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David Allison, MD, FRCPC

David Allison

Dr. Allison is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and has served as Medical Officer of Health for Eastern Health Region in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador since 2000. He is also a clinical associate professor in the Division of Community Health and Humanities of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. He has been a member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2013.

A graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1976, he completed residency training in Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa and became a fellow of the Royal College in 1988. He has served in public health roles across the country in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick since 1982. He has also worked in New Zealand, Australia, Sierra Leone and Nepal for periods of time.

His interests in national and international public health include immunization, environmental health and emergency planning and response. He is an active member of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) roster of the Canadian Red Cross, and was deployed to Haiti in July 2010 following the earthquake and to Sierra Leone in September 2012 as part of the response to that country’s cholera epidemic.

In his home community of St. John’s, he is actively involved with the Rotary Club of St. John’s East and the St. Andrews Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and he is a piper with the City of St. John’s Pipe Band.


Carrie Bourassa, Ph.D.

Carrie Bourassa

Carrie Bourassa was born and raised in Regina.  Carrie pursued both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Regina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Political Science in 1995, graduated with her Master of Arts degree in 1999, and earned her Ph.D. in Social Studies in 2008.  Her book, based on her dissertation was released in the fall of 2012 entitled Métis Health: The Invisible Problem.

Carrie is a Professor in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work and Special Advisor to the President, Research at the First Nations University of Canada teaching Indigenous Health Studies.  Carrie’s research interests include the impacts of colonization on the health of First Nations and Métis people; creating culturally safe care in health service delivery; Indigenous community-based health research methodologies; Indigenous end of life care; Indigenous dementia; HIV and AIDS among Indigenous women, Indigenous ethics and Indigenous women’s health.  Carrie recently completed her second 3 year term as a member of the Canadian Institute for Health Research Standing Committee on Ethics.  Carrie is a member of the Royal College Council, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a member of the Saskatchewan RESOLVE Steering Committee.  Carrie recently completed a chapter for the Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review entitled Final Summary Review of the Manitoba Child Welfare System for the Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review Report.  She is also an accredited Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Program facilitator through the First Nations University of Canada.  Carrie is proud to be the successful Nominated Principal Investigator on a Canada Foundation for Innovation Grant that funded the Indigenous Community-based Health Research Labs at FNUniv. In 2004, Carrie was honoured when she was chosen as one of Saskatchewan’s ten Aboriginal Role Models by the Aboriginal Employment Development Program’s Provincial Aboriginal Representative Workforce Council (PARWC).  More recently, Carrie was a recipient of the Campion College Alumni of Distinction Award for Professional Achievement and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honour Society of Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education in November 2010.  In 2012 Carrie won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc. Metis Award in Health and Science.

Carrie is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34).  She resides in Regina with her husband, Chad and her daughters, Victoria, 15 and Lillie, 4.


Gaétan Brochu, MD, FRCSC

Gaétan Brochu

Gaétan Brochu BSc. MD, FRCSC, FACS is native of Inverness, Québec. He is a General Surgeon at the CHU de Québec and a Professor of Surgery at Université Laval.

Dr. Brochu received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Université Laval in 1980. He did graduate studies in physical chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Que. He received his medical degree from Université Laval and completed his surgery training at the Université Laval with rotations in Boston, USA, and Montreal. He did a travelling scholarship in gastric surgery at the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo, Japan. He became a member of the Royal College in 1997 and since 2002 has been active with the Royal College on the General Surgery Examination Board, where he was the chair for five years. Dr. Brochu also sits on the Specialty Committee in General Surgery and Surgical Foundations. He is the current director of Surgical Foundations at Université Laval and is the founder president of the Canadian Hernia Society (2013).

Dr Brochu has strong interest in medical education and he received a Certificate of Merit for outstanding contributions to medical education from the Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME) in 2012. He has strong interest in minimally invasive surgery and hernias and abdominal reconstruction. He also serves as the guest editor for Hernia: The World Journal of Hernia and Abdominal Wall Surgery. He is a member of many scholarly associations and is a member of the board directors of the James IV Association of Surgeons.

Dr. Brochu enjoys being physically active and has completed 10 marathons. He has also been participating in the Canadian Cross Country Ski Marathon since 1987.


Françoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCS, FACS, CHE, C.Dir

Françoise P. Chagnon

Françoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCSC, FACS, CHE, C.Dir, is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and completed specialty training in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at McGill teaching hospitals. Following a fellowship in Laryngology, Voice Science and Care of the Professional Voice at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., she was named founding director of the Montreal General Hospital Voice Clinic.

Dr. Chagnon received a master’s degree in health administration and a certificate in insurance medicine and medico-legal expertise from the Université de Montreal. She is a former director of Professional Services at the McGill University Health Centre and at l’Institut de réadaptation Gingras Lindsay de Montréal. She has served on the board of directors of l’Association des cadres supérieurs, the Montreal General Hospital Corporation and the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. She is also a former member of the Canadian Medical Association’s Committee on Health Policy and Economics.

Dr. Chagnon currently holds appointments at the McGill University Health Centre, St. Mary’s Hospital Center, l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. She is a consultant at Medisys-Plexo and the Queen Elisabeth Health Complex, and director of l’Association d’Hospitalisation Canassurance (Blue Cross) and McGill Montreal International. Dr. Chagnon is secretary of the board of directors of Lallemand Inc. and president of Vocalex Inc. She completed certification at Université Laval’s director’s college (Collège des administrateurs de sociétés).


Brian Clapson, MD, FRCSC

Brian Clapson

Dr. Brian Clapson earned his Bachelor of Science and medical degree, with honors, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alta. After graduation, he completed his family medicine training at the University of Calgary in 1982. Following this, he entered the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program at the University of Saskatchewan – proceeding to a Hand and Microvascular Surgery Fellowship at the University of San Francisco, USA. He has been a practising plastic surgeon in Saskatoon, Sask., and a very active faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan since 1988.

