Head & Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship


Fellowship Name

Head & Neck Surgical Oncology

General Description

The focus of the Fellowship is head and neck oncological extirpative surgery, reconstructive surgery with an emphasis on micro free tissue transfer and endocrine and salivary surgery. The Fellowship Program is tailored to the needs of the perspective fellows as well as the needs of their site of proposed practice.

Sinai Health System, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and the University Health Network (Toronto General Hospital/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre) are teaching hospitals within the University of Toronto health sciences complex. Over the past 15 years, the Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto has developed a highly integrated multidisciplinary Head & Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program incorporating these three campuses. The Toronto Western Hospital, where neurosurgical expertise is concentrated serves as the site for any surgery involving the skull base.

This program is recognized internationally for patient care, research, and education, principally involving the disciplines of radiation, medical and surgical oncology; the program interfaces with diagnostic imaging, pathology, dentistry, speech, nutrition, nursing, social work, psychiatry, and research scientists. The program provides well-balanced exposure to all areas including skull base surgery, microvascular surgery, endocrine surgery and innovative head and neck research.

Fellowship Type
(Clinical %, Research %)

Although basic science and clinical research are a component of the program, there is no protected time for this as the emphasis of the fellowship is clinical; however there are opportunities in both of these arenas for research.

Fellowship Director(s)

Dr. Jeremy Freeman

Participating Faculty

Drs. Dale Brown, John de Almeida, Douglas Chepeha, Danny Enepekides, Jeremy Freeman, David Goldstein, Ralph Gilbert, Patrick Gullane, Kevin Higgins and Jonathan Irish.


1.      To acquire clinical and technical skills in managing patients with head and neck neoplasms.
2.      To acquire knowledge and research tools to understand prevailing paradigms regarding head and neck neoplasms.
3.      To acquire teaching tools in order to assume an academic instructional responsibility.

Year Fellowship Established


Principal Locations

Sinai Health System, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University Health Network.

Duration of Fellowship

One year in duration with the option for a two-year program.

Number of Fellows Accepted
Per Year

Six clinical positions (4 of these under the auspices of the Advanced Training Council of the American Head and Neck Society by way of its matching program; 2 candidates are accepted outside of the match)

One research position

Required Prior Residency Training

Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery

Accept Foreign Medical Graduates (Yes/No)


Foreign Graduate Eligibility Requirements

All clinical fellows require licensure by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), the body which regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario. A key requirement for the licensure of clinical fellows by the CPSO is that the candidate must be recognized as a medical specialist in the jurisdiction where the candidate has been practicing medicine prior to the clinical fellowship.

Detailed information about basic application requirements for clinical fellows is accessible through the Post MD Education Office website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/applicants/apply-for-fellowship-training/.

Annual Stipend/Salary


Additional Benefits
(e.g. meetings, housing)

There is ample opportunity to attend local, national and international meetings and Departmental support will nurture fellows’ attendance at these forums.

On Call Responsibilities

The fellow is expected to act as a junior faculty member and provide backup call for the residents approximately one night or weekend in seven.

Case Mix

There is a prodigious volume of head and neck oncological surgery done at the University Health Network, Sinai Health System and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where it is expected that the fellow will participate in many of these procedures. In addition, there are numerous academic rounds in which the fellow is expected to participate and present. There are a number of outpatient clinics specializing in oncological patients and again the fellow is expected to attend in these.

Typical Weekly Timetable

Variable according to assigned campus.

Duties and Responsibilities of Trainees:

The program broadly encompasses a wide variety of neoplastic head & neck diagnoses. The major subsites include all head & neck mucosal malignancies. Other subsites include salivary glands, thyroid, complex head & neck skin malignancies, and head & neck sarcoma that are managed by the head & neck surgical group in collaboration with the respective radiation oncology and medical oncology site group members. During the one- or two-year fellowship program, the clinical rotations include the University Health Network, Sinai Health System, and/or Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

The duties of the Head and Neck Oncology Fellow are as follows within the respective institutions:

Participate in outpatient clinics pertaining to the head & neck.
Participate in surgical procedures pertaining to the head & neck.
Completion of at least three clinical-oriented research projects that results in peer-reviewed publications. Opportunity is available for basic science projects. Support is available for project methodology and for travel associated with presentation.
Attend weekly interdisciplinary Tumor Board Rounds at The University Health Network, Sinai Health System or Sunnybrook.
Present at least one Grand Rounds per year related to the Head and Neck Program and participate at all Tumour Board related rounds at the University Health Network, Sinai Health System or Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Present a seminar on a relevant topic the first Monday of each month—rotating with other fellows.

