OAGS Notices

NOTE: Monthly Eblast Updates are sent to current OAGS members only. Refer to our Members Only page.

    COVID19: Attn. General Surgeons - As of March 15, the Ontario Medical Association has announced that all "non-essential care and elective surgery must be temporarily put on hold to protect all health-care providers, patients and the public, and most importantly, to manage what we expect may be tremendous demand on the system from spread of the virus." Ongoing updates pending Ministry guidelines.

    Meet your new OAGS President Dr. Tim Jackson, MD, FRCSC, MPH. Dr. Jackson is a member of the Division of General Surgery at University Health Network based at Toronto Western Hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery within the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto. Other OAGS Officer positions that were shuffled during our recent executive meeting were as follows: Dr. Kevin Lefebvre (Vice President), Dr. Jennifer Macmillan (Treasurer), Dr. Julie Ann Van Koughnett (Secretary), Dr. Harshad Telang (Past President). To find out more about the board at large and committees, please visit our About page.

  • All General Surgeons: Spring eblast update
  • April 4-5 - Attn. General Surgeons: OAGS will be exhibiting at the UofT Update this week. We'll be posting Job Listings. So, submit your vacancies!
  • Feb.22 - Attn. OAGS Members: Check "Members Only" section for the OAGS and Section Responses to the recent Binding Arbitration decision.
  • Feb.19 - Binding Arbitration board has released its Phase 1 decision. Both OMA and MOHLTC seem to respect the decision. Details: / /
  • Meet your OAGS Board and Committees - details
  • Attn. OAGS Members - Check your email or Members Only section for latest e-updates.
  • Physician Burnout: If you see a colleague/trainee struggling, start the conversation. Tell him/her what you're seeing. Listen. - Resources     (see poll below also)
  • Dec.19 - Attn. OAGS Members - check your email for the latest E-Update (December)!
  • We need your ideas for monthly polls - here
  • Dec.16- Gov't will return to table and resume arbitration with OMA. Hearings RESCHEDULED to begin Tues,Dec.18 until Dec.21. More details here.
  • Dec.14 - Letters re. OMA-Gov't Arbitration Update - Download
  • Straw Poll Below - What kind of job action would you take in response to the government's withdrawal from arbitration again?
  • 24th OAGS Annual Meeting - thank you to everyone who attended! Photos and syllabus updates coming soon!
  • General Surgery Position Statement on OSA - Download
  • GI Podcasts (i.e.Cannabis for Treatment of GI diseases) - Click here
  • GenSurg Work Hours Survey: Deadline is Oct.20. Did you remember to complete it?
  • Check out our 2018 Annual Meeting Program: Download
  • OAGS Board Election Nov.3: Nomination Deadline is October 19 - Apply Online Here!!
  • 24th OAGS Annual Meeting Program (Nov.3) - Our International Key Note Speaker will be hernia specialist Dr. David Krpata of the Cleveland Clinic accompanied by a great roster of speakers and panelists. Registration Deadline: Oct.26! - details
  • Ongoing - Attn. General Surgeons - Renew your 2018 OAGS Dues Now!!
  • HAPPY CANADA DAY WEEKEND!!! - Thanks to all our General Surgeons who are on call!
  • 24th OAGS Annual Meeting Program (Nov.3) - almost complete!! - details
  • June 29, 2018 - New Minister of Health & Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier of Ontario - PC MPP Christine Elliott - details
  • June 15, 2018 - Congrats to General Surgery Residents who passed Royal College exam. For those who have to rewrite - keep the faith!! Best wishes on your journey forward.
  • June, 2018 - New OAGS Resident Representative!! - Congrats to Dr. Fahima Dossa (PGY3/SSTP, UofT) on being chosen as the new OAGS Res Rep for a term of 3 years! Thanks to all our 6 candidates who applied. It was a tight race. - details
  • June, 2018 - New Poll!! - Relativity: What are GenSurg under/over-valued codes? - See below.
  • June, 2018 - Attn. GenSurg Residents: Good luck on your exam results and pending job search!
  • May28...- Attn. GenSurg Residents: Good luck on your exams this week!
  • Ongoing - Attn. General Surgeons - Renew your 2018 OAGS Dues Now!!
  • Ongoing- Companies interested in exhibiting at the 24th OAGS Annual Meeting - Details
  • May 1, 2018 - New Poll!! - How are you voting in the provincial election next month? see below...
