Dr. Williams is a graduate of University of Western Ontario medical school (1964) and trained in cardio-vascular and thoracic surgery at the University of Toronto (1971). He spent 1 year in surgical research at Toronto Western Hospital mentored by Dr. Ronald Baird. Following a year in Europe, including 6-months of thoracic surgery in Edinburgh and research in Oxford, he returned to a cross-appointment at SickKids and Toronto General Hospitals.
Dr. Williams specialized in congenital heart surgery with mentorship from Drs. William Mustard and George Trusler. He also contributed to developing a program for the emerging field of adult congenital care with Dr. Gary Webb at Toronto General. In addition Dr. Williams had a special interest in surgery for patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Williams initiated a congenital cardiac surgery database (https://ccsdb.org/) July 1, 1982 that became the initial source for many clinical research analyses. It continues to track > 21,000 cardiac patients to the present day. The CHSS Data Center that began in 1985 in Birmingham Alabama moved to Toronto in 1997 under Dr. Williams as managing director (1997-2012) and subsequently executive director to 2022. The CHSS clinical research fellowship has successfully mentored 10 residents to attain an MSc or PhD.
Dr. Williams was appointed as staff surgeon at SickKids & TGH in 1973 to 2006. He was Division Head of Cardiac Surgery at SickKids 1990 – 2001, and Chair of Cardiac Surgery, University of Toronto, 1992 – 1998. He was co-chair of 2001 World Congress if Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery, 1st president of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society 2002-04, awarded Dwight McGoon Surgeon-Mentor Award 2005, 2012 Founders Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, University of Toronto 40-year Service Award 2012, CHSS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and was a visiting Professor at many institutions. The funded Williams Clinical Research Directorship at SickKids was inaugurated in 2018 in his honour. Dr. Williams is a member of AATS, STS, CHSS, AHA, Canadian Society of CVT Surgeons and Honourary Member of the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
Lesion-specific outcomes in neonates undergoing congenital heart surgery are related predominantly to patient and management factors rather than institution or surgeon experience: A Congenital Heart Surgeons Society Study. Karamlou T, McCrindle BW, Blackstone EH, Cai S, Jonas RA, Bradley SM, Ashburn DA, Caldarone CA, Williams WG. JTCVS 2010;139:569-577
Uses and Limitations of Registry and Academic Databases. Williams WG. Seminars in Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual 2010;13:66
Surgical outcomes in congenital heart disease: Expectations and realities. EACTS Honoured Guest Lecture. Williams WG. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 2005;27:937-44
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy: Comparison of outcomes after myectomy or alcohol ablation adjusted by propensity score. Ralph-Edwards A, Woo A, McCrindle BW, Shapero JL, Schwartz L, Rakowski H, Wigle ED, Williams WG. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2005;129,351 – 358
Outcomes of 829 neonates with complete transposition of the great arteries 12–17 years after repair. Williams WG, McCrindle BW, Ashburn DA, Jonas RA, Mavroudis C, Blackstone EH. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 2003;24:1-10
Ventricular tachycardia after surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot: Results of intraoperative mapping studies. Downer E, Harris L, Kimber SKM, Genga A, Journal of the American College of Cardiology 1992;20:648-655
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