2021 RDoC AWARD RECIPIENTS

Seven outstanding Canadians are being recognized 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. This year’s recipients are:

Dr. Alexandre Coutin (he/him, they/them), a third-year Resident Physician in Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and completed their medical training at the University of Toronto. Their interests additionally include health worker wellness, sex and gender minority care, addictions medicine, EDI in medical education, sexual health, and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Dr. Coutin was instrumental in developing the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine Resident Wellness Committee, an initiative that will advance the wellness needs of resident physicians for years to come. As the local Wellness Lead for the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario’s (PARO), Dr. Coutin successfully advocated for the safety and adequate remuneration of residents working in COVID-19 response efforts. Dr. Coutin is also a strong advocate for building safer clinical environment for trans and gender diverse communities through the avenues of collaborative research, knowledge dissemination, and a critically-conscious anti-oppressive approach to medical training. Previous accolades awarded to Dr. Coutin and his colleagues include the W. T. Aikins Award for Excellence in Development and Use of Educational Innovations from the University of Toronto, and the Mississauga Academy of Medicine Student Citizenship Award. They are the first individual from the University of Ottawa to receive this Award, and dedicates it to their family, co-residents, and mentors.

The DRS program, started by Dr. Lisa Welikovich in 2020 as an independent resource for residents who have questions or concerns of any nature – whether related to residency, their physical or mental well-being, or their personal lives. The team consists of three faculty physicians (Dr. Shannon Ruzycki, Dr. Kannin Osei-Tutu, and Dr. MacGregor Steele) with an interest in well-being and who have diverse lived experiences. Intended as a “no wrong door approach” to resident distress, the DRS team is trained to accept complaints of harassment or discrimination and provide access to resources, and peer support. The DRS program is an innovative solution to address longstanding problems in medical training – namely, the need for assistance navigating the complex network of supports for residents experiencing difficulty and the cultural hierarchy of medicine that makes asking for help difficult. The DRS team members are physicians who understand the unique culture and vulnerability of medical training but have the institutional knowledge and power to effect change and speak on behalf of residents.By acting as empathetic listeners, being well-networked with existing supports, and advocating on behalf of residents, the DRS program is able to address and positively impact multiple factors to improve resident well-being at the University of Calgary.

The RDoC Mikhael Award for Medical Education honours individuals who have contributed to improving undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Canada. This year’s recipients are:

Dr. Ariel Gershon, a third-year resident in anatomical pathology at the University of Toronto. A graduate of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, Dr. Gershon has been involved in medical education throughout his medical career. He is Clerkship Director for MEDSKL.com, a free open access medical education initiative that is now reaching students from 400+ Universities around the world. He has facilitated the Teaching to Teach workshop developed by the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO), which teaches pedagogy to residents in a number of programs in Ontario’s faculties of medicine. Dr. Gershon has also mentored medical students through the University of Toronto’s MD Longitudinal Academic Mentorship Program (LAMP) and coaches MA and PHd students in communications related to their research. Dr. Gershon is the first RDoC Award recipient to come from a laboratory medicine background. 

Dr. Ming-Ka Chan (she/her), a recognized leader in medical education in Canada and abroad. A generalist clinician educator, her scholarship focuses on health leadership education and social justice. Locally, she is the Co-Director, Office of Leadership Education, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, where she explores leadership education within the five health Colleges. Dr. Chan is a founding member and current Chair of Sanokondu, a multinational learning community focused on advancing health leadership education worldwide, with particular attention on learners. She has been recently appointed as the inaugural Pediatrics Lead, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Justice at the University of Manitoba. Such roles have become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic as health and academic inequities for racialized and oppressed groups are increasingly illuminated, especially in Black and Indigenous Peoples. She is a Chinese settler grateful to be living on Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Metis Nation (known as Winnipeg) and strives to continue to learn and unlearn how to be a good relative in the collective journey towards truth and reconciliation. Dr. Chan has received numerous accolades for her work in medical education, including the Royal College/Associate Medical Services Donald Richards Wilson Award for CanMEDS Integration, the Pediatric Academic Leadership Clinician Educator Award, and the Undergraduate Pediatric Hospital-based Teacher of the Year. She is the first recipient of the RDoC Mikhael Award to come from the University of Manitoba.

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. This year’s recipient is:

Ms. Priscilla De Luca, who has over 18 years of administrative experience in the healthcare and research environment with 12 years in a senior-level position. She serves as a resource for the undergraduate medical education and postgraduate medical education program committees and organizes both the clinical and academic curriculum for medical students, residents, and fellows. Ms. De Luca has also played a role in the accreditation process, in particular designing and creating systems and processes of various teaching resources offered within the program. In addition to these responsibilities, Ms. De Luca is highly supportive of the residents in her program, working to ensure a successful training experience for them, be it through ensuring daily needs are met or advocating for them in difficult situations. Ms. De Luca has been previously recognized with consecutive awards of recognition from the WindEEE Research Institute at Western University. She is the first RDoC Award recipient from Western University.