Dr. Marko Simunovic has always been interested in how systems work, specifically, human systems – human rights, politics, or international relations for example. When he got to medical school and residency training in general surgery, he discovered that the health care system is equally fascinating and he has focused his career on developing strategies aimed at leveraging its strengths. “When I was a resident in general surgery, I was shown an article on how outcomes for patients undergoing colorectal surgery varied dramatically depending on who the surgeon was,” says Dr. Simunovic. “Such differences may be expected in a system focused on individual excellence, but from a patient equity perspective it makes no sense.” After completing his MD at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Simunovic earned his masters in public health at Harvard University. This, in addition to a series of surgical fellowships, prepared him well for the leadership role he now plays in setting standards for colorectal cancer surgery. Dr. Simunovic conducts population-based research on volume outcome relationships, wait times and quality improvement. He is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and skills with other surgeons through interventions aimed at raising standards and improving patient outcomes at the population-level. “The Escarpment Cancer Research Institute offers many opportunities to expand this research. We can all draw on its pools of excellence,” says Dr. Simunovic.
Simunovic M, Stephen W, Kelly S, Forbes S, Cadeddu M, Thabane L, Grubac V, Lovrics P, DeNardi F, Prodger D, Tsai S, Coates A. Quality improvement in colorectal cancer in local health integration network 4 (LHIN 4) project (QICC-L4): integrated knowledge translation in a large geographic region. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Dec;20(13):4067-72.
Keng C, Coates A, Grubac V, Lovrics P, DeNardi F, Thabane L, Simunovic M. The Need for Consensus and Transparency in Assessing Population-Based Rates of Positive Circumferential Radial Margins in Rectal Cancer: Data from Consecutive Cases in a Large Region of Ontario, Canada. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Francescutti V, Amin N, Cadeddu M, Eskicioglu C, Forbes S, Kelly S, Yang I, Tsai S, Coates A, Grubac V, Simunovic M. An Internet-Based Collaborative Cancer Conference for Rectal Cancer Influenced Surgeon Treatment Recommendations. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jul;22(7):2143-50.