Associate Dean

As the father of four sons, I have found that thought-provoking, articulate conversations with 17 year-old males are rare and remarkable occurrences indeed. Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to have just such an experience this past week. It all began when I came upon an article by Kristin Rushowy that appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star on … Continue reading

The history of career counseling in our medical school divides nicely into three “eras”. Before 2006, students were informally supported through the efforts of faculty mentors, but there was essentially no structured program or standard approach. The next eight years or so can be rightfully dubbed the “Peter O’Neill Era”. Recruited to the role of Director, Career Counseling in July … Continue reading

Anyone who’s struggled through high school or university language courses will have observed, perhaps with exasperation, how young children learn to speak those languages quite effectively without the benefit of formal instruction. Growing children blissfully bypass linguistic theory and grammatical rules, and simply start speaking the language, employing a combination of imitation and trial-and-error to find what sounds and phrases … Continue reading

What do great baseball players and cardiologists have in common? Not much, may be your first reaction. However, as I was preparing some comments on the topic of decision making for our clerkship class recently, I came to recognize some intriguing parallels. Baseball players come basically in two varieties, pitchers and batters. Pitchers are large, powerful people who stand on … Continue reading

We all need people in our lives who are willing to tell us “how it is”. These are special folks, often spouses, relatives or lifelong friends, whose relationship with us is strong enough to allow candid, honest, unvarnished commentary about topics close to the heart. I found myself in a conversation with one such person recently who had the temerity … Continue reading

“One hundred and eighty-five”. That was the answer to my question. The question, that I’d posed somewhat naively to our intrepid assessment coordinator, Amanda Consack, was “how many assessments have the 2015 class undertaken during medical school?” “Do you mean everything?” she asked. “Yes. Everything”, I answered, not wanting to sound wimpy. In her typical fashion, Amanda provided me not … Continue reading

Post Thumbnail

The first accreditation visit to the Queen’s School of Medicine occurred in October of 1909, and didn’t go particularly well. The reviewer was Abraham Flexner, a rather determined iconoclast and career educator who had been commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation to carry out a review of all North American medical schools. Flexner undertook his charge with a shrewd earnestness that … Continue reading

Post Thumbnail

In their final few weeks as students, graduating medical classes elect two of their peers for special recognitions. For many years, one member has been designated to represent them and take responsibility for ensuring that their identity as a family of friends and professional colleagues is maintained through the years to come. Being elected Permanent Class President is therefore an … Continue reading

The 1992 motion picture “A League of Their Own” features a very memorable scene that has been coming to mind in light of recent discussions. In it, Tom Hanks brilliantly portrays a crusty former major league baseball star who, in the early 1940s, has been conscripted to manage a team of young women participating in a league set up to … Continue reading

Are physicians “leaders”? Put another way, is “leadership” a necessary or even desirable attribute of the aspiring or practicing medical doctor? The recent revision of the competency framework of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and specifically the proposal to change the “Manager” competency to “Leader” has sparked some interesting conversation on this issue. The root of this controversy … Continue reading

Post Timeline

Are we forcing our students to choose between Learning and Success?
Published Mon, July 27, 2015

As the father of four sons, I have found that thought-provoking, articulate conversations with 17 year-old males are rare and remarkable occurrences indeed. Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to have just such an experience this past week. It all began when I came upon an article by Kristin Rushowy that appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star on … Continue reading

Bringing things into focus: Using focus groups to collect feedback
Published Mon, July 20, 2015

By Theresa Suart & Eleni Katsoulas Amongst the plethora of student feedback we solicit about our courses, you may wonder why we sometimes add in focus groups. What could be added to the more than a dozen questions on course evaluation and faculty feedback surveys? The information we gather in student focus groups doesn’t replace the very valuable narrative feedback … Continue reading

Student wins prize for project on physicians with disabilities
Published Mon, July 13, 2015

What started as a project for her Critical Enquiry class turned into an award-winning poster presentation for Kirsten Nesset of MEDS 2017. Nesset attended the 24th annual History of Medicine Days Conference at the University of Calgary in March where she won Best Poster Presentation for “Physicians with Disabilities in Canada: History and Future”. Classmates Elena Barbir and Sophie Palmer … Continue reading

Why a picture is worth more than 1000 words
Published Mon, July 6, 2015

Whether it’s the dreaded Service Ontario snap-shot that haunts us on our driver’s licence, or the passport photo that looks like we’ve been through a car wash, many of us despise the photo requirements public life tosses at us. To these government-issued ID requirements, add the MEdTech Profile picture request. Please. Because we really need everyone to upload pictures to … Continue reading

Thank you, Peter
Published Mon, June 29, 2015

The history of career counseling in our medical school divides nicely into three “eras”. Before 2006, students were informally supported through the efforts of faculty mentors, but there was essentially no structured program or standard approach. The next eight years or so can be rightfully dubbed the “Peter O’Neill Era”. Recruited to the role of Director, Career Counseling in July … Continue reading