Final Chair's Message

Final Chair Message

This is my last message as Chair/Chief of the Department of Family Medicine as my term comes to an end very soon and my retirement from active faculty comes into play.

It has been an honour and a huge pleasure for me to lead this department for the last 10 years. Despite any question over our origin, this department is the birthplace of academic family medicine in Canada, as the first academic department under the leadership of Dr. Ian McWhinney. I am deeply honoured to have followed such great department Chairs as Ian McWhinney, Brian Hennen and Tom Freeman.

I am extremely grateful to many people who have helped and supported me during this time. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to adequately acknowledge all of you in this short message. 

I have enjoyed strong support from our clinical faculty members in family medicine, manning the family medical centres, research facilities, our core training sites across Southwest Ontario, our palliative care wards, and sports medicine clinics, and all those who teach and role model for our students and residents. Our resident training is strong as indicated by our accreditation status and outstanding graduates. This is in large part due to exemplary leadership in program direction, faculty development, resident research, and quality improvement.

I am tremendously proud of our research faculty, PhD’s, and clinicians, who continue to produce important evidence through their research, that supports primary care delivery and population health for our patients, families, and communities. Several new research faculty have joined us in the last few years. These energetic clinicians and PhD researchers are exploring new ideas in preventive health, health human resources, health equity and health technology. This bodes very well for the influence of our department on the health issues that matter to the population we serve.

I also want to acknowledge the fine work of our department staff, both in the central department and the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine. Joanne Gibb, Manager of Administration and Finance and the family medicine staff have ably supported the Department Chair and all the functions in our education portfolios, research, and media outreach, helping the department to run so smoothly. I owe a big debt of gratitude to Linda Gough who supports the Chair and handles all our faculty recruitments, appointments, and re-appointments so competently.

Finally, I am so pleased to be able to transition the Chair/Chief role to a faculty member who is so well prepared to be a leader in all the domains of our department and in primary care in general. I look forward to great successes for the department under his leadership, which should be announced officially very soon.

As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts @DOCSJW on Twitter or at