The past few months have seen a number of changes within the undergraduate program as people transition from and into key roles.

I’d like to particularly acknowledge the contributions of Jennifer Carpenter, John Smythe, Peter O’Neill, Richard Thomas and Melinda Fleming.

Jennifer CarpenterJennifer has been providing incredibly valuable personal support to students for many years, often as the only counselor for the entire school. Over that time, she has made herself available for any personal crisis, literally around the clock. Her work, by its nature, often goes completely unnoticed by all except the student she supports. I know, with certainty, that there are a number of physicians currently practicing and providing valuable care to their communities who simply wouldn’t be doing so if not for Jennifer’s intervention and support. Her dedication and effort really paved the way for the comprehensive student wellness programs we now provide.

John SmytheJohn Smythe has been a highly effective student advocate and promoter of student wellness. In addition to providing personal counseling, he has developed and provided a number of sessions and courses for both students and faculty in Mindfulness and personal wellness that have been much appreciated and highly valuable.

I outlined Peter O’Neill’s contributions in a previous article. I mentioned then how his pioneering efforts in career counseling provided an excellent base for Kelly Howse to build upon. This week, Kelly completed a pan-Canadian consensus effort that she led and which describes standards for the provision of career counseling for MD programs. Peter’s approaches and innovations certainly informed that process.

Richard Thomas has guided our Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkship for several years. He further refined an already excellent clinical rotation, guiding it through a phase of expansion both in terms of content and regional scope. In addition, Richard was a valuable contributor to our Clerkship Committee and provided personal support to a number of students requiring specific support and accommodations.

Melinda Fleming took up the Directorship of our Peri-operative Medicine Clerkship Rotation with enthusiasm and creativity. This is a particularly challenging course that combines three student experiences- Anaesthesiology, Emergency Medicine and Sub-specialty Surgery. It therefore presents rather unique administrative as well as educational challenges. Learners will continue to benefit from Melinda’s dedication to clinical education in her new assignment.

We’re very fortunate to welcome a number of faculty members who have stepped forward to fill these and other positions.

Jason FranklinJason Franklin received his MD from Queen’s University and went on to complete the Otolaryngology program at the University of Western Ontario. He then completed a two-year fellowship in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto. He returned to Queen’s in 2013 and has been actively engaged in our teaching program as well as providing valuable mentoring to students. Jason will be building on those interests as he takes on the role of Wellness Advisor.


Martin ten HoveMartin ten Hove will also be joining the Student Affairs team as a Wellness Advisor. Martin received his MD from Queen’s University in 1989 and then completed his postgraduate training in neuro-ophthalmology as a McLaughlin Fellow at the University of Miami in 1995. He returned to Queen’s as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology. He was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure in 2001. Dr. ten Hove currently serves as Head of Ophthalmology at Queen’s University, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital. He is an active researcher in the neural mechanisms underlying visual attention and has served on the Examination Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, on the Royal College Specialty Committee for Ophthalmology, and on the editorial boards for the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology. He has worked with ORBIS, the CNIB and the University of West Indies to bring tertiary level ophthalmology to remote locations to help fulfill their educational and clinical needs, and served as the Department’s Postgraduate Program Director from the time of his appointment until 2000.

Joshua LakoffJoshua Lakoff will be working with Kelly Howse as a Career Counselor. Josh joined the Department of Medicine in January 2015 as Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.  His academic focus is medical education with clinical interests in thyroid cancer, diabetes and pituitary disease. He completed medical school at the University of Toronto. His Internal Medicine and subspecialty training in Endocrinology were completed at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Craig GoldieCraig Goldie will be working with Susan MacDonald in the Academic Advisor portfolio. He is a Palliative Care physician and an Assistant Professor at Queen’s.  He obtained his undergraduate medicine degree at Queen’s before completing his family medicine and palliative fellowship in Vancouver through the University of British Columbia. Prior to medical school his first degree was in computer engineering. Dr. Goldie is the coordinator for undergraduate medical teaching in palliative care and is involved in the Student Assessment Committee. His area of interests include medical education, use of technology in medical practice, education, and medical quality improvement, and student mentorship.

Gregory DaviesGregory Davies will be replacing Richard Thomas as Director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Clerkship. Greg is a Professor and Chair of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He has cross-appointments to the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and the School of Kinesiology, and is Director of The Fetal Assessment Unit at the Kingston General Hospital. He received his medical degree from McMaster University after a BA Hons. at Queen’s University. He did his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Queen’s University and his Maternal-Fetal Medicine sub-specialty training at Duke University. Dr. Davies returned as full-time GFT at Queen’s University in 1996. His clinical practice focuses on high-risk pregnancy management, and the detection and management of fetal anomalies. Dr. Davies is an active clinical researcher whose areas of interest include preterm birth prediction, management issues in labour and delivery, aneuploidy screening protocols, and exercise and obesity in pregnancy. Dr. Davies is an awarded teacher and has taught presentation skills internationally to residents and faculty alike on subjects such as effective large group learning, small group dynamics and teaching at the bedside.

Nishardi Waidyaratne WijeratneNishardi Waidyaratne-Wijeratne will become co-director of the pre-clerkship Psychiatry course. Nisha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She works as a Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist at KGH and Hotel Dieu Hospital. She completed her Psychiatry residency training at Queen’s in June 2015 and is a three-time recipient of the UGME Resident Teaching Award. Her academic interests include Psychopharmacology and Innovations in Medical Education.

Vidur ShyamVidur Shyam has taken on the Directorship of Peri-operative Medcine. He is an Assistant professor in the Department of Anaesthesiology. Vidur has been on staff at KGH as an anesthesiologist since 2006. He completed his training in West Germany and received his FRCPC in 2009. He has have been teaching undergraduate clinical skills and FSGL for several years. He is also director of regional anesthesia and his special interests are regional anesthesia and acute pain management.

In his 1910 review of our school, Abraham Flexner quite reasonably questioned whether a small school surrounded by larger centres could survive. The fact that we have not only survived but excelled, is a testimony to our dedicated and talented clinical/teaching faculty. The willingness of so many busy and accomplished folks to step forward to fill these key roles confirms that dedication to education and to our students is alive and well.

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