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Research groups

James Wright


Honorary Departmental Professor of Orthopaedic

  • Senior Clinical Research Fellow
  • Honorary Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

James G. Wright is a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and Scientist well known for his advancement of evidence based orthopaedics and national leadership in improving access to childrens' surgery.

Early in his career he made contributions to the development of measures to evaluate surgical therapy, and evaluating unmet need and disparity in the use of orthopaedic procedures.

He has performed some of the first international multi-centre clinical trials evaluating orthopaedic treatments for children.

Dr. Wright is currently a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculosceletal Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Before moving to Oxford, Dr. Wright worked as an orthopaedic surgeon and scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada for 24 years.

Dr. Wright held a variety of leadership roles during his tenure. From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Wright served as Surgeon-in-Chief and concurrently, from 2007 to 2015 he was Chief of Perioperative Services. During the latter part of his senior leadership at SickKids he also served as Vice-President, Medical for the hospital (2012-2014).

Dr. Wright is a senior scientist in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program in SickKids Research Institute, a program he lead from 1999-2004.

At the University of Toronto, Dr. Wright is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, Department of Public Health Sciences, and Department of Health Policy, Management & Evaluations.

In addition to his hospital and administrative activities, Dr. Wright was the inaugural Associate Editor for Evidence Based Orthopedics of the American Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. In this role he introduced an Evidence-based section of Orthopedics (Introducing a New Journal Section: Evidence-Based Orthopaedics James G. Wright, M.D., M.P.H., F.R.C.S.(C); Marc F. Swiontkowski, M.D.J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2000 Jun; 82 (6): 759 -759).

In conjunction with the AAOS he modified the Oxford Levels of Evidence for orthopaedics (Wright et al., 2003). Every published article in JBJS since 2003 has been accompanied with a Level of Evidence rating, a process now ubiquitous among orthopaedic journals.

He edited a 100-chapter book entitled Evidence-based Orthopedics; The best answers to clinical questions. This text, also translated into Chinese, used standardised systematic overviews to answer using Grades of Recommendations a common orthopaedic clinical question in each of the 100 chapters.

As a member of the Paediatric Society of North America, he chaired the Clinical Trials committee and served as Chair of the Research Council for 4 years.

As a leader in paediatric surgery in Canada, Dr. Wright chaired the Paediatric Surgical Chiefs of Canada from 2010 to 2014. Before becoming Chair, he led, with colleagues, the development of the first ever comprehensive National paediatric wait times access targets for surgery (Pediatric Canadian Access targets for Surgery; PCATS); Wright et al., 2011.

As lead of the Canadian Pediatric wait time strategy, he applied PCATS to more than 200,000 children waiting for surgery across Canada; Waiting for children's surgery in Canada: the Canadian Paediatric Surgical Wait Times project.

This project was awarded the IPAC Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award in 2009.

Dr. Wright has published more than 230 peer-reviewed articles - including Lancet, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the British Medical Journal - and has contributed to over 15 books.

He has an h index of 69 with more than 18000 citations.


Dr. Wright received his MD from the University of Toronto in 1981 and his MPH from Yale University in 1991. He completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program from Yale School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Alvan Feinstein and completed clinical fellowships in pediatric orthopedic surgery at SickKids and The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.


Dr. Wright's areas of research include studying the characteristics of health and disease and the outcomes of treatment modalities in children. Dr. Wright is engaged in two ongoing randomized trials focused on evaluating botulism toxin for clubfoot and surgical treatments for simple bone cysts. Dr. Wright has served as primary or secondary supervisor for more than 30 MSc and PhD students.