Two resident doctors, a family physician, a specialist in internal medicine and respirology, and a program administrator are being honoured for their contributions to improving the lives of resident doctors in Canada. The awards are granted annually by RDoC.

The RDoC Puddester Awards for Resident Wellness honour individuals who have contributed to improving resident wellness in Canada. During his term as President and as Wellbeing Chair, Dr. Derek Puddester dedicated himself to promoting the wellness of all resident doctors in Canada. Two Puddester Awards are given every year: one to a resident, and one to a staff physician.

Laura Swaney
Dr. Laura Swaney
Resident Recipient
A PGY-4 in Pediatrics at Dalhousie University, Dr. Swaney is dedicated to promoting physician wellness within her residency program, within her university, and on a national level. As the Chair of Wellbeing for Maritime Resident Doctors, Dr. Swaney has been responsible for many wellness initiatives, including the initiation of the MarDoc Employee and Family Assistance Program. Dr. Swaney is also an active Trustee on MarDocs Health and Welfare Trust Fund, and the resident representative on the Doctors Nova Scotia Physician Support Program. In addition to these duties, Dr. Swaney sat on the committee to investigate the need for a Resident Wellness Office at Dalhousie University, and has contributed to RDoC’s Resiliency Curriculum Project.

Susan Edwards
Dr. Susan Edwards
Staff Recipient
A family physician, Dr. Edwards is the Director of Resident Wellness at the University of Toronto, a position she has held for ten years. In this role, Dr. Edwards has sought to empower residents and faculty with skills to enhance clinical performance and professional wellbeing. Her efforts have significantly boosted the amount of wellness resources available through the Faculty of Medicine. On top of her work at the University of Toronto, Dr. Edwards is a national leader in the field of physician wellness, playing an active role in a number of key national initiatives, including the CanMEDS Physician Health Guide, the National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours, the Advisory Committee for the Canadian Physician Health Institute, and as Chair of the AFMC group on Physician Health and Wellbeing.

The RDoC Mikhael Awards for Medical Education honour individuals who have contributed meaningfully to improving undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Canada. During his time on the Board of Directors, Dr. Joseph Mikhael worked tirelessly to represent the interests of all residents in Canada, refocusing our role in medical education. Two Mikhael Awards are given every year: one to a resident, and one to a staff physician.

Nada Gawad
Dr. Nada Gawad
Resident Recipient
A PGY-2 in General Surgery at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Gawad is the founder and inaugural Program Director of the Surgery Exploration and Discovery Course at the University of Toronto. In this course, medical students are exposed to surgery in an intense and progressive fashion prior to embarking on their second year. This influential program is now entrenched at the University of Toronto and has expanded internationally. Dr. Gawad’s interest in improving medical education has carried into residency, with the recent completion of a project focused on application of a video-based assessment tool in surgical residency. In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Gawad has served on several committees at the University of Ottawa, including the General Surgery Residency Program Training Committee.

Sharon Peters
Dr. Sharon Peters
Staff Recipient
An internist and respirologist, Dr. Peters has dedicated over 20 years of her career to bringing innovation to the undergraduate and postgraduate of medical education at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine. She served as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1999 to 2014. More recently, she led the development of Memorial’s General Internal Medicine residency program, bringing to fruition a long-awaited program needed to boost local capacity in addressing patients’ needs. Dr. Peters has held leadership roles within numerous organizations including serving as the first Clinical Chief of the Critical Care Program for the St. John’s Health Authority, as President of the Canadian Thoracic Society, and as Vice President of Fellowship Affairs for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The RDoC Ross Award for Service to Resident Doctors honours one individual who has contributed to the enrichment of resident life in Canada. Lois Ross served for many years as Executive Director of CAIR and PAIRO, during which time she worked tirelessly to represent the interests of all resident doctors in Canada. This award has been reserved to acknowledge the important role that non-physicians play in residency.

Marilyn Blake
For twenty-one years, Marilyn Blake has served as the Program Administrator for the Anesthesia and Pain Management program at the University of Alberta. There, she plays an integral role in the organization of program events, including the annual Research Day, the welcome barbeque/resident retreat, medical student/resident job shadowing, and arranging for staff anesthesiologists to lead academic half-days. She is considered the “heart and soul” of the program, providing a safe space for struggling residents and acting as a vocal advocate for residents through her participation on the Resident Program Committee. Her knowledge of the program has been essential to the success of its program directors and to its residents. Ms. Blake will be retiring later this year and will be sorely missed, by her peers and by the medical education community.