Dr. Clapson’s involvement with the Royal College has been long standing, becoming a strong and identifiable characteristic as a physician and surgeon. He has been extensively involved with survey work and has visited most centres in Canada on more than one occasion. He also has served a term on the Accreditation Committee, as well as two terms on the Specialty Committee in Plastic Surgery. At the postgraduate level within his institution, he is frequently called upon to assist with both undergraduate and postgraduate issues and to chair upcoming review preparations. Accreditation is a fundamental aspect of our health care systems and he has participated with(on?) the Canadian Council on Health Care Accreditation.

Dr. Clapson has also spent considerable time with the Canadian Forces as both a flight surgeon and a general medical officer. He has held command positions and served on a number of overseas and continental missions. During this time – training, education and assessment– was a priority for him.

Administratively, Dr. Clapson has been Division Head at the University of Saskatchewan on two occasions – the last completed in 2014. He remains very active within the medical school and the department of surgery – with responsibilities for curriculum design and education within the department of surgery. In the past he has completed all levels of work for the school and the department including the running of the microsurgical research lab.

Dr. Clapson’s greatest satisfaction, outside of his family, continues to be that of medical education and the mentoring of young (and not so young) physicians. He looks forward to the opportunity to continue this work within a new role and capacity at the Royal College.


Marcia Clark, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Marcia Clark

Marcia is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. She is also the Medical Director for the Advance Technical Skill Simulation Laboratory (ATSSL) at the University of Calgary. This lab delivers simulation experiences to diverse learners in the health professions. From animal models, to task trainers to theatre -based simulation, the ATSSL offers a dynamic learning space with six staff and 2 million dollars of equipment.

Nationally, she is the Vice-Chair of the Surgical Foundations Advisory Committee at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, helping to frame and implement Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) in Surgery across Canada. Marcia travels with the Royal College extensively to deliver medical education topic to international faculty. Her most recent trips include China, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Clinically, she is an orthopaedic surgeon with a practice focused on surgical arthritis care and sport medicine. Marcia also provides medical care to several athletic teams including Calgary Wolfpack Rugby, University of Calgary Dinos, Formula One Car Racing (Montreal) and the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

For leisurely pursuits, she has goals that include: being outside in daylight, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and biking. All activities that get her off concrete.


Marianne Coutu, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Marianne Coutu, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Doctor Marianne Coutu is an Assistant Professor at The Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiac Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke since 2005. She completed her undergraduate medical studies and her residency in cardiac surgery at the University of Montreal. She later completed a fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in mitral valve repair and thoracic aorta reconstruction.

Since the beginning of her career, she became actively engaged in medical education for undergraduate students, residents and doctors in practice.

She has been the ATLS Scientific Director at the Continuous Professional Development Center, University of Sherbrooke, from 2010 to 2015. She is actually the Surgical Foundations Program Director since July 2014 and participates actively at the incoming Competence by Design. She also acts as the associate coordinator of the MD program assessment at her Faculty.

She is married and proud to be the mother of a beautiful 8-year old dancer girl and of a handsome 7-year-old hockey player boy. She is a marathoner and tries to improve her meditation competencies during her spare time.


Elizabeth Cowden, MD, FRCPC

Elizabeth Cowden

Dr. Cowden graduated with an MBChB and M.D. with Honours from Glasgow University. She was the recipient of a Research Fellowship, National Kidney Disease Research Foundation (U.K.) and Canadian Medical Research Council Fellowship Award in the Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba. Dr. Cowden was on the faculty of the University of Manitoba 1981 -1996. She was Head-Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism at St. Boniface General Hospital, Acting Head-University Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Head - Department of Medicine at St. Boniface General Hospital and Associate Head- Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

In July 1996, she moved to Halifax to become Head of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University and District Chief of the Department of Medicine at Capital Health. Dr. Cowden served as joint Academic and Clinical Head of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie and QE II/Capital Health for some 10 years and continued active clinical practice in Endocrinology and on the Medicine Teaching Units, during this time.

Dr. Cowden returned to Winnipeg in February 2006 and has undertaken various administrative roles such as Chief Medical Officer, Site Medical Director for the Medicine Program and Chief of the Clinical Teaching Unit at the Grace Hospital, Section Head of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Co-chair of the Manitoba Privileges Advisory Committee, in the province of Manitoba. Dr. Cowden continues an active academic and clinical practice and continues to be privileged to work with a superb group of collaborators in the care of patients with diabetes.


Robin Cox, MD, FRCPC

Pediatric anesthesiologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital
Professor of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

Robin Cox

Dr. Cox obtained his medical degree from the University of London, England, before receiving subspecialty training in pediatric anesthesia at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In 1985, Dr. Cox completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and in 1987 was appointed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, as a pediatric anesthesiologist and intensivist. He later served as director of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit and as division head for pediatric anesthesia. Today, he remains in active practice as a pediatric anesthesiologist and is a tenured professor of anesthesia at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Cox is enthusiastic about education at all levels. He has participated in the clinical skills course for medical students in Calgary since 1997. His involvement in continuing professional development (CPD) includes serving on the CPD committees of the Cumming School of Medicine and the Association of Canadian University Departments of Anesthesiology. Dr. Cox regularly publishes educational and research articles pertaining to pediatric anesthesia, and is a frequently invited guest speaker.

At the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Dr. Cox has sat on the Specialty Committee for Anesthesiology, and he has been a member of Council since 2010. He is currently Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Royal College.

Dr. Cox has served on many other local and national committees, a few examples being Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, Board of the Alberta Medical Association, Admissions Committee of the Cumming School of Medicine, General Faculties Council of the University of Calgary, Board of the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and Ethics Committee of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society.

Dr. Cox is a medical volunteer with Resurge International, which provides free reconstructive plastic surgery in developing countries, and has provided anesthesia care for cleft palate and other reconstructive surgery in Vietnam and Peru.


