McMurrich Award

Hillary Lia received First Prize awarded at this year’s Gallie Day McMurrich Oral Presentation for her current PhD research, ‘The role of operating room professions in setting the tone for teamwork: a constructivist grounded theory study’. Congrats Hillary and looking forward to the next phase of your study!

Gallie Day is the annual research day at University of Toronto’s Department of Surgery. Recording of the event will be posted soon.

Welcome Jane!

Spring is here and with it, new beginnings. We are welcoming Jane to the lab as a research student! She will be leading a literature review on Compartmentalization and also assisting with data analysis in the lab.

Jane Jomy is a medical student at the University of Toronto, where she serves as Class President on the Medical Society. She is passionate about health equity, quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS), and medical education. She is a clinical epidemiologist by training with a Master of Science in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. During medical school, she participated in the Quality Improvement Experiential Student Training (QuEST) Program to address barriers to health equity in QIPS. Currently, she is working with MD Program faculty on a curriculum innovation program to improve assessment and evaluation.

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AO Fellowship in Medical Education Research

Johanna is the recipient of the 2022 AO Fellowship in Medical Education Research for her project: Are Surgeons Fearless? A constructivist grounded theory approach to conceptualize how surgeons navigate fear in the operating room.

The AO Fellowships aim to contribute to medical education research to improve performance and patient outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal. The AO is a not-for-profit global medical education organization providing opportunities to network and collaborate in global surgery.

Welcome Johanna

We have another new member of the lab and Wilson Centre fellow, Johanna Riesel.

Johanna completed her plastic and reconstructive surgical training at Harvard University before completing a pediatric craniofacial fellowship at SickKids. Her clinical interests are in cleft and craniofacial surgery, facial reanimation, general paediatric reconstruction, surgical education, and global surgery. Her research interests include improving outcomes in endoscopic strip craniectomies, neurocognitive outcomes for craniosynostosis, optimizing surgeon performance in the operating room, and improving access to high-quality surgical care in limited-resource settings.

She is currently obtaining a Masters in Medical Health Professions Education to further her interest in optimizing surgeon performance in the operating room. Johanna serves as the Director of the Wellness Program for the University of Toronto Plastic Surgery Residents.

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Welcome Erfan

We are welcoming a new Wilson Centre fellow to the lab.

Erfan Farno is a recent medical graduate of St. George’s University. He will be joining us as a Research Fellow prior to starting residency. Intrigued by the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of surgical education, he is interested in qualitatively exploring how feedback, evaluations, and assessments are implemented amongst general surgery residents and attendings and how they can be improved to address residency training factors. In line with his interest in surgical education and leadership, he will be completing a MSEd in Health Professions Education at Hofstra University and an MBA from his alma mater (SGU). He is a devout Raptors fan and in his free time enjoys talking basketball, competing in recreational sports, cooking and sightseeing.

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Congratulations Sydney McQueen

Sydney successfully defended her PhD today! It’s been amazing witnessing her work and accomplishments. It’s impossible to put into words how wonderful it’s been having Sydney in the lab for the past few years and she will forever remain a part of the fabric here. We wish her all the best as she now enters clerkship. Hope to celebrate with you in person soon!

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Remembering Lucas

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Lucas Murnaghan. Lucas was a mentor, frequent collaborator and friend to the lab. Over the years, he has guided our fellows and students on projects in surgical education and shared many conversations about life and work. Our thoughts and condolences to his family and colleagues in the medical community. We cherish and remember all that he has shared with us.


As it became apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic was going to result in city-wide lockdowns, the hospital limited research activity and The Wilson Centre closed. We quickly transitioned to working from home. Our lab meetings soon went virtual as well. Though the discussions were not the same as in-person, we managed to stay connected over pizzas and conversations. Distanced in front of our computers, we worked on papers and secondary research; getting a few publications in.

At the start of the summer, we penned this Surgical Perspectives on the opportunity for change amidst it all. (The Person Behind the Personal Protective Equipment, Annals of Surgery, September 2020; 1(1): p e004)

Good patient care requires an understanding for patients’ feelings and fears, their financial situations, and social supports. In the same way, good health systems appreciate the multidimensionality of their health care workers. They look beyond the white coat, or the N95 and face shield, to see our humanity.


As we begin to build post-COVID-19, together, and in earnest, let us leave the unhealthy ways behind. And dear colleague, please “Stay Safe.”

Thank you health care workers. Thank you essential workers.

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Cognitive Flow award

The study on cognitive flow in surgery received the Best Poster Award at the CSCI-CITAC Young Investigators Forum in Toronto.

McQueen, S., McParland, A., Hammond Mobilio, M. & Moulton, C.A. More than cognition: The experience of cognitive flow in surgery.  CSCI-CITAC Young Investigators Forum. Toronto (Virtual), ON, Nov 12th, 2020. (Poster).

Congrats Sydney and Aidan!