2015 News and Events

University of Ottawa Department of Surgery 2013-2014 Annual Report Adobe PDF (1.95 MB)

Surgical Exploration And Discovery 2015

Surgical Exploration And Discovery
S.E.A.D. Program Video


The Surgical Exploration and Discovery Program (S.E.A.D.) is a two-week summer intensive educational program designed to expose medical students to the breadth and depth of surgical practice and to assist in their career decision-making. The agenda consists of the main activities:

  1. Mornings of rotating Operating Theatre observerships through all direct-entry surgical specialties,
  2. Lunchtime career presentations given by staff and residents, and
  3. Afternoon surgical skill development through simulation training.

Students will partake in a Trauma And Evaluation Course (TEAM) ATLS course. In addition, students will have the opportunity to spend one evening on-call with one of the surgical team the same day that they have observed this specialty in the operating theater.

Picture collage of SEAD program training

The program will run from June 8 – June 19 2015. The observerships will take place at The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, The Ottawa Hospital General Campus and The Ottawa Hospital Riverside Campus. The simulation workshops will be held at the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC).

The program was launched at the University of Toronto in 2012 and was pioneered at the University of Ottawa in 2014. This program is fully supported by the University of Ottawa Department of Surgery and the University of Ottawa Aesculapian Society.

Frequently asked questions

Who is considered for this program?

First year medical students of the University of Ottawa are considered for participation in this program. Thirty students are selected based on an application form submitted in February/March. Applicants are notified of their application status by March.

Which specialties are included in the program?

All direct entry specialties (cardiac, general, neurosurgery, orthopedic, plastic, urology, vascular, OTHNS) will participate in the program. In addition, thoracic surgery (general surgery) and trauma surgery (general surgery) will be included.

Will students be able to participate in the surgeries that they are observing?

Registered students at the University of Ottawa are protected with liability and malpractice insurance. The student will be asked to register the SEAD program with the Medical Education Office as a clinical placement prior to the start of the program. Observerships are a way to be exposed to the different specialties of surgery and a way to become familiarized with the hospital setting, operation suite and surgical teams. The student may be asked to assist with the surgery at the discretion of the surgical team.

What kind of surgical skills will be taught during the afternoon simulation workshops?

Students will participate is a wide range of simulation skills training regularly offered to residents respective of all surgical specialties. Over 30 simulations will be taught including and not limited to:

  • Knot tying and suturing
  • Abscess drainage
  • Bypass graft and valve replacement
  • Micro anastomosis
  • Bone fixation/plating/screwing
  • Cystoscopy
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Craniotomy
  • Microsuturing
  • Chest tube insertion
  • And many more!

What is the TEAM course?

The Trauma Evaluation and Management program is a condensed version of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course designed for medical students, sponsored by the American College of Surgeons. Its purpose is to orient participants to the initial evaluation and early management of the trauma patient, by providing skills that should be applied to the management of life-threatening injuries. The course consists of a PowerPoint presentation given by one of the Ottawa hospital trauma surgeons, small group cases discussion and trauma simulations run by physicians and residents. A student manual will be provided.

Is there a cost associated to the program?

Students will be asked to pay a small fee to cover meals for both weeks and a personalized suturing kit.


Please contact the current directors of the SEAD program for further information.

Erika Schmitz eschm045@uottawa.ca, Ravi Kumar rkuma015@uottawa.ca & Laith Ishaq lisha010@uottawa.ca.