Dr. Michael Anderson is of Mohawk and Scottish heritage. His ancestral home is Tyendinaga. He practiced surgical oncology in the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program (SMRCP) where he also served as Cancer Care Ontario’s (CCO) Regional Surgical Oncology Lead. Currently, he is a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science. He is examining palliative and end-of-life care as it pertains to urban Indigenous peoples. He has interests in Indigenous epistemologies and traditional knowledge in addition to improving access and quality of palliative and end-of-life services for Indigenous people.
Michael’s professional experience includes Lecturer in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, CCO Provincial Leadership Committees, CCO Clinical Guideline Expert Panels, Health System Funding Reform Advisory Committees, and Regional Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference Chair. He implemented Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences, Diagnostic Assessment Programs, an innovative Thoracic Surgery Partnership, and a Gynaecologic Oncology Center of Excellence in the SMRCP. He was a founding partner in the Barrie Endoscopy Clinic and co-Chair of the Georgian Bay Oncology Group.
Palliative and end-of-life care became his primary focus after considerable experience with terminal cancer patients and participation in the CCO/CPAC Integrate palliative care pilot project. This project led to his appreciation of how reducing ‘silos’ and facilitating navigation of individuals and families through a complex healthcare system could improve people’s quality of life at the end-of-life. These experiences informed the development of a Palliative Care Multidisciplinary Case Conference Program in North Simcoe Muskoka and stimulated his pursuit of further education in palliative care.