The Thyroid Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of various thyroid diseases. Patients with different thyroid and parathyroid conditions are assessed, this includes: thyroid dysfunction (under or over active), thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, parathyroid dysfunction and other conditions. Our team consists of physician and surgical specialists and clinical nurse specialists; we strive to provide you with a one-stop-shop for all of your thyroid needs at Women’s College Hospital.
The Thyroid Program team members include:
Physician Specialists (Endocrinologist)
Physician Specialist (Endocrinologist): The Endocrinologists specialize in the treatment of hormone imbalances to help restore the normal levels of hormones in the body, specific to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Dr. Afshan Zahedi, BASc, MD, FRCPC
Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto
She is the Directory of the Thyroid program at Women’s College Hospital with cross appointment to Division of Endocrinology at University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Zahedi is a clinician teacher and is involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate education at the Faculty of Medicine. She has been the recipient of several education awards. Her research focuses on Quality Improvement with a multidisciplinary approach to delivery of health care. She is currently the Endocrine Oncology Lead for the Division of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Fellowship Program Director at University of Toronto. Her research focuses on implementing multidisciplinary (surgical and medical) team approach to management of Thyroid cancer. Other research includes impact of continuing education for primary care and allied health professionals to improve outcomes for chronic disease management including diabetes in geriatric populations and Thyroid disease.
Dr. Catherine Kelly, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Clinical Educator and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto
She is the former Division Head of Endocrinology at Women’s College Hospital, and the former U of T Endocrine Postgraduate Program Director from 1999 to 2007. She was the Peters Boyd Academy Director for the academic year 2009-2010 and was the site director of the PB Academy at WCH (2007-2013). She is a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Communication and is the University DOM Champion for the Communicator role. She has expertise in implementing Lean Management processes into clinical settings. Her clinical interest is in thyroid disease and she has won several teaching awards.
Dr. Rosario Briones-Urbina, MD, PHD, FRCPC
Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. PhD in Biochemistry
Dr. Briones-Urbina is an active teacher in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education. She has been the recipient of multiple education awards.
She fulfilled many leadership roles in education and is the former Chair of the Women’s College Department of Medicine Education Committee and the Chair of the Medical Grand Rounds Committee. She served in the Division of Endocrinology Postgraduate Education Committee. She was the Division of Endocrinology representative to the University of Toronto Department of Medicine task force on Continuing Education and Knowledge Translation & Exchange.
Her clinical interests are in thyroid disease, adrenal disease, and osteoporosis.
Physician specialist (Endocrine Surgeon)
The Endocrine Surgeon specializes in the treatment of thyroid and parathyroid disorders.
Dr. Karen Devon, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS | Endocrine Surgeon
Dr. Devon completed her general surgery training in Toronto and has a fellowship in endocrine surgery and in clinical ethics from the University of Chicago. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. She has expertise in the treatment of all thyroid diseases including thyroid cancer. She has won awards for her innovation in creating our outpatient thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy programs where she has introduced innovative technologies to allow for a focused, minimally invasive approach.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
The surgical Nurse team focuses on counseling, therapy plans, planning for surgery, and assisting with procedures.
The program administrator schedules future tests, coordinates care, and follow up with patients.
Thyroid Program – Endocrine team
Women’s College Hospital
76 Grenville Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
Phone: 416-323-6400 x 4874
Karen Devon MD, MSc, FRCSC
Phone: 416-323-6400 x 7352
How to refer a patient
Patients are seen only by referral from a family doctor, other specialist or nurse practitioner.
Ocean eReferral Network: For more information about eReferral or to sign up for an account, please email: eServicesToronto@uhn.ca
Please send a referral to fax number 416-323-6534 with the following information
- Your name, billing number, contact information
- Preference for a specific program, endocrinologist if applicable.
- Patient demographic and contact information
- Reason, urgency for referral
- Past medical history/cumulative patient profile
- Medication list
- Relevant recent investigations, e.g.:
- HbA1c for diabetes
- TSH for thyroid disorder
- Thyroid ultrasound for thyroid nodule
- DEXA report for osteoporosis
WCH Thyroid Program
This program offers a multidisciplinary, integrated approach for patients with various thyroid and parathyroid diseases.
The Thyroid Program is unique at Women’s College Hospital as our endocrine and surgical teams work closely to coordinate your care. Additionally, we do all diagnostic testing at the hospital, including ultrasounds and biopsies. We work as a team to manage thyroid conditions with a multidisciplinary approach, thriving to reach the goal of being a one-stop-shop centre.
Once a complete referral including recent blood test and relevant imaging has been received, you will be notified of an appointment date and time by a member of our administrative staff.
What to Expect
We would ask that you plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time so that we can complete your registration.
Please remember to bring your Ontario Health Card with you to this appointment and a list of your medications including any vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies. Please Note: If you do not have a valid Ontario Health Card, you will be required to pay directly for the clinical service(s) provided at the time of your visit. Details are available from any of our program secretaries.
The appointment is about 45-60 minutes. You may be asked to complete some blood work at the end of your appointment. These tests can be done at the hospital right after your appointment (usually there is no preparation for these tests).
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify the program scheduling secretary at 416-323-6400 ext. 4874 to cancel and/or re-schedule your appointment at least 2 business days prior to your appointment. Cancellation fees will be applied if above procedures are not followed.
The thyroid program offers the following specialized tests on site:
- Parathyroid scans: to test the function of the parathyroid glands.
- Thyroid scan: to test the function of the thyroid gland.
- Radioactive iodine treatment: used for treatment of overactive thyroid or thyroid cancer. For more information, see our Radioactive Idodine Service information below.
- Radioactive Iodine whole body scan: used in thyroid cancer patients to assess if there is any disease activity.
- Thyroid biopsy: a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the thyroid gland (thyroid nodule) and examined under a microscope.
- Thyroid ultrasound: to assess the size and shape of the thyroid and thyroid nodules.
There are many resources available for both patients and health care professionals. The following are websites that will provide the answers to many questions you may have about thyroid conditions and care:
Associations & Groups
- My Thyroid
- Thyroid Foundation of Canada – Thyroid Cancer
- American Thyroid Association (ATA)
- Thyroid Cancer Canada
Located in the Acute Ambulatory Care Unit (AACU) this service offers short stay overnight treatment for thyroid cancer. Patients are hospitalized in isolation during their 48-hour treatment period.
In some patients, radioactive iodine treatment can be done as an outpatient service and no hospital admission would be required.
All patients who require radioactive iodine treatment, have to be referred to the thyroid program for a consultation by one of the endocrinologist prior to being scheduled for treatment.