Recognizing our Course Directors

“The People Who Make Organizations Go – or Stop” was the intriguing title of an article that appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2002, authored by management experts Rob Cross and Laurence Prusak. In it, they describe the key people and largely informal networks that are necessary to the functioning of any organization, regardless of its purpose or product. They make the point that the success or failure of organizations can usually be attributed to the effectiveness of a group of key people they refer to as “central connectors”. In their own words:

“In most cases, the central connectors are not the formally designated go-to people in the unit. For instance, the information flow… at a large technology consulting company we worked with depended almost entirely on five midlevel managers. They would, for instance, give their colleagues background information about key clients or offer ideas on new technologies that could be employed in a given project. These managers handled most technical questions themselves, and when they couldn’t, they guided their colleagues to someone else in the informal network—regardless of functional area—who had the relevant expertise. Each of these central connectors spent an hour or more every day helping the other 108 people in the group. But while their colleagues readily acknowledged the connectors’ importance, their efforts were not recognized, let alone rewarded, by the company. “

(from Cross and Prusak, Harvard Business Review, June 2002)
(from Cross and Prusak, Harvard Business Review, June 2002)

In a medical school, these critical central connectors are called Course Directors. They are the folks with the practical knowledge, functional relationships and, importantly, “street cred” required to translate the high level educational goals of our program into the multiple packets (courses) of education that, in aggregate, will come together to produce the fully formed graduate, ready for residency and great things beyond. Their job is basically to take a subset of the overall program objectives that are assigned to them by the Curriculum Committee, and develop the multiple components of teaching and assessment designed to ensure our students achieve the objectives. In doing so, they must engage and coordinate the efforts of their professional colleagues, other members of the educational community, educational specialists and our administrative support staff. By effectively orchestrating all these efforts, guided by the “score” provided by the curricular framework, they develop an effective and coordinated educational experience for our students. They are truly “connectors” as described by Cross and Prusak. They are absolutely indispensible to the success of the program.

Last week, we recognized the contributions of four of our Course Directors who are moving on from those roles, three of whom are retiring. Fittingly, students, representing those who had benefited so greatly from the efforts and dedication of these remarkable people, provided the tributes. In their words:

mernerElisabeth Merner, Meds 2019, speaking on behalf of Dr. Jennifer MacKenzie:

It’s a pleasure to thank Dr. Mackenzie for all of her work as the inaugural Co-Director of the QuARMS program on behalf of the QuARMS students.

Most people have heard of the QuARMS program, but very few people understand the QuARMS vision as well as you do, Dr. Mackenzie.  From the very beginning of the program, you helped to deepen students’ understanding of the role of the physician, the qualities of a leader in the medical community, and the values and ethics that are to be upheld in medicine.

For some, it would be daunting to teach these topics to a group of teenagers, but you were more than ready for the challenge.  Your passion for education and innovation has been clear to all of us. We appreciate the fact that you attended every single three hour Wednesday session for the first two years of the QuARMS program. Honestly, with young adults of your own, we would have understood if you claimed that you had administrative duties to perform and missed out on one or two of the sessions – but you were there, leading by example.

We also recognize your role in designing the QuARMS curriculum, which is unlike any other program in Canada. Through service-learning projects, you helped students to understand the importance of social accountability within the medical profession.  You also led a transformation in how students think about volunteer work. Your vision and your values have shaped the QuARMS program.  Thanks to you, service-learning projects have now become a much more important part of our medical school here at Queen’s.

On behalf of four generations of QuARMS students, we want to thank you, Dr. Mackenzie, for your tireless dedication to the development of the QuARMS program and to shaping our lives, both as future professionals and as mature students.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Jeff Mah, Meds 2019, speaking on behalf of Dr. Conrad Reifel,

mahLet me start off by saying, anatomy is one of the most overwhelming topics in medicine. From head to toe, there is a seemingly endless number of muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs that each serve a specific purpose and thus need to be learned. Needless to say, without a good teacher, this subject can be very difficult to master.

