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2015-16 Dean’s Report: Looking back on a great year

The 2015-16 Dean’s Report has just been sent to print and will be available both in print and online in the new year. The report serves as a retrospective on the year we’ve had and is full of successes across our three schools. In the interest of giving you a sneak peak, the following are my opening remarks, with mention of some of the stories that you’ll see highlighted in this year’s report.

The Poet of My Generation Wins the Nobel Prize

Each year I have the privilege of addressing the first year class the day they start medical school. I try to give them a sense of the quality of the medical school they are joining, the rigors that the next four years will bring, and the marvelous opportunities a career in medicine provides. I emphasize that I want them to be restless, to pay attention to the important roles physicians play in our society, and to strive to be involved in our health care system. Most importantly, I tell them that it’s critically important that they strive to do something special.

Celebrating Queen’s Homecoming 2016

This past weekend we welcomed back Queen’s alumni from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Rehabilitation Therapy. We had the honour of hosting members of the Tricolour Guard including Meds ’56, Meds ’61 and newly inducted Meds ’66. Also returning were classes from 1971 through 2016: Meds ‘71, Meds ’76, Meds ‘81, Meds ’86, Meds ’91, Meds ‘01, Meds ’06, Meds ’16, Nursing ’76, Nursing ‘86, Nursing’91, Nursing ’96, Nursing ‘11, Nursing ’16, Rehab PT ‘76, Rehab OT ‘81, Rehab OT ’86, Rehab PT ’86, and Rehab PT ’91.

Our Thanks to Iain Young

After seven years of senior decanal leadership in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Iain Young, Executive Vice Dean and Medical Director of SEAMO, is stepping down from these administrative positions. Probably the best place to start this blog, is to say thanks. And thanks are indeed appropriate, but for sure insufficient. For the last seven years, Iain has dedicated his significant administrative, intellectual, and strategic talents to serving virtually every member of this faculty.

OMA and government reach potential agreement

I’m very pleased that after what seemed like an eternity (but was probably more like two years) without an agreement, the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) are tabling a potential agreement. The tentative agreement is now being communicated out to the OMA’s 33,000 member physicians who will vote on whether to ratify it in the coming weeks. This is a long time coming, and is a very welcome turn of events. To say that the relationship between the OMA and the government over the last two years has been frosty is an understatement.

Transforming research in Lyme disease

In the last few years, Canada has witnessed a surge in cases of Lyme disease. “In 2015, there were 700 new cases of Lyme disease reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), up from 140 cases in 2009. Lyme is now being diagnosed in southern B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.”1

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to people and animals through tick bites. Ticks are small arachnids, the nymphal stage of which can be as small as a poppy seed, so the tick and its bite often go unnoticed.

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