ASPOM - Anesthesia, Sleep, Perioperative Medicine

The Value, Importance, and Oversight of Clinical Research

User Testimonial

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Student [Link to top]

Sally Hu, MD
PGY-1 Resident Physician
Dept. of Anesthesia, University of Toronto
June 2018

I worked with Dr. Chung on a project over the course of 2 years. Dr. Chung is a fantastic research supervisor to work with. She always gave very insightful and timely feedback on the project. Under her supervision, we successfully published the project in a highly reputable journal and presented it at an international conference. Furthermore, Dr. Chung also became a mentor for me and continues to provide me with insightful guidance in my training in anesthesia. It is a pleasure working with Dr. Chung and I look forward to further collaborations with her in the future.

Thach Lam, MD
PGY-5 Resident Physician
Dept. of Anesthesia, University of Toronto
March 2018

I had the opportunity of working closely with Dr. Frances Chung throughout my Anesthesiology residency from PGY2-5. As a research supervisor, I found Dr. Chung to be very encouraging, always available, and very supportive (even when you don't have a research background like me). Most importantly, she is resident friendly - she recognizes that we have a busy residency schedule and is very accommodating with research deadlines, while being very prompt with her review and comments. She goes above and beyond to make sure your hard research work gets recognized, published and presented. I published 2 first author papers in Anesthesia & Analgesia and 2 letters to the editor with Dr. Chung. She also provided me with a stipend to present my research at an international conference. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a dedicated mentor. I will be working in Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital as staff anesthesiologist after I graduate.

George Ho
Medical Student | Class of 2021
University of Toronto
March 2018

I had the pleasure of working under the direct supervision of Dr. Chung as her research assistant for a period of 18 months. From the start, Dr. Chung worked closely to provide me with opportunities and resources to succeed in research. As I progressed under her guidance, I was entrusted with greater responsibility and independence to work on projects. She understood when and how to provide the right motivation and constructive feedback to build my character and skills. Under her supervision, I wrote 3 abstracts, presented at local and international conferences, and co-authored a total of 4 manuscripts, 2 of which are published

Most importantly, Dr. Chung is passionate about supporting and teaching students such as pre-meds like myself. Under her mentorship, she helped me appreciate the importance of persistence, strong work ethic and responsibility. She also connected me with medical students, residents and physicians, who provided me with invaluable guidance and advice. If it were not for Dr. Chung's continued support, I do not believe I would have gotten into medical school. I learned skills and developed competencies in her team that I continue to apply and advance as a medical student. Dr. Chung has my utmost respect, admiration and appreciation.

Russel Brown MD FRCPC
Assistant professor, McMaster University
Staff anesthesiologist, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
March 2018

As a 2nd year resident in 2012, I was fortunate enough to work on a successful project with Dr. Chung that resulted in an abstract, and we developed it further into a well cited publication. This success reflects her supportive and highly approachable nature and keen role as a mentor. Additionally it also helped me achieve my own career goals, and have since obtained an academic post as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at McMaster University.

Limei Zhou
PhD, molecular biology, Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
MS statistics, University of Toronto
March 2018

I am originally from China. When I was doing my Masters in Statistics from University of Toronto, I worked part-time for Dr. Chung for about half a year from September 2011 to March 2012 as a research analyst. My project was to predict postoperative adverse events based on parameters from preoperative nocturnal oximetry. As a highly accomplished clinical scientist, not only Dr. Chung is very passionate about research herself, she also encourages and challenges her team members to think independently and critically, and to achieve the highest they can do. Inspired, I was able to finish the project within a short period of time, and won the Best Abstract Award in Patient Safety in 2012 Canadian Anaesthesiologists' Society Annual Meeting, and the paper "Parameters from preoperative overnight oximetry predict postoperative adverse events" was subsequently published in Minerva Anestesiologica. Currently I work as a senior research analyst at Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto.

