Breakfast with our Students

SAlumni Association Logo- small versionave the Date….

for the 2015 USask Highlights in Medicine Alumni Reunion conference

Calling all members of the classes of 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010

Please join your classmates in 2015 for fun and professional development at the 30th annual alumni conference in Saskatoon. Alumni of the College can choose from a variety of activities hosted at the Sheraton Cavalier from Wednesday June 24th to Saturday June 27th 2015. Plans include the Dean’s welcome reception, keynote and workshop sessions, class parties, the reunion banquet, tours of campus and much more.

Look for your package in February 2015 to register on-line. If we have your current email and mailing address, we will send you regular updates. You can update your contact information with us at medicine.alumni@usask.ca or by phone at 306-966-6260.

September 4, 2014

As you are likely aware, the College of Medicine uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) to assess the personal attributes of students applying for admission to the M.D. Program. Each year faculty, students and community members are invited to assist with developing scenarios for the interview process. Below you will find a list of domains identified by the Admissions Committee as areas for assessment when selecting suitable candidates for entry to the College of Medicine.

Communication, Cultural Sensitivity, Ethics, Collaborative Skills, Honesty/Integrity, Responsibility/Reliability, Empathy/Altruism/Voluntarism, Knowledge of the Health Care System, Critical Thinking, Motivation toward Medicine/Self-Assessment

If you wish to develop a scenario, please submit it to the Admissions Office by October 1, 2014:

Admissions – College of Medicine
Box 17, Room 5B53 Health Sciences Building
107 Wiggins Rd
Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Email: med.admissions@usask.ca

Once the 2015 interview process is complete, you will be informed whether or not your scenario was selected for use. Those chosen will be awarded a $50 honorarium.

If you aren’t familiar with the MMI and would like more information on it, please feel free to visit the Admissions website (www.medicine.usask.ca/admissions) under the Multiple Mini Interview Section you will find the MMI Fact Sheet and Sample Scenarios.

Lastly, if you are interested in volunteering as an assessor for the 2015 selection process (Faculty, Physician, 4th Year Medical Student, Medical Resident, or Community Member), the MMI Weekend is scheduled for March 21 and 22, 2015. A formal invitation and signup form for assessors will be sent by email in November.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions regarding the Multiple Mini Interview, please direct them to the Admissions Office (email address above)

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Barry Ziola
Director of Admissions
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Article for further Reference (available upon request): KW EVA, J ROSENFELD, HI REITER & GR NORMAN (2004a). An admissions OSCE: the multiple mini-interview. Medical Education 38:314-326.

To the College of Medicine Community,

I hope all of you are having plenty of opportunity to enjoy this beautiful prairie summer. I certainly see why many of you tell me you only travel as far as the lake in the summer in Saskatchewan. On the other hand, I still get many hints I should save my Aeroplan points for later in the year, but as they say we will cross that bridge…

I have had further chance to enjoy that prairie summer and landscape as I have visited our students, residents, staff and faculty members in Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. In fact on Monday this week I had a chance to ride my motorcycle, a Yamaha Stratoliner (the marketers had me pegged with this classic, albeit metric, cruiser) to PA and discover the real meaning of wide-open highway and big sky! It was a wonderful ride.

However, better than that were the warm welcomes I received and the evidence I saw of enthusiastic staff, faculty and happy learners. In PA I saw a clearly well established site for learners and a very supportive and engaged health authority with the able faculty leadership of Dr. Annelie Janse Van Rensburg and Dr. Tom Smith Windsor. In Moose Jaw I saw again a supportive hospital and was impressed by the enthusiasm and excitement of faculty and staff under the leadership of Dr. Volker Rinisland. Earlier this month, they welcomed their first FM residents to our newest training site and we’ll be joining them for a celebratory launch event later in the fall.

While I saw great enthusiasm and superb clinical teaching resources in those communities, I also saw great opportunity to improve upon the infrastructure and organization of our approach to distributed medical education. In the fall we will be launching a major project to develop a strategic plan for DME at the CoM, supported by a comprehensive DME business plan.

In this month’s issue of Academic Medicine Olle ten Cate, a widely respected medical educator at Utrect in the Netherlands, asks “What is a 21st-Century Doctor? Rethinking the Medical Degree”. This is a particularly apt discussion as we embark on our new UGME 2+2 curriculum. The last 10 years has seen a worldwide explosion of work addressing this very question with in-depth analyses including the Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) Projects by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.