At Queen’s, we have been extremely fortunate to have had Dr. Conrad Reifel as an anatomy instructor for the last 43 years. Over his time here, Dr. Reifel has guided thousands of medical students through the vast, unfamiliar world of gross anatomy and has done so with patience and commitment. What I always appreciated about Dr. Reifel was his ability to take an area of the body that is incredibly complex and systematically break it down so that by the time he finished talking, it seemed quite manageable.rifle

Dr. Reifel also has a fantastic ability to keep a class engaged even when teaching a somewhat dry topic with his unique sense of humour and vast repertoire of personal anecdotes. I’ll never forget Dr. Reifel, standing at the front of the class with his arms outstretched using his own body to demonstrate the anatomy of the uterus. While the memory of that lecture does conjure up some odd images, I’ve never had trouble visualizing the uterine anatomy since then.

Dr. Reifel, on behalf of the medical students of Queen’s University, past and present, thank you for the decades of excellent instruction. Please know that you are respected and loved by the students you have taught and have positively impacted the lives of so many. You will be truly missed and we wish you all the best in your retirement.

____________________________________________________________________________

Calvin Santiago, Meds 2018, speaking on behalf of Dr. Lewis Tomalty

tomaltyDr Tomalty has been teaching in the Mechanisms of Disease course since 2010 and took over as Course Director in 2012. In this role, Dr. Tomalty worked tirelessly to make improvements to the course. He attended all the MoD lectures and met weekly with the class curricular reps. He set up consultations with students and faculty, organized a strategic planning curricular retreat and established a framework to link together a diverse range of subjects including pathology, immunology, microbiology and infectious disease.

In addition to his role as Course Director for the Mechanisms of Disease Course, Dr. Tomalty also previously served as Vice Dean of Medical Education for the Faculty of Health Sciences and is the current Chair of the Course and Faculty Review Committee. As well, Dr. Tomalty is heavily involved in global health initiatives and provides his consultation services on infection control in Mongolia.socks

On a more personal note, and speaking on behalf of the many students who have had the privilege of knowing him over the years, I have found him to be an absolute pleasure to work with. Even in his last year as the Course Director, he still met with the curricular reps on a weekly basis to discuss ways to fine-tune an already well-received course. I know from their stories that they looked forward to these meetings with Dr. Tomalty, calling it their weekly “T-Time”. To quote another student, he is the “bestest, most efficient chair of a meeting ever.” I look to him as an exemplary role model of a leader and educator and as an inspiration for stylishly funky socks.

Dr. Tomalty, thank you so much for your leadership as Course Director and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

____________________________________________________________________________

Kate Rath-Wilson, Meds 2019, speaking on behalf of Dr. Chris Ward

rath-wilsonDr. Chris Ward was one of the inaugural course directors for our new curriculum when it was introduced in 2009, and was responsible for developing and consistently aiming to improve the Normal Human Function course in Term 1.  He has coordinated multiple faculty members, built a strong curriculum for the course, been part of the initiative to bring in Drs Moffatt and Parker to apply physiology to cases (which has added immeasurably to our learning), and helped to build introductory physiology modules for students struggling with physiology. This led him to be asked to join many, many, many UGME committees, including (but not limited to) the Curriculum Committee, The Teaching, Learning and Innovation Committee, and the Student Assessment Committee – currently, Dr. Gibson believes this to be a record for any one course director.  He was instrumental in preparing our brief for the CACMS/LCME accreditation, reviewing all the sections that pertained to foundational science and its impact across the curriculum. Dr. Ward is known at Curriculum Committee for being the person to move that the meeting be adjourned! It started with only a few times, but now we look to him for this and he’s become everyone’s favourite motion-maker!chris-ward

As a medical student, I have not had much of a chance to get to know Dr. Ward personally. His name will always be associated with hypovolemic shock for me – which some may deem as unfortunate but I think is one of the highest honours a teacher can be granted. He elucidated complex cardiac physics with clarity and patience, and acted as a model to the other professors in his course. He expertly managed a complex course, juggling the schedules of many faculty members and even more stressed out A-type students.

Dr. Ward has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to build our medical curriculum from the bottom up. This is a position that often lacks glory and recognition. We owe Dr. Ward a lifetime’s worth of thanks. The positive impact he has had as director of the Normal Human Function course on his colleagues and his students is immeasurable, and we thank him today for his contributions to the foundational medical knowledge of hundreds of medical students and wish him all the best for his future work.

 

Let me add my thanks and personal appreciation to those of our students. I’d also like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of all our Course Directors, who carry out their roles so effectively and provide those key “central connections” so essential to our program.

