Susan Lee completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s University (BScH in Biology & Physics) followed by medical school at the University of Toronto. She spent one year at McMaster University as a resident before discovering the joy of anesthesia at the University of Western Ontario, where she completed her anesthesiology training. During her residency, she developed an interest in clinical research and developed a perioperative smoking cessation program, and set out to prove its effectiveness with a randomized controlled trial. After residency, she worked in a small community hospital (Woodstock General Hospital) where she was involved in several patient safety quality improvement initiatives. She continued her research development at the University of California, San Francisco, where she worked as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care while completing a Master’s in Clinical Research in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She continued on as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF while conducting research at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is pleased to join the Department of Anesthesia at Royal Columbian Hospital and the UBC Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, & Therapeutics, where she will continue her investigations on how best to prepare patients for surgery and optimize their outcomes.

Research Interests:

Broadly, my research interests include investigating how best to prepare patients for surgery to obtain the best postoperative outcomes. Specifically, I have enjoyed investigating perioperative smoking cessation and perioperative medication management. My current projects involve investigating how e-cigarettes can be used as a smoking cessation aid in the perioperative period (The END Perioperative Smoking Study), how simple interventions for perioperative smoking cessation perform in the real-world, and how better timing of these interventions may improve postoperative outcomes (The BuTT Out Study). I am also the anesthesia site liaison for the REGAIN study, an international multi-center study to investigate regional versus general anesthesia for hip fracture patients.

My research methods of interest range from small interventional randomized clinical trials to large database observational research using administrative data. While I love the elegance of a well-designed randomized trial, I also enjoy the depth of understanding gained from qualitative research, and my long-term vision for the future at Royal Columbian Hospital is to develop a comprehensive database that can be used to study real-world perioperative outcomes on a larger scale.

Honours & Awards:

Research Awards:
Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Richard Knill Research Competition June 2014 Finalist (top 5)
Lee S, Landry J, Jones P, Burrhman O, and Morley-Forster P. Long-term Outcomes after a Perioperative Smoking Cessation RCT.

McMaster-Western University Resident Research Day June 2012 1st Prize
Lee S, Landry J, Jones P, Morley-Forster P, and Burrhman O. Effectiveness of a Perioperative Smoking Cessation Program: an RCT.

2016-2017 Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Surgical Quality Improvement Grant awarded to implement a perioperative smoking cessation quality improvement program.

2016 San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center Patient-Centered Mini-Grant for the Stop Smoking for Safer Surgery program and Stop Smoking Challenge Coins

2015 University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant of the National Institutes of Health for the END Perioperative Smoking Pilot Study.

2014-2015 UCSF Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care internal research award to conduct a pilot study of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid for veterans presenting for surgery.

2009-2012 University of Western Ontario Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine internal research award to conduct a perioperative smoking cessation randomized controlled trial.