I would also like to draw your attention to the work led by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in collaboration with the College of Family Physicians of Canada to develop CanMEDS 2015. The second draft of this major revision to the curricular framework that underpins PGME is now available and your feedback is welcome. Canadians should be proud of innovations in medical education, and CanMEDS in particular, as it has probably seen the widest international adoption of a template for medical education since the preclinical/clinical format originating with Canadian, Dr. William Osler, at John Hopkins at the beginning of the last century.

There are a number of notable proposed alterations in CanMEDS 2015 including changing the Manager role to Leader. More important though is the integration into the framework of the move towards competency-based medical education and the adoption of detailed “milestones” for each of the roles at five stages of medical education: junior medical student, senior medical student, junior resident, senior resident and practicing physician. I encourage you to visit http://www.royalcollege.ca/portal/page/portal/rc/canmeds/canmeds2015 and provide your feedback.

I would like to congratulate and thank all of our College of Medicine faculty members who have contributed to date to this very important work. The project has involved two principle committees and 13 Expert Working Groups and U of S faculty members have had prominent roles. I would like to recognize our colleagues, Drs. Deirdre Bonnycastle, Anita Chakravarti, Kathy Lawrence, Vivian Ramsden, and Anurag Saxena. To care for one patient well is to improve one life, to teach well is to improve many, but to impact medical education as a whole around the world is no small accomplishment.

So, now that I have successfully made the move from the Maritimes and spent a couple of months getting to know the CoM and many of you, Jane and I, together with Murphy (our Springer Spaniel), plan to take two weeks of vacation and explore more of Saskatchewan. I will be back to welcome our newest UGME students mid-August and dive into all the work we need to accomplish this fall and winter prior to the accreditation visits in May.

I look forward to working with you as we advance our College of Medicine together. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Here’s to continued sunny prairie skies!

Preston Smith, MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP
Dean, College of Medicine
Room 5D40 Health Sciences Building
107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Phone: 306-966-6149 Fax: 306-966-6164

College of Medicine colleagues,

I’m writing today to congratulate a number of our colleagues on their recent personal and professional successes.

First, I am pleased to announce that on my recommendation, Dr. Sheila Harding’s term as our Associate Dean, Medical Education has been extended to June 30, 2015. This is excellent news for the College of Medicine as we launch our 2+2 curriculum this coming August and continue to prepare for our UGME accreditation visit scheduled for May 10 -12, 2015. Sheila’s leadership and familiarity with all things accreditation will serve as a great assistance over the next 10 months. I am grateful we will be able to rely on and benefit from her knowledge and commitment to our college.

In addition, Sheila’s accreditation expertise has also brought national recognition. In June, she was chosen as one of four AFMC representatives on the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools. Sheila will be working with her national colleagues to oversee implementation of the newly restructured accreditation processes and standards, which will permit greater Canadian autonomy and content (i.e., social accountability, service learning, diversity) while preserving reciprocity for our graduates and dual Canadian/American accreditation status for our schools.

Further to accreditation, it’s important for us to understand that accreditation is a form of self-regulation and is meant to serve as a catalyst for continuous quality improvement for our medical education programs. Accreditation is not imposed upon us, but rather it is an opportunity for us to be judged by our peers. It is part of our professional responsibility as physicians to respond accordingly. We are not alone in the struggles we’ve faced around accreditation; it is a challenging process for many schools. It is important to note the Canadian deans are leading the process of introducing the new Canadian standards that will be in place for our 2017 visit.