All photographs by Lars Hagberg

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)
Associate Dean,
Undergraduate Medical Education

 

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5th Annual Medical Student Research Showcase

By Drs. Heather Murray & Melanie Walker

This year the School of Medicine is proud to invite you to the 5th annual Medical Student Research Showcase on Wednesday September 21st.

This event celebrates the research achievements of our undergraduate medical students, with both posters and an oral plenary session featuring research showcase-judgingperformed by students while they have been enrolled in medical school. All students who received summer studentship research funding through the School of Medicine in 2016 will be presenting their work, as well as many other research initiatives. The posters will be displayed in the David Walker atrium of the School of Medicine building from 8 am until 5 pm, with the students standing at their posters answering questions between 1030 and noon.

The oral plenary features the top research projects selected by a panel of faculty judges, and will run in room 132A from noon until 1:30pm on Sept 21st, immediately following the poster session Q&A. We are pleased to announce that we have a faculty guest speaker, Dr. Adrian Baranchuk, who will give a short presentation on his research and career to launch the oral plenary session.

This year’s faculty judges included:

  • Dr. Tanveer Towheedshowcase-discussion
  • Dr. Andrea Winthrop
  • Dr. Yuka Asai
  • Dr. Ryan Bicknell
  • Dr. Megan Carter
  • Dr. Jennifer Flemming
  • Dr. Nader Ghasemlou
  • Dr. Dianne Groll
  • Dr. Paula James
  • Dr. David Maslove
  • Dr. Katrina Gee

We are very grateful to these faculty members for evaluating our oral plenary applicants this year.

The three students who have been selected for the oral plenary session, and the titles of their research presentations and faculty supervisor names are listed below. Each of these three students will receive The Albert Clark Award for Medical Student Research Excellence.

Peter Wang – A database review using the CHADS2 score to detect new Atrial Fibrillation (Supervisor: R. S. Pal)

Frances Dang – Impacts of Preeclampsia on the Brain of Offspring (Supervisor: A. Croy)

Zhubo Zhang – Differential DNA methylation profiles reflect distinct molecular subtypes and clinical outcomes of urothelial bladder carcinoma (Supervisor: R.J. Gooding)

Please set aside some time to attend the Medical Student Research Showcase on September 21st. The students will appreciate your interest and support, and you will be amazed at what they have been able to achieve.

 

 

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Doctor Crisis?

Apparently we have a Doctor crisis. Certainly that’s the impression one would gain from articles, columns and letters commenting on the recent impasse between the government and doctors of Ontario. It’s also the impression that many medical students have been left with after the decisive defeat this summer of the draft Physician Service Agreement developed and endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Ontario Medical Association.

The OMA not only represents all Ontario physicians, but also includes in its voting membership all students enrolled at Ontario’s six medical schools. Those students, who were very much involved and rigorously lobbied by both sides in this debate, have now returned to their studies considerably more uncertain about how physicians and government interact, about how physicians function within the health delivery system, and about their personal futures as physicians in this province. I think it’s also fair to say they’re a little dismayed by the tactics and rhetoric on display through the lead up to the vote. Simply put, they seem a little shell-shocked about what they’ve seen and heard. They’re asking “what happened?”

In medical school, we try to teach students to always look beyond the surface and to identify root causes in understanding any patient illness and developing treatment decisions. A cough, we teach, can be easily suppressed, but failure to consider sinister underlying causes such as obstructive masses can be a disservice to the affected patient.

It’s certainly easy and perhaps tempting to characterize the dispute as a labour issue about fair compensation for service provided. However, the roots of this dispute are much deeper and it’s becoming clear that failure to understand and engage those underlying issues will both compromise resolution and render any settlement incomplete and therefore only a transient respite. With that in mind, I offer a few considerations:

Issue 1: The Blank Cheque

As Canadian citizens, we have high expectations with respect to the provision of health care. We (and let’s remember that doctors are consumers of health care as well as providers) have come to expect health care that is comprehensive and available whenever, wherever we require it. In fact, such an expectation has become an unassailable right of citizenship, as deeply rooted in the Canadian persona as hockey and maple syrup.

It’s been in place in various forms for several decades, but came to full fruition with the passing of the Canada Health Act in 1984, which states in its preamble the primary objective: “to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.”

And who can, or would, argue with the “rightness” of universal health care? We take care of our people, from birth to grave. We share resources for the benefit of all. We will permit no one to suffer for want of personal resources. Truly, these are worthy and appropriate goals of any “just society”.

