Surgeon, Mentor, Author: The Epic Journey of Dr. John Hagen

Surgeon, Mentor, Author: The Epic Journey of Dr. John Hagen

John Hagen is a well-known Canadian surgeon known for his expertise in laparoscopic surgery and substantial contributions to medical education. Born on April 7, 1956, Dr. Hagen received his Doctor of Medicine (Honors) degree from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine in 1979. His interest in surgery led him to a general surgery residency at the University of Toronto in 1984, where he improved his surgical skills and developed a particular interest in laparoscopic surgery.

Throughout his career, John Hagen established himself as a laparoscopic surgery and bariatric pioneer. From 2013 to 2020, he was the Chief of Surgery at Humber River Regional Hospital (HRH), and from 2020 to 2022, he was the Chief of Staff. He has over 37 years of experience as a staff surgeon at HRH and has specialized in laparoscopic surgery and obesity treatment through surgical treatments. His position as Surgical Director of Bariatrics at HRH since 2007 has allowed him to make significant contributions to the area.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Hagen also serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery of the University of Toronto, where he instructs fellows and residents in laparoscopic and bariatric surgery. He is well-known both nationally and globally for his outstanding mentoring and teaching skills. He has held various hospital posts and privileges, including attending surgeon duties at Northwestern General Hospital and HRH. He has also held executive positions at HRH, including Chief of Surgery, Division Head of General Surgery, and Chief of Staff.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recognized Dr. John Hagen’s commitment to medical education and his remarkable mentoring abilities in 2014 by awarding him the Mentor of the Year Award – Region 3 (Ontario and Nunavut). This distinguished recognition honors his outstanding abilities as a manager, scholar, and professional, as well as his significant influence on the professional development of students, residents, and fellows. Dr. Hagen stood out among the many deserving people nominated for this award for his dedication to teaching surgery and his capacity to be a superb role model.

Dr. John Hagen’s dedication to medical education goes beyond his community. He has actively contributed to initiatives to promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise across surgeons in different nations. Notably, he has planned and led seven trips to China, where he and a group of medical professionals from North America visit hospitals and do interactive lectures. The main topics covered in these seminars are cholecystectomies and laparoscopic colon resections. Two minimally invasive fellows from Toronto are sent to China as part of the exchange program, and two surgeons from China spend 6–8 weeks in Humber River.

Dr. Hagen has additionally participated in HELPS International medical visits to Guatemala. These missions are designed to deliver primary healthcare to patients in rural and underserved areas of the nation. Dr. Hagen offers surgical treatments to those in need while working with a group of committed volunteers: doctors, anesthetists, gynecologists, general practitioners, nurses, translators, and cooks. Due to the limited diagnostic resources in these rural areas, these trips predominantly target hernia cases.

In addition to his impressive medical career and commitment to education, John Hagen is the author of the fascinating novel “The Sailor.” The chief of surgery at a sizable community hospital, Dr. Jeremy Young, and his encounter with the anxious orthopedic surgeon Dr. Julian Yacoby are the subjects of this thought-provoking novel. Two parallel stories that unexpectedly converge are woven together in the narrative. Dr. Young must cope with Dr. Yacoby’s disruptive behavior while also trying to preserve order and discipline among his surgical staff. Dr. Young, a seasoned sailor, is simultaneously involved in a sailing accident’s aftermath, which makes him doubt his decisions and exposes him to both personal and professional implications. The thrilling and compelling plot of “The Sailor” captivates readers as it examines themes of accountability, responsibility, and the difficult balance between personal and professional lives.

In conclusion, Dr. John Hagen is well known for his proficiency in laparoscopic surgery, his contributions to medical education, and his pioneering work in the field of bariatrics. He has contributed significantly to surgical technique advances and devoted much of his time to mentoring aspiring surgeons. He has received recognition for his commitment to medical education, remarkable mentoring skills, and participation in global knowledge-sharing initiatives. John Hagen shows off his talent for storytelling in “The Sailor,” a book that draws readers into a complex story that has them anxiously turning the pages.

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