Second, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate our researchers, both clinician scientists and biomedical scientists, who have recently earned significant funding awards:

CIHR Open Operating Grant March 2014 competition:
• Sylvia Abonyi (Community Health and Epidemiology) and Sarah Oosman (School of Physical Therapy), together with the U of S co-investigators Hassanali Vatanparast (Nutrition & Dietetics) and Nazeem Muhajarine (Community Health and Epidemiology), are awarded in average $250,730 per year for five years for Wuskiwiy-tan! (Let’s Move!) Aging Well in a Northern Saskatchewan Metis Community
• Linda Chelico (Microbiology and Immunology) is awarded in average $116,150 per year for five years for The Virus Infectivity Factor (Vif) of HIV: Mechanisms of Inhibiting APOBEC3 Immune Factors
• Deborah Anderson (Oncology) (Co-I: Franco Vizeacoumar, Oncology) is awarded $100,000 Bridge Grant for Targeting Metastatic Breast Cancer

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Spring 2014 Establishment Grants:
• Darryl Adamko (Pediatrics) for Metabolomic analysis of urine: Improving the diagnosis of asthma and COPD
• G. Camelia Adams (Psychiatry) for Nature and nurture: A biopsychosocial exploration of the relationship between childhood trauma, adult attachment, and severity of depression and social anxiety in Saskatchewan
• Lane Bekar (Pharmacology) for Glucocorticoid effects on acute neuroinflammation and chronic neurodegeneration
• Sharyle Fowler (Medicine) for The impact of chronic inflammation and its treatment on determinants of health in women with inflammatory bowel disease and their offspring
• Stephan Milosavljevic (Physical Therapy) for Walking away from low back pain: One step at a time
• Erika Penz (Medicine) for Cost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Screening in Saskatchewan – Applying Microsimulation Modeling and Saskatchewan-specific Costs of Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Management

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Spring 2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Awards:
• Yalena Amador Canizares (Microbiology and Immunology) Supervisor: Joyce Wilson Project: Mechanistic Analysis of miR-122 promotion of HCV replication
• Lei An (Physiology) Supervisor: John Howland Project: Effects of maternal immune activation during pregnancy on patterns of brain activity in the offspring: implications for schizophrenia
• Juan-Nicolas Pena-Sanchez (Gastroenterology) Supervisors: Jennifer Jones, Lisa Lix, Gary Teare Project: Assessing quality of care for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and evaluating the impact of the Multidisciplinary IBD Clinic in Saskatchewan: a population-based cohort study using administrative data (Crohn’s and Colitis Postdoctoral Fellow, Co-funded by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada)
• Sachin Singh (Medicine) Supervisor: John Gordon Project: Optimizing tolerogenic dendritic cells for immunotherapy

Congratulations to each of you. It is wonderful to see success being achieved across such a broad range of disciplines in our college.

Here’s to a lovely Saskatchewan summer weekend – I hope you will all have time to relax and enjoy it with your friends and family.


Preston Smith, MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP
Dean, College of Medicine
Room 5D40 Health Sciences Building
107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Phone: 306-966-6149 Fax: 306-966-6164

Dean Smith with med students at 2014 alumni reunionDear Alumni of the College of Medicine

As my first month here at the U of S is finished, I have the pleasure of writing to share some good news.

Very preliminary results from the MCCQE Part 1 for 2014 are even better than in 2013. We will have more information to come later in the summer. This is another important indication we are on the right track as we move forward together. I believe there are two components to this success: dedication from our students, and equally important is the dedication of our teaching faculty. I want to acknowledge and thank you all for your role in enabling the success of our newest graduates – it is ours to share collectively. Thank-you.

Another noteworthy success is the official approval received from CACMS this week regarding our Action Plan, as submitted in April 2014. We continue to prepare for our limited survey visit from the accreditors, scheduled for May 19-20, 2015. Our focus now is to carry out the tasks described in the action plan, with the expectation that we demonstrate compliance. We still have much work to do to permanently resolve our accreditation challenges, and we know we’re on the right path, so let’s keep going. I want to have our probationary status lifted in fall 2015. As always, full details on our accreditation status are available at www.medicine.usask.ca/academic-units/support-units/communications/news/accreditation-information.html

The College of Medicine – our College of Medicine – belongs to all of us – students, residents, alumni, staff, researchers, all faculty members. If we are working together, with each other, we will continue to see much future success. I am around most of the summer and always interested in hearing from you so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy the beautiful Saskatchewan summer now that the Maritime weather that followed me is gone!!

