2015 INDUCTEE Bernard Langer, MD Health and Medical Education & Training, Leadership in Organizational Development
May 23, 1932
February 23, 2022
MD, University of Toronto (1956)
2006: Honorary Membership, European Surgical Association
2005: Honorary Membership, Canadian Association of General SurgeonsSee All Awards
Awards & Honours:
2006: Honorary Membership, European Surgical Association
2005: Honorary Membership, Canadian Association of General Surgeons
2002: Officer of the Order of Canada
2002: Honorary Fellowship, American College of Physicians
2002: Honorary Fellowship, Academy of Medicine of Singapore
2001: Honorary Fellowship, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1999: Duncan Graham Award of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
1961: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Pioneered hepatobiliary/pancreatic (HPB) surgery
A surgical pioneer and visionary developer of the surgeon-scientist program
Upon completion of his medical degree, Dr. Bernard Langer completed postgraduate surgical training in Toronto, Houston and Boston. He joined the Toronto General Hospital as a consultant surgeon in 1963, and was appointed head of the division of general surgery in 1972. During his 17-year tenure as division head, he established a recruitment methodology which promoted the development of subspecialty areas within general surgery with equal emphasis on clinical care, teaching and research. In addition to his own specialties of HPB surgery, surgical oncology and ultimately transplantation, other areas such as colorectal, breast, and endocrine surgery were developed. He helped to develop the largest liver transplant program in Canada and the largest living donor liver transplant program in North America.
Broke barriers as the first Jewish surgeon at the Toronto General Hospital
Helped to develop a major academic hepatobiliary and pancreatic program as well as liver transplant program at University health network
Established the surgeon scientist program to encourage residents to engage in formal periods of surgical research during training, thus advancing surgical science locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.
Impact on lives today
When Dr. Langer established the surgeon scientist program, it was considered a revolutionary addition to surgical training. Now, surgeons across Canada may graduate with research fellowship training as well as surgical specialization in their chosen specialty. These highly trained academic surgeons now form a strong foundation to advance surgical knowledge and ultimately improve patient outcomes. In addition, Dr. Langer's expansion of HPB surgery and organ transplant programs continue to save lives all across Canada.
The University of Toronto established the Bernard and Ryna Langer Chair in General Surgery at the University of Toronto.
Other honours include the University of Toronto Department of Surgery Langer Surgeon Scientist Award, the Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences at the University of Toronto and the Langer Lecture of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons’ annual meeting.
Bernard Langer - Cancer care championCancer, Improving health and patient outcomes, Cancer, Patient Care
Through his leadership role in Cancer Care Ontario as a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Surgical Oncology, the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario and the Cancer Surgery Quality Committee, Dr. Langer championed standards for cancer care, including the Ontario standards for HPB surgery. This approach has translated across specialties and has served as a model for other provinces.
Helped to create the Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Dr. Langer was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for a 2-year term
Appointed as the First Vice-President of the American Surgical Association (ASA)
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) established the Clinician Investigator Program in all medical and surgical specialties, using Dr. Langer’s Surgeon Scientist Program at University of Toronto as a templateLeadership in Organizational Development, Health and Medical Education & Training
Appointed President of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT)
During his position as Departmental Chair, his own clinical interest in HPB and transplant surgery led to the development of a major post-training fellowship program in HPB and liver transplant surgeryHealth and Medical Education & Training
This became an important postgraduate opportunity, and since its inception, has trained approximately 100 surgeons from Canada, the US and abroad, many of whom are leaders in their home countries. The advanced experiences were accredited by America’s Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Association and the Fellowship Council, and by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
Dr. Langer served as Interim Director of the UHN Multiorgan Transplant Program after its launch in 1989
Dr. Langer appointed President of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS)
As Department Chair at University of Toronto, he established education as one of the streams for academic promotion.
Today's department is heavily populated with surgeons who have formal training in medical education, and who are excellent teachers, also contributing through scholarship.
Dr. Langer and his team performed the first liver transplant in TorontoDigestion
Dr. Langer, along with important academic members of his department, created the "Surgeon Scientist Program"Building our health organizations and systems, Health and Medical Education & Training
Resident surgeons were trained in surgical investigation and laboratory practice in addition to their clinical experiences. Since its inception, the program has produced scores of graduates, the majority pursuing careers in academic practice.
The gradual adoption of divisional practice plans, which promoted income sharing amongst surgeons, improved collaboration in patient care
Initiated across all academic surgical divisions at the University of Toronto, the plans also enhanced funding for those interested in pursuing academic careers.
Dr. Langer was appointed the R.S. McLaughlin Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at University of Toronto, an academic position overseeing academic activities in 10 hospitals across the city
Dr. Langer was appointed Head of the division of general surgery at Toronto General Hospital
He served in that role for 17 years.
Dr. Langer was appointed as a consultant general surgeon at Toronto General Hospital after completing his postgraduate training
If you don’t stand tall enough, you won’t see far enough.