Larissa Temple, M.D., has been appointed chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She also will lead the Surgical Health Outcomes & Research Enterprise (SHORE) and serve as professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, pending approval of the University’s Board of Trustees.
After medical school at the University of Calgary in Canada, Temple trained at the University of Toronto, where she also received a master’s degree in epidemiology. She completed fellowships in colon and rectal surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, in surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Temple stayed on staff at Memorial and later became the director of the Colorectal Survivorship Program, as well as the vice deputy physician-in-chief for Quality and Safety.
With a focus on quality of life and long-term outcomes, Temple specializes in colorectal cancers and minimally invasive procedures, including robotic surgery for complex multi-surgeon pelvic procedures. Her research has evaluated the importance of communication in patient decision-making about surgical procedures with long-term or late effects and the role of survivorship care plans for colorectal cancer survivors.
“Dr. Temple is a nationally recognized leader in surgical quality improvement, and her research in patient-reported quality of life outcomes after complex cancer surgery is used to set national standards,” said David C. Linehan, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery and Seymour I. Schwartz Professor in Surgery. “In addition to being a gifted surgeon who specializes in complex colon and rectal surgery, she is also known to be a fantastic teacher and mentor both inside and out of the operating room.”
“Survivorship begins the day you’re diagnosed, and our goal is to provide you the best cancer outcomes we can and give you the best quality of life at the same time,” Temple said.
Temple and her colleagues also provide care for benign anorectal diseases, including Crohn’s disease, colitis and irritable bowel disease.
“Although they are called benign, these diseases can be quite complex, and you really want someone who understands that area and who really has expertise and interest in it to manage that,” Temple said.
With more than 40 publications, Temple has a national reputation in colorectal cancer and surgical quality. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology program committee and the American College of Surgeons Rectal Cancer Standards Operative Workgroup, among several roles with national organizations. Temple also chairs the Quality Assessment Committee for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery.
“The Department of Surgery under Dr. Linehan is really energetic and strong, and the opportunity to work with Wilmot Cancer Institute in the region really appeals to me,” Temple said. “Our group has the ability, with our regional network, to ensure that all patients in upstate New York get top-quality care.”