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Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni appointed Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Peri-Operative Services
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Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni appointed Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Peri-Operative Services


Through 20 tremendous years at SickKids, Kulkarni has proved himself multiple times over to be a gifted and trusted physician, researcher, educator and leader.

Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has appointed Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Peri-Operative Services, effective April 8, 2024. Kulkarni succeeds Dr. James Drake, who is retiring.

After conducting an extensive international search for this prominent position, the hiring committee selected Kulkarni, who has been an integral part of the SickKids family since he joined the organization as Staff Neurosurgeon in 2003.

“Since coming to SickKids, Dr. Kulkarni has sought out new responsibilities and roles with purpose and passion,” said Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids. “As our new Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Peri-Operative Services, we are excited for the future as he makes the role his own and continues his career journey with us at SickKids.”

Additional current appointments include: Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute; Professor and Vice-Chair of Culture & Inclusion in the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto (U of T); Lead Neurosurgeon for the Ontario Fetal Centre; Professor of Surgery at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine; and the Robert B. Salter Chair in Surgery.

He exhibits all our corporate values and inclusion is particularly close to his heart, as demonstrated through his leadership of the U of T Neurosurgery Culture and Inclusion initiative, and participation in the university’s EDI Committee. In addition, he has mentored junior medical students in the U of T Diversity Mentorship Program and taken the San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training.

Kulkarni is also devoted to research, which centres on clinical trials, health outcomes, and quality of life in paediatric neurosurgery. He holds over US$12 million in current U.S. National Institutes of Health Principal Investigator funding and has published 270-plus peer-reviewed manuscripts in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and The Lancet. Through the years, he has also served on the editorial boards of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

From 2010 to 2020, he was Residency Program Director for U of T’s Department of Neurosurgery, one of the largest neurosurgical training programs in the world, and presently oversees education for Perioperative Services at SickKids.

Kulkarni has extensive leadership training and experience. He has received formal leadership instruction from U of T and Harvard University and served as a Director for the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the Accreditation Council of Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships, and the executive board of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

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