We are #UofTMed

Sep 13, 2017

Dean Trevor YoungDean Trevor Young The gentle hum of summer has turned into the mighty roar of fall as classes resume. Across our campuses, students return — eager for the excitement of learning and research. That energy is especially evident at orientation events, where students form bonds and discover the Faculty they’ll call home for the next few years. The number and variety of those events reinforce the breadth of study within the Faculty of Medicine. We train physician assistants, MDs, residents and fellows. We educate rehabilitation professionals and scientists. And, we mentor graduate students in the life and medical sciences for careers in research and beyond. Together, we are preparing the next generation of research leaders and health professionals.

While we look forward to the year ahead, let’s pause for a moment to recognize what we achieved in the academic year that was. I am pleased to share with you the 2016-17 Dean’s Report. It focuses on our accomplishments in three key activities:
•    Prepare: We are preparing the next generation of leaders in the health sciences
•    Discover: We are leading research that answers questions of fundamental and societal relevance, and translating discoveries to improve health
•    Partner: We are an ideal and preferred partner.

As you will see, we made real progress in advancing those goals. Consider that in 2015, 35 per cent of family physicians and 55 per cent of specialists who trained in Ontario did so at U of T. We are preparing the workforce that is keeping this region healthy. We’re also helping to fuel economic development. Over the last five years, 11 start-ups emerged from U of T Medicine, we filed more than 40 patent applications and disclosed more than 190 new inventions. 

We take pride in our accomplishments, but we don’t succeed alone. It’s only with the support of our many partners — including hospitals, funders, government, as well as our friends and alumni — that we are able to stand solidly among the top 15 medical schools in the world. And, we’re advancing towards the top 10! 

As Dean, I am continually impressed by the energy, passion and talent shown by members of the U of T Medicine community. Through your deeds, you express a desire to improve the health of communities here in Canada, and around the world. You do so committed to excellence in scholarship and practice, and committed to the highest ethical standards.

Thanks for all that you have done. But as you regularly remind me, there is much more we can accomplish. In the year ahead, this will include developing a new strategic plan for the Faculty — a process that will be led by our Vice Dean of Partnerships, Professor Lynn Wilson. An important aspect of that effort will be finding new ways to extend our partnerships for maximum benefit. We want to leverage even more of the opportunities present in Toronto, one of North America’s great hubs for academic medicine and biotechnology. 

We will also continue to improve the learning environment for our students, informed by their feedback and guided by the latest research in pedagogy and learning. Our educational vice deans — Professors Patricia Houston (MD Program), Salvatore Spadafora (Post-MD Education) and Allan Kaplan (Graduate and Life Sciences Education) — are leading these efforts, tailoring strategies to best serve the students in each portfolio. That includes continuing to support a culture of wellness, for our students — as well as our faculty and staff. And Professor Richard Hegele, our Vice Dean of Research and Innovation, will continue to ensure we have strong and robust research platforms that enable world-class discoveries. In the year ahead, we will see the benefits of renovations to the Medical Sciences Building, which will significantly improve our research facilities. 

The theme of the report is “We are.” It reflects a simple truth: only by working together are we able to achieve our goals. We rightfully take pride in our accomplishments. But, we are not content to rest on these laurels. Together, we will do the things that can be done. Why? Because we are #UofTMed. 

Trevor Young 
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
 

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Burnout, suicide, depression, and the emotional effects of mistakes. We address physician wellness in the next issue of UofTMed magazine, out May 30.

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