Richard Trafford SpenceMD MPH PhD FCS(SA) FRCSC

Assistant Professor MIS and Surgical Oncology

R. Spence

Related information

Phone: 902-473-3727
Mailing Address: 
QEII Health Sciences Centre, VG Site
1276 South Park St, Room 8-032
Halifax, NS B3H 2Y9
Research Topics:
  • Quality Improvement
  • Surgical Outcomes Research
  • Global Surgery and Global Oncology
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Gastrointestinal Malignancies
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Therapeutic Endoscopy
  • Endocrine Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology


  • Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship (University of Toronto)
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery, Therapeutic Endoscopy and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship (Dalhousie University)
  • General Surgery Residency (University of Cape Town)
  • Research Fellowship (Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness, Harvard University)
  • MMed and PhD in Surgery (University of Cape Town)
  • Masters of Public Health (University of Cambridge)
  • MBChB (Cape Town University)

Dr. Richard Spence is an assistant Professor in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Oncology in the Division of General Surgery in Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. Dr Spence is a South African and Canadian trained general surgeon with research interests focusing on standardizing reporting of surgical outcomes with the vision to provide global benchmarking platforms and quality improvement initiatives, specifically, in the fascinating and progressive fields of bariatric surgery and gastrointestinal malignancies. Dr Spence also has a passion for delivering on patient-centered outcomes research and trying to measure surgical outcomes, which matter most to his patient by actively engaging them in his research. Dr Spence has been innovative in trying to reliably measure outcomes on a larger scale by embracing both emerging mobile health technology as well as patient reported data to minimize costs, data burden and missing data. He is an associate of the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and also has a keen interest in global surgery and global oncology as an active participant of both the Dalhousie Global Surgery Office and the NIH-funded collaborative GlobalSurg. Highlights of his academic career to date include that he was the recipient of the Mary Gray scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied a Master of Public Health, the recipient of the Moynihan Research award for best surgical research in residency and the recipient of the Discovery Health Academic fellowship award, which funded his PhD studies and fellowship at the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness at Harvard University.