Chair's Message - Celebrating Our People

Celebrating Excellence

Despite 2-years of ongoing disruptions and changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching and learning within our Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Graduate programs has continued. The dedication of the teachers in the Department of Family Medicine through this challenging time has been incredible. In Undergrad we quickly adapted to on-line lectures and small groups for pre-clerkship. We increased our capacity for clerkship and elective placements for Western students as travelling electives were canceled across Canada. We introduced and taught (as we learned too!) our residents about providing appropriate, high-quality virtual care. Our showpiece on-site week for the Master of Clinical Science Program had to pivot to on-line delivery. This spring, we have finally been able to launch the Longitudinal Clinical Experience for the second-year medical school class. Without the dedication and commitment of our faculty, we would have never made it through such an unprecedented time with so much success. Thank you for everything you have done to get us to April of 2022 and the perseverance you have shown to education and patient care.

Each spring, the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry honors faculty with Awards of Excellence. These awards highlight exceptional contributions of faculty and recognize work that enriches life and learning at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry each day. Recipients’ commitment to the School’s mission, their innovative approaches to their work, and their leadership distinguishes them among our many talented faculty. I am extremely pleased that three of our London based faculty were recipients of Awards of Excellence for 2022.

Dr. Kristina Rice was awarded a Schulich Award of Excellence for Faculty in a Community/Distributed Site. She is an Adjunct Professor who works clinically in the Arkona area. Dr. Rice has developed an excellent clinical educational experience for learners. Identified an exemplary physician role model, she provides exceptional comprehensive care to an under-served rural population.

Dr. Philp VandeWalle was also a recipient of a Schulich Award of Excellence for Faculty in a Community/Distributed Site. After teaching as an Adjunct Professor for over 20 years, in 2021 Dr. Vandewalle became a full-time Assistant Professor in our Department with the launch of our new distributed teaching site, the West Middlesex Health Centre (WMHC) in Strathroy, where he serves as the medical director. He has a long-history as a superb clinical teacher, as well as a leader in Family Medicine having experience as the Chief of Medicine at the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital, the Board of Directors for the Thames Valley Family Health Team, and as an executive member of the London-Middlesex Primary Care Alliance. Dr. Vandewalle is a superior role model practicing comprehensive family medicine including office-based care, in-patient hospital care, emergency room care, intra-partum obstetrics, nursing home care, home visits and occupational health.

Our Department’s third award winner for 2022 was Dr. Evelyn Vingilis, PhD, who was the recipient of a Distinguished Leader Award for Graduate/Postgraduate Education. Dr. Vingilis, a full Professor in our Department since 1994, provides valuable core teaching in both our Master of Clinical Science in Family Medicine and PhD in Family Medicine Programs, in addition to supervising student research and thesis projects. She holds the position of Director of the Population and Community Health Unit within the Department. Cross appointed to Epidemiology and Biostatistics, her expertise and research in driving and road safety has brought her international recognition as well as influenced provincial and national policy in Canada.

Congratulations, and thank you, Drs. Rice, Vandewalle, and Vingilis for your tremendous contributions to the Department of Family Medicine and best wishes for continued career success. Read about all the Awards of Excellence winners at