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October 26, 2016

We’re Not That Diverse, But We’re Working On It

When you walk through the Medical Sciences Building, you inevitably pass class composite photos of past graduates from our MD program. It’s hard not to notice the changing faces of our classes; shifting from exclusively male and white in our early years to classes that are more balanced in gender and ethnicity more recently. This shift is a reflection of the city we serve. Toronto is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, and as its only medical school, we have an obligation to reflect its diversity. Some look at our class today and marvel at its diversity. The fact is, we’re not as diverse as you might think.
In Toronto, the top five visible minority groups are South Asian (12.0%), Chinese (11.4%), Black (8.4%), Filipino (4.1%) and Latin American (2.6%). Indigenous people represent 3.8% of our national population and 2.8% in Toronto. If we were reaching our goal of reflecting our city, you’d expect to see similar trends in our MD classes. However, looking further at the Class of 2015, 25% were Chinese and 16% were South Asian. Black (1%), Filipino (2%), Latin American (0%) and Indigenous (2%) students were woefully under-represented. We are also not very socioeconomically diverse.

At a time when the median family income in Canada is $76,000, more than 60% of our first year class in 2015-16 reported the income of their parents or guardians was $100,000 or more. Far less than one-third reported a family income below $75,000; 11% indicated less than $40,000.

You can read the full version of my message here.

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



Investing in Future of Surgeon Scientists

Through a joint commitment from James and Mari Rutka, SickKids Foundation, and the University of Toronto, the James and Mari Rutka Surgeon Scientist Training Fund will be established in the Department of Surgery. It will invest $3 million in the program, helping ensure it remains open to all surgical trainees and continues to enhance health care into the future.

U of T Medicine Shines in University Rankings

In the 3rd annual U.S. News and World Report Global Rankings, which seeks to compare universities across borders based on research performance, U of T is found in the Top 15 across a number of disciplines: Clinical Medicine (7th), Molecular Biology & Genetics (10th), Pharmacology and Toxicology (11th), Psychiatry/Psychology (12th), and Biology and Biochemistry (13th). 

Battling Respiratory Infection in Northern Canada

Infants in Canada’s north are facing alarming rates of respiratory infection, but providing an antibody to all infants will prevent hundreds of hospitalizations of babies in the Arctic and save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Putting “I-You” into Medical Practice

U of T medical students Atara Messinger and Benjamin Chin-Yee have been recognized with the 2016 Essay Prize from the European Society for Person Centered Healthcare.

Culprits Behind Cardiovascular Disease

Having a big heart is not always a virtue and, from a physiologist’s point of view, it can be deadly. An enlarged heart is a hallmark of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and, despite being the most common inherited disease of the heart muscle, doctors don’t really know why it occurs. But that could now change as a new University of Toronto study begins to shine light on the molecular causes behind DCM.

Student Earns National Award

Third year clerk Sarah Silverberg has been announced as a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame award recipient. These awards recognize young leaders who demonstrate leadership through community involvement, superior interpersonal and communication skills, academic excellence and an established interest in advancing knowledge.

Training Key to Ending Opioid Epidemic

With the opioid epidemic spiraling out of control, attention is turning to the need for greater physician training on the subject. In 2014, more than 700 people died in Ontario from opioid-related causes, making it the third leading cause of accidental death in the province. That is a 266 per cent increase since 2002.

Patients at the Centre

Students, faculty, and experts in medical education from across the globe gathered to share ideas, best practices and advance the research agenda for Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LIC) in a conference hosted by the University of Toronto and the Wilson Centre for Research in Education.

Integrating Kids’ Mental and Physical Health

The 2016 Medical Psychiatry Alliance Annual Conference on October 5 attracted more than 230 participants who came together at The Hospital for Sick Children’s Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning in Toronto to define successful collaborative, integrated healthcare for children, youth and their families.

Call for Applications


Education Development Fund

The Office of the Education Vice-Deans has announced the launch of the 2017 cycle of the Education Development Fund (EDF) competition. The Education Development Fund (EDF) is intended to support new and innovative projects that align with our Faculty’s strategic priorities in education.

Call for Nominations


Excellence in Community-Based Teaching Awards

The Faculty is calling for nominations for the Excellence in Community-Based Teaching Awards.



2016 Canada Gairdner Awardees' Lectures

October 27, 2016 at 9:00AM

Macleod Auditorium


This year’s Canada Gairdner Award winners join together after touring the country to explain and explore their discoveries in science. Our International Award winners will discuss the expanding potential of the CRISPR technique for gene editing, and our Wightman and Global Health awardees will share their experiences confronting HIV/AIDS and broader global health challenges.


2016 Geriatrics Update

October 28-29

Michener Institute


The Geriatrics Update Course is a two-day annual Continuing Medical Education (CME) conference that provides current and relevant knowledge for the care of older adults to health care providers.


Eighth Canadian Science Policy Conference

November 8-10, 2016

Ottawa, ON


The Canadian Science Policy Conference has become Canada’s most comprehensive, multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary annual science policy forum and attracted numerous politicians and hundreds of professionals from industry, academia, the non-profit sector, federal and provincial governments every year.


Graduate and Undergraduate Research Information Fair

November 10, 2016 at 10:30AM

Medical Sciences Building


This information fair is for undergraduate students interested in learning more about the summer research opportunities available and graduate school (MSc & PhD) application process at the Faculty of Medicine.

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H2i Spotlight


Simulating Surgery for Cleft Palate Repair

Dr. Dale Podolsky has created a surgical simulator that allows trainees to practice cleft lip and palate repair. It is the most common birth defect and affects one out of every 700 births worldwide.

In the News

'Long past time' to act on Canada's deadly opioid epidemic

Professor David Juurlink on CBC News

Tailor immigrant and refugee mental health services for culture, language

Professor Kwame McKenzie on CBC News

Beware of assisted dying as 'shame relief'

Professor Harvey Schippe in the Ottawa Citizen

Kids' coughs: How to tell when it's serious

Professor Norman Saunders in Today’s Parent

Doctors’ Notes: Changing the way we fight bacteria

Professor Justin Nodwell in the Toronto Star

Doctors’ Notes: How occupational therapists can help with transition from hospital to home

Professor Susan Rappolt in the Toronto Star


Recently Awarded Research Grants

Upcoming Award Deadlines

What's New in Research Funding

Departmental News and Events

Updates on CIHR Funding

The University of Toronto is remembering Dr. Henry Barnett, an acclaimed researcher in neuroscience and immunology. Dr. Barnett died peacefully at home on October 20 at the age of 94. He was a member of the U of T MD Class of 1944 and was presented with the inaugural Dean's Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. Watch Dr. Barnett talk about his career and enduring connection with U of T.


Next issue publication date:
November 9, 2016
Submission deadline:
November 2, 2016

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