null Dan Poenaru, MD, PhD, MPHE

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC , Glen site

Child Health and Human Development Program

Professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Division of General Surgery, MUHC



patient-centred care • shared decision-making • risk communication • pediatric surgery • patient-reported outcomes • team communication • surgical simulation • medical education • augmented intelligence • global surgery

Research Focus

At the commissure between families and surgical providers we are exploring the risk communication process taking place whenever a key surgical decision needs to be made. We explore this space by identifying, through mixed-method studies, patient-valued outcomes and experiences following surgical procedures in children, as well as the communication preferences of families. We are also interrogating the consenting process in pediatric surgery using multi-stakeholder evaluations of recorded consent activities. Our goal throughout these studies is to develop communication tools to improve the interactions between patients, families, and the surgical care team, and to instruct medical students and surgical trainees to do the same.

At the commissure between various surgical team members, we explore the communication processes within interprofessional trauma teams in action. We explore actual and theoretical team communication patterns, aiming to distill the findings into formal communication modules to be incorporated into trauma courses.

And at the commissure between communication and technology, across both major communication domains above, we endeavour to innovate technologically through novel applications of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. This includes machine learning algorithms for rendering risk communication more precise and virtual and augmented reality for creating low-cost, remotely deliverable immersive simulations for trauma team communication.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Poenaru D, Pemberton J, Frankfurter C, Cameron BH, Stolk E. Establishing disability weights for congenital paediatric surgical conditions: a prospective, cross-sectional, multi-modal approach. Pop Health Metrics 15:1-11, 2017.

  • Saxton AT, Poenaru D, Ozgediz D, Ameh Emmanuel A, Farmer D, Rice HE. Economic analysis of children’s surgical care in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. PLOS ONE 11:e01654480, 2016.

  • Yousef Y, Lee A, Ayele F, Poenaru D. Delayed access to care and unmet burden of pediatric surgical disease in resource-constrained African countries. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2018 Jun 27.

  • Poenaru D, Pemberton J, Cameron BH. The Burden of Waiting: DALYs accrued from delayed access to pediatric surgery in Kenya and Canada. J Pediatr Surg 50:765-70, 2015.

  • Poenaru D, Pemberton J, Frankfurter C, Cameron BH. Quantifying the Disability Averted through Pediatric Surgery: a cross-sectional comparison of a pediatric surgical unit in Kenya and Canada. World J Surg 39:2198-2206, 2015.