However, by codifying these principles, our governments have issued what is basically a blank cheque, without limits in time or scope. The challenge, of course, is that much has changed with respect to what is encompassed by the concept of “universal” health care, and the draw on that blank cheque is growing beyond available resources. Not only is the population getting larger and older, but highly-effective (and highly resource intensive) therapies have emerged and are continuing to emerge for the treatment of conditions that previously had no options other than palliation. To name a couple from the field of cardiology, transcutaneous approaches to critical valve conditions have opened therapeutic options for patients who would otherwise be too ill or weak to tolerate standard surgical approaches. Implantable defibrillators reduce risk of catastrophic cardiac arrhythmias in patients with severely damaged hearts. These approaches are well tested and effective, improving quality and length of life in certain patients. However, they come at considerable cost, both in terms of hospital resources, training of personnel, and the devices themselves, which can run tens of thousands of dollars each.

In addition, the pharmaceutical industry has developed a variety of medicinal treatments for chronic debilitating conditions such as arthritis and chronic inflammatory conditions, powerful antibiotics for drug resistant organisms, and chemotherapeutic agents effective for otherwise terminal cancers.

As a result of all this, the commitment so nobly envisioned by our political leaders several decades ago to provide basic health coverage to all, has grown beyond what anyone could have imagined at that time. The “blank cheque” has become due, and our elected officials struggle to honour the commitment of their predecessors.

Issue 2: The Mandate of our Elected Governments.

Governments struggle to maintain the promise of universal care while attending to their other societal obligations (education, infrastructure, security, to name a few), and all while under pressure to maintain financial solvency and a vigorous economy. In fact, our governments are elected and maintained in office substantially on their ability to deliver on the universal health care promise. One can only admire the dedication of individuals willing to take on such positions of public responsibility and scrutiny. They certainly devote considerable resources to health care. In fact, Canadian governments collectively spend more on health care than most other western countries.

To make matters worse, the system is crying out for even more investment. Hospitals, their single greatest expense item, have already been cut to the bone and are now over-extended with much evidence of strain, and rightfully petition for expanded support. Home care services, so valuable to both patients in need and to hospitals in need of acute care beds, are inadequate to the demand and require drastic expansion. There is a growing pressure on government to support pharmaceuticals for all citizens, a position recently championed by the Canadian Medical Association.

There are limited, acceptable sources of new funding. There have been scattered attempts to limit their scope of responsibility to “medically necessary” therapies, but consider the public response when new, expensive but untested therapies emerge and provide hope for previously untreatable conditions, or when an Ontario citizen must seek out therapy out of province or at great personal expense. Surcharges for services were abandoned many years ago, and it’s difficult to imagine a government surviving any attempt to re-introduce them. There may well be opportunities for savings within the administration of the system and provision of redundant services that could and should be explored, but that potential certainly hasn’t been clarified, at least publicly through the current debate.

In the midst of all these demands and their “blank cheque” mandate, government turns to physician payments for financial relief. These payments, in Ontario, apparently constitute about 20% of health care expenditures (second after hospitals) and seem to provide a politically acceptable target. The unavoidable, and very unfortunate, implication in this approach is that physicians are, at least in part, a cause of the financial problem.

Issue 3: The Doctors

Much has changed about doctors since the concept of universal health care was introduced so many years ago. In the past, doctors were a much more homogeneous group. A doctor’s job and role within the community, was to care for a group of patients who engaged them. They provided continuing, comprehensive and lifelong care to those patients. They were also independent business people who were paid by their patients for the services they provided. With the advent of socialized medicine, the payment shifted from the patient to a third party (i.e. government), but doctors remained responsible for their own expenses and income, and payment continued to be on the basis of services provided. In Ontario, Bill 94, passed in 1986 despite much opposition, effectively eliminated any physician billing outside the accepted list of publicly funded services. That fee schedule, initially consisting of direct patient encounters and assessments, has been drastically expanded over the years as new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have been introduced. Those components, usually limited to highly- specialized groups, have become the most lucrative fees and greatest overall expenses. The fee schedule now very much favours specialized procedural work over direct or continuing patient contact.

The flaws of the fee schedule are well described and have been acknowledged by all parties. It favours and promotes brief, procedurally based approaches to both diagnostics and therapeutics, and is internally divisive. Moreover, it effectively re-defines the role and expectations of practicing physicians, shifting the emphasis from continuing, comprehensive care, to sporadic, as-required interventions. All acknowledge it needs massive revision. Most recognize that nibbling at the edges by reducing specific fees is neither fair nor adequate, but even those “nibbles” evoke highly defensive responses, which surely mute willingness to engage more comprehensive approaches.

