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Innovator, Educator, Surgeon: The Inspirational Dr. John Hagen



Dr. John Hagen is a distinguished Canadian surgeon and medical educator, renowned for his expertise in laparoscopic surgery, particularly in the fields of bariatric and general surgery. With a career spanning several decades, Dr. Hagen has made significant contributions to medical education, mentorship, and surgical advancements, earning him a place of prominence in the Canadian medical community.

Education and Professional Journey

Dr. Hagen’s journey in medicine began at the University of Alberta, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine with Honours in 1979. Following this, he embarked on a diverse educational path, including a mixed internship in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a General Surgery Residency in Toronto, culminating in the prestigious designation of Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCS(C)) in 1984.

Hospital Positions and Privileges

Throughout his career, Dr. Hagen has held various positions at esteemed medical institutions. Notably, he served as an Attending Surgeon at Northwestern General Hospital from 1985 to 1997, and currently holds the position of Attending Surgeon at Humber River Regional Hospital since 1997, with additional roles as the Surgical Director of Bariatrics and Chief of Staff from 2020 to March 2022.

His commitment to medical institutions extends beyond surgical practice, having undertaken roles such as Medical Staff Executive, President of Medical Staff Executive, Chief of Surgery, and Division Head of General Surgery, showcasing his multifaceted contributions to the medical community.

Education and Mentorship

Dr. Hagen’s dedication to education is evident through his university appointments and mentorship activities. Serving as a Lecturer from 2007 to 2010 and currently as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto since 2010, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of surgeons.

Recognition of his teaching prowess is underscored by multiple awards, including the Robert Mustard Mentorship Award in 2010, the Wightman-Berris Award for Individual Teaching of Medical Students in 2011, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 2014 Mentor of the Year Award for Region 3 Canada.

Mentorship of Colleagues and Practicing Surgeons

Dr. Hagen extends his expertise beyond traditional education, actively participating in the Laparoscopic Mentoring Program organized by the Ontario Association of General Surgeons and Cancer Care Ontario since 2006. His mentorship has impacted over 100 practicing Ontario surgeons, solidifying his reputation as a leader in laparoscopic surgery.

Lectures, Courses, and Live Demonstrations

A prolific speaker, Dr. Hagen has been instrumental in organizing and participating in numerous lectures, courses, and live demonstrations worldwide. His contributions range from laparoscopic ventral hernia courses to presentations on topics such as bariatric surgery, hernia repair, and minimally invasive surgery standards.

International Educational Contributions

Dr. Hagen’s commitment to medical education extends beyond Canadian borders. He has conducted lectures, live demonstrations, and mentoring programs in countries like China, Switzerland, and Mexico, sharing his expertise in laparoscopic surgery and contributing to the global advancement of surgical techniques.

Other Educational Activities/Committees

Actively engaged in various educational initiatives, Dr. Hagen has been a task force and board member of the Provincial Bariatric Advisory Board, Provincial Bariatric Surgery Task Force, and the organizer of City Wide and Province Wide Monthly Rounds, emphasizing his commitment to advancing surgical education.

Memberships and Publications

Dr. Hagen holds memberships in prestigious medical associations, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. As a principal co-author and collaborator, he has contributed to clinical practice guidelines and publications, showcasing his dedication to advancing medical knowledge.

Scholarly Activity and Synopsis

Dr. Hagen’s scholarly activity revolves around teaching, with a focus on laparoscopic surgery. His contributions in medical education, mentorship, and international collaborations underscore his commitment to advancing surgical techniques and shaping the future of surgical practice.

In summary, Dr. John Hagen stands as a luminary in the field of surgery, leaving an indelible mark on medical education and surgical advancements. His dedication to mentorship, education, and global collaboration solidifies his legacy as a distinguished figure in the Canadian and international medical communities.

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