Two resident doctors, a general internist, a pediatrician, and a faculty manager 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 Award for Resident Wellness recognizes individuals who work to improve the wellness of residents across Canada. This year’s award recognizes two individuals.

Dr. Zafrina Poonja

Dr. Zafrina Poonja is a chief resident in emergency medicine at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine, who has established herself as a leader in the field of physician wellness. Her work has included an overhaul of the wellness curriculum for residents training in her program as well as the development of the “How I Stay Healthy in Emergency Medicine” series for the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine’s (ALIEM) educational blog. Dr. Poonja serves as a member of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program Committee, ALIEM’s Wellness Think Tank, and the executive of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians’ Wellness Week Committee. Dr. Poonja is the first RDoC Award recipient to come from the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Dianna Louie

Dr. Dianna Louie is a pediatrician at BC Children’s Hospital and a committed advocate for resident wellness. She has adopted a hands-on approach to helping the residents within her program, through a number of initiatives including establishing a wellness library in the resident lounge and organizing physical and social activities. Additionally, Dr. Louie is currently conducting research on resident burnout with the aim of alleviating this systemic problem. Dr. Louie helped to establish and serves as the current lead of the UBC Pediatric Resident Wellness Committee, with her advocacy directly resulting in a large funding increase for the Committee’s activities. She also serves on the UBC Resident Wellness Committee, and was awarded the UBC Resident Wellness Faculty Award in 2016.

The RDoC Mikhael Award for Medical Education honours individuals who have contributed to improving undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Canada. This is the first time that the Medical Education award has been given to individuals at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Kathryn Darras

Dr. Kathryn Darras is a senior resident in radiology at the University of British Columbia, whose work sets an example for medical education for future physicians, and those in current practice. She has played an integral part in the UBC Medical Undergraduate Curriculum Renewal Project and in the innovative development of virtual curricula for use alongside existing educational tools. Dr. Darras’ other initiatives include investigating the most useful clinical electives during the first year of the radiology residency program and the development of a new curriculum to assist second-year residents in their clinical preparation for call service.

Dr. Barry Kassen

Dr. Barry Kassen is a general internist who has spent much of his career practicing and teaching at the University of British Columbia. In the 1990s, he designed the Clinical Teaching Unit model for several Vancouver-based hospitals, now the primary mode of education delivery in internal medicine across Canada. More recently, Dr. Kassen’s unique approach to the morning report has become popular amongst residents training at St. Paul’s Hospital, resulting in the development of a podcast to make the report accessible to trainees across Canada. Known for his compassionate approach to his patients, his bedside manner has been identified as one of his greatest attributes as a teacher and clinician. Dr. Kassen has served UBC and affiliated teaching hospitals in an array of leadership roles, as well as at a national level with 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.

Ms. Sharon Cameron

This year’s recipient is Ms. Sharon Cameron, the Competency-based Medical Education Postgraduate Implementation Manager for McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Ms. Cameron has been part of the McMaster community for nearly 40 years, most notably as manager for the Department of Postgraduate Medical Education from 1991 to 2016. It was in this role that she became universally recognized by faculty and trainees as the “heart and soul” of PGME at McMaster and nationally renowned for her knowledge of the medical education system.