David Lam BMSc
Medical Student - Year 3 (University College Cork)
March 2018

I was a summer research assistant for Dr. Chung in 2010 and 2011. After completing my undergraduate degree from the Medical Science Program at Western University in 2013, I worked as Dr. Chung's full-time research assistant from May 2014 to August 2015. As Dr. Chung's research assistant, I worked with a high caliber team in the Department of Anesthesia at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. I was able to develop my knowledge of writing systematic reviews and conduct clinical studies in the area of sleep apnea. While working closely with Dr. Chung, I had many opportunities to collaborate with other staff physicians and residents on various projects. Dr. Chung was very supportive and demonstrated a willingness to provide guidance throughout the different stages of project development. Dr. Chung actively encouraged and provided opportunities for her team to publish their work. In my time working with Dr. Chung, I was able to publish five papers. This experience taught me invaluable and transferable research skills that I find useful even now as a medical student. I highly recommend anyone interested in clinical research to contact Dr. Chung.

Edmond Hung Leong Chau, MD. FRCPC
Site Lead, Department of Anesthesia,
Welland Hospital Site, Niagara Health
March 2018

I am currently a staff anesthesiologist and intensivist at Niagara Health. I worked with Dr. Chung during my anesthesia residency from 2011 to 2014. I was involved in writing two manuscripts and a book chapter. Dr. Chung is very resourceful as a supervisor and she has an excellent research team. She provided me with a highly supportive environment that fosters my skills in critical thinking and writing. I also had abundant opportunities to present my work at international conferences and develop valuable connections with a wide group of experts in the field.

International Medical Graduate [Link to top]

Maged Andrawes MD, FRCPC
March 2018

I am an IMG, graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Cairo university. After I finished my MCC exam, I was lacking enough research experience. I was lucky and joined the STOP-Bang research team in 2011 and worked with Dr. Chung for one year. The entire team members were helpful and understanding which created good atmosphere for new research members. During that year, I got great exposure to different research methodology and coauthored 3 papers that has been published in prestigious journals. I believe, that experience was one of the reasons I got accepted into the Anesthesia residency at University of Toronto through the Advanced Specialty Training (residency) Program in 2012. Now I am FRCPC anesthetist and currently doing Pain Medicine residency at University of Toronto.

Clinical / Research Fellows [Link to top]

Mahesh Nagappa MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology,
Western University, London, Ontario.
April 2018

I came to Toronto for a Clinical Research Fellowship in "Perioperative Anesthesia" at Toronto Western Hospital in July 2013. Dr. Frances Chung was my research mentor during my two year fellowship at the hospital. Dr Chung is exceptional as a research mentor and has shaped my research career. I have been very productive in terms of academic output during my fellowship under her expert supervision. My academic tenure with her has enabled me to pursue my career as a clinical researcher at Western University, Ontario, Canada. She has incredible organizational abilities and can guide her trainees to meet various deadlines effectively. She is unique in looking out for the best interests of her trainees. I have 13 publications and nearly 50 conference presentations under her guidance. She is definitely a best mentor anybody can have.

Yamini Subramani, MD
Clinical research fellow,
Western University, London, Ontario.
April 2018

I did a clinical research fellowship in the "Perioperative Anesthesia" at Toronto Western Hospital starting January 2015 for one and a half year under the supervision of Dr. Frances Chung. Dr. Chung is exceptional as a research mentor and can bring out the best of anyone's ability in research. She has always been supportive, approachable and very clear in her expectations. My fellowship tenure was very productive in terms of academic output under her supervision with five first authored publications in high impact Anesthesiology journals like Anesthesia Analgesia, British Journal of Anaesthesia and Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. Dr. Chung has motivated me and has been instrumental in shaping my research career.