  • May 1, 2018 - Happy National Physicians' Day! Thanks to all our hard-working and dedicated General Surgeons throughout Ontario and Canada!
  • April 30, 2018 - Spring OMA Council Update - Dr. Nadia Alam of Georgetown succeeds Dr. Shawn Whatley as OMA President. Dr. Sohail Gandhi of Stayner becomes new President Elect. - details
  • April - Congratulations!!... to 30-year community General Surgeon, NOSM Associate Professor and foreign aid worker Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare as recipient of the 2018 OMA Section Service Award for General Surgery. Proud nominators OMA Section on General Surgery and Ontario Association of General Surgeons plan to present the award to Dr. Kirkpatrick in front of his colleagues during the 24th OAGS Annual Meeting this fall in Toronto on Nov. 3.
  • April 1 - In Memoriam: Dr. Magdy Makar, Orillia, ON - details
  • Mar.7 - OMA Election Results: Here is your Section Executive on General Surgery...
    Section Executive:
    Section Chair - Dr. Chris Vinden; Vice Chair - Dr. Alice Wei; Secretary - Dr. Harshad Telang; Tariff Chair - Dr. Kevin Lefebvre; Member-at-Large - Dr. Tim Jackson; Member-at-Large - Dr. Jennifer Macmillan
    Section Delegates: Drs. Alice Wei and Jennifer Macmillan; Section Alternates: Drs. Harshad Telang, Kevin Lefebvre, Tim Jackson.
    More details (gated)
  • Ongoing - Attn. General Surgeons - Renew your 2018 OAGS Dues Now!! - here
  • Feb 19, 2018 - February Eblast is now available to OAGS members. Please check your email.
  • Feb.15-Mar.7 - All General Surgeons are encouraged to vote in the current OMA Elections. (OAGS Board circulated its Section on General Surgery endorsements on Feb.18 to its members via email.) - Vote in OMA Elections Now (gated)
  • Meet Your New OAGS President and Officers (2018)

    Dr. Harshad Telang, MD, FRCSC of Thunder Bay, ON succeeded Dr. Alice Wei upon completing her term as OAGS President during a recent OAGS Board Meeting (Feb.3). Dr. Wei will remain on the OAGS Board in the position of Past President along with a few other minor changes to the board. Dr. Telang's biography and other Officer/Committee shuffles can be found here.

  • Check out our Healthy Surgeon section for Helpful Resources/Contacts for Physician Burnout.
  • Ongoing, 2018 - Skills Enhancement for Endoscopy (SEE) Program - Courses available throughout year.- More details
  • Jan, 2018 - With no headway in negotiations, OMA and MOHLTC will enter binding arbitration starting in May-Oct/18.
  • Jan, 2018 - OAGS/Section on Gen Surg want member feedback on Quality Based Procedures on your practice
  • Jan, 2018 - OAGS/Section on General Surgery want member feedback on CCO Colonoscopy Sedation Report
  • Dec, 2017 - CCO Practice Recommendations: Use of Sedation for Hospital-Based Routine Colonoscopies (2017)
  • Nov.13, 2017 - 23rd OAGS Annual Meeting photo gallery now available. Save the Date for next year's 24th OAGS Annual Meeting slated for Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018! - more details.
  • Nov.3 - Deadline to Register for 23rd OAGS Annual Meeting - Register Now!
  • Nov.11, 2017- 23rd OAGS Annual Meeting Preliminary Program is now available here! Latest Eblast: download
  • Nov.12 - Pre-Op Bowel Preps for Colorectal Surgery & CCO/QMP Guidelines - Pendopharm Breakfast Talk - New Start Time @ 8am - Still Available! - details
  • Nov.11 - Tackling the Large Sessile Polyp - Ferring Breakfast Presentation, Toronto - details
  • Nov.10 - Taxes & Estate Planning - Assante Wealth Mgmt. Ltd. Dinner Bqt Presentation, Toronto - details
  • Nov.10-12 - Other Meetings of Interest, Toronto - details
  • Oct/Nov,2017 - Oncoplastic Partnership Workshops (London - Oct.28; Toronto-Nov.10). Register Now/Details
  • Fall 2017 - The Section on General Surgery submitted their wishlist to the OMA Negotiations Committee. download
  • Sept, 2017 - OMA Relativity Review Committee (RRC) Survey (due Sept.17): Both Section on General Surgery and OAGS executives encourage full time General Surgeons to participate and fill out the survey accurately, but also be mindful and fastidious that every minute may count. Include in your work hours ALL clinical activities, not just hours involved in direct patient contact. (Refer to OAGS/Section email instructions dated Sept.5th and 8th.) General Surgery needs to be well represented in this data, so thank you in advance for participating, everyone!