Following the expanding knowledge and growing need for specialized technical expertise, the medical profession itself has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Doctors have become highly specialized and many specialties, such as Cardiology have further divided into sub-specialties and even sub-sub-specialties. The training system is such that more technical specialization requires greater length of time, so doctors emerge from their training and engage practice often with considerable personal debt, and much older than other members of society beginning their careers.

The heterogeneity relates not only to specialty, but also practice type. Increasing numbers of physicians are moving away from the private, business/practice model and opting to work in health care groups or capitation (alternative funding) arrangements, which means that the results of PSA negotiations may have very different impacts on them. All this begs a very large and contentious question. Can a single negotiating organization continue to effectively represent the interests of so many disparate physicians? The emergence of so many splinter organizations in recent years, and the development of a coalition specifically to challenge the PSA at least challenges that notion.

Whatever their specialty or area of activity, doctors work long and irregular hours at considerable personal sacrifice, and have jobs that carry considerable levels of personal responsibility and public scrutiny. Although it would be naïve to imagine that the system is completely free of misconduct or abuse, the vast majority of doctors wish to apply the skills they’ve acquired at much effort and personal sacrifice to the service of patients who can benefit, are supportive of the principles of universal care noted above, and are content to work within the parameters of an established, fair compensation system. They would like that system to provide them reasonable compensation. They would like to be truly involved in its development. They would like to be acknowledged as part of the solution rather than the cause of the problems.

Summarizing: The Real Issues and Tough Questions.

My own view is that the reason so many physicians voted “no” in the recent ratification vote has less to do with the dollars involved, and much more with frustration over the inadequacy of the approach exhibited by both sides to the profound issues at stake. Accepting the proposed compromise without a commitment to real reform and a real role in that reform is facile and simply postpones the hard work we all know is required.

Squabbling over whether the global physician payment envelope should increase or decrease by a few percentage points will not address the real issues, and will only reset the clock until the next inevitable confrontation. Government and physicians must work together to discuss and seriously engage the underlying key issues, and the public must be actively involved in those conversations.

The issues are profound and fundamental to our national identity. What is the current day meaning of ”to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers”? It seems clear that fulfilling that commitment in our current funding model is not sustainable. Certainly efficiencies should be pursued and wastage eliminated, but the underlying commitment, the funding model, or possibly both, must change. Our choice is not whether they will change, our choice is how that change will occur.

Having our government, charged with public trust to ensure delivery of health care, at loggerheads with our doctors, so critical to the provision of that care, is both perverse and destructive. The relationship needs to improve, and the dialogue needs to elevate above superficial issues of compensation. To do so, both government and doctors must submit to an element of risk. In engaging the difficult but core issues, government risks public disapproval. Doctors risk their income and security. In essence, both parties must put something “on the line” if effective discussion is to be engaged. If both are truly focused primarily on the welfare of our patients and citizens, these should be risks both parties are willing to undertake.

We have a crisis, to be sure, but it’s not a doctor crisis – it’s a system crisis, and any solution that fails to recognize and engage all its dimensions will only provide a stop gap measure, deferring to the next “crisis”. As all patients and doctors are well aware, effective therapies often require short-term pain for long-term benefit. At some point, that pain must be engaged. If not now, then when?

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)
Associate Dean,
Undergraduate Medical Education

To explore issues related to the recent physician/government impasses, the Aesculapian Society and Undergraduate Medical Program are jointly sponsoring a symposium on September 20th at 6:00 pm in the School of Medicine Building. A panel of speakers with various perspectives on this issue will be providing their insights, followed by a Question and Answer session. All students are invited to attend.

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights August 24, 2016

Faculty and staff interested in attending MD PEC meetings, should contact the Committee Secretary Faye Orser, (orserf@KGH.KARI.NET)) for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules.

Lakeridge Comprehensive Clerkship

Plans to develop a comprehensive clerkship at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa are continuing with the search for a Site Lead.  Once the Lead has been hired, options for curriculum at this site will be discussed in detail.  Different clerkship models are being considered for Lakeridge with the intention to allow students to complete their entire clerkship at this satellite location.