Application Deadline

May 15 of application year

Decision Deadline

June 15 of application year

Additional Features of the Fellowship

Many of our fellows are sponsored by academic institutions and have gone on to important academic portfolios.

As a condition of their medical educational licensure, clinical fellows must register with the University of Toronto’s Post MD Education Office.  An Orientation Handbook can be downloaded from the homepage of the Post MD Education Office’s website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/OrientationBooklet_WEB.pdf. The Handbook contains useful information for new fellows, including a timeline for the registration process.

How to Apply

Fellows are chosen thought the matching system of the American Head and Neck Society (check the Society’s website for eligibility criteria at:


After the match some fellows are chosen from applicants from those countries ineligible for the match.

Postgraduate training agreements are currently in place between the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and sponsoring agencies from a number of countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Applications for fellowship training from citizens of these countries must reach the Post MD Education Office directly from the sponsoring agency. For details, please consult the Post MD Education Office website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/applicants/apply-for-fellowship-training/.

To All Applicants:
If you have also applied to the U.S match through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), please be advised that the University of Toronto is a participating institution and adheres to the match policy. The policy states that "Applicants who have matched to a program or have accepted a position during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), shall not apply for, discuss, interview for, or accept a concurrent year position in another program prior to the NRMP granting the requested waiver." More information is accessible at http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2018-MPA-Specialities-Matching-Service.pdf.

Contact Information for Applicants

Lily Bekic

Fellowship Administrator


Current Fellow

2021-22 Abdulrahman Alenazi, Timothy Eviston, Leonardo Franz (Research), Shayanne Lajud Guerrero, Mohammed Mamdani, Mirko Manojlovic Kolarski, Susannah Orzell, Axel Sahovaler, Sharon Tzelnick

Previous Fellows

2020-21 Drs. Michael Au, Ilyes Berania, Michael Blasco, Donovan Eu, Wael Hasan (Research), Tommaso Gualtieri (Research)
2019-20 Drs. Ashok Jethwa, Andrew Sewell, Konrado Deutsch, Wael Hasan, Stefano Taboni (Research)
2018-19 Drs. Marco Ferrari (Research), Mohemmed Khan, Axel Sahovaler, Carissa Thomas, Felipe Cardemil, Catriona Douglas
2017-18 Drs. Gian-Marco Busato, Felipe Cardemil, Sam Flatman, Ryan McSpadden, Wael Hassan, Peter Vosler
2016-17 Drs. Jeffrey Blumberg, Mohammed Bu Abbas, Caitlin McMullen, Matthew Mifsud, Lenka Stankova, Han Zhang
2015-16 Drs. Jonathan Berstein, Gilad Horowitz, Nidal Muhanna
2014-15 Drs. Eric Arruda, Jon Chan, Daniel Rocke
2013-14  Drs. Luk Czerwonka, Jonathan Bernstein, Andrew Foreman, Hussain Alsaffar, Samip Patel,
Nidal Muhanna, Paul Walker
2012–13 Drs. Mathew Magarey, Dev Kamdar, Bradley Johnson
2011–12 Drs. Teresa Kroeker, Stephen Haerle, Ben Dixon, Jason Rich, Stephanie Johnson, Babak Givi
2010–11 Drs. Raefe Gundelach, Eric Bissada, Mark Smith, Yves Jacquet, Bret Miles, Marc Cohen
2009–10 Drs. Manish Shah, Ramez Nassif, Dae Kim, Bret Miles, Boban Erovic, Kevin Wong
2008–09 Drs. Sendia Kim, Perminder Parmer, Dan Novakovic
2007-08 Drs. Kristen Otto, Nitin Pagedar and Raj Patel
2006–07 Drs. Mark Shrime, Peter Walshe and Moshe Yehuda
2005–06 Drs. Rick Payne, Dietmar Thurnher, Jonathan Clark
2004–05  Drs. Jonathan Clark, Jason Franklin, Michael Odell, Roy Cheung