Dear colleagues,

We recently selected our national award winners for 2016 and I’m very excited to introduce them to you.

Like our Fellows, they are a diverse group. They include

  • a family physician from Waterloo, Ont., who has worked in areas of strife in the developing world and received Canada’s highest civilian honour for his efforts in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
  • a general surgeon from Halifax with a 50+ year career who is credited with bringing transplantation surgery to Atlantic Canada and laparoscopic surgery to Nova Scotia.
  • a psychiatrist from Kamloops, B.C., and generous volunteer who has actively engaged in medical education, including leading the development of a competency-based assessment process for psychiatrists trained outside of Canada.
  • a general surgeon and program director from Toronto who has been instrumental in elevating the esteem of her program by introducing innovative curriculum, teaching and assessment methods.

But these descriptions do little to present their contributions to health care and medical education. As you read more about our winners, below and on our website, I hope their achievements resonate with your view of the standards and stature of the Royal College in your community.

Please join me in congratulating our newest award winners.

 

Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award

For Canadian physicians who go beyond the accepted norms of routine practice in their provision of health care or emergency medical services

James Orbinski,  MD, OC, OONT, MCFP

2016 recipient
James Orbinski, MD, OC, OONT, MCFP

“Dr. Orbinski has shown that physicians are humanitarians and can rise to the highest levels in serving and caring for humanity.”

— Excerpt from a nomination letter

James believes in actively engaging and shaping the world in which we live. He has extensive field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) — including trips to Peru, Zaire, Afghanistan and Somalia. For his service as mission head in Kigali during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, he was awarded Canada’s highest civilian award: the Meritorious Service Cross. From 1998-2001, he was International President of MSF and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in 1999. Through MSF programs, he has helped improve access to essential medication for millions of people. In 2004, he cofounded Dignitas International that focuses on frontline care for HIV patients and training local health care workers. He is a professor, a research chair, a bestselling author and a happily-married father of three.

For more biographical details on Dr. Orbinski, visit our website.

 

James H. Graham Award of Merit

For outstanding achievements that reflect the aims and objectives of the Royal College

Allan S. MacDonald, MD, FRCSC

2016 recipient
Allan S. MacDonald, MD, FRCSC

“Our guess is that every single community in Region 5 [N.B., N.S., P.E.I., N.L.] have benefited by having competent physicians who have learned from Dr. MacDonald.”

— Excerpt from a nomination letter

Allan has always been a forward-thinker. While still a resident in General Surgery, he developed the first ICU at the Victoria General Hospital (since amalgamated into the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre) and was its first director. This tendency for “firsts” continued. He began the Kidney Transplant Program in Halifax and established the Transplantation Research Laboratory at Dalhousie. Experiments in his lab led to the development of a new technique for pancreas transplantation that stood as the standard clinical operation for a decade. In 1980, he fulfilled a mandate to start a liver and pancreas transplant program. This led in the 1980s to the first clinical liver transplant and first pancreas graft in the Canadian Maritimes, and the introduction to Nova Scotia of various laparoscopic procedures. An empowering and generous mentor, colleague and educator, Dr. MacDonald is a Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Dalhousie.

For more biographical details on Dr. MacDonald, visit our website.

 

Duncan Graham Award

For outstanding contributions to medical education

Paul K. B. Dagg, MD, FRCPC

2016 recipient
Paul K. B. Dagg, MD, FRCPC

“Dr. Dagg is one of those rare individuals that encompasses all the qualities one would list if asked about the makeup of an ideal physician.”

— Excerpt from a nomination letter

Paul puts 100 per cent into everything he does. As program medical director for the Mental Health and Substance Use Program for the Interior Health Authority of British Columbia, he is a strong advocate for patients. He provides psychiatric and neuropsychiatric care for people with refractory illness. From 2005 until early 2016, he helped establish and lead Tertiary Mental Health Services for B.C.’s Interior – including opening Hillside Centre in Kamloops — as part of their regionalization of services. He is the former director of Clinical Services at the Royal Ottawa Hospital and assistant dean for Postgraduate Education in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. In various roles, he has developed and implemented new curriculum and enhancements to enrich learning, wellbeing and morale. A natural leader and longtime volunteer, he is chair of the Royal College Specialty Committee in Psychiatry and sits on the Education Committee. Among his contributions, he courageously led the development of a practice-based assessment pathway for psychiatrists trained outside of Canada (e.g. Practice Eligibility Route B).

For more biographical details on Dr. Dagg, visit our website.

 

Royal College AMS/Donald Richards Wilson Award

For excellence in integrating the CanMEDS roles into a Royal College training program

Najma A. Ahmed, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC, FACS

2016 recipient
Najma A. Ahmed, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC, FACS

“Dr. Ahmed is an exceptional Program Director. She views her position as one which not only manages the operations of a large and complex program, but also challenges and advances the way we train our future physicians.”

— Excerpt from a nomination letter

Najma is a force for positive change. Trained in general, endocrine and trauma surgery, she is well-prepared in her current role as director of the University of Toronto’s General Surgery Residency Program. She is also an associate professor and surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital. As program director, she instituted a greater focus on professionalism, humanism and the CanMEDS Roles — especially in the early years of training. She uses devices such as special sessions, workshops and reflective writing exercises. Deeply committed to resident wellness, she participated in the National Steering Committee for Resident Duty Hours as chair of the Expert Working Group for Surgical Disciplines. She has worked hard to embed the CanMEDS Roles into training curriculum and evaluation, and has set clear expectations for trainees at all stages. A tireless advocate for her residents and resident education, she has successfully implemented new ways of doing things to great effect.

For more biographical details on Dr. Ahmed, visit our website.

 


 

Download our 2015 Annual Review

Download our 2015 Annual Review

I’m very proud of all the work the Royal College did in the past year. These achievements are summarized in our 2015 Annual Review, Embracing change, respecting tradition.

You can now download or view a copy online. Or, if you’d like a printed copy, send us an email and we’ll mail you one.

 

Sincerely,

Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer