The G. William N. Fitzgerald Award for Excellence in Rural Surgery


The G. William N. Fitzgerald Award for Excellence in Trainee Rural Surgery

“A rural general surgeon should be willing to ‘move heaven and earth’ for the care of their patients.  Nominees should embody this spirit to be considered for the award.” – Dr. G.W. Fitzgerald

The annual awards will recognize the contributions of surgeons and trainees in rural general surgery. They will be bestowed to one surgeon and one trainee who have shown substantial commitment to the betterment of surgery for rural populations and to the practice of the surgical arts through education, advocacy, and dedication.

Deadline for nominations is May 31, 2022.

Meet the 2019 Award Recipients

Dr. Adeyemi Laosebikan

Dr. Adeyemi Laosebikan (Dr. Yemi) graduated from Medical School at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria in 1992, and has since advanced his medical training to include Surgical Specialty Training in 2001.  He was an honorary lecturer in the Department of Surgery at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa from 2001-2004.

He moved with his family to Canada in 2004 and began his practice at Melfort Hospital as a rural general surgeon in October of that year.  Since then, he has provided exceptional care and 24/7 after hours surgical coverage to Melfort and surrounding communities with a rural population of approx. 42,000 people. Since his arrival, he has been the sole practicing surgeon.   During his tenure in Melfort, he has been a strong advocate for maintaining surgical programing in rural Saskatchewan and ensuring patients are able to access general surgical service close to their home.

Dr. Yemi’s scope of practice is broad and advanced, and includes basic and advanced laparoscopy, diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy including Endoscopic Mucosal Resections for large polyps, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (Dr. Yemi being the only surgeon in northern Saskatchewan to provide this service) and Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy for varicose veins (minimal access to this type of surgery in Saskatchewan).

He is very actively involved in academic roles in a variety of capacities. He is currently an associate professor for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, and assists with training Family Medicine Residents in Enhanced Surgical Skills in the surgical program at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He has published a number of articles in peer review medical journals and has been a guest lecturer at local and international medical conferences. He supports rural student placements by mentoring and tutoring medical and nursing students during their rural rotations at the Melfort Hospital, as well as training and supervising new OR assistants.  He assesses physicians at the request of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is a mentor and coach to newly appointed international medical graduates and newly qualified and appointed colleagues in Saskatchewan.  He has also been a facilitator for Advanced Trauma Life Support since 2010.

Dr. Cait Champion

Dr. Cait Champion is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa General Surgery training program, completing her training in June 2019.  She received her MD from the University of Toronto in 2012 and has a BSc (Honours) in Environmental Science from Acadia University.  Throughout her medical training career Cait pursued experiences that have cultivated a passion for rural communities and rural surgery.

During her training Cait pursued an MSc in Health Systems, examining rural and remote access to colorectal cancer screening in the Northwest Territories.  The project was used to inform implementation of a territorial cancer strategy aimed at improving patient cancer outcomes in an area where colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death, particularly among Indigenous patients.  In addition to her thesis research, Cait also pursued clinical elective opportunities to enhance her understanding of the breadth of rural surgery and develop the surgical skills required to meet the needs of rural communities, including skills in c-sections, Urology, ENT, and GI endoscopy.  She also pursued an elective in Wilderness Medicine to further her capacity in remote environments.

Cait looks forward to continuing to develop her skills as a surgical generalist as she enters rural practice as a General Surgeon in Parry Sound, ON.  She is continuing to engage with the national rural medicine community and rural and remote surgical research as a faculty member of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is committed to providing opportunities for rural patients to access high quality general surgery care as close to home as possible.