    CAUTIONARY NOTE: Members are reminded that each member was emailed an individualized link to participate in the OMA Relativity Review Committee (RRC) Survey on Sept.1 and again on Sept.8. (Deadline is Sep.17.) Therefore, we cannot post a generic link to the survey. The survey links were sent to each OMA physician with an active practice only - not retired, residents, fellows, etc. They were emailed via the OMA "ThoughtLounge" platform. If you've deleted it by accident, please try to retrieve it from your bin. If you haven't been receiving "ThoughtLounge" emails from the OMA at all, please check your spam folder or your old email accounts. If you unsubscribed or need to update your contact information, contact OMA Membership and specifically request a relativity survey: AND  cc: . Alternatively, you can call the OMA directly: 1-800-268-7215.
  • Sept, 2017 - OMA Relativity Survey (due Sept.17): Both Section and OAGS executives encourage full time General Surgeons to participate and fill out the survey accurately, but also be mindful and fastidious that every minute may count. Include in your work hours ALL clinical activities, not just hours involved in direct patient contact. - download letter
  • Aug/2017 - Did you RSVP for our Annual Meeting on Nov.11 yet? Deadline for group rate hotel reservations is Oct.20!
  • Aug/2017 - Check your email/Members Only Section for the most recent August Eblast Update.
  • June 19, 2017 - The results are in! OMA members voted 65% to 35% in favour of ratifying the Binding Arbitration Framework Agreement on June 17. Now the OMA/MOHLTC can move on and begin negotiating a new contract for Ontario's Doctors no later than September 1st, 2017.
    OMA Member Update (gated); MOHLTC Press Release; News Article Summary
  • June 12 - Voting on the tentative Agreement on the OMA/MOHLTC negotiated Binding Arbitration Framework has been underway for OMA members since June 7. Voting will continue until the OMA General Meeting of Members in Toronto on June 17, 2017. Both the Ontario Association of General Surgeons and the OMA Section on General Surgery have reviewed the framework and encourage their members to vote in favour of the Agreement. To vote now, click here. (gated) - OAGS Position Statement (June 11/17) - download
  • May 28 - The OMA Negotiations Committee invited all Sections to submit their respective wishlist or negotiation priorities list. Jointly discussed by both OAGS and Section executives, the Section on General Surgery wishlist can be downloaded here.
  • May 18 - A tentative agreement on a process for binding interest arbitration between the Ontario gov't and the OMA has been reached. The tentative agreement will require ratification by the OMA membership. This is also a first step towards renewed discussions for a new Physician Services Agreement. More details: MOHLTC, OMA, OMA press release. (gated)
  • May 8 - Two GPs take over the helm of the OMA Executive Committee. During the recent OMA Council Meeting, delegates elected Dr. Shawn Whatley as the new OMA President and the Coalition's Dr. Nadia Alam as the new OMA President-Elect.
  • May 1-7 is Mental Health Week. Check out our own Healthy Surgeon page for helpful resources. Also, the CMA and OMA will be hosting the 5th Canadian Conference on Physician Health this fall (Sept. 7-9).
  • May 1 - Happy Doctors' Day! Thanks to all our General Surgeons and General Surgery Residents/Fellows for their service and care. It is greatly appreciated!
  • April,2017 - New Negotiating Committees Appointed
    OMA: • Dr. Laurence Colman, Chair (Specialist – Obstetrics/Gynecology/Surgical Assisting, Etobicoke/Brampton) • Dr. Darren Cargill (GP – Palliative Care, Windsor) • Dr. David Kelton (Specialist – Vascular Interventional Radiology, Brampton) • Dr. Nikolina Mizdrak (GP – Family Practice, Toronto) • Dr. Paul Tenenbein (Specialist – Anesthesiology, Toronto)
    MOHLTC: • Dr. Barry McLellan, CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences (chair) • Dr. Joshua Tepper, Family Doctor, St. Michael's Hospital & North York General Hospital; President & CEO of Health Quality Ontario • Ms. Lynn Guerriero, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care • Mr. Reg Pearson, Associate Deputy Minister, Treasury Board Secretariat • Mr. Bob Bass, Negotiations Advisor
  • Mar. 7, 2017 - Deadline for OMA Elections.
