McMaster University

McMaster University

Vicky Chen


Professor Emeritus (2012)
Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Anatomical Pathology

photo of dr chen








Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

FRCPC, Anatomical Pathology, 1978
FRCPC, General Pathology, 1977
MB, University of Hong Kong, 1970


Clinical Focus

Her areas of interest in Anatomic Pathology include Diagnostic Cytopathology, Head and Neck Pathology and Endocrine pathology. She serves as the regional consultant in these areas. In 2002, Dr. Chen received an Honorary Life Membership from the Canadian Society of Cytology in recognition of her many contributions to the Canadian Cytology scene.

Research Focus

Dr. Chen’s research activities are now limited to those linked with the clinical service or residents training. She is a co-investigator for the St. Joseph’s branch of the Ontario Tumour Bank.

Academic Interests

Dr. Chen considers teaching a vocation. For over 20 years she was actively involved with residency education, first as a program director for General Pathology, then as a program coordinator of Laboratory Medicine Residency Training. She tries to impress on her residents that microscopic examination is only a small part in the course of diagnosis of diseases. The patient must be taken as a whole and health care professionals work as a team. She has tutored and taught medical students since the mid 1980s. Though a graduate from a traditional medical school she has slowly but surely become an advocate of the McMaster adult education model of problem-based, group-based and self-directed learning process. To her Medicine is as much an art as it is a science. She emphasizes good history and physical examination repeatedly among her undergraduate medical students. Besides medical students and pathology residents she also contributes to the teaching of fellows from Head and Neck Surgery and Endocrinology.

As the Departmental Education Coordinator it is her hope to encourage quality education contributions among faculties and to facilitate the liaison between the faculties and the areas of need.

Selected Publications

  • Lovrics PJ, Chen V, Coates G et al. A prospective comparison of positron emission tomography scanning, sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection in staging patients with early stage breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2002; 76(suppl1): S129.
  • Maamoun Al-Aynati, Vicky Chen, Darin Treleaven et al. Interobserver and Intraobserver Variability Using the Fuhrman Grading System for Renal Cell Carcinoma. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine: Vol. 127, No. 5, pp. 593–596. 2003
  • Lovrics PJ, Cornacchi SD, Farrokhyar F, Garnett A, Chen V, Franic S, Simunovic M. The relationship between surgical factors and margin status after breast conservation surgery for early stage breast cancer. Am J Surg 2009, 197:740-746.
  • Guides to Clinical Aspiration Biopsy - Head and Neck, 2nd edition, 1996. V. Chen, A.H. Qizilbash, J.E.M. Young. Igaku-Shoin, publisher, U.S.A.
  • Vicky Chen, Chapter 16 "Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology of Endocrine Glands" in Molecular and Cellular Endocrine Pathology. Ed. Lucia Stefaneanu, Hironobu Sasano, and Kalman Kovacs. Edward Arnold Publisher, UK. 2000


Graduated from University of Hong Kong, Dr. Chen received most of her postgraduate training at McMaster University and got her Anatomical and General Pathology qualifications in 1977/78. She has been on staff at St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton and held a joint university appointment in the Department of Pathology, McMaster since 1983. She has been appointed as the Departmental Education Coordinator from April 2009.

After work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as some periods of solitude. She has earned a couple of degrees in Theology from the Toronto School of Theology. She is an active member of Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Burlington where she currently serves as the music director and organist. Her hobbies include reading, food and wine tasting, visual arts and music. Boredom is, so far, an unknown territory.

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