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On Vacation

After a long few months, I am on vacation! I am leaving the dean’s office in the capable hands of my Executive Vice Dean, Iain Young, and I’m taking off. Our plans are to chill out and relax in Kingston for a week. Then Cheryl, I and our youngest son Gabe are off to London, England. We are going to attend Gabe’s graduation ceremony from his Master’s degree in political science at the University of Essex. He is planning on attending Queen Mary University of London law school next year, so Cheryl and I will be assisting him in finding a place to live in London.

Physician Assisted Dying

In June the Canadian Medical Association released its preliminary findings on the issue of physician assisted dying.1 The report calls for “creation of a national palliative-care strategy to ensure people across the country have access to a high-quality, dignified end-of-life experience.”2 Recently the Province of Québec passed Bill 52 that affords Québec citizens the right to “die with dignity”. The bill passed in the Québec assembly in June by a vote of 94 to 22.3

You are your bugs

The last few years has seen an explosion of interest in the bugs that live in or on our bodies. It is amazing that the average person has more than a trillion bugs as part of him or her. While medical science has long understood the existence of these bugs, and the symbiosis between man and microbe, it is only recently that the full ramification of this association is being discovered. In a recent article in The Economist, it was said that “a growing band of biologists, … see people not just as individuals, but also as ecosystems”.1

An important talk in Ottawa about mental health

Barbara Crook (Artsci’79) answers questions following her presentation at the second annual Bell Lecture on Mental Health and Anti-Stigma on June 10. Ms. Crook was joined on stage by Queen’s professor Heather Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, and Steve Madley, radio host and master of ceremonies for the talk.

Mixed Gears: Writing and Art by Medicine and Literature Students

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with Sadiqa Khan, M.D. Sadiqa is a graduate of the Queen’s M.D. program, an award-winning writer, and a certified Art Therapist. She is an instructor in a student interest group course called Medicine and Literature. The course, originally conceived by Dr. Jacqui Duffin, is now co-taught by Sadiqa and Dr. Shayna Watson.

Academic freedom collides with university administration: A sad week for University of Saskatchewan

It has been quite the week for the University of Saskatchewan. It’s hard to imagine, a dean gets fired and his tenure stripped. Tenure was then re-instated. A provost resigns. The board of trustees fires the president. Such are the makings of a television mini-series. Tragic, but true.

A record-breaking achievement. Thank you.

I often say that I never failed to be impressed by the great affection for Queen’s University that I see on campus, at events, in the alumni and friends that I meet with on a regular basis. It is expressed in many ways: every day by hard working faculty, staff and students; volunteers, advocates, and through philanthropy.

Last week, I received fantastic news that the last fiscal year we raised $19.7 million in support of the Faculty of Health Sciences Initiative Campaign objective!

An inspiring evening

Last Thursday night was the 2014 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston.  What a magnificent evening!

It was an inspiring, proud moment for our Faculty of Health Sciences, for Queen’s University, for Kingston and for Canada. Hosting this 20th anniversary ceremony was everything that we had hoped for and more.

Cuts sutures and leaves: grammar advice from a surgeon?

“A preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with.”

— Winston Churchill

“As far as I’m concerned, ‘whom’ is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.” — Calvin Trillin

Janet Dancey Appointed to Lead the NCIC Clinical Trials Group

Last Friday, Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), announced the appointment of Janet Dancey as Director, NCIC-Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and holder of the Edith and Carla Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research at Queen’s University.  Speaking on behalf of the search committee, and my co-chair, Christine Williams, VP Research at the Canadian Cancer Society, we could not be more delighted!

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