Paul Kenneth Bronson Dagg, MD, FRCPC

Paul Kenneth Bronson Dagg

Paul Dagg is currently the Program Medical Director for the Mental Health and Substance Use Program for the Interior Health Authority of British Columbia. He moved to BC in 2005 to establish the Tertiary Mental Health Services for the Interior that were being developed as a result of the regionalization of services from the Riverview Hospital, opening Hillside Centre in Kamloops, and led Tertiary Mental Health Services until 2016. Prior to coming to the Interior, Dr. Dagg was the Director of Clinical Services at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. He provides psychiatric and neuropsychiatric care for people with refractory illness who are admitted to Hillside Centre, a tertiary acute inpatient facility that provides services to clients from throughout the province. He is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and in 2013 was inducted as a member of the American College of Psychiatry.

Dr. Dagg has been heavily involved in postgraduate training in medicine and psychiatry and in 2016 was awarded the Duncan Graham Award for Lifelong Contribution to Medical Education in Canada by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the first person to receive this award whose professional work is outside of an urban university center. He is currently Chair of the Corporate Accreditation Committee of the Royal College and a Member of the Education Committee of the Royal College, the committee that oversees all the educational activities of the College. He is a past chair of the Specialty Committee in Psychiatry and has served on the Examination Board in Psychiatry as Vice Chair and as a member. Until 2005, he was the Assistant Dean for Postgraduate Education in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry. In 1996, he was awarded, along with a colleague, the American College of Psychiatrists Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education.

In addition to his administrative and educational responsibilities, he is on the editorial board for the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health and has written on this topic. He has an interest as well in service delivery models in mental health, cognition in schizophrenia, psychotherapy and the role of evidence in its practice, and in the treatment of adults with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. He has recently led the development of an alternative competency based assessment system for psychiatrists trained outside of Canada. He has consulted on psychiatric service delivery in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings in cities across Canada. He recently completed his term as Chair of the Board of Governors of Thompson Rivers University, and is a member of the board of the British Columbia Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission.


Eleanor Elstein, MD, FRCPC

Eleanor Elstein, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Elstein received her MD from the Université de Montréal and trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at McGill University. She completed a research fellowship in molecular cardiology at the University of Toronto Center for Cardiovascular Research. While in Toronto she also completed clinical fellowships in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and in echocardiography. Dr. Elstein is an associate physician at the McGill University Health Centre. She is actively involved in general cardiology and is Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic for Inherited Cardiomyopathies. Her clinical research is primarily in the area of familial cardiomyopathies.

Dr. Elstein is actively involved in medical education and was recently an Osler fellow at McGill University. She teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is a member of the Residency Training Committee in Cardiology at McGill University and Director of the Cardiology Consult Service. She serves as a member of the McGill University Senate and was recently elected to the McGill University Nominating Committee. Dr. Elstein is actively involved at the Royal College as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for the Quebec region.


John Finley, MD, FRCPC

John Finley

After studies in Physics at Dalhousie University and a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, Dr. Finley took his MD at McGill University. This was followed by residencies in Pediatrics at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Cardiology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and cardiology research at the Toronto General Hospital. From 1978 to 2014, he was a Pediatric Cardiologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, where he was Head of the Division from 1986 to 2007 and Chair of the Residency Program in Pediatric Cardiology for much of that period. He has been a staff cardiologist at the Adult Congenital Heart Clinic at the Halifax Infirmary since 1990. He is Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University where he has a post retirement position.

For the Royal College, Dr. Finley has volunteered as chief examiner for Pediatric Cardiology from 1987-1990 and as a member of the Specialty Committee in Cardiology from 1987-1999.

Dr. Finley’s professional activities have included clinical practice and teaching of Pediatric and adult congenital Cardiology, as well as research in Cardiology and telemedicine, in which he has pioneered applications for remote diagnosis of heart disease in children. New methods of teaching of auscultation of heart sounds have been a longstanding research interest and are the subject of a recent book and new online murmur recognition program he developed.

Dr. Finley is a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Canadian Pediatric Cardiology Association. In 2012-2013, he was president of Doctors Nova Scotia and chair of its board the following year.

Dr Finley’s many outside interests include performances with a local Irish band Dicey Reilly, sailing and kayaking in Mahone Bay, cycling, skiing, and travel, especially to Australia.


Justin Hall, MD

Justin Hall

Justin Hall is a third year resident in Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto, where he also completed his medical school training. Prior to his medical studies, he earned his Bachelors in Biochemistry and a Masters in Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University before pursuing his Masters of Public Health from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Hall’s scholarly interests include competency-based medical education, curriculum development, leadership training, and quality improvement. He is a leader in his residency training program sitting on the Residency Training Committee, Competence by Design Sub-Committee, and Postgraduate Medical Education Board of Examiners. He serves on the planning committees for the Canadian Conference on Physician Health (CCPH) and the Toronto International Summit on Leadership Education for Physicians (TISLEP). Dr. Hall also sits on the CMA Code of Ethics Revision Task Force.

He is the Social Accountability Lead for Resident Doctors of Canada Practice Committee and is a Royal College Accreditation Resident Reviewer. Dr. Hall aims to become a physician leader committed to improving the efficiency of our healthcare system through enhanced training opportunities in leadership, quality improvement, and resource stewardship.


BJ Hancock, MD, FRCSC

BJ Hancock

Dr. Hancock is a Pediatric Surgeon and Pediatric Intensivist at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg. She completed Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Manitoba (1980–1984), a rotating Internship at Dalhousie University (1984–5), General Surgery Residency training, including a Master of Science, at the University of Manitoba (1985–1990) and Fellowship training in Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Montreal (1990–1992 and 1992–93, respectively). She then returned to Winnipeg to assume a faculty position in the Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba.

