Bethune Scholarship
COA Global Surgery (COAGS)


Bethune Scholar 2020:  Dr. Robert G. McCormack

The COA Global Surgery (COAGS) Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the third annual COAGS Norman Bethune Orthopaedic Travel Scholarship, Dr. Robert (Bob) G. McCormack.

Dr. McCormack is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of British Columbia. His clinical practice focuses on knee and shoulder injuries with subspecialty interest, and research activities, in the area of articular cartilage regeneration and ligament reconstruction.

He is active in sports medicine and cares for athletes at the university, national and professional levels. This includes the varsity athletes at three universities (in both U Sports and the NCAA). At the professional level Dr. McCormack is the head physician for the BC Lions (CFL), is the Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS) and works as a consultant for the NHL/NHLPA.

He is a physician for several national teams, in both summer and winter sports and has been part of the medical team at numerous international multi-sport events (including ten Olympic Games). He has been the head physician for the Canadian Olympic team since 2004, most recently was the Chief Medical Officer at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea. Between Games he is the Medical Director for the Canadian Olympic Committee and on the PASO medical commission, for the Pan Am Games.

In his research role Dr. McCormack is the Director of the Simon Fraser Orthopaedic Research Foundation, which concentrates on prospective randomized trials in Orthopaedics. He was also one of the founders of the COTS and JOINTS groups for multicenter Canadian research.

The aim of the Bethune scholarship is to forge bonds and exchange knowledge between China and Canada, and Dr. McCormack will travel to Wenzhou, China, as both a teacher and a learner, during a two-week period in the spring of 2020. COAGS is very grateful to the Second Affiliated Hospital of the Wenzhou Medical University (WMU), for this opportunity and is confident that Dr. McCormack will be a tremendous ambassador for Canadian orthopaedics. Join us in congratulating him!


*** Please note that Dr. McCormack’s trip is being rescheduled for a later date due to COVID-19 concerns. ***

2019 Recap: Dr. John Murnaghan

The winner of the second COAGS  Norman Bethune Orthopaedic Travel Scholarship, Dr. John Murnaghan, from University of Toronto, travelled to Wenzhou, China, during March and April 2019.

Click here for a recap of Dr. Murnaghan’s travels and insight.

2018 Recap:  Dr. Vaughan Bowen

The inaugural COAGS Norman Bethune Orthopaedic Travel Scholarship to Wenzhou, China, was a resounding success. Dr. Vaughan Bowen from the University of Calgary participated in a tremendous exchange of knowledge with the Second Affiliated Hospital of the Wenzhou Medical University.  See below for his recap.

Bethune 2018 Travel Blog: Letters from China

Dr. Bowen spent two weeks exploring China with his partner, Dorothy, ultimately ending up in Wenzhou for the Bethune Scholarship from March 17 to April 2, 2018.  Here are his musings and reflections on his academic pursuits and travels.  

Letter 1
Arrival in Beijing and The Great Wall of China.

Letter 2
The train to Xi’an, exotic foods, and Chinese opera.

Letter 3
Travels across China by aeroplane, boat, train, bus and car.

Letter 4 (with photos)
First days in Wenzhou and the Medical University.

Letter 5
Working with the Hand Surgeons at the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of the Wenzhou Medical University.

Letter 6
Academic exchanges are in full swing. 

Letter 7 (with photos)
A photo journal of some of the events and people we have met.

Letter 8
Back on the road, from Wenzhou to Sanya on the southern coast of the tropical island of Hainan. 

Letter 9
Final thoughts and an appeal from the writer.