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Charles Peter W. Warren History of Medicine Essay Prize: Recipients

2018

Dr. Malika Ladha

Dr. Malika Ladha is a Dermatology resident-physician at the University of Calgary. Malika is the 2018 recipient of the Charles Peter W. Warren History of Medicine Essay Prize, for her paper entitled “Pioneers in the Development of Canadian Plastic Surgery as a Specialty and Field of Education: Fulton Risdon, Stuart Gordon and Alfred Farmer.” In this brief interview, Malika discusses her paper and the research she conducted.

Interview with Dr. Malika Ladha, 2018 Peter Warren History of Medicine Essay Prize recipient:

  1. Royal College: Can you briefly describe your paper? What was the research question? Why did you become interested in this topic?

    Malika Ladha:
    The paper is a 4000-word qualitative analysis of how Drs Fulton Risdon, Stuart Gordon and Alfred Farmer contributed to Canadian plastic surgery. Hearing about the famous Risdon wire in the operating room piqued my interest in Dr. Risdon. I sorted through historical archives and published literature to learn about his journey as a clinician, researcher, teacher and leader. This process revealed that plastic surgery development in Canada had many key players. In particular, the advancement of plastic surgery education was undoubtedly linked to Drs. Gordon and Farmer. My paper thus evolved to focus on the distinct and yet interlinked legacies of all three surgeons.

  2. Royal College: Would you encourage others to pursue a History of Medicine project during their residencies? Why?

    Malika Ladha:
    Absolutely! During my undergraduate studies, I majored in biology and minored in sociology. This art-science balance highlighted that humanities is an integral component of all areas of society. Through humanities, we can blend critical appraisal and creativity. Pursuing a History of Medicine research project deepened my appreciation for the role of humanities in medicine. It furthered my appreciation for the practice of medicine. History of Medicine allows us to better understand how current practices came to be, and it provides us with context to imagine the future: by reflecting on the roots of medicine and its evolution over centuries, we can be better equipped to face today’s challenges, and in turn, serve as tomorrow’s pioneers.

  3. Royal College: Do you have plans for future research in History of Medicine?

    Malika Ladha:
    I am approaching my core training years which will provide increased exposure to the fascinating world of Dermatology through clinics, hospital rounds, journal club and conferences. Perhaps another History of Medicine topic will peak my interest along the journey. In particular, I am interested in the female pioneers of Dermatology!

Dr. Ladha is currently working toward publication of her paper. We wish her all the best.

2017

Dr. Alexander Dyck

Winning paper: “Patients, Politics and Psychiatric Classification at Weyburn Mental Hospital: 1921-1948.” [link to PDF of paper – available in English only]

Dr. Dyck is a resident in Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He was awarded a Hannah Studentship from the Associated Medical Services to work with historian Erika Dyck while attending medical school at the University of Saskatchewan. He has presented on this project to the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Alberta Psychiatric Association. As a medical student, he also co-founded the Health Innovation & Public Policy Initiative (HIPPI), which continues to host a popular annual conference on the future of health care in Canada. Originally from Regina, Sask., Alexander holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano from McGill University, where he was a Schulich Scholar.

2016

Dr. Sarah Levitt

Winning paper: Separate, but equal? An examination of physician identities in the era of competency-based medical education

Dr. Sarah Levitt is a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto. In 2016, Sarah received funding through the Royal College’s Peter Warren History of Medicine Scholarship to conduct research using the Royal College archives and History of Medicine collection. The resulting paper is entitled “Separate, but equal? An examination of physician identities in the era of competency-based medical education”. In a brief interview, Sarah discusses her paper and the research she conducted.