A message from Dr. John Yoo

Remarkable things are happening at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

During the past seven months as Dean, I’ve watched as our faculty explore and execute innovative approaches to teaching in order to ensure students across all our programs continue to have full and engaging experiences. I’ve connected with our research teams, who have shared with me the adjustments they made for continued success.

I’ve met with our students, who are not only staying resilient amidst all the changes they are encountering, they are leading important discussions about racism, equity, diversity and inclusion locally and nationally.

And I’ve heard about the great support from you – our alumni, who have stepped up to offer students from a number of our programs unique practicums and internships when international opportunities had to be abandoned due to the pandemic. And I know of your tremendous generosity so that our programs can continue to excel.

I have implemented some early changes in order to signal some of my highest priorities.

As part of that change, I recently unveiled a new decanal structure. We have an incredibly diverse, complex, and high functioning faculty. The organizational structure must support the broad array of superb research and education portfolios. While supporting these principle objectives, it is important to note that we have put the focus squarely on the well being of our students and faculty with the creation of new decanal positions. The faculty members are the engine of our school and we have therefore placed an emphasis on faculty development and educational scholarship. With these priorities in mind, several new leaders have been appointed to roles in our School. Their expertise, energy and ideas will serve all our programs well.

Like many academic institutions across the country, our School has been engaged in a number of activities related to anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion. In addition to having a large working retreat with students, faculty and staff, I also held a town hall with students to learn about their concerns. Just last week, I released a report from the School retreat that outlines key learnings and recommendations. We look forward to continued engagement with our teams and enacting several changes to our environment in the days ahead.

Foundational work is also underway on the School’s new five-year strategic plan, and we expect to have a full engagement strategy beginning early in 2021. I’m excited about a plan to define excellence and differentiation and how we will strive to achieve new heights in education, research and partnerships.

Recently, we were saddened to learn about the passing of Drs. Wesley Dunn, Paul Harding and Jack McLister. All three were giants in their fields and dedicated their careers to the School and the broader community. We celebrate their lives, remain grateful for their many contributions, and our thoughts are with their families.

The past few months have offered several opportunities to meet with you, our alumni. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and hearing about your interests and ideas about our School. And while we couldn’t host our traditional Homecoming activities this past October, we are hopeful that we will be in a position to celebrate Homecoming in person in 2021. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at our Alumni of Distinction awards program and consider nominating one of your outstanding peers.

With the holiday season soon upon us, my warm wishes to you and all the best for the new year.


John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University