• Achievements
    Report 2019

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University will be a global leader in optimizing life-long health through innovations in research, education and active engagement with our communities.

Each day, faculty, staff and learners work collaboratively to bring this vision to life. Through their commitment to discovery, knowledge translation, innovation, their enthusiasm to embrace innovative research and new educational approaches and their valuing of partnerships, social accountability and responsibility, we are achieving our strategic plan goals.

The six stories featured in the 2019 Achievements Report are just a few examples of the outstanding mission-focused and values-driven work being undertaken across the School.

Learn more about Schulich Medicine & Dentistry by visiting the School’s website.

Jamie & Trystan, Tackling the opiods crisis head-on

Tackling the opioid crisis

Michelle Mottola, One at a time

One at a time

Nicole Campbell, Making the implicit explicit

Making the implicit explicit

Javeed Sukhera, Creating change from the inside out

Creating change from
the inside out

Adrina & Bojana, Women in medicine

Women in medicine

Jorge Burneo, Partnership brings hope in Peru

Partnership brings hope
to epilepsy patients in Peru


Tackling the opiods crisis head-on

Opioid-related harm continues to be one of Canada’s most devastating and pressing social and health-related issues which influences how physicians and dentists practise.

In 2018, students and faculty members across Schulich Medicine & Dentistry took the issue head-on on a number of fronts by devising new protocols, lobbying municipal government and educating the public. All in an effort to have a positive impact.

In August 2018, 19 Schulich Dentistry students travelled to Grenada to participate in a dental mission providing free dental care to hundreds of people.

The Dental Outreach Community Service, which offers free dental care to low income families or those without dental insurance in London celebrated 10 years of community care.

Discovery Healthcare summer camp was launched and managed by undergraduate medical education students who engaged nearly 100 youth in the Southwestern Ontario region with an interest in pursuing a career in health care.

Indigenous MedLINCS was held in Neyaashiinigmiing and provided four medical students the opportunity to engage with a number of youth in the local communities through activities and field trips.


One at a time

The 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy was developed by a consensus panel of 19 experts in the field with representation from various Canadian organizations, who spent three-and-a-half years, reviewing more than 25,000 international research papers developed thanks to the millions of women during the past 20 years who have had babies and helped to guide the research. Twelve systematic reviews of the entire body of research informed the draft Guidelines.

Six different recommendations related to physical activity for pregnant women are outlined in the Guidelines, including recommending pregnant women accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week and that physical activity should be accumulated within a minimum of three days per week.

Schulich Medicine and Dentistry received $125 million in research funding in the 2017-2018 academic year.

The School is home to 36 endowed research chairs and 13 Canada Research Chairs.

From January 2018 to January 2019, researchers at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, including those at Robarts Research Institute received $27.2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

A new rapid testing kit developed by researchers in the labs at Robarts Research Institute is revolutionizing food safety testing by producing results in hours rather than current methods, which can take days. The kit detects E. coli 0157. It has been approved by Health Canada and translated for commercial use. The first production lot of this assay was summer 2018 and the kit is now making its way to food processing plants in North America.

A new study by School researchers showed that women who require more surgery for complications after a mesh-based sling procedure have an increased risk of depression and self-harm behaviour. The study, which was published in JAMA Surgery, included almost 60,000 women who had the procedure from January 2004 through December 2015.


Making the implicit explicit

Nicole Campbell’s Fellowship project is focused on Western’s institutional core competencies and building an awareness of them with students. Campbell wants to take it a step further and will be working to identify how to build confidence and empower students to better understand, value and articulate the skills they have gained so they are prepared for the next phase of their educational journey or career path.

A Community Engaged Learning course was introduced in the Honors Specialization in two of the BMSc modules. These courses provide experiential learning for small groups of students, in which they are engaged in field projects with community partners.

A curriculum renewal was initiated for the Doctor of Medicine program. The renewed curriculum will have a competency-based medical education framework, and provide opportunities for new approaches to education, case-based, experiential, independent and small-group learning, as well as feature opportunities for pursuit of parallel Master’s and certificate programs.


Creating change from the inside out

Dr. Javeed Sukhera is taking implicit bias training to the digital domain, creating greater access for patients, caregivers and health professionals. His research explores better ways to teach and learn about implicit bias, emphasizing compassionate patient- and family-centred care.

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry is home to more than 860 full-time clinical faculty and 1,129 part-time clinical faculty who teach and provide care in London and Southwestern Ontario.

The School is proud to partner with two teaching hospitals, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London and more than 60 health care partners across Southwestern Ontario.

The Department of Family Medicine, known to be the birthplace of family medicine in Canada, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018.


Women in Medicine

The summer months following her first year of medical school provided Adrina Zhong with a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect on her experiences and explore more literature focused on the #MeToo movement, as well as other issues such as gender equity in medicine, the pay gap for women, leadership, harassment and work-life balance. With a desire to delve more deeply into this issue, engage her peers and create and make change, she decided to create the Women in Medicine student group at the School.

In keeping with its mission and values, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry adopted a definition of social accountability. This statement was approved by School leadership along with statements on diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural safety; community, stakeholder engagement & partnership; and Sustainability.

The School launched the first stage of a new admissions process for undergraduate medical education students. Beginning with the 2018-19 application cycle, the admission process is taking a more holistic view of applicants and placing emphasis on academic and non-academic traits while balancing the School’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

In 2018, the School’s Indigenous Liaison Coordinator, in collaboration with a group of current Indigenous medical students and representatives from Western University’s Student Success Centre held an inaugural Preparation and Readiness Interview Medical Entrance Day Workshop for Indigenous candidates for medicine.


Partnership brings hope to epilepsy patients in Peru

Through a decade-long international partnership, Drs. Jorge Burneo and David Steven have changed the management of epilepsy in Peru. Their unique collaboration with local hospitals has established two epilepsy surgery programs in the South American country, an achievement documented in a 2018 article for Neurology.

Faculty and researchers across Schulich Medicine & Dentistry are engaged in numerous partnerships with collaborators and partners around the world. In addition to these ongoing relationships, the School has 17 international partnerships that are coordinated through the Dean’s Office.

The Schulich Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus, which is possible through a partnership with the University of Windsor, celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Campus has successfully engaged numerous faculty members and helped to resolve an underservicing problem in the community.

In 2018, Discovery Week marked 20 years of educating medical students in the rural and regional communities of Southwestern Ontario. The long time success of the initiative is thanks to partnerships with 49 communities through the past two decades.

Canon Medical Systems has established a new partnership with the School. Their investment of new medical imaging equipment to be housed at Robarts Research Institute will enrich translational research efforts, and form the foundation for the establishment of a new training academy attracting regional, national and international learners to the School.

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Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
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