“Reluctant Congratulations” to Dr. Ted Ashbury on his retirement

We would like to extend reluctant congratulations to Dr. Ted Ashbury on his retirement, and acknowledge his contributions to our Undergraduate Medical Program. 

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Here are remarks from Dr. Sanfilippo on the occasion of Dr. Ashbury’s retirement party:

Ted Ashbury has been as important as any individual to our curricular renewal over the past 7 years.  He was conscripted, somewhat deviously, to an Advisory Group that was formed in 2007 to completely review and overhaul the MD program.  In that process, Ted became the voice and strong proponent of Professionalism within the curriculum.  He chaired a working group consisting of dedicated faculty and students that developed effective and innovative teaching methods.  He participated actively in that teaching, and became the “face” of professionalism by speaking to the first year class annually on the first day of their medical school orientation.  Whether in the pre-clerkship or clinical rotations, Ted’s sincerity and the passion of his commitment to the advancement of professionalism, and to medical education in general, has always been at least as powerful as his words.  The students immediately identify him as the “real deal”, as someone who “walks the walk”.  Quite simply, they listen and try to emulate his example.  He has had an incredibly powerful and positive influence on a generation of Queen’s medical graduates.

In addition to being the voice of professionalism, Ted has been the voice of reason.  I have been incredibly grateful for his thoughtful and always tactful commentary at meetings, and for his continuing support and advice over the years.  The only thing that really gets me about Ted is this unfathomable notion that he needs to retire, but here’s hoping he comes to his senses at some point soon.  In any case, I fully intend to call from time to time for advice, whether he’s on a porch or in a boat, and welcome unsolicited commentary at any time.

I’d like to add a personal note as well.  I joined the Advisory Committee when Ted did and I was a rookie medical educational developer.  He was a constant source of support, of inspiration, and of knowledge as we all negotiated our foray into competency-based education and the development of a curriculum framework.  Throughout the next 7 years (!), collegial, collaborative, articulate, learned and wise, he taught and worked as he practised, and the students and I and many faculty and staff are much the better for it.  It’s my fervent hope that Ted will soon tire of the peace of retirement, and yearn for the excitement and pressure of life in UG, and return to us.  In the meantime, Ted, I can see you on that dock, relaxed in the sunshine, eyes looking ahead to the future!  Congratulations!

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