Dean On Campus Blog

No safe bet…

The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.

                                                                         – Yogi Berra

                 Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees


I lost a bet.

IlostabetWestern medical school Dean, Dr. Michael Strong and I had a wager on the Queen’s/Western game last September 28th. The loser would have to deliver a lecture to the winner’s medical school students. Unfortunately, as you may know, the Mustangs prevailed 50-31 over our Golden Gaels in a hard-fought game.

So I travelled to London on Monday to pay my penance and deliver some words of wisdom to the Dean Strong’s students at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.  I spoke to them about being careful in making a casual bet…and about the changing landscape of medical education and the system where they will practice.

As you can see from the photo – Western purple may not be my best colour (note to Dean Strong…I don’t recall “wearing the team colours” as part of our original terms…).

All good-humoured competition aside – I had a terrific visit! I have a great working relationship with Dr. Strong and it was a pleasure to have the chance to meet and get to know his students.  Like our Queen’s students, it was energizing to be around such talented and dedicated young people at the outset of their careers. They were great hosts and, like our students, very proud to be studying medicine, and very proud of their school. My thanks to all involved at Schulich for making this such an enjoyable trip.

Next September, our Gaels play host to Western here in Kingston and I may think twice about another wager with Dean Strong. But without a doubt- he, his faculty and students are always welcome guests at Queen’s University

If you have any Queen’s/Western memories that you would like to share, please comment on this post. Better yet, drop by my office at the Macklem House…my door is always open.



7 Responses to No safe bet…

  1. Bill Moore (Queen's Meds '62) says:

    Thanks Richard for this nice tribute to the hospitality at another Medical School and medical students fortunate enough to be attending both Western and Queen’s. The system where physicians will be practicing seems to be changing at an accelerated pace with many unknowns, unlike when my father graduated (Queen’s Meds ’28)and even when my class did. Some of the changes may be positive, others not. I hope all young people considering medicine as a career learn as much as they can, as early as possible, about not only the many opportunities but the frustrations they may encounter after years of medical education/training and expense. I am confident that well informed, truly dedicated students will continue to choose medicine as a career and that Queen’s will continue to enroll the most promising ones among them.

    • reznickr says:

      Dear Bill, as always, thanks for your sage words. I agree, looking at our students, the future of medicine is bright.

  2. Cindy Toze says:

    A safer bet may be on the Queen’s rugby team, who have won back to back championships against Western in 2012 and 2013…
    Cindy Toze (Queen’s Medicine ’86, mother of Angus and Alex MacPhail, current Queen’s rugby)

    • reznickr says:

      I agree whole heartedly. In fact my son was (and is) a rugby player. When he was a varsity player for McGill, he and his team visited Queen’s and were soundly defeated


  3. Ken Appleby says:

    Back in my day the song went, “Johnny Metras pays his boys , what the hell who cares”

    Ken Appleby. Meds ’54

  4. reznickr says:


    Thanks so much for your comment. I agree wholeheartedly that Queen’s and Western have been exemplary partners. In fact, recently, Mike and I have intensified discussions regarding augmented ways of partnering between Queen’s and Western. I will pass on your comments to Mike Strong.

    All my best,


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