  • Feb. 7, 2017 - After careful consideration of the recent Special Council voting results, the OMA President and Executive have since decided to resign their positions (Feb.6). The OMA Board at Large will assume position of power until an election during the next OMA Council Meeting on May 6-7 in Toronto.
  • Jan 29, 2017 - Special Council Meeting Results: Approximately 55% of OMA Council members voted non-confidence in the OMA Executive. However, since OMA bylaws require a 2/3 majority to oust the executive, the resolutions failed. OMA leadership remained status quo. OMA Press Release / Media Article - TorStar / Media Article - MedPost
  • Jan 28, 2017 - Section/OAGS Position Statement on Special Council Meeting (Jan.29) - download
  • Jan 27, 2017 - Section Executive Election - new Executive slate has been acclaimed, but Council Delegates going to election (Mar.7)- download
  • Jan 26, 2017 - Contract Negotiations/Job Action - General Surgery Survey Results - download
  • Jan, 2017 - Happy New Year! Best wishes to all our Ontario General Surgeons and their families for 2017 ...from all of us here at the OAGS.
  • Dec, 2016 - OAGS 23rd Annual Meeting - It's official. This year's annual meeting in Toronto is now confirmed for Saturday, November 11, 2017. Please mark your calendar!
  • Dec.14, 2016 - MOHLTC Proposes 3-Year Plan Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins said, "We can't keep going in circles." This was after the MOHLTC proposed a 3-year plan for a Physician Services Agreement to the OMA at 8am on Dec.14. According to the MOHLTC press release, "fees paid to specialists would be reduced for certain procedures that can now be conducted with greater ease and at lesser cost." Shortly after, the OMA claimed in a statement that the MOHLTC plan was released publicly 1 hour after the OMA received it without ample time to review it and called this method "disrespectful and unacceptable". OMA President Dr. Virginia Walley said, "The OMA will resist any attempt by the Government to act unilaterally. (This) announcement demonstrates the critical need for a fair process of binding arbitration. The OMA will be engaging with our membership to consider our options...." Specifically, the 3-year plan proposed to the OMA would include highlights below:
    • Increasing the physician services budget by 2.5% each year
    • An additional $185 million in compensation to family doctors.
    • A 'fairness review' of fees paid to physicians, to reflect technological advancements and ensure that all doctors are equitably compensated.
    • Increasing to 1,440 the number of family doctors able to join models that deliver comprehensive care to patients over the course of the proposed plan.
    • Note: The current contract under which doctors are paid expires on March 31, 2017. It was imposed by the gov't after it failed to reach a negotiated deal with the OMA. - CBC Sources: MOHLTC Press Release; CBC; Toronto Star; OMA Press Release.
  • November, 2016 - 22nd OAGS Annual Meeting: Thanks to everyone who attended/participated in our meeting recently. We had a great turn-out and hope it was enjoyed by all!
  • September 2016: Negotiations - As of Sept.1 - Just last month, the OMA announced that the members voted 63.1% AGAINST the tentative Physician Services Agreement (tPSA). Of those who attended in person and voted via proxy, there was a 55% participation rate amongst OMA members in total. This result came after the OMA held a General Meeting of Members on Sunday (Aug.14) in Toronto. The third-party scrutineer and tabulator, Computershare, facilitated the vote along with ballot verification and tabulation. The OMA has accepted the final membership vote as binding and has since met with the board and its newly formed Strategic Working Group (SWG). Subsequently, the OMA wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health requesting to meet with Minister Eric Hoskins and Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss binding arbitration and future negotiations. Minister Hoskins responded with conditions of its own.
