News at Medicine - June 2018 - Dean’s notes - June 11, 2018

Dean’s notes - June 11, 2018
June 12, 2018
The last few weeks have been full of wonderful celebrations. On May 30, I had the honour of sitting on the stage to see the recipients of three of our graduate students receive their doctor of philosophy: Dr. Shengnan LI, supervised by Dr. Laura Gillespie; Dr. Zack Marshall; supervised by Drs. Fern Brunger and Christopher Kaposky; and Dr. Yun Zhu supervised by Drs. Peter Wang and Guangju Zhai.
The following day, Memorial University held the convocation for our doctor of medicine, master of science in medicine and master of public health graduates. As the dean, graduation is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. It is an exciting time for our graduates and their families and friends who have supported our learners every step of the way. For our graduates it is the culmination of all their hard work and dedication to completing their studies. It is also a time of reflection on where they have been and where are they going. Our graduates will not only have learned a multitude of things but also established long lasting relationships with peers, faculty and staff which they will cherish throughout their life. I wish each and every graduate best wishes as they start on the next stage of their career. For the doctor of medicine graduates I also had the pleasure to attend Shingles and their graduation gala. Congratulations to all those who planned and organized these lovely celebratory events. I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to the MUNMed Class of 2018 for presenting me with an honorary shingle. I will display it with pride.
The other significant celebration in May was the Dean’s Excellence Awards. This is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate our staff and faculty who have made outstanding contributions in their fields and to the Faculty of Medicine and beyond. If you see one of the following individuals in the hallways please extend your best wishes and thank them for their contributions: Dr. Shabnam Asghari (Junior Faculty Award – Clinical); Dr. Wayne Gulliver (Senior Faculty Award – Clinical); Dr. Craig Moore (Junior Faculty Award – Non-clinical); Dr. Michael Grant (Senior Faculty Award – Non-clinical); Amy Carroll (Service Award – Management); Joanne Doyle (Service Award – Administrative); Nicole Garrett (Service Award – Technical) and Dr. Roger Butler (Max House Teaching Award for Excellence in CME/CPD). I would like to thank all those who nominated individuals and a special thanks to Drs. Tabrizchi, Rahman and Curran and the team from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies who planned and organized the special event where award recipients, family and friends gathered to recognize the awardees’ contributions. As part of our strategic plan Destination Excellence we have many outstanding “empowered people.”
I would also like to congratulate Dr. Mohammed Ravalia who has been appointed as a Federal Senator! This is a significant and important honour. Dr. Ravalia has been committed to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador since his arrival approximately 30 years ago and will represent the province exceptionally well. Dr. Ravalia has also contributed significantly to our academic mission. Please see story here.
The school also underwent a formative interim accreditation of our undergraduate medical education curriculum. Many thanks to our accreditation team led by Dr. Taryn Hearn and Dr. Shahzad Waheed and administratively supported by Paula Mullins Richard. Other accreditation team members included Dr. Debra Bergstrom, Mais Naumann (medical student) and Rebecca O’Leary (medical student) as well as Dr. Kyle Massey, who is the curriculum/accreditation specialist. Our visiting accreditor was Dr. Athena McConnell, the assistant dean of risk and quality at the College of Medicine in Saskatchewan. I want to thank all of those learners, staff and faculty who participated in the accreditation visit. This is an extremely important exercise as we learned the areas we need to enhance in order to optimize our learning experience for the students and to be prepared for our next formal accreditation visit in 2021. Once we have reviewed the final accreditation team report the Undergraduate Medical Education Office under the leadership of Dr. Tanis Adey, associate dean, will develop a process to address the concerns raised.
The second annual Aboriginal Health Symposium occurred on June 6, 2018 and was extremely well attended. Dr. Jeff Reading, the key note speaker, is a highly respected scientist who has been at the forefront of a movement calling for a national advanced research agenda for Aboriginal Peoples health, and rural and northern health. In addition, he has played a fundamental role in Canadian ethics guidelines for Aboriginal health research. In 2015, Dr. Reading led the Waakebines-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health as the inaugural interim director. He was the founding director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and held the first endowed research chair at the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr. Reading is a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness. There was a variety of oral and poster presentations on different areas of research that is occurring with Aboriginal people and their communities. I would like to thank the planning committee and; in particular, Dr. Catherine Donovan, who chaired the committee and facilitated the half-day symposium.
The obstetrics and gynecology discipline had their 29th annual resident research day on June 8. Congratulations to the residents who presented their research which were in a variety of stages of development. The research areas were also diverse and important to the health of people in our communities.
The past two weeks have definitely emphasized to me the valuable and wonderful contributions our learners, faculty and staff make to ensure we achieve our mission: Working in the spirit of partnership and respect, the Faculty of Medicine is committed to delivering integrated excellence in education, research and evidence informed care; meeting the unique health needs of our rural, remote and urban communities; and advocating for health, equity, Indigenous health and healthy populations.