Our 2017 National Award Winners — the big reveal (+ VIDEO)

April 17, 2017 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Dear colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating our newest award winners:

  • An intensivist who worked at the forefront of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, where he introduced new care procedures to great success and later co-authored landmark publications. (Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award)
  • A surgeon and quality improvement advocate, with a unique specialization in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, who helped nudge the culture of surgical practice to be more evidence-based. (Duncan Graham Award)
  • A psychiatrist specializing in geriatrics whose novel teaching methodologies raised the quality and quantity of research coming out of her university department. (Royal College AMS/Donald R. Wilson Award)

Get to know this year’s recipients.

Meet our recipients for 2017 »

Together they represent some of the best qualities physicians can have: professional curiosity, compassion, a heart for service, perseverance, ingenuity, intellect, and a deep esteem for colleagues and their place within a larger network of care.

Their stories serve as a good reminder that we all have the capacity to use our skills and talents to make a difference in the lives of others.


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

2017 Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award

Dr. Rob Fowler

Rob Fowler, MD, FRCPC

• Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
• Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute
• Program Director, Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Working alongside national and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) health care workers at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea, Rob and his colleagues pushed for new clinical protocols for the care of patients with Ebola, which was historically associated with a 70-90% mortality rate. They focused on a much more aggressive, supportive method of care than had commonly been delivered to these patients. This is the kind of care that we take for granted in Canada — fluid resuscitation for severe dehydration, and support for electrolyte abnormalities and organ dysfunctions that accompany critical illness. Rob and his colleagues showed the world that these strategies would help patients survive Ebola long enough for their own body to clear the virus. Continue Dr. Fowler’s story »

Says colleague, Dr. Sharmistha Mishra: “He became — with a gravitas and wisdom gained from repeated front-line work in risky epidemics — a role model for thousands of front line health care workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

Duncan Graham Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education

Dr. Robin McLeod

Robin S. McLeod, MD, FRCSC

• Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto
• Vice Chair, Quality and Best Practice, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
• Vice President, Clinical Programs and Quality Initiatives, Cancer Care Ontario
• Staff Surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto

Motivated by a concern that surgeons in training acquire the critical appraisal skills essential to providing evidence-based care, Dr. McLeod initiated “Evidence-Based Reviews in Surgery” (EBRS). What began as a paper-based journal club has quickly evolved into something much more impactful. Today, EBRS is an online journal club accredited and sponsored by the Canadian Association of General Surgeons. During the academic year, residents and practicing surgeons in general and colorectal surgery are presented a clinical article and asked to critique its methodology and clinical relevance in an online discussion forum with experts. Currently 1,000 surgeons formally participate and countless others observe on the website. The efficacy of the program has also been upheld in two randomized trials. Continue Dr. McLeod’s story »

Says colleague, Dr. G. William N. Fitzgerald: “Dr. Robin McLeod, unassuming, unpretentious and uncompromising, my student became my teacher — and the teacher of countless others.”

Royal College AMS/Donald R. Wilson Award

Dr. Karen Saperson

Karen Saperson, MD, FRCPC

• Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Education, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University
• Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry
• Academic Head, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry
• Staff psychiatrist, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Recognizing the importance of fostering leadership skills early on during residency, Dr. Saperson led a leadership community of practice for senior residents interested in enhancing their relationship-management skills and scholarly output. She mentored a group of residents and nurses who teamed up to research how well they understood each other’s roles in the setting of the psychiatric emergency room. Their results uncovered communication breakdowns due to perceived hierarchy and differing perceptions, which could have significant impacts on patient care. The residents and nurses bolstered their personal publication records and presentation skills by publishing and presenting their work as a conference abstract at the Royal College’s International Conference on Residency Education. In the broader context of medical education, their work highlighted just how valuable CanMEDS Collaborator and Communicator competencies can be in developing shared understandings of interprofessional roles. Continue Dr. Saperson’s story »

Says colleague, Dr. Alan J. Neville: “Her support of the career development of new faculty is outstanding and quite frankly worth an award in itself.”

Learn more about the Royal College’s awards program: www.royalcollege.ca/awards


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