Dr. Nis Schmidt, The Making of a Surgeon

Graduated from the University of Alberta Medical School in 1961 after undergraduate studies in Physical Education, Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Following a rotating Internship at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton, he commenced surgical training at the University of Hawaii. This was followed by a period in Family Practice in Ponoka Alberta before returning to the U of A enrolled in Graduate Studies completing an M.Sc. in gastrointestinal physiology. On returning to Surgical Residency, he spent additional time in Orthopedics, Pathology and Surgical Research, culminating in a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1969 and a Research Fellowship to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1970. He participated in the early work of liver transplantation with study periods also in Sweden, France and Germany. Prior to his studies in Europe, he was appointed as surgeon to the Stadacona Hospital on the Canadian Naval base in Halifax and to the surgical staff at the University of Dalhousie, Victoria General Hospital, Halifax.


On completion of studies in Europe he joined the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, geographically located at St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. In addition to a Hepatobiliary Pancreatic and Gastrointestinal focus, he developed a clinical and academic practice of Endocrine Surgery and chaired that Section in the Division of General Surgery, UBC. At various times at SPH he directed the Surgical Intern program, chaired the Division of General Surgery and the Department of Surgery, and was Chief of Staff.  He chaired the Continuing Surgical Education Division in the UBC Department of Surgery organizing the popular annual Surgical Update for 20 years. He was a member of Council of the Canadian Medical Protective Association, on the Board of the Canadian Association of General Surgery, eight years as a Council member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada completing as Vice President of Surgery on the Executive of the Royal College. He has memberships in many Canadian, American and International Surgical Societies. He has been a member of the North Pacific Surgical Association since 1978, and was on Council serving as Recorder and manuscript publisher for 6 years. He has served on the Editorial Board of several surgical Journals including the American Journal of Surgery and the Canadian Journal of Surgery. He carried a constant teaching and administrative load, and has over 50 peer reviewed publications. He has had the opportunity to extensively travel and speak on surgical subjects and issues in Canada, the US, Asia and Europe.