Research Review Process

UGME students are constantly asked to participate in research studies that are not directly associated with the Queen’s program.  A new process is being developed to formalize the request/approval of student participation.  It is anticipated that this formalized process will reduce the potential pressure on students from study organizer.   Requests will be reviewed initially by the Educational Development team to ensure all internal requirements are met (i.e. ethics approval, consent forms) before being forwarded for final approval to Dr. Sanfilippo.  Requests that demonstrate a potential for conflict with curricular demands/content will be forwarded to the Curriculum Committee for consideration.  The Aesculapian Society (AS) will then distribute approved study requests to the student body.  Formalized procedures and guidelines are currently being developed and will be posted on the UGME website when finalized.

Student Funding Policy (Conference presentations)

The Faculty Office has finalized its policy on the funding of students who are presenting original work at a conference.  Up to $60,000 will be available annually.  Medical students will now be eligible for up to $1000 over their 4 years in the medical program.  In order to be eligible for this funding, financial support from the research supervisor will be expected.  Details regarding the policy are available here.

Revised Student Assessment Committee Terms of Reference

The Committee approved revised terms of reference for the Student Assessment Committee.  These revised terms may be viewed through:  http://meds.queensu.ca/education/undergraduate/committees

Revisions to the Student Attendance and Absence Policy

The Committee approved minor revisions to the Student Attendance and Absence Policy.  The updated policy can be viewed through:  http://meds.queensu.ca/assets/policies/SA-07%20v3%20-%20Attendance%20and%20Absences%20in%20UGME%20Policy%20-%20August%202016.pdf .  The associated Request for Time Off process is currently being reviewed and will be communicated to students when finalized.

 

All Undergraduate Medical Education policies and terms of reference are available on the UGME website:  http://meds.queensu.ca/undergraduate

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Welcoming Queen’s Meds 2020

September brings a crisp freshness in the morning air and, with it, anticipation for the beginning of a new academic year. In the university environment, it also brings renewal and the excitement that goes with welcoming a new group of students to our schools. This week we welcome members of Meds 2020, the 162nd class to enter the study of Medicine at Queen’s since the school opened its doors in 1854.

Photography by Lars Hagberg
Photography by Lars Hagberg

A few facts about our new colleagues:

They were selected from a pool of 4518 highly qualified students who submitted applications last fall.

Their average age is 24 with a range of 19 to 36 years.  Women comprise sixty-two percent of the class, the largest proportion in the history of our school.

They hail from no fewer than 41 communities across Canada, including; Ajax(2), Aurora(1), Brampton(4), Calgary(4), Dawson Creek(1), Edmonton(3), Etobicoke(1), Guelph(1), Halifax(2), Hamilton(3), Kanata(1), Kingston(3), Kitchener(1), Lakeshore(1), London(2), Maple(1), Markham(2), Mississauga(5), North Vancouver(1), Oakville(1), Ottawa(5), Owen Sound(1), Pickering(1), Richmond Hill(6), San Francisco(1), Sault Ste. Marie(1), Scarborough(1), Shakespeare(1), South Farmington(1), St. John’s(1), Stoney Creek(1), Surrey(3), Thornhill(2), Thunder Bay(1), Toronto(26), Vancouver(2), Victoria(1), Waterloo(1), Whitby(1), Winnipeg(1), Woodbridge(1)

Seventy-eight of our new students have completed an Undergraduate degree, and thirty-two have postgraduate degrees, including ten PhDs.  The average cumulative grade point average achieved by these students in their pre-medical studies was 3.69.  The universities they have attended and degree programs are listed in the tables below:

Universities of Undergraduate Studies

Carleton University 2
Cornell University 1
Dalhousie University 2
Harvard 1
MacEwan University 1
McGill University 3
McMaster University 14
Memorial University 1
Mount Allison 1
Queen’s University 19
Ryerson 1
University of Alberta 3
University of British Columbia 5
University of Calgary 2
University of Guelph 3
University of Ottawa 1
University of Toronto 20
University of Waterloo 5
University of Windsor 1
Vanderbilt University 1
Western University 12
York University 1