Raviraj Raveendran. FANZCA
Consultant Anesthesiologist
Palmerston North hospital
Midcentral District health board
Palmerston North, New Zealand
March 2018

It was a great experience working with Dr. Chung, who is a lead researcher in perioperative medicine. I am glad to say she is one the key persons who made some important turning points in my anesthesia career. Any clinical research should have a clear hypothesis and practically applicable for day-to-day practice, this is the most important aspect I learnt from her during my perioperative fellowship in 2012-13. My experience in perioperative smoking cessation and OSA related clinical research is helping me in my daily anesthesia practice. She has a unique capability of analyzing the potential of her fellows and guide them in the right path. Her greatest quality is, "more than a mentor, she always looks into the future of her fellows".

Raj Subramanyan MBBS, MD, MS
Associate professor
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA
March 2018

I am Raj Subramanyam MBBS, MD, MS. I was a clinical research fellow with Prof. Frances Chung in 2009 and 2010. I came from India after completing anesthesia residency from a reputed institution and I had research experience. Under the mentorship of Dr. Chung, I was able to further refine my research skills and I published 4 original research articles, numerous abstracts, and was a recipient of two awards from Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia. Dr. Chung was a great mentor and her motivation always kept me going.

I am now at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA where I am an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and the Director of Quality Improvement. I continues to do my research on Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other public health problems.

Edwin Seet, MBBS, MMed
Adjunct Associated Professor
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Senior Consultant
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore
March 2018

The Ambulatory Anesthesia fellowship in Toronto Western Hospital, under the mentorship of Professor Frances Chung, was an extremely fruitful, perspective-changing and rewarding experience for me. I spent a year undergoing a well-organized and clinically-orientated Fellowship program about a decade ago and still have fond memories of the time there. More importantly, the networking from the stint was a professional springboard for research and educational opportunities many years after. Drs Frances Chung, David Wong and Jean Wong are key opinion leaders of a wide range of clinical fields - including obstructive sleep apnea, airway management, perioperative medicine, pain management and other important topics. I'm currently working as a Senior Consultant Anesthesiologist and contributing as an Associate Professor with a Medical School in Singapore.

Balaji Yegneswaran MD, FACP
Intensivist, St Peter's University Hospital
Associate program director of the internal medicine residency program
Rutger's Medical School, New Jersey, USA
March 2018

I completed my medical school from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India in 2004. Then I worked as a research fellow in the Department of Anesthesia at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network under the guidance of Dr. Frances Chung from 2005-2007. Under her mentorship, I had six publications, multiple abstracts, and poster presentations. I won the best poster award in 2007 Society For Ambulatory Anesthesia Annual Meeting.

After my research fellowship, I completed medical residency at Drexel College of Medicine / Saint Peter's University Hospital followed by a fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh in Critical Medicine. I have continued to do research and have over 30 publications.

During my research fellowship with Dr. Chung, she was reasonable with the workload and gave insightful feedback. She was always polite and considerate. She taught me research methodology, grant and manuscript writing. Even though I moved on from her lab a decade ago till date, she continues to serve as a mentor and role model. I am most grateful and appreciative of her help in my career as an International Medical Graduate.

Dr. Chung has changed the landscape of diagnosis of sleep apnea through the STOP-BANG questionnaire, Her work on how blood test should not be ordered for routine surgeries (such as cataract or ambulatory surgery) have resulted in the whole idea of Choosing Wisely Campaign by the ABIM Foundation. In the past decade via her research, Dr. Chung has remarkably changed the landscape of perioperative medicine and has advanced patient safety greatly.

Hairil Rizal Abdullah
Clinical Director,
Perioperative Services,
Singapore General Hospital.
March 2018

I did my Perioperative fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital in 2012. My fellowship year was an eye-opener to academic medicine. The fellowship turns out to be extremely productive for someone who had no previous experience in research - I managed to publish all six papers written that year! Frances and team, including Jean and David, were very nurturing and provided the guidance and opportunity to learn and experience a matured academic system. Furthermore, the mentorship continues long beyond the fellowship year, and we are working together even until now! The program was such an inspiration to me that I am currently pursuing clinician-scientist career track back home in Singapore.