Currently, Dr. Hancock is Director of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and has been Section Head for Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery since 2005. She was appointed to the Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons in October 2011 and is Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. She is a member of a number of committees, patient care teams and professional associations. She administers the Advanced Trauma Life Support Program in Manitoba and is actively involved in several Postgraduate Medical Education resident and fellowship training programs.


Douglas M Hedden, MD, FRCSC

Douglas M Hedden

Dr. Hedden received his medical degree followed by his orthopedic training at Queens’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He completed a pediatric orthopedic fellowship at the University of Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children with a special interest in spinal deformity. He followed this with further training in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital completing a research fellowship through the Harvard University program.

Dr. Hedden began practice at Queen’s and then moved to Toronto; he developed a pediatric spine practice at the Hospital for Sick Children where he also held positions as medical director of the trauma program and program director for orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto. In 2005, Dr. Hedden moved his practice to the University of Alberta/Stollery Children’s Hospital where he served as Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Stollery Children’s Hospital and Divisional Director of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Alberta.

Since 2006, Dr. Hedden has been the Walter Stirling Anderson Professor and Chair of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta and the Zone Clinical Department Head, Surgery – Edmonton Zone within Alberta Health Services. This position will end on November 30 2016. At that time he will assume the role of Associate Vice-President (Research) for the University of Alberta.

Dr. Hedden is very involved at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was the past Chair of the Orthopaedic Specialty Committee. Since 2010, Dr. Hedden has served as the Chair for the Surgical Foundations Advisory Committee. He also serves on the Accreditation Committee, Committee on Specialties, and Chairs the Fellowship Affairs Committee as well as being an active surveyor. He is also a member of Royal College Council and the Executive Committee of Council.

Clinically he remains active with a practice dedicated to the treatment of children with spinal disorders.


Brian Hodges, MD, FRCPC

Brian Hodges

Dr. Brian Hodges graduated from Queen’s University Medical School in 1989, completed psychiatry residency at the University of Toronto in 1994, a Master’s of Higher Education in 1995 and a PhD in 2007. From 2003 until 2011, he served as Director of the University of Toronto Wilson Centre, one of the largest centres for health professional education research in the world. From 2004–2008 he was Chair of the Evaluation Committee at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, overseeing assessment in the 62 specialty programs in Canada.

Dr. Hodges is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ont., where he is also the Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre for Research in Education. He is also vice president, Education, at the University Health Network in Toronto (e.g. Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute hospitals). He leads the AMS Phoenix Project: A Call to Caring, which is an initiative to rebalance the technical and compassionate dimensions of health care.

Internationally he has worked with medical schools and licensure organizations in New Zealand, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, Jordan, Israel, France, China, Australia and Ethiopia. In 2003 he spent a year at the University of Paris, earning a diploma in Health Economics and Social Sciences, and established collaborations with the University of Paris and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP) where he serves as a member of the education board.


Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, FACP

Kevin Imrie

Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, FACP, is the physician-in-chief and professor of medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A clinical hematologist, Dr. Imrie is also the Vice-Chair, Education for the University of Toronto’s department of medicine, overseeing the continuum of medical education in the department.

A dedicated physician and medical educator, Dr. Imrie has served in a number of leadership capacities, including Vice-President of Education with the Royal College and Director of Postgraduate Programs as well as Associate Dean, Admission and Evaluation in Postgraduate Medicine for the University of Toronto. He is also a “peer surveyor” with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and has served with many other health care organizations across Canada.

Dr. Imrie is a highly regarded teacher and past recipient of a wide variety of teaching awards, including the University of Toronto’s prestigious Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Medicine Education and the Department of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year.


Alika Lafontaine, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Alika Lafontaine

Dr. Alika Lafontaine is an Aboriginal physician of Cree and Anishinaabe heritage, born and raised in Southern Saskatchewan/Treaty 4 territory. After being labeled learning- disabled as a child, his parents made the difficult decision to homeschool him and at age 16 became one of the youngest recipients of a prestigious undergraduate NSERC research grant through the University of Regina.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, he completed his MD at the University of Saskatchewan followed by a five-year fellowship in anesthesiology. In the midst of his fellowship, Lafontaine became CBC’s "Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister," winning the competition with a platform focused on reconciling the Treaty relationship between Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. In addition to other awards and honours, Lafontaine remains the youngest recipient of the Indspire Award -- the highest honour Aboriginal Peoples give their own for the past 20 years -- and in 2015 he was selected as a recipient of the Canadian Medical Association Young Leaders Award (Early Career).

Though story-telling, real patient encounters and his own experience, Lafontaine lectures across Canada on the role bias, discrimination and racism has on patient care and why addressing these issues lies at the core of improving the health of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples.

Lafontaine currently serves on the boards of several non-profits, including the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. He is an elected member of the representative forum of the Alberta Medical Association and is Medical Lead for the Aboriginal Health Program - North Zone of Alberta Health Services.


Robert LaRoche, MD, FRCSC

Robert LaRoche

Dr. Robert LaRoche started his career in Halifax, N.S., as a pediatric ophthalmologist with a five-year plan “before moving to bigger and better places.” Yet the newly-redesigned Department of Ophthalmology at Dalhousie University and dynamic atmosphere that included working under the direction of the visionary Ray Leblanc, led Dr. LaRoche to instead stay and help support and develop an exciting environment where excellence in care, teaching and research could flourish. Pediatric ophthalmology, a small but rapidly developing field in the early 1980s, made it possible to become involved at many levels: teaching, research, influence on public health policies related to children’s vision, and administrative structures — all ready to welcome the growth of a new field of expertise, across the country and abroad.

Dr. LaRoche actively participated on many local, national and international committees in the subspecialty of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, to help support this new field. His appointment as residency program director of this area lasted 12 years, including three accreditation reviews. Those reviews led to a much better understanding of the educational process of young adults, and also the potential influence the Royal College could play in the further development of competent and ethical professionals throughout their careers.

