Megan Delisle

May 2021

  • Residency Program: University of Manitoba
  • Supervisors: Dr. Alex Haynes, Dr. Andrew McKay,

What research are you currently working on?
I am going to be starting my Surgical Oncology fellowship in Ottawa in July 2021. For right now, I am spending most of my free time studying for my Royal College and I have wrapped up all my research from residency. Looking forward to starting with a fresh slate to dig into some work during my fellowship. That’s one thing I have realized over the years is that I prefer to bring projects to close rather than leave them open ended.

When did you become interested in research?
I knew early on that I wanted to do research. A lot of the treatments we offer as surgeons are limited by systemic issues that can be improved through research and knowledge translation. Research is a way to try to improve a lot of the barriers we encounter in clinical care.

What is one piece of advice you would share with other residents interested in research?
There are multiple different ways to do research. Think creatively and follow your passion. Research is becoming increasingly virtual and worldwide collaborations are easier than ever. Look for opportunities outside of your institution. Share ideas, drafts and results early. Research is a team effort!

What are the challenges of conducting research during residency?
Research requires creativity. Personally, I am most creative when I am well rested and have a chunk of time that is at least a few hours. These ideal conditions can be hard to achieve during a surgical residency, so I am glad I took dedicated years off where I could do this. This made me realize what I will need as a staff to be able to maintain high quality research productivity.

What do you enjoy doing outside of residency/research?
I think its really important to recharge when I have time off. This includes meal prepping, cooking, working out and spending time with my dog, family and friends. If I don’t prioritize this, it will never happen. I try to set personal goals in addition to my professional goals. I write them down and refer back to them to hold myself accountable.

Any advice for approaching a potential research mentor? 
Try to think strategically about what you want. Is it a research skill you want to learn? Do you want to research a specific topic? Work with a specific person? Once you have this figured out, use the internet to find some people that can help you achieve your goals and don’t limit yourself to your institution, city or profession. Research is increasingly virtual and you can collaborate with almost anybody across the world. Finally, once you have a specific opportunity lined up, then figure out the logistics by thinking creatively about funding etc. Don’t let the logistics limit the opportunities you look for. Anything is possible. When you send your initial emails, try to see if there is a mutual person that can introduce you. Keep the emails brief and include your CV. Sell yourself. Set up a follow up videoconference call to discuss further.

Most memorable moments in research? 
I spent a year in Boston working at Ariadne Labs, a public health and innovation lab affiliated with Havard TH Chan School of Public Health and founded by Dr. Atul Gawande. It was a life changing experience in many ways.

Selected publications via google scholar: