Dr. Anupma Wadhwa: 2020 Program Director of the Year Award recipient
Dr. Anupma Wadhwa has worked since 2007 as program director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases subspecialty at SickKids, making her among the most experienced such program directors in Canada.
Not only has Dr. Wadhwa’s career been consistent with that of a leading clinician educator, it has also demonstrated her extraordinary ability to turn a struggling program into an exemplary one. When Dr. Wadhwa took over as PD, a recent accreditation survey had given the pediatric ID program a status of ‘intent to withdraw accreditation’. Armed with a Master of Education and unwavering dedication, Dr. Wadhwa was able to transform the program such that it was fully accredited with no identified weaknesses within two years. Today, it is one of the strongest programs in Canada.
A committed innovator
Dr. Wadhwa’s commitment to innovation drives her success. She established a group-based trainee assessment approach in 2008 (an early version of a competence committee), created the first formal pediatric-focused infectious diseases academic curriculum in Canada, developed case-based learning modules for use internationally online, introduced a “flipped classroom” teaching style for academic half-day session, and initiated professional wellness sessions that address all aspects of training.
After more than a decade, Dr. Wadhwa continues to innovate, often in response to feedback from trainees about what they need. She has refined trainees’ electronic clinical handover tool, formed a working group to optimize the flow of clinical service, and enhanced orientation manuals so they are more informative and easier to use – to name just a few improvements.
An international reputation
Dr. Wadhwa has affected the quality of residency education well beyond the pediatric ID program at SickKids. Nationally, she has served as chair of the Education Committee of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada, and as chair of the Royal College’s Infectious Diseases National Certification Exam Board. Internationally, Dr. Wadhwa has influenced the careers of many clinicians, some having started their own pediatric ID divisions and training programs. Many of our international trainees have been drawn to Dr. Wadhwa’s program by word of mouth.
Dr. Wadhwa prioritizes leading by understanding the perspectives of all parties in a major decision. This compassionate style shows in her mentorship approach, where she takes the time to understand each individual’s personal goals, and tailors her mentorship accordingly.
One need only spend a few minutes with Dr. Wadhwa to recognize her remarkable professionalism, genuine character and thoughtful intellect.
Dr. Wadhwa will be recognized and celebrated during the virtual ICRE series on December 9, 2020.