Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Patrick Murphy, MSc candidate in Surgery

“My graduate program has been very supportive prior to and throughout the academic year. The on-going support of the program and mentors within General Surgery has allowed me to achieve success during my graduate degree.”

Where is “home” for you?
I was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, but spent most of my child and adolescent life in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
I completed by Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Neuroscience from Dalhousie University, and completed Medical School at Queens University.

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
I had a number of reasons to come to Western for my graduate degree. A big influence was my residency program which allows me to maintain some clinical volume while completing my graduate degree.

Describe your research in 100 words or less.
My research examines the influence of elevated abdominal compartment pressures in critically ill patients. This is a common event and high pressures can have significant physiological effects, much like in other compartments (head, limb). The objectives of my research were to characterize the incidence of elevated abdominal pressures in an ICU population prospectively, and additionally trial two potential therapeutics in an animal model of abdominal compartment syndrome.

What is your “dream” career?
My career aspirations are to pursue a fellowship in Trauma and Emergency Surgery and ultimately work at an academic institution. I would like to continue to be involved in clinical research and resident/medical student education.

What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about surgery, patient safety, and quality and health outcomes research which is reflected in the research I am involved in.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
The best advice I could give is to get involved in research you are passionate about and projects you are involved in from the beginning. I find this improves commitment to the work, as well as fulfillment in research.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Melissa Serrano (
Research and Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Surgery

St. Joseph's Health Care London
268 Grosvenor St. Rm E3-113
London, Ontario N6A 4V2

t. 519-646-6100 ext. 34776
f. 519-646-6347

The Department of Surgery at Western has a large, well-established, and highly-regarded post-graduate surgical education training program that includes seven individual subspecialty programs. The MSc in Surgery at Western has been designed to afford trainees an intensive research experience which will lead graduates to successful careers as clinician researchers at Academic Health Sciences Centers. All students will conduct novel research resulting in the completing of an MSc thesis which must be successfully defended by the student to accomplish the degree requirements.

Program Length

  • 3 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Graduate Student Affordability Calculator

Use this helpful tool to estimate how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and other necessities for a 12-month (three term) academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree with a minimum average of 78% over the last two years of an Honours Program (completed prior to enrolment in an MD program).
  • Successfully completed the MD degree or equivalent.
  • Completed a minimum of two years of a surgical residency program (students may apply at any point in residency or fellowship training thereafter).
  • Demonstrated an aptitude for and interest in surgical research.

Additional Requirements

  • Research Proposal for the student’s surgical subspecialty area and the identification of a supervisor for the research.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

  • Minimum two-year degree from an English language university.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable score is 600 for the paper and pencil version, 250 for the computer version, or 92 for the internet version with no individual score below 22. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). Minimum acceptable score is 6.5 out of 9.

Application Deadline

  • April 15 - Fall Term
  • January 15 - Summer Term

Acceptance notification 1-2 months after application deadline.