferguson, MD MSc FRCSC
Albert and Temmy Latner Chair
Division of Orthopaedics
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto