The University of Toronto, Division of Gastroenterology, consists of 47 full-time gastroenterologists and hepatologists that include 13 clinician-scientists, 10 clinician-investigators, 18 clinician-teachers, three clinician-educators, two clinician in quality and innovation and one clinician-administrator. Faculty members are located at five University affiliated hospitals: Toronto Western and Toronto General, which constitute the University Health Network; Mt. Sinai Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital.
Our division and training program are amongst the largest in Canada for gastroenterology. The division includes well established teaching and research programs in therapeutic endoscopy, hepatology, inflammatory bowel disease, motility and nutrition.
The division has been well funded over the past five years with increasing peer-reviewed funding on a annual basis. Our division is among the top in Canada in terms of funding, publications and citations and our impact relative subject area compares well to other Universities in North America and the world. Our research spans from basic science, translational research, clinical epidemiology and health services research. Research Chairs have been created at different institutions: the Jenny Heathcote & Frances Family Chair in Liver Disease (University Health Network); the McCain Chair in Therapeutic Endoscopy (St-Michael Hospital); R. Phelan Chair in Translational Liver Research (UHN) and the Lilly and Terry Horner Chair in Auto-immune liver disease (UHN).
Division members also have major educational responsibilities at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels in the Faculty of Medicine and, for several of them – mainly clinician-investigators and scientists – in the cognate University departments including the Dala Lana School of Public Health, the Institute of Medical Sciences, the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the Department of Immunology and the Department of Physiology, where they hold school of graduate studies appointments. This allows our faculty members to supervise master’s and PhD students. Our clinician-investigators and clinician-scientists conduct their research either at the University of Toronto’s Medical Sciences Building where they have their laboratories or in their respective hospital affiliated research institutes, with a large network of inter-departmental collaborations that have led to high research productivity.
Several of our clinician-teachers have won teaching awards and we have clinician-educators who pursued advance training in education. All support the Faculty of Medicine’s undergraduate and/or postgraduate education programs. Our training program, under the previous Department Division Director (Dr. J. Allard) was successfully reviewed by the Royal College Review in both 2008 (program director: Dr. P. Rossos) and 2013 (program director: Dr. M. Cino). The program was again fully accredited until 2020. We presently have 12 residents, 15 clinical and research fellows and between three to five clinical associates at any given time, distributed across the five sites.
The University of Toronto, Division of Gastroenterology, works collaboratively with the pediatric program at The Hospital for Sick Children, particularly in inflammatory bowel disease, nutrition, hepatology and transplant as well as therapeutic endoscopy, both from the clinical and research perspective. There is also a combined GI Research Day (adult and pediatric) every June that includes faculty, residents, fellows and students presenting their research.
The division has had two major Strategic Plans over the past 10 years (2008-2013; 2014-2018) that align with the University of Toronto, Department of Medicine, Strategic Plans. Each of these Strategic Plans were/are reviewed periodically by the Division Executive Committee to ensure that goals are met or required adjustments are made. The Division Executive Committee has 1-2 face-to-face meetings and seven teleconferences a year. It has established a committee structure with specific terms of reference for each committee. There is also a formal process in place to provide mentors to new faculty and trainees.