I hope all of you have had a great summer and some free time to enjoy the fantastic maritime weather with family and friends – it’s hard to believe September is right around the corner and with it another academic year.
There is a noticeable energy burst around campus as we welcome new cohorts of undergraduate medical, BSc Med Sci and graduate students to our campus.
August’s Dal Med Innovator
In honor of World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, we celebrated the contributions and accomplishments of Dr. Joni Guptill as our August Dal Med Innovator.
Dr. Guptill is the former Head of Doctors Without Borders (MSF). When she graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 1981, Dr. Guptill decided she needed to find a way to get back to developing countries to help as much as she could.
In pursuit of more opportunities in developing countries, Dr. Guptill worked in general practice for five years before undertaking a diploma in tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It was in London that she encountered MSF, an organization with a mission to match her own drive.
In 1991, MSF established a Canadian arm. She took it upon herself to open an MSF office in Atlantic Canada, which was in actuality a phone in her Halifax home. During her time with MSF, Dr. Guptill moved up the ranks—from local volunteer to field volunteer to board member to president of MSF in Canada—evidence of the organization’s true grassroots nature.
Read more about Dr. Guptill and our Dal Med Innovators here.
Appointment of Director of Medical Research Development Office
I am happy to announce that Sara Lavender has accepted the position of Director in the Medical Research Development Office. Sara comes to us most recently from the Faculty of Health as Interim Director of Research Services and has many years of experience at Dalhousie’s Central Research Services. She begins her new role on August 27th.
In Memoriam: Dr. Gerald Arthur Klassen
It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Dr. Gerald Arthur Klassen, former professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Vice President Research at Dalhousie University has passed away. In 1977, he came to Dalhousie as Head of Physiology and Biophysics. In July 1984 he returned to being a fulltime professor, cardiologist/researcher/teacher in the Dalhousie Department of Medicine, positions he held for the remainder of his professional career.
During all those years he continued to pursue his research interests in coronary circulation and collaborated with colleagues in many countries, including a sabbatical year in Pisa. He served on many medical boards and committees and was particularly involved with issues of Bioethics in Human Research. His years at Johns Hopkins were formative and he was honoured to be appointed a Member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2002.
In accordance with Dr. Klassen’s wishes, donations in his memory may be made the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.
Our anniversary celebrations quieted down in August and we are ready to hit the ground running next month with Med150 events hosted by the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry. As well, the much anticipated Global Health Day, hosted by the Global Health Office, will take place late September.
For a full list of upcoming celebrations and special events, please visit our events website.
Save the Date! Have you booked your tables yet? Plans for our anniversary celebration weekend have been finalized and it promises to be a fantastic time. We will kick off on November 2 with a symposium on meeting the health care needs of the future. Later that day, guided tours of our research and education labs and facilities will be available for interested alumi. These will be followed Friday evening by a host of alumni gatherings organized by our alumni classes. Locations and times of events will be made available by early October.
On Saturday, November 3rd we are hosting a luncheon to honour our 12 Dal Med Innovators, and then our gala dinner and dance will take place that evening. The weekend festivities will conclude with a pancake breakfast hosted by Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation on Sunday November 4th.
For those of you looking to purchase tables, please contact Anne Weeden at Anne.Weeden@Dal.Ca.
Saudi Residents at Dalhousie
Earlier this month, Dalhousie University, including our medical school, learned its students and residents from Saudi Arabia were being called back to Saudi Arabia by their government.
Fortunately, Dalhousie Medical school has subsequently received notification from the Saudi Cultural Bureau that residents and fellows who are currently enrolled in training programs will be allowed to stay in their programs at Dalhousie, at least until such time as they have obtained final admission into equivalent training programs in other countries.
We realize this has been a very difficult month for all of our residents and particularly those from Saudi Arabia. I do want to thank all of our residents for their professionalism and patience as we worked through these issues. I particularly want to acknowledge the actions of Dr. Andrew Warren, our Associate Dean for Post-Graduate Medical Education and Mr. Charles Hsuen, our Visa/International Medical Graduates Programs Administrator, for their tireless work in support of all the residents involved in this situation.
We remind all of our residents requiring support that our Resident Affairs offices, under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Thomson in Nova Scotia and Dr. Lisa Sutherland in New Brunswick, are available to all residents looking for support and guidance.
I wish all of our incoming students a warm welcome to medical school. And to all of our returning students, best wishes for a successful year ahead.
See you in the fall!