Recently, work as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 5, and as a member of the Health and Public Policy Committee, has enabled Dr. LaRoche to see firsthand the broad influence of the Royal College’s activities. If given the opportunity, he would be honoured to serve on Council, to continue to learn and help the Royal College pursue its evolving mission in the Canadian health environment.


Pierre Leblanc, MD, FRCPC

Pierre Leblanc, MD, FRCPC

I completed my medical studies in 1979 and my specialty in Respirology in 1983 both in Université Laval. After two years in research in exercise physiology at McMaster University, I came back to Université Laval in as respirologist in 1985 where I am still practicing. I spend ten years doing research and progressively moved to administrative responsibilities. I have been the Respirology program director from 1992 to 1999.

From 2002 to 2010, I was Post-graduate Dean at Université Laval. Since 2011, I am Chair of the Department of medicine at Université Laval. From 2002 to 2010, I was Board member at the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) and from 2006 to 2011, member of the Accreditation committee at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). During this period, I participated in many survey visits for the RCPSC and the CMQ. From 2010 to 2013, I was also an Executive committee member on the national project on « Future of Post-Graduate Education in Canada » (Joint project of AFMC, CMFC, CRMCC and CMQ).

Since 2012, I have been a member of the Royal College Education Committee (Committee on Specialty Education).


Sophia Leong

Sophia Leong

She is currently Director of Telfer Executive MBA Program, Executive-in-Residence of Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Advisory Board Member for Startup Canada and invited judge for multiple startup competitions. She is also Managing Director of 3Coins, an organization that provides strategic and management services to both local and international technology companies.

Sophia accepted the appointment to lead the Executive MBA program in an effort to give back to a program that has a profound impact on both her personal and professional life. Prior to the appointment, Sophia had held several executive positions including Vice-President of Business Development of KLOCwork Solutions, a software solution company she had co-founded and commercialized from Nortel Networks.

Sophia has extensive strategic and general management experience working with technology companies. While she was with Nortel Networks, she was directly engaged in commercializing business ventures by leveraging angel and venture capital markets. Sophia was involved with management of seven business ventures with global platform, involving technologies such as neural technology, speech recognition, e-commerce payment, digital content management/protection and mission critical assessment applications for software assets. She assumed an executive role when working directly with respective General Managers and was responsible in reporting to the respective Board of Directors.

She is a recipient of numerous awards for outstanding contribution and was also awarded a patent on software business process for Mergers and Acquisition during her time at Nortel Networks and Nortel Technology. She is currently Chair/Board Member of a few start-ups and has successfully exited from two startups that she co-founded.


Sarkis Meterissian, MD, FRCSC

Sarkis Meterissian

Dr. Meterissian is a Professor of Surgery and Oncology (tenured), Director of the Cedars Breast Center of the MUHC and Member of the Centre for Medical Education. He is also Head of the MUHC Breast Tumor Site Group. He was a Teaching Scholar at McGill from 1998-1999 and was named to the Faculty Honour List for Educational Excellence in 2005. He was Program Director of General Surgical Oncology from 1997 to 2001, then General Surgery from 2001 to 2007. Subsequently he became Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education and Professional Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine from 2007 to 2014.

In 2007, he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Association for Surgical Education at its annual meeting. From 2007-2009 he was President of the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology and from 2013 to 2015 he was President of Breast Surgery International. In 2014 he was President of the Canadian Association of University Surgeons.

Dr. Meterissian has served for 6 years on the Royal College Accreditation Committee and for 3 years on the International Program Review and Accreditation Committee of the College. In the past he has also served as an Oral Examiner for the Royal College General Surgery Examination.


Amy Nakajima, MD, FRCSC

Obstetrician-gynecologist, The Ottawa Hospital

Amy Nakajima

Dr. Nakajima completed her residency training at the University of Saskatchewan and received her Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (ROYAL COLLEGE) certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2000. She provides obstetrics and gynecology consultation services at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, and at Bruyère Continuing Care, including the Saint-Vincent Hospital site for patients with complex care needs, in Ottawa.

Dr. Nakajima is an active clinician-teacher at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, providing formal patient safety teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in addition to teaching related to obstetrics and gynecology, and has a particular interest in using simulation modalities. She has contributed to The Good Practices Guide, the Canadian Medical Protective Association’s online patient safety curriculum for medical students and faculty. She regularly provides faculty development workshops at national medical education conferences, including the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, the ROYAL COLLEGE International Conference on Residency Education and the Simulation Summit, on the topic of teaching patient safety.

Dr. Nakajima was a member of the working groups authoring the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s Canadian Disclosure Guidelines: Being Open with patient and families and the Canadian Framework for Teamwork and Communication. She has served as an advisory member on the Royal College CanMEDS 2015 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Expert Working Group, whose aim is to enhance patient safety and quality improvement competencies in this next iteration of the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework. She is the lead author on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Competence by Design white paper on patient safety, “Just Culture of Patient Safety.” Dr. Nakajima has actively been involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2003, having been a member of the Regional Advisory Committees for Region 1 and 3, and of Fellowship Affairs Committee. She is currently serving on Council, and is a member of the Governance Committee and Committee on Specialties. She welcomes the opportunity to serve a second term on Council.


James O’Brien, MD, FRCSC

Associate Professor Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University

James O’Brien

Born in St. John’s, NL, Dr. O’Brien received his medical degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and received his Plastic Surgery certification from the Royal College in 1985 having completed residency at the University of Toronto. He completed a peripheral nerve fellowship and joined the staff at the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation one year later, moving on to become Head of Plastic Surgery, then Director of Surgical Services. In 2001 he was appointed Chief of Staff and later Vice President of Medical Affairs.

In 2009 Dr. O’Brien was appointed special advisor for Medical Research with New Brunswick’s Horizon Health Network and in 2010 was appointed as Vice President Health Research and Innovation. He has taken part in numerous regional and national health care and health safety panels. Over the past decade Dr. O’Brien was a founding member of the New Brunswick Provincial Medical Education Steering Committee and also served as an advisor to the Deputy Minister post-secondary education on the management committee of the Dalhousie Medical Education Program project. These activities eventually led to the establishment of the Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick Campus in 2010. Dr. O’Brien has completed an extra fellowship under the auspices of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and in the past has also served as a plastic surgery examiner for the Royal College.

