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Dr. Phil Wells, Chief of The Department of Medicine

Download Dr. Phil Wells full CV (4.7Mb) – updated January, 2017.

Dr. Wells received his medical school education and specialty training in Internal Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He then studied Hematology at McMaster University, concentrating on the special problems of venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins) under the tutelage of the internationally renowned expert, Dr. Jack Hirsh. At McMaster, he also obtained an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology.

On returning to Ottawa, Dr. Wells developed a clinical and research practice that has enabled him to perform internationally recognized research. He pioneered the concept of clinical prediction rules to assist in the diagnosis of patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. For each of these diseases he embodied these prediction rules in valuable algorithms and they are now known as the “Wells Model for DVT” and the “Wells Model for PE”. They are currently used world-wide in the diagnostic process for these illnesses and are incorporated into many National and Organizational guidelines.

His current research evaluates thrombosis at all levels, from etiology to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, long-term complications, psychosocial implications and development of prediction tools for bleeding and recurrence risk.  In recognition of Dr. Wells’ stellar work in the area of venous thromboembolism, he was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Thromboembolic Disease in 2001. In addition, Dr. Wells has received a Premier’s Research Excellence award and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) career scientist award. The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) recognized him as Researcher of the Year in 2004 and in 2012 he was awarded the J. David Grimes Career Researcher Award. In 2003, an entire scientific session at the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) was devoted to the Wells’ DVT clinical model and in 2007 he provided the ISTH Presidential Address on the “Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism”.

As part of building his clinical practice, he established the Thrombosis Treatment and Assessment Unit at The Ottawa Hospital. Along with Drs Rodger and Forgie he mentored and hired thrombosis physicians into this Unit which is now probably the only Clinical program in the world to offer thrombosis care 7 days a week, 365 days per year. The clinic volumes are unrivaled with over 700 new cases of venous thromboembolism seen per year. The group established a Thrombosis Clinical and Research Fellowship program which attracts trainees from across the world. This is one of only 3 programs in Canada which offer a Thrombosis fellowship program.

Dr. Wells also played a leading role in bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of talented researchers from four University centres across Canada. The group is called VECTOR (VEnous Thromboembolism Clinical Trails Organization) and is a unique collaboration which has broadened thrombosis research with not only continued excellence in clinical trials but with a focus on genetics and on the enhancement of knowledge translation into the clinic, resulting in better health care for patients with thromboembolic disease. The group now has 40 members including international collaborators.

As his research career has grown over the years, so too has Dr Wells’ involvement in the clinical and research spheres of the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. He has taken on many roles and responsibilities including Program Director for Hematology, Chief of the Division of Hematology, Director of Clinical Research, Associate Director of Clinical Research at the OHRI, and Deputy Head of Research in the Department of Medicine. These positions kept Dr. Wells very much involved in the life of The Ottawa Hospital, the OHRI and the University, and through his involvement he has succeeded in his continuing goal of increasing the profile of clinical research in these institutions.

Recent accolades include his being invited to participate in the development of the 2012, ninth edition of the ACCP (American College of Chest Physicians) Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy Evidence Based Guidelines, the leading guidelines publication for thrombosis in the world. In addition, Dr. Wells was named Vice-President of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) meeting to be held in Toronto in 2015. In this role, he will be involved with coordinating and developing this meeting which is anticipated to attract over 10,000 participants.

In March 2009 Dr. Wells assumed the position of Chief / Chair of the Department of Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. He immediately created vision and mission statements and a values document which incorporates respect, quality, collaboration and accountability elements. He is involved in processes to align the goals of the Department of Medicine with the University, the Hospital and the OHRI. He sees value in all collaborating in order to achieve excellence. He has developed a few foci of excellence in order to have the Department recognized nationally. These include:

  • Quality and Safety of Patient Care
  • Clinical Research
  • Medical Education

He supports regional collaborative initiatives and clinical partnerships within the Champlain LHIN. One of Dr. Wells’ priorities is to expand the visibility and promote the excellence that exists in the Department of Medicine, and to launch a promotion campaign through this Department of Medicine website.