Two resident doctors, an emergency medicine physician, a family physician, and a program administrator are being honoured for their contributions to improving the lives of resident doctors in Canada.

The RDoC Puddester Award for Resident Wellness recognizes individuals who work to improve the wellness of residents across Canada.

Dr. Alyssa Lip is a PGY-3 resident doctor in the General Internal Medicine Program at the University of Calgary. She is currently serving as Chief Resident in her program. Dr. Lip is known for having raised the wellness profile within the medical education community through her efforts at the local, provincial, and national levels. While in medical school at Queen’s University, Dr. Lip developed a student-led wellness curriculum and co-chaired Queen’s Wellness and Mental Health Committee, a joint venture with faculty and students she helped create. She subsequently served at the National Wellness Officer for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, leading the creation and implementation of the National Wellness Challenge, an initiative aimed to supplement wellness education across Canadian medical schools and unite students with shared experiences. Dr. Lip joined RDoC’s Wellness Committee as a PGY-1 and served as the Co-Chair of RDoC’s Positive Working Environment Committee, whose work cumulated in the first national Positive Working Environment Summit, held in the Spring of 2019. She currently serves as Co-Chair of her program’s Wellness Committee. In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Lip was awarded the Aesculapian Society Award of Merit from Queen’s University in 2015 and the University of Calgary Internal Medicine program’s Resident Wellness award in November 2019. Dr. Lip is the first resident from the University of Calgary to receive this Award.

Dr. Cheryl ffrench is an Emergency Room Physician in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is also an Assistant Professor, Director of Simulation, and the Program Director for the FRCPC-EM Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine of the University of Manitoba’s Max Rady College of Medicine. Dr. ffrench is known as a mentor and a leader who is deeply committed to ensuring a positive learning environment and to improving resident education as a whole. In 2019, in response to the death of a former resident in her training program, Dr. ffrench led the creation of the first all-day Post-Graduate Medical Education Resident Retreat, which allowed all resident doctors training at the University of Manitoba to focus on their wellness through workshops and activities. The success of the Retreat has resulted in a commitment for it to occur every year. For her efforts in medical education and resident wellness, Dr. ffrench has previously been recognized as a Health Science Centre Educator of the Year several times, and in 2017/2018, received the PARIM On-Site Educator of the Year from Manitoba’s resident doctors. Dr. ffrench is the first individual from the University of Manitoba to receive an RDoC Award.

“At the best of times, medicine can be an intense occupation, and RDoC works hard with its stakeholders to make sure that the wellness of Canada’s resident doctors is always a consideration in decision-making. These are unusual times and we are especially grateful for everyone who are providing wellness support to our members. It is an honour to recognize Dr. Lip and Dr. ffrench for their ongoing work and thank them for what they do.” – Dr. Emily Stewart, President of RDoC

The RDoC Mikhael Award for Medical Education honours individuals who have contributed to improving undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Canada.

Dr. Conrad Tsang is a PGY-4 resident in Public Health & Preventive Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is also a Clinical Faculty member for Family Medicine and he currently practices seeing priority populations as well as student mental health. Dr. Tsang has made numerous contributions to medical education throughout his residency. He teaches the Foundations of Scholarship and Flexible Enhanced Learning (FLEX) courses and mentors a number of medical students at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Tsang has also contributed countless volunteer hours at all levels, including serving on accreditation survey teams for the Royal College of Physicians of Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and representing RDoC’s members on the Royal College’s Committee on Specialty Education, Assessment Committee and Health & Public Policy Committee. Dr. Tsang’s achievements have previously been recognized with a number of awards, including the Resident Teaching Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Peter Grantham Teaching Award from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Stuart Murdoch is the Chief of the Department of Family Medicine and the Family Medicine Residency Program Site Director at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the Postgraduate Education Program Director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Murdoch helped lead the transformation of the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre from an ‘electives-only’ participant in medical education to a strong, integral component of the U of T Department of Family and Community Medicine’s (DFCM) core family medicine program. Another of Dr. Murdoch’s most notable accomplishments has been the development, delivery, and evaluation of two innovative integrated three-year family medicine residency programs (I3P), one with a focus on leadership, and the other integrating enhanced skills such as Palliative Care. Both I3P streams are intended to encourage graduates to maintain a focus on comprehensive family medicine as an integral part of professional practice. In recognition for his role as a leader and mentor, Dr. Murdoch has previously been presented with the Award of Excellence (Leadership) and the Program Leadership in Educational Achievement from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, the Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Dr. Murdoch is the first Family Medicine physician to receive this award.

“As champions of excellence in medical education, RDoC is highly appreciative of those who look at the current environment and seek to make the training experience the best that it can be. Implementing change is never easy, and it is an honour to recognize individuals such as Dr. Tsang and Dr. Murdoch who have made it part of their mandate as medical educators.” – Dr. Emily Stewart, President of RDoC

The RDoC Ross Award for Service to Resident Doctors recognizes non-physician staff members who have contributed to the enrichment of resident life in Canada.

Ms. Christine Silver Smith recently retired after 30 years at Dalhousie University. For 22 years, she served as the Director of Postgraduate Medical Education at Dalhousie University. It is not an exaggeration to say that Ms. Silver Smith impacted the training experience of every resident who trained at Dalhousie during her time there. She worked with Maritime Resident Doctors and other stakeholders to adapt Dalhousie’s Medix system to develop a call tracking program for residents that is still in use today. Additionally, Ms. Silver Smith was responsible for all of the major activities of any Postgrad office such as accreditation, strategic planning, expansion of residency programs, etc., but her engagement with the overall resident communities (including MarDocs, Doctors Nova Scotia, provincial Departments of Health in all three Maritime Provinces, as well as all training Programs) helped establish and maintain a respectful and collegial environment. On a more personal level, Ms. Silver Smith was known to be very supportive of residents who needed accommodations or access to mental health services. In 2018, Ms Silver Smith received the Excellence in Professional and Managerial Leadership Award from the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University.

“Resident doctors interact with many skilled administrative staff members who dedicate their careers to supporting us throughout our training. The Service to Residents Award is a small way to express our appreciation for their work, and it is an honour to recognize Ms. Silver Smith for her long career at Dalhousie and to wish her well in her retirement.” – Dr. Emily Stewart, President of RDoC