At the present time Dr. O’Brien holds faculty appointments at Dalhousie University and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. O’Brien has served on the council of the Royal College since 2010 and has served on many committees at the Royal College. These include Governance Committee, CEO Evaluation Committee, Fellowship Affairs Committee and the Chairmanship of the Regional Advisory Committee 5. Most recently he has assumed the chairmanship of the Corporate Affairs Committee and sits on the Executive Committee of Council for the Royal College.


Donald Palisaitis, MD, FRCPC

Donald Palisaitis

Degrees, certificates and diplomas
Université de Sherbrooke, MD, 1982; RCPSC Certification and Fellowship, Internal Medicine at McGill University, 1986, Cardiology at the University of Toronto, 1986-1987; Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine,1986; Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology, Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal 1987-1988.

Associate Professor of Medicine. Cardiologist at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal since 1988. Member of the Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal since 1988; Director of the Coronary Care Unit 1994-1996; Chief of Cardiology Division at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur de Mtl 2000-2006; Director of the Adult Cardiology Training Program, Université de Montréal (2006–present); Member of the Specialty Committee in Cardiology at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 2006-present.

Medical society memberships
Association des Cardiologues du Québec ; Collège des Médecins du Québec, American Board of Internal Medicine, Fédération des Médecins Spécialistes du Québec, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, member of the Quebec Heart Failure Society. Member of the Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology.

Honours, grants, and awards
Prix d’excellence en enseignement (best professor) at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal in 1994; Prix d’excellence en enseignement (best professor) for the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.

Scientific activities
Dr. Palisaitis’s CV lists 16 peer reviewed articles. His main scientific interests include teaching to medical students and residents. He is an experienced clinician and interventional cardiologist. His expertise is the management of acute coronary syndromes and myocardial infarction.


Kaif Pardhan, MD, FRCPC

Kaif Pardhan, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Kaif Pardhan studied medicine at the University of Manitoba and completed residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is currently a Staff Emergency Physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and McMaster Children’s Hospital. Dr. Pardhan has an enduring interest in medical education, fatigue management in residency training and healthcare administration. During his training, he served as President of the Manitoba Medical Students’ Association (MMSA) and the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) and Vice President of Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC, formerly CAIR). He has also been a Board member for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and a Board observer at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). In these roles he represented his colleagues at the local, provincial and national levels.

Dr. Pardhan’s interests in medical education include assessments of teachers and trainees, CQI, leadership training and career transitions. His research is focused on: improving the number of assessments received by clinical teachers; and supervision and assessment of senior trainees by physicians new to practice. He believes mentoring leaders throughout their training and early in independent practice will build physician leadership capacity in the Canadian healthcare system. He has demonstrated this belief through his mentorship of trainees and organizational leaders.

Dr. Pardhan’s previous leadership roles have provided him with experience in organizational governance, strategic planning and change management. He has nine years of experience on Boards of Directors and executives. During this time, he has participated in the development and roll out of strategic plans at both RDoC and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). He also has experience with search and selection processes for executives as well as consultant firms and legal counsel.

Finally, as a new in practice physician, Dr. Pardhan will bring a strong history of representing his colleagues to the Royal College. This perspective will bring value as we seek to engage with new fellows and continue to build on our success as an organization.


Bill Pope, MD, FRCPC

Bill Pope

Bill is Winnipeg born and took his medical school and Anesthesiology training at the University of Manitoba. He has been Section Head of Adult Anesthesia at the HSC, Program Director in Anesthesiology and Undergraduate Associate Dean at the University of Manitoba as well as Chief Oral Examiner in Anesthesia for the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. He took a law degree in ‘late youth’ and was Executive Vice-President, Medical Services for St. Joseph’s Hospital Hamilton, returning to Winnipeg to be Assistant Registrar [Complaints] at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba. For fifteen years he was Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba and has been President of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada. He retired from the CPSM in January, 2015. At that time he was made an Honorary Fellow of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba and was presented with the Administrative Award in 2015 by Doctors Manitoba. In 2016, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba.

In the past he has been a member of the Credentials and Accreditation Committees of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada as well as a member of the Written Examination Committee and Chief Oral Examiner for Anesthesia.

He has been very involved in community social and artistic organization including the Boards of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Music Barock, Opera Hamilton, the Board of PLAN Canada [formerly Foster Parents Plan] and the United Way of both Greater Winnipeg and Hamilton-Wentworth. In 2016, he completed ten years on the selection committee for the Rhodes Scholarship awards for the Canadian Prairies.

At present, he sits on the Council of St. John’s College (Anglican) of the University of Manitoba and the Boards of Manitoba Opera and Camerata Nova. As well he is a member of the Selection Committees for the Future Leaders of Manitoba Award and the Winnipeg Walk of Fame as well as the University of Manitoba Board of Governors selection committee for Honorary degree recipients.

To supplement his Royal Conservatory of Toronto piano associate diploma he is presently studying voice with Professor Mel Braun of the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba.


Trudy Reid, MHA

Trudy Reid

As Principal of treidconsulting Trudy was engaged with National Organizations, Universities and others to help craft planning initiatives and sustainable solutions within system wide frameworks. She is an innovative thinker, as well as an experienced and skilled facilitator.

She held a broad range of senior administrative and executive positions over forty years in health care. She has proven to be a visionary leader and continues to advocate for improvements to our integrated health care and education systems. She is the former Chief Executive Officer for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital where she led the development of the Centre for Rural Health and Education. Over her career, she held other positions such as Chief Operating Officer for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre and Senior Project Officer, Acute Care, for Accreditation Canada.

