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Communications - News at Medicine - April 2017 - Dean’s notes -April 16, 2017

Dean’s notes -April 16, 2017
April 18, 2017
I hope you all enjoyed a long weekend with family and friends. It's been a very busy Spring at the Faculty of Medicine so far. In my notes you'll find updates on the many events happening over the next few months as well as an update on our operating grant.
The Department of Health and Community Services has provided the Faculty of Medicine with our operating grant for this year. The grant has been reduced from $57,518,700 in 2016/17 to $56,594,100 in 2017/18. The Department of Health and Community Services has also advised us that there will be a further one per cent cut in 2018/2019 and again in 2019/2020.

As you are aware we have been working diligently with senior leaders and their administrators over the past several months to look at ways to make budget reductions while ensuring we meet accreditation standards and address strategic priorities. Some of the measures we have taken to make budget reductions include reviewing: travel, catering, office supplies and other administrative costs. With the need to cut the budget significantly, we have also had to look at staff and faculty positions. As people are aware Memorial University of Newfoundland has an employee attrition plan that indicates that for every 10 faculty members who leave by resignation\retirement we can only hire seven faculty members. We are also looking at other opportunities for revenue.

I recognize this is a difficult time for learners, staff and faculty and I know we are doing our best to deliver high quality education and research while supporting our Faculty of Medicine community. I am appreciative of everyone’s efforts to address these budget reductions. In these difficult financial times, it is important to think creatively, be mindful of the decisions we are making and be respectful and supportive of our community members.

The strategic planning survey has been sent out to our community members: learners, staff and faculty. Please complete the survey and encourage others to do so. Your thoughts and ideas will assist in informing the new strategic plan for the next five years. If you have not completed the survey please do so at the following link:

In addition we have arranged for focus groups during the week of May 8-12. Ms. Jane Fitzgerald, a consultant with Climb Consulting, will be facilitating the focus groups. The schedule is in the following link: Please note the focus group times in your schedule and join the conversation. You will see from the schedule that we are having a variety of focus groups including for learners (undergraduate medical students, postgraduate learners, graduate students), faculty members (biomedical sciences, clinical disciplines, clinical epidemiology, community health and humanities), staff members (education units, research and graduate studies, dean’s office, human resources, finance and administration, general staff), patients, and community physicians. Thanks for your participation in the strategic planning process!

The 50th anniversary celebration committee, under the leadership of Dr. Cathy Vardy and Dr. Reza Tabrizchzi and with administrative support from Ms. Joan Fillier, has continued to move forward on planning a multitude of events such as a mixer on June 9 and a gala event on September 8. Please mark your calendars. Check out the website at as it also has many interesting stories about the Faculty of Medicine. If you have photos or stories you would like to share, please send to

The mini-medical school started this year’s sessions on April 5. Many thanks to Dr. Vernon Curran, associate dean, Educational Development, and the Office of Professional Development team for putting together a series of diverse topics to provide education on a variety of topics to the community. I had the pleasure of opening the series by giving a talk on adolescent depression.

We have several other events occurring over the next few months. Mr. Thomas Farrell, a first year medical student, and Dr. Atanu Sarkar, Community Health and Humanities, are planning a Symposium on Environmental Health on June 17, 2017.

We are also holding a conference an Aboriginal Health Symposium on National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2017 featuring neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Dan. We would like to feature all important and innovative education and research activities we are doing in collaboration with Aboriginal People and communities. Please submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations to:

Many thanks to Dr. Asoka Samarasena and the team in the Postgraduate Medical Education office for hosting Dr. Ken Harris, Dr. Farhan Bhanji, Ms. Jane Fulford and Ms. Rhonda St. Croix from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to discuss the implementation of Competency By Design (CBD) for postgraduate residents. I would also like to thank Dr. Michael Bautista, residency program director for the Discipline of Anesthesia, for providing an excellent presentation on the Discipline of Anesthesia’s plan for implementing CBD starting July 1, 2017. This is a significant shift in how we deliver postgraduate medical education and we encourage individuals to engage in the process.

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