March 21, 2023

Mar 21st, 2023

Dr. Margaret Steele

It feels as though this has been a rather long winter weather-wise with multiple snow storms in Atlantic Canada even though the winter seemed delayed initially. I hope you have been able to stay safe during the stormier days as we get close to spring-like temperatures.

Ad Hoc Remote Work for Faculty of Medicine staff

The Faculty of Medicine (FoM) recognizes the value of flexible work arrangements for employees. These guidelines apply to situations where a FoM non-academic employee works remotely on a rare and occasional basis for a specific, incidental reason.

These guidelines have been developed in consultation with senior leaders at the FoM as well as an internal FoM committee comprised of staff leaders and are in accordance with the parameters set out by Memorial’s Guidelines for Remote Work Arrangements.

Please review the process outlined in the guidelines and the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ).

The FAQ includes information on the approval steps and timelines that will be required in advance of the ad hoc request. For example, any employee wishing to avail of the Ad Hoc Work from home guidelines must, in advance, apply for a Memorial University VPN account. Please note that it can take up to 2 weeks for ITS to process and approve requests. There is also a FoM ad hoc application form, located on the Human Resources website, that is part of the pre-approval process. Please consult the guidelines and FAQ document for more information.

If you have questions related to ad hoc remote work, please email

Latest news about joint Doctor of Medicine degree with the

University of Prince Edward Island

On Feb. 16, I shared a memo to faculty and staff regarding an update from Memorial University and the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) about the joint Doctor of Medicine degree. This included a revised start date for the first cohort of students. The development of this medical program is multifaceted and revolves around three main pillars: infrastructure, accreditation and health system integration. Admission of the first cohort of students to the program depends on achieving milestones in each of these areas. As a result, the admission date for the first group of students to the joint medical degree program is moving to 2025 and will begin at that time under Memorial’s accreditation for the Faculty of Medicine.

On March 2, the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island announced more than $48.8 million in joint funding for the new health education building that will house the new Faculty of Medicine. Medical education curricula requires a strong foundation that includes authentic and engaging experiences. With the support of both the federal and provincial governments, this new state-of-the-art facility will provide learners with advanced learning opportunities in their province and prepare them to excel in their careers as health professionals. You can read more about this announcement on the UPEI website

As a reminder, you can subscribe to the UPEI Faculty of Medicine E-Newsletter by signing up on their news page.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion speaker series

On Feb. 28, we held the latest event in the Faculty of Medicine’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion speaker series. Dr. OmiSoore Dryden presented “Black Health Equity and why EDI is just not enough”. During the session, Dr. Dryden provided a foundational understanding of the historical roots and ongoing privilege and interlocking systems of oppression that perpetuate anti-Black racism. It was a thought-provoking presentation and we appreciated having an opportunity to open the dialogue to better understand how anti-Black racism is demonstrated in medicine and medical education, and what we can do to create change.

A recording of Dr. Dryden’s presentation will be available at a later date.

Order of Canada recipient

Congratulations to Dr. Conor Maguire, who was recently appointed to the Order of Canada

Dr. Maguire, an Associate Professor of Radiology, was recognized for his contributions to nuclear medicine and radiology and for improving health care for patients in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta.

Lithos – The Memorial University Medical Journal

The first edition of Lithos, a student-run biannual peer reviewed, publication operating under the guidance of an advisory board within our Faculty of Medicine launched in January. As the Memorial University Medical Journal, it is dedicated to the dissemination of high-quality medical literature. Congratulations to Ian Janes, third-year medical student, and his editorial team for developing the concept and moving it forward in the faculty!

You can access the first issue of Lithos through the Memorial University Journal system.

Recognition from Memorial Athletics

Congratulations from the Faculty of Medicine to our learners, who were highlighted at Memorial University of Newfoundland's Academic All-Canadian Event recognizing athletes who achieved grades above 80% while competing in a varsity sport throughout the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons.

Medical students Jade Roberts, Danielle Seviour, Spencer Wilkins and Zachary Visser; graduate students Christina Woloszczuk, Daniel Conway and Nicole Hollohan; and postgraduate family medicine resident Dr. Jenna Poole were all recognized. Great work!

Under the Stars for Monte Carlo

The 46th annual Monte Carlo Charity Gala was held on Saturday, Feb. 18. Organized by the Undergraduate Medical Education Class of 2025 students and Graduate Medical Learners, this year’s theme was “Under the Stars.”

The organizing committee is composed of 28 learners who worked tirelessly to present a wonderful evening in support of local charities. This year’s charities were: First Light St. John’s Friendship Centre, Candlelighters NLQuadrangle NL and the Splash Centre Community Youth Network Hub. Congratulations to everyone involved, and thank you to all who attended in support of this wonderful event.

Courtesy of the Culture of Excellence Project Team

In February, to honour of Black History Month, the Culture of Excellence Project Team celebrated Canada’s first Black doctors – Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta and Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott.

Dr. Augusta was born in 1825 in Virginia and studied medicine at Trinity College (University of Toronto) after being denied access to medical school in the United States. He became the first Black person in Canada to practice medicine. Dr. Abbott was born in 1837 in Toronto and worked under Augusta’s supervision. He became the first Black Canadian to practice medicine.

Both men served with the Union Army as medics during the American Civil War. Augusta became the first African-American surgeon commissioned in the Army and the highest ranking Black officer in the Army. He later became the first Black professor of medicine in the United States.
While experiencing racism themselves throughout their careers, both trailblazers fought against segregation and advocated for education for Black children in Canada and the United States.

For their accomplishments, their contributions to medicine, and their advocacy for Black rights, Dr. Augusta and Dr. Abbott are being commemorated in May with two plaques in the city of Toronto.

For more information, see:

As part of the March professionalism moment, the Culture of Excellence Project Team is pleased to announce that the results of the second Mistreatment Survey (April 2021) are being presented through a series of information sessions. This is part of our continued response to the unit assessment report by Dr. Sandra LeFort (July 2018), which included 39 recommendations related to professionalism and mistreatment at the Faculty of Medicine.

Please attend the session for your respective stakeholder group to ensure that you are informed of the results of the survey and provided with an opportunity to share your perspectives and feedback on your own experiences. Your feedback will help guide our ongoing initiatives.

March 2023
MondayTuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 

Phase 2 learners 

Graduate students 

13 14 15 16 17 
20 21 22 23 24 

Phase 4 learners 

PGME learners 
29 30


Phase 3 learners 

Information on how to attend the sessions has been distributed to each group. Please note that the sessions for Phase 2 Learners, Graduate Students, and Faculty have already occurred. I extend my thanks to those who have attended a session so far. For anyone who was not able to attend their sessions, recordings of the presentations will be made available at a later date.

If you have any questions about these sessions, please contact Dr. Heidi Coombs, Co-Chair, Culture of Excellence Project Team, at