Prior to finishing medical school at The University of Toronto, Dr. Dale Podolsky completed concurrent degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Physics.
Following medical school, Podolsky completed his residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at The University of Toronto where he was enrolled in the Surgeon-Scientist Training Program completing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. During his PhD he developed a novel robotic instrument for cleft palate surgery as well as cleft simulators that were successfully commercialized and used globally. Following his Residency training,
Podolsky completed fellowship training in Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery in Seattle, Washington.
His clinical interests include cleft, craniofacial surgery and ear reconstruction. Podolsky plans to merge his clinical interests with his passion for innovation, surgical robotics, simulation ensuring new technology results in significant improvements in patient care.
Podolsky is conducting research in engineering applied to pediatric plastic, cleft and craniofacial surgery. He has a passion for innovation having obtained multiple patents for medical devices. His specific research includes developing novel surgical robotic approaches to the craniofacial skeleton, developing innovative surgical simulators and researching new technologies. Podolsky strives to develop new surgical techniques that minimize the invasiveness of craniofacial procedures with improved precision with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. Podolsky founded the company Simulare Medical to commercialize high-fidelity cleft simulators he developed while completing his PhD at SickKids. The simulators have been used in over 50 countries worldwide to train local cleft surgeons and the company was recently acquired by Smile Train, the world largest cleft organization.
Education and experience
- 2003–2008: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physics, Western University, London, Ontario
- 2003–2008: Bachelor of Engineering Science (BESc) in Mechanical Engineering, Western University, London, Ontario
- 2008–20012: Medical Doctorate (MD), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
- 2012–2020: Residency (FRCSC), Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
- 2014–2017: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
- 2020–2021: Fellowship, Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- 2016–2017: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
- 2020: Ron Zuker Innovation Award, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto
- 2019: Innovation Award, 2019 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
- 2019: Sopman Humanitarian Award, University Health Network, University of Toronto
- 2016: Named one of 16 MD’s who made 2016 better for physician-led innovation. Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
- 2016: Named one of 5 game-changing doctors having an impact on healthcare. Hospital News, Canada’s Health Care News and Best Practices
- 2016: Owen Cole Scholarship for best manuscript, Cleft Congress, Chennai, India. Paper: Development and validation of a high-fidelity cleft palate simulator
- 2016: Innovation Award, 2016 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery. Ottawa, On, Canada
- 2015: Overall Winner and Best Mechanical Design, Surgical Robotics Challenge. A concentric tube robot for the da Vinci research kit. T. Looi, K. Eastwood, V. Bodani, K. Price, K. Upadhyaya, D. Podolsky, H. Azimian, P. Bowlin, W. Farhat, J. Drake. Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, London, United Kingdom
- 2015: Best Clinical Study Presented by a Resident, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
- 2015: Best Poster at the 2015 Gallie Batement and McMurrich Resident Research Competition Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
- 2007–2008: Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement in Mechanical Engineering
- Dale J Podolsky, David M Fisher, Karen W Wong Riff, Ronal Zuker, James M Drake, Christopher R Forrest. Assessing performance in simulated cleft palate repair using a novel video recording setup. The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. 2020 Jun;57(6):687-693
- Dale J Podolsky, Homan Cheng, David M Fisher, Karen W Wong Riff, Simon Myers, Christopher R Forrest. Reply: Evaluaton and implementation of a high-fidelity cleft palate simulator. Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2018 Dec;142(6):980e-981e
- Dale J Podolsky, Eric Diller, David M Fisher, Karen W Wong Riff, Thomas Looi, James M Drake and Christopher R Forrest. Utilization of cable guide channels for compact articulation within a dexterous three degrees-of-freedom surgical wrist design. Journal of Medical Devices. 13(1), 011003 (Nov 19, 2018)
- Dale J Podolsky, David M Fisher, Karen W Wong Riff, Peter Szasz, Thomas Looi, James M. Drake, Christopher R Forrest. Assessing technical performance and determining the learning curve in cleft palate surgery using a high fidelity cleft palate simulator. Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2018. 141(6): 1485-1500
- Dale J Podolsky, David M Fisher, Karen W Y Wong Riff, Thomas Looi, James M Drake, Christopher R Forrest. Infant robotic cleft palate surgery: a feasibility assessment using a realistic cleft palate simulator. Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2017. 139(2):455e-465e