Travel, alumni connections and college news

This fall has been a busy one, full of travel—both personal and work-related. On the personal side (as I am sure some of you know because of far too many pictures and bragging), I was back in the Maritimes for the birth of my second grandchild and first granddaughter, Abigail Marie, in late September. She was a healthy 10 pounds at birth and everyone is doing well!

Last week we were back in the Maritimes for what is now an annual gathering of five couples from medical school days; we used to gather in third and fourth year every month for a wine tasting. We were hosted this year by a classmate and his wife in Sydney, NS and enjoyed both the Celtic Colors International Festival and the truly wonderful fall colors of Cape Breton. I highly recommend fall in the Maritimes—if you can avoid the hurricanes. In driving from southwest NB to Cape Breton I drove through more rain and wind in eight hours than I have seen in five years in Saskatchewan! Weather aside, it was so much fun to reunite with classmates. The wine has improved in quality and definitely gone up in price, but the focus on stories, laughter, friendship, some excellent food and great Celtic music has not changed over the years.

Speaking of old friends, we have had a number of alumni events this fall. Medical Education Vice-Dean Dr. Kent Stobart, our advancement team and I joined our college’s Alumni Association to host an event in Regina two weeks ago. Dr. Teresa Paslawski, Associate Dean of the School of Rehabilitation Science, joined us to welcome physical therapy colleagues there. More recently, we hosted alumni at similar events in Calgary and Saskatoon (at the beautiful Remai Modern art museum), and I will travel to Edmonton to host our alumni there in mid-November.

These events are critical to update our alumni, give them an opportunity to reconnect with their college and each other, and thank them for their generous support of the College of Medicine.

This week we join with faculty, staff and alumni from the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (CH&E) to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The department has long been a strong contributor to our UGME program, providing lots of curriculum and very important leadership, especially in our “Medicine and Society” course. It is home to our Division of Social Accountability and was instrumental in the CoM receiving the ASPIRE award for Social Accountability. CH&E faculty are key researchers on our team who collaborate with clinicians throughout the CoM as well as researchers in all the health professions and across the entire campus, province and beyond. They are the academic home for public health physicians throughout the province and deliver the residency program in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Congratulations to CH&E on this important anniversary!

I attended the International Conference on Residency Education, sponsored by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It has certainly grown into a preeminent conference on Postgraduate Medical Education! This year, the theme was Diversity in Residency Education: Training in a World of Differences. I have written here before about our commitment to diversity; the conference was inspiring, while challenging, and although we have a long way to go together here, our journey is in line with other medical schools around the world.

So as always there is lots going on at the college. A very significant and wonderful change is just around the corner as we welcome Dr. Marilyn Baetz in her new role as Vice-Dean Faculty Engagement on November 1! I know I will really appreciate her presence and help, and I am certain our faculty will as well. I know that Marilyn is very happy to be starting in this role and looks forward to hearing from you.

As always, I welcome your feedback.