Have a great summer!

There are many great things about my job as Dean of Medicine here at the U of S, and it starts with the great students, staff, faculty and partners I work with every day. However, this time of year I really welcome the usual summer slow-down for a chance to reflect, recharge and enjoy the amazing Saskatchewan summer!

I wish all of you a great summer and hope you find time for family, friends and sunshine! First, though, I want to take this opportunity to send you off with some additional positive news to enhance your summer vacation.

First and foremost, of course is our successful undergraduate accreditation. My last blog highlighted this wonderful accomplishment, achieved through the contributions of so many people. We are planning an event in September where we can come together and celebrate in a more formal fashion. Stay tuned for details.

As I noted in my blog, we do have some follow-up reports to provide the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools. An obvious one are the results of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) exams—this past May our Class of 2018 was the first cohort from the new curriculum to take the exam.

We have preliminary results and they are exciting! Several years ago, it was not unusual for the U of S to be among the national leaders, but in more recent years this has not been the case, and this exam data played a large role in instigating and shaping our curricular reform.

The great news is that our Class of 2018 exceeded the national mean on the MCC exam! As well, the national exam failure rate was more than double that of our grads. Congratulations to the Class of 2018 and congratulations to all of those who led and implemented the new curriculum, the staff who managed it and all of the faculty who taught our students. This is real evidence that all of our collective efforts are benefitting our learners and ultimately the people of Saskatchewan.

There is additional good news. Seven of our PGME programs have undergone internal or external reviews in the last few months. Some of these were in follow-up to the full PGME accreditation of 2016. Much work and effort by faculty, staff, residents and the PGME office resulted in great improvements to these programs and very successful results were achieved by all. As well, three PGME programs are live with Competence by Design: anesthesiology, emergency medicine and surgical foundations.

Just a few days ago, on July 1, our biomedical sciences restructuring came into effect with our Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology with interim head Dr. Thom Fisher, and our Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology with interim head Dr. Bill Roesler.

Finally, we have had ongoing success in research! Last week the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation announced the Establishment Grants and four of our researchers were successful. Congratulations to Dr. Gary Groot, Dr. Michael Levin, Dr. Scott Widenmaier and Dr. Yanbo Zhang. Just scroll through our recent CoM website news stories to see more on this and other recent research successes.

So again, I wish you all a great summer and thank everyone for all you do for the CoM. You deserve a break! Enjoy it!

And I will have another great news story to share at the end of August, when we all return for another promising academic year.