  • August 2016: Negotiations - MOHLTC Letter to OMA (Aug.25); OMA Letter to MOHLTC (Aug.23)(gated); Download OAGS/Section Update - General Surgery Proxies (Aug.10)
  • July 2016: Negotiations - Download OAGS/Section Position Statement (July 25)
  • May, 2016: OMA 2016 Awards were given out during the recent OMA Spring Council meeting on the weekend of April 29, 2016 in Niagara Falls. Two of our own were acknowledged with the OMA Life Membership Award: General Surgeons Dr. Suru Chande of Ottawa and the late Dr. Alan Ryley of Burlington. Both are former board members of the OAGS and Section on General Surgery. Congratulations! (NOTE: Also, join us on November 5 at the 22nd OAGS Annual Meeting when we present Dr. Jeff Kolbasnik with the OMA Section Service Award.)
  • May, 2016: Belated Congratulations to General Surgeon and former OAGS/Section board member Dr. Frank G.H. Baillie of McMaster University. He was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall back in December 11, 2015. Following the success of his REACH program (Regional Emergency Access to On-Call Health Professionals) withinin central west Ontario in the 80's, Dr. Baillie championed the creation of Canada's first central bed registry - an invaluable resource for managing emergency patient referrals. By April 1996, CritiCall Ontario became the province's only patient referral program. Today, CritiCall Ontario is based in Hamilton with satellite offices throughout the province and funded by the Ontario MOHLTC.
  • May 13, 2016: OMA urges members to write Ottawa to oppose federal budget, which proposes to eliminate the ability of professional corporations owned by physicians that practice in a partnership or a corporate structure to each claim the full $500,000 small business deduction (SBD). The budget proposes that these members share this $500,000 limit among their professional corporations. This will be problematic for many members who work in group arrangements.
  • May 1: Toronto Sun: New OMA boss says docs won't be back at table without binding arbitration - Download
  • Apr.29: TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin (OMA's Dr. Ved Tandan and Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins) Click here
  • Apr.25: CBC Radio Program Metro Morning Interview with OMA and MOHLTC: Download
  • Apr.25: MOHLTC will "consider" mediation arbitration in a letter addressed to the OMA.
  • March 28, 2016: Recent Graduate Employment Survey Results (2015-16) - download
  • Mar.1, 2016 - March Update - emailed to current OAGS members
  • Mar, 2016 - March is Colon Cancer Awareness month; members are encouraged to post and tweet related facts on social media
  • Feb.29, 2016 - MOHLTC announces $345 additional funding for Ontario public hospitals - OMA response
  • Feb, 2016 - OAGS wants to thank all General Surgery Residents within Ontario. It's Resident Awareness Week: Feb.15-19.
  • Feb, 2016 - OAGS has a new President - Dr. Alice Wei of Toronto (TGH, UHN). Dr. Chris Vinden will replace Dr. Jeff Kolbasnik as the Section Chair later this spring. See our About page for more details on our new OAGS board of directors and committees. (Appointments were made during the OAGS board meeting on Feb.6.)
  • Dec, 2015 - Belated congratulations to McMaster General Surgeon and former OAGS brd member Dr. Frank Baillie who received the Governor General Meritorious Service Decoration for spearheading the CritiCall Ontario program.
  • Nov, 2015 - 21st OAGS Annual occurs on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Hilton Toronto
  • July, 2015 - Schedule of Benefits codes specific to General Surgery can now be downloaded from our site.
  • July, 2015 - Back issues of The Cutting Edge newsletter and Billing Corner column are now available in the Members Only page. This page is password-protected for current OAGS members only. Be sure to renew your dues!
  • June, 2015 - Quality Management Partnership is looking for a new Colonoscopy Lead. Click here for complete job description details. Deadline for applications is July 20 at 5pm.
  • May, 2015 - OAGS new website is launched.
  • May, 2015 - General Surgeon Dr. Ved Tandan completes his successful term as OMA President and continues on the OMA board as Past President. Congratulations!
  • April 2015 - Dr. Patrick Murphy (UWO, PGY2) becomes the new OAGS Resident Representative. Dr. Kellen Kieffer (NOSM) completes his term as Res Rep with us as well as his residency program. Good luck on your General Surgery career in Hanover, Ontario!
  • Feb.2015 - OMA 2015 Awards Announcement: Dr. Angus Maciver receives the OMA Life Membership Award; Dr. Robin McLeod earns Section Service Award. Congratulations to both of you!
  • Feb.2015 - The Cuttinge Edge (Issue#37) is released
  • Jan.2015 - OAGS Annual Mtg 2015 Survey Results
  • Jan.2015 - NSQIP: OAGS letter of support
  • Jan.2015 - OMA Rejects MOHLTC Contract Offer