She has worked successfully with academic leaders to plan and implement clinical and educational system improvements. This included her roles as Manager, Medical Affairs, Ottawa Civic Hospital and Integrated Manager, Medical and Academic Affairs, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. She was the recipient of the Joint Medical Advisory Committee Chair’s Award for outstanding contributions to the London Hospitals. She was also nominated for the provincial PAIRO Award for outstanding contributions to residents at the London Hospitals.

She acquired a deep grassroots knowledge of health care through her early clinical experiences in specialized nursing in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Alberta.

Trudy is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Master’s Degree in Health Administration.


Richard Reznick, MD, FRCSC

Richard Reznick

Since his first faculty appointment at the University of Toronto in 1987, Dr. Reznick has been active in both colorectal surgery and research in medical education. He was instrumental in developing a performance-based examination, which is now used for medical licensure in Canada. He ran a research program on assessment of technical competence for surgeons and supervised a fellowship program in surgical education.

At the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, he was the inaugural Director of the Faculty’s Centre for Research in Education at University Health Network (The Wilson Centre) from 1997 to 2002. In 1999 he was appointed Vice President of Education at University Health Network. He served eight years as the R. S. McLaughlin Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2002-2010.

In July 2010, Dr. Reznick assumed the position of Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University and Chief Executive Officer of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO).

Dr. Reznick has received numerous awards for his work in education, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medal in Surgery, the Association for Surgical Education Distinguished Educator Award, the National Board of Medical Examiners John P. Hubbard Award, the Daniel C. Tosteson Award for Leadership in Medical Education, the 2006 Inaugural University of Toronto President’s Teaching Award and the Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education. In July of 2011 Dr. Reznick was awarded an honourary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and in November of 2011, an honourary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.


David Ross, MD, FRCSC

David Ross

Born in Southern Ontario, Dr. Ross graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto. Following internship and a year of anesthesia training at McGill, he was a GP-Anesthetist in Northern Ontario for two years before undertaking General Surgery followed by Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery training at Dalhousie University in Halifax. This was followed by two years of fellowship training in congenital cardiac surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and at the Royal Brompton National Heart Hospital in London, UK.

After eight years in practice as a pediatric and adult cardiac surgeon in Halifax, he relocated to Edmonton in 2001 to assist with the expansion occurring in the Stollery’s congenital cardiac surgery program.

Dr. Ross is the author or co-author of over 130 peer reviewed publications. His research interest is in the causes of failure of human valves used in children’s heart surgery and in neurodevelopmental outcomes of infant heart surgery. In 2010, he was appointed director of the division of cardiac surgery at the University of Alberta and the head of cardiac surgery for the Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services. He has just completed his term as President of the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons (2012-2014).

Dr. Ross has been active in the Royal College as the first Residency Program Committee director for the six-year integrated Cardiac Surgery program at Dalhousie University (1997-2001), as a nucleus committee member (1995-2000) and chair (2000-2006) of the Specialty Committee in Cardiac Surgery, as vice-chair of the Cardiac Surgery Examination Board (1999-2001) and as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 1 (2009-present).

Married with twin 25 year olds, he spends his spare time in outdoor activities including skiing, hiking and piloting his light airplane.


Kamal Rungta, MD, FRCPC

Kamal Rungta

Dr. Kamal Rungta obtained his MD in 1979 at the University of Toronto, Canada. He completed residency training in Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1983 and went on to qualify as an Accredited Clinical Polysomnographer in 1986 (evolved later to the American Board of Sleep Medicine). He served as a Co-director of the UBC Psychiatry Residency Program between 1996 and 2002 during which time he was promoted to Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. He served as Co-Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education at UBC between 2002 and 2010. During this period the program grew from 450 residents to over 1,100 residents with a shift to a geographically distributed model of delivering medical education that has been recognized internationally as an effective and innovative approach. He was appointed as the Interim Executive Dean, Education 2011 and since 2012 has served as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Dean on Medical Education at UBC.

During the past 15 years, Dr. Rungta has been engaged by the Royal College primarily in the area of Accreditation of residency programs, Program Director and Surveyor development as well as Credentialing. He has participated in many RCPSC University Accreditation Survey teams, having chaired the University of Manitoba, McMaster University and University of Toronto surveys of postgraduate programs. He has also presented numerous workshops locally, nationally and internationally related to Postgraduate Medicine. In 2011, he was part of a Royal College team that reviewed residency programs at the Pontifical University of Chile in Santiago and presented on Professionalism in Medical School and Residency Training. In 2012 he participated in program consultation at the Peking First University Hospital and presented on Competency-Based Medical Education. In 2013, he visited the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah to review their Postgraduate medical education system and potential development of “hybrid residency programs”. In 2014, he participated on a Royal College team visit to Kuwait and Oman. He is a past Chair of the Royal College Credentials Committee and a former nucleus member of the Royal College Education Committee. In November 2013, he was appointed the inaugural chair of the Royal College International Program Review Committee tasked with developing international accreditation standards and a process to review international residency programs. He was also appointed as a member of the Royal College Accreditation Committee in 2013.

Dr. Rungta led the UBC participation in the recently completed, Health Canada-funded Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate (FMEC PG) project and is a member of the FMEC PG Steering Implementation Group. He co-chairs the committee responsible for the implementation of the project’s recommendation on transitions to, and from, residency training.

Dr. Rungta has maintained a part time clinical practice throughout his career. In addition to his interest and contributions in the area of postgraduate medical education, he has been engaged in assisting UBC develop an Aboriginal Health Strategy, reviewing the MD Aboriginal Admissions program and the undergraduate electives system. He chaired the MD Curriculum Renewal Steering Committee and is currently chair of the MD student promotion committees.