Undergraduate Degree Majors

Anatomy 1
Biochemistry 3
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1
Biology 13
Biomedical Computing 1
Biomedical Science 3
Cell & Molecular Biology 3
Computer Science 1
Ecological Determinants of Health 1
Economics 2
Electric and Biomedical Engineering 1
Gender Studies 3
Genetics 1
Health Sciences 7
Human Development 1
Immunology 2
Integrated Science 1
Kinesiology 5
Life Sciences 18
Mathematics 1
Medical Science 3
Medicine, Health and Society 1
Microbiology and Immunology 1
Music 1
Myth and Literature 1
Neuroscience 3
Occupational and Public Health 1
Pathology 1
Pharmacology 3
Pharmacy 1
Philosophy 1
Physics 2
Physiology 5
Psychology 7

Universities of Masters Studies

Dalhousie University 1
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 1
McGill University 1
McMaster University 2
Memorial University 1
Ottawa University 3
University of British Columbia 1
University of Calgary 3
University of Toronto 16
University of Waterloo 2
York University 1

Master’s Programs

Biological Science 1
Cell and System Biology 1
Cell Biology 1
Clinical Engineering 1
Computer Science 1
Epidemiology 2
Health Policy 2
Health Studies & Gerontology 1
Immunology 1
Kinesiology 3
Medical Genetics 1
Medical Science 5
Neuroscience 4
Pharmacology 2
Physiology 5
Physiology and Biophysics 1

University of PhD Study

McGill University 1
Ottawa University 1
University of British Columbia 1
University of Calgary 2
University of Toronto 5

PhD Programs

Biological Science 1
Computer Science 1
Health Policy 1
Immunology 1
Medical Genetics 1
Medical Science 1
Neuroscience 3
Physiology 1

 

An eclectic and academically very qualified group, to be sure.  Last week, they undertook a variety of orientation activities organized by both faculty and their upper year colleagues.

On their first day, they were called upon to demonstrate commitment to their studies, their profession and their future patients.  They were assured that they will have a voice within our school and be treated with the same respect they are expected to provide each other, their faculty and all patients and volunteers they encounter through their medical school careers.  At that first session, they were welcomed by Dean Reznick who challenged them to be restless in the pursuit of their goals and the betterment of our society. Mr. Jonathan Krett, Asesculapian Society President, welcomed them on behalf of their upper year colleagues, and Dr. Rene Allard provided them an introduction to fundamental concepts of medical professionalism.

Over the course of the week, they met curricular leaders who will particularly involved in their first year, including Dr. Michelle Gibson (Year 1 Director) and Dr. Cherie Jones (Clinical Skills Director). They were also introduced to Dr. Renee Fitzpatrick (Director of Student Affairs) and our excellent learner support team, including Drs. Martin Ten Hove, Jason Franklin, Kelly Howse, Susan Haley, Josh Lakoff and Craig Goldie, who oriented them to the Learner Wellness, Career Counseling and Academic Support services that will be provided throughout their years with us. They met members of our superb administrative and educational support teams led by Jacqueline Findlay, Jennifer Saunders, Sheila Pinchin, Amanda Consack, Kate Slagle, and first year Curricular Coordinator Corinne Bochsma.

Dr. Jaclyn Duffin led them in the annual Hippocratic Oath ceremony. Dr. Susan Moffatt organized and coordinated the very popular and much appreciated “Pearls of Wisdom” session, where fourth year students nominate and introduce faculty members who have been particularly impactful in their education, and invite them to pass on a few words of advice to the new students. This year, Drs. Bob Connelly, Jaclyn Duffin, Jay Engel, Melinda Fleming, Jason Franklin, David Holland, Steve Mann, Laura Milne, Heather Murray, Ashley Waddington, David Walker and were selected for this honour.

On Friday, the practical aspects of curriculum, expectations of conduct and promotions were explained by Drs. Michelle Gibson and Richard Van Wylick. They were welcomed to our Anatomy Learning Centre and facilities by Drs. Steve Pang, Les MacKenzie, and facility manager Rick Hunt, and participated in the annual memorial service with a moving dedication by University Chaplin Kate Johnson.

Their Meds 2019 upper year colleagues welcomed them with a number of formal and not-so-formal events. These include orientations to Queen’s and Kingston, introductions to the mentorship program, and a variety of evening social events which, judging by appearances the next morning, were much enjoyed.

For all these arrangements, flawlessly coordinated, I’m very grateful to Rebecca Jozsa, our Admissions Officer, and second year Vice-President Diana Cuckovic.

I invite you to join me in welcoming these new members of our school and medical community.

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)

Associate Dean,

Undergraduate Medical Education

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