Skip to Main Content
Follow us

Regional Mentor of the Year Award — Biographies


Dr. Aleem Bharwani, MPP, FRCPC

Dr. Aleem Bharwani, MPP, FRCPC
Winner of the 2016 Mentor of the Year for Royal College Region 1
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.
Director, Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Cumming School of Medicine and O'Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary

Dr. Aleem Bharwani is the director for public policy and strategic partnerships with the Cumming School of Medicine, and the lead for public policy at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Calgary. He is a specialist in Internal Medicine with graduate training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in public policy and public administration. He has previously held directorships for both the Medical Teaching Unit (in affiliation with and the Internal Medicine Residency Mentorship Programme while also actively serving as the scientific director for the Office of Leadership Development at the Cumming School of Medicine. He was a recent resident of the Venture Incubation Program at the Harvard Innovation Lab. In addition to annually winning teaching awards, he has been recognized for his leadership by two international societies (American College of Physicians and Society of General Internal Medicine). Dr. Bharwani remains an active community citizen, serving on a variety of community and corporate boards.

Dre Christiane Bertelli, FRCPC

Dre Christiane Bertelli, FRCPC
Winner of the 2016 Mentor of the Year for Royal College Region 4
Psychiatrist, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal
Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program, Université de Montréal

Dr. Christiane Bertelli completed her medical studies and residency in psychiatry at Université Laval in Quebec City (1974). She then pursued fellowship training in psychoanalysis. She practised child psychiatry at Hôpital Charles Lemoyne, where she was team leader and chief of service. She gradually redirected her practice to Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal (1982), focusing on adult patients. As part of the reorganization of services in the Department of Psychiatry of the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Dr. Bertelli developed the severe personality disorders program (1994) and served as director of that program until June 2015. She was appointed head of the specific approaches service (1994–1995) and subsequently head of the Department of Psychiatry (1995–2002), with the mandate to carry out a reorganization of the services. She was appointed chief of the affective disorders service in 2008 and held this position until June 2015.

Dr. Bertelli is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine and is interested in evaluative research concerning practices (care and services) in psychotherapy and in personality disorders. She has always been involved in the teaching of clerks and residents of the Université de Montréal. She was coordinator of the training in systemic therapy (1995–2005). She was appointed director of the Psychiatry Residency Program at the Université de Montréal in 2008 and continues to hold this position.

On May 4, 2015, she was appointed acting head of the Department of Psychiatry and acting co-medical manager of the mental health and addictions program of the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal as well as medical director of the adult component of this program. On July 22, 2016, she was confirmed in the position of head of the Department of Adult Psychiatry and medical director of the adult component for a four-year term.

Dr. Margaret Burnett, CCFP, FRCSC, FACOG

Dr. Margaret Burnett, CCFP, FRCSC, FACOG
Winner of the 2016 Mentor of the Year for Royal College Region 2
Professor, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
Associate Head, Academic, and Residency Program Director, Dept. of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba

Dr. Burnett graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1981 with BSc (Med) and MD degrees. She obtained her CCFP and practiced family medicine in Winnipeg, Man., for seven years. She enjoyed teaching students in her office and participated as an instructor for the Introduction to Clinical Skills Program. Seven years later, she realized that she needed more education herself. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program followed by the APOG/Solvay Scholarship in Medical Education.

After eight years in private practice she joined the geographic full-time teaching faculty at the University of Manitoba. She was appointed director of undergraduate medical education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In that capacity, she was able engage the medical students by defining and valuing their role as integral members of the health care team. She completed the Advanced Instructor Course in Medical Simulation in Boston in 2010 and used her newly acquired skills to implement a high-fidelity simulation curriculum for medical students. She is now the residency program director and associate head, academic, in her department.

Dr. Burnett’s academic interests include simulation in medical education, clinical decision-making, portfolios for learner assessment, competency-based education and transition to practice through clinical mentorship. She has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards and has given invited presentations throughout Canada. Dr. Burnett has mentored nearly 200 individual learners including elective students, residents and colleagues. She believes she has learned something from each one and is honoured to be chosen for this prestigious award.

Dr. Michael G. Fehlings, PhD, FRCSC, FACS

Dr. Michael G. Fehlings, PhD, FRCSC, FACS
Winner of the 2016 Mentor of the Year for Royal College Region 3
Vice Chair Research, Surgery, Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.

At the University of Toronto, Dr. Michael Fehlings is vice chair research for the Department of Surgery, co-director of the Spine Program and a professor of Neurosurgery. As head of the spinal program at Toronto Western Hospital, he combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal neurosurgery with a vibrant, translationally-oriented research program. His mentorship and teaching includes clinical fellows as well as undergraduate lectures and postgraduate research supervision.

His research focuses pre-clinically on translationally relevant models of spinal cord and brain injury, including developmental brain injury, and clinically on disorders of the spine/spinal cord. He has developed cervical and thoracic models of spinal cord injury to facilitate translational research. The lab is currently working with induced pluripotent stem cells and neural stem cells with a focus on combinatorial therapies as the most likely way in which stem cells will ultimately be used in a clinical setting. Dr. Fehlings is currently involved in clinical trials of therapies including the sodium blocker, Riluzole, and the use of stem cells in spinal cord injury.

With over 660 highly-cited publications, impacting clinical practice and research directions, Dr. Fehlings is established as a leading international expert investigating central nervous system repair and regeneration for brain and spinal cord injury.