Michael Strong, MD, FRCPC

Michael Strong, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Michael J. Strong is Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Distinguished University Professor at Western University. He also holds the Arthur J. Hudson Chair in ALS Research. He undertook his undergraduate training in biochemistry and medicine at Queens University in Kingston (1976 – 1982), neurology training at Western University (1982 – 1987), and postgraduate training at the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies (director - D. Carleton Gadjusek, Nobel Laureate) at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland under the supervision of Ralph M. Garruto, PhD (1987 - 1990).

Dr. Strong is a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, and served from 2000 to 2010 as the Chief of Neurology and Co-chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the London Health Sciences Centre and Western University. He has also served as Co-chair of the Canadian ALS Research Consortium and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the ALS Society of Canada. Dr. Strong is the lead investigator for the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Institute (ONDRI), which received $28.5M in sponsorship funding from the Ontario Brain Institute.

Dr. Strong is the editor of the text “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the Frontotemporal Dementias” (Oxford University Press, 2010), “Dementia and Motor Neuron Disease” (Taylor & Francis Press) co-editor with Professor Pamela Shaw of the text “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (Blue Book Series). He has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles and 29 chapters, edited 4 textbooks and given over 120 invited lectures nationally and internationally related to his research in ALS.

Dr. Strong was awarded the Sheila Essay Award in 2005 and the Forbes Norris Award in 2008, and is the only Canadian to have received both international awards for ALS research. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology in 2008. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

His research has focused on understanding the cellular biology of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and has led to an understanding of the mechanisms by which intracellular deposits of protein (composed primarily of neurofilament) are formed, and how these aggregates contribute to the disease process of ALS. His research has also contributed to the understanding of neuropsychological deficits in ALS, both clinically and at the cellular level.


Taryn Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Taryn Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Taryn S. Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCSC completed medical school and residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Western University in 2016. During her residency training, she completed a PhD in Health Professions Education through Maastricht University as a Clinical Investigator Program trainee. Her doctoral thesis was recognized in 2017 by the largest international conference in medical education, the Association of Medical Education of Europe, with the PhD prize for best doctoral research. Dr. Taylor subsequently completed a Senior Fellowship in Simulation Education through the Department of Innovation in Medical Education and the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre.

Presently she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, London Health Sciences Centre and a Scientist at the Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI), Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. In her CERI Scientist role, Dr. Taylor will continue to develop her research program exploring the nature and implications of fatigue in the clinical performance of physicians and trainees. Dr. Taylor is currently a member of the Fatigue Risk Management Expert Working Group and Accreditation Standards Working Group led by the Resident Duty Hours Project Secretariat.

As a generalist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Dr. Taylor enjoys finding new ways of engaging trainees and optimizing the clinical learning environment. Her commitment and dedication to teaching was acknowledged when she received the Award for Excellence in Teaching within her clinical department.


Bill Tholl M.A., ICD.D

Bill Tholl

Bill Tholl serves as the Founding President and CEO of HealthCareCAN (formerly the merged Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association). The mandate of the new organization is to speak with one unified voice on behalf of Canada’s healthcare community to advance organizational and health system performance.

Prior to joining HealthCareCAN, Bill was the Founding Executive Director of the Canadian Health Leadership Network (2009-2014). This network was formed to increase leadership capacity throughout Canada’s health and healthcare systems.

Bill also served as CEO and Secretary General, Canadian Medical Association (2001-2008) and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (1995-2001). The Globe and Mail has described Bill as “Medicare’s Mr. Fix-it”. He is a much sought-after speaker, being billed as a “leader of leaders” for his pioneering work with CHLNet.

He holds a graduate degree in health economics (from University of Manitoba) and has written on many topics, most recently as the co-author of “Bringing Leadership to Life in Health” (Springer, January 2014) and the lead author of “Twenty Tips for Surviving and Prospering in the Association World” (Canadian Society of Association Executives, 2010). He is the recipient of numerous national awards and is a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D).

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Bill and his wife, Paula, live in Ottawa and have three children and four grandchildren.


Mark Walton, MD, FRCSC

Mark Walton, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Mark Walton has been involved in medical education since 1993 when he came on Faculty as a Pediatric Surgeon at McMaster University. He is Professor of Surgery (since 2007) and was Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (2004- 16). Prior to this he was the General Surgery Program Director (1999-2004) at McMaster University.

He is the past Chair of the Postgraduate Management Committee for the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (PGM:COFM) and the past Chair of the AFMC Standing Committee on PG Education. He was a member of the Accreditation Committee (and its Steering committee) of the Royal College from 2004- 2010 and has participated in numerous Accreditation visits over the last 10 years as a Surveyor, Deputy Chair and Chair. He is involved in the Future of Medical Education Postgraduate project, as well as the redesign of the CanMEDS framework for the 2015 launch. In addition Dr. Walton is Vice Chair of the Committee on Specialties at the Royal College as well as Vice Chair of the Specialty Committee for Pediatic Surgery.

Dr. Walton’s professional interests include mentoring Medical Educators and Residents, developing systems for human health resource (HHR) planning (Chair of CAPER) and the costing of PG education. He sits on numerous committees related to HHR. In addition he has an active clinical practice in Pediatric Surgery.

In his spare time Dr. Walton enjoys traveling with his family and participates in a number of sports including triathlons, marathons, and hockey.


Irit Weiser, LL.B

Irit Weiser

Irit Weiser recently retired as Senior General Counsel and Head of Legal Services for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. She provided legal, policy and strategic advice to senior levels of government in regard to various health-related matters, including the Canada Health Act, health delivery on First Nation reserves, food and drug regulation, quarantine, and tobacco.

Prior to heading up Health Legal Services, Irit was General Counsel and Director of the Human Rights Law Section of the Department of Justice from 1998-2003. She provided legal and policy advice, and litigation support on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and international human rights law.

Since retiring, Irit has become involved in a number of pro bono activities. These include membership on the Research Ethics Board of the Ottawa Health Science Network and on the Strategic Governance Committee of the Royal Ottawa Hospital, as well as providing assistance to private sponsors through the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program.