Preston Smith, MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP
Dean, College of Medicine
Room 5D40 Health Sciences Building
107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Phone: 306-966-6149 Fax: 306-966-6164

Dear College of Medicine Learners, Colleagues, Alumni and Partners,

I would like to take this opportunity to extend greetings to all of the learners, researchers, faculty and staff at the College of Medicine and to all of the people, communities, and institutions who are our partners. It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that next week, I assume my role as your Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

I look forward to meeting and getting to know as many of you as possible. In fact, part of the reason I wanted to start in June was to have the opportunity to learn as much as I could about the College of Medicine before the summer break. An added bonus is the privilege to serve at the College of Medicine’s Convocation Ceremony and attend the Graduation Banquet next Friday.

I want to share with you a little bit about my priorities, my vision and my plans for the upcoming first year.

My most urgent priority – and I believe our collective top priority – is to permanently resolve our accreditation challenges. As you all know, the undergraduate accreditors will visit us from May 10-12, 2015, and we must be ready to demonstrate the solutions we’ve implemented and to provide strong evidence of compliance. We are also preparing for a full postgraduate accreditation survey in 2015. You can expect regular updates on progress and how you can contribute to the success of our educational programs. One of our first key milestones will be accomplished once we have our full leadership team in place.

I intend to invest considerable time and energy to implement The Way Forward, and to establish a reconceptualized model for biomedical sciences. I recognize we have a considerable amount to accomplish and I commit to bringing about the required change by working in a collaborative manner. I will strive to advance our research agenda and grow our partnerships.

Together we can become one of the great Canadian medical schools. By this, I mean our College of Medicine will be seen by our learners and by the people of Saskatchewan to deliver on our mandate to the people we serve, better than any other Canadian medical school. We will do this by training outstanding clinicians – the right doctors and physiotherapists for the right communities; creating new knowledge – including internationally recognized research as well as research in areas important to our communities and our province; and improving health outcomes for the people of Saskatchewan – through collegial, collaborative and effective partnerships with the Regional Health Authorities and throughout our provincial healthcare system.

I see the College of Medicine as a truly provincial institution with national and global impact. All communities have a role in, and a benefit from, our education and our research. My vision of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine is of a tapestry covering the province with multiple nodes of varying composition and intensity. We must concurrently develop community-based education experiences across the province and work closely with our tertiary centres, as each have their unique strengths. Distributed sites are ideally suited to junior learners and promoting generalism, which as you know is a key FMEC recommendation. Our tertiary centres are critical as we train future specialists and sub-specialists and they enable us to produce research that is competitive with Academic Health Science Centres across the country.

I believe all of this is possible as my research shows me you have already faced great challenges and developed a comprehensive plan for change. More importantly, I sense a collective desire to move forward. I see a university and a province determined to see our College of Medicine succeed. As my friends and colleagues bid their farewells, they tease me about the colder temperatures in Saskatchewan. I respond that I will experience something called sunshine. But next, they comment with envy, that Saskatchewan is a “happening place”. I believe our College of Medicine’s success can be synonymous with that of the Province of Saskatchewan.

As I said during my public address, to succeed at implementing The Way Forward and all of our future goals, we must be both relentless and flexible. So I need your support and your feedback both in my first 100 days or so and throughout my tenure as your dean. In June, I would like to hold a ‘College Conversation’ session to hear comments from faculty, students and staff and help give me a first-hand understanding of the culture in our college. Details will be shared in the coming days.

My goal is to be an accessible Dean to learners, staff and faculty members. I have an open-door policy and to help both you and the College of Medicine I need to know about your successes, strengths, opportunities, challenges and barriers. I invite all of you to stop me in the halls and introduce yourself, invite me to your meetings and your labs, or make an appointment to come and see me. I also hope to get to know clinical colleagues through patient care as I will practice Family Medicine on Wednesdays at the West Winds Primary Health Centre.

My goal is also to engage with all of our partners and our communities. I commit to visiting all 13 health regions in my first year. I will be working to develop a strategy for Distributed Medical Education in Saskatchewan. That strategy is absolutely dependent on our tertiary centres and I commit to working together to ensure we have nationally-recognized Academic Health Science Centres.

Finally I hope my tenure as your Dean is noted for transparency and communication. In addition to being available to you, I commit to regular communication to you about my work and the work of our college. You can follow me on Twitter at UsaskMedDean and visit medicine.usask.ca for updates.

On a personal note my wife, Jane (a bilingual elementary school teacher), and our adult daughter, Marie (who is moving with us), are excited to come to Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan. Murphy, our Springer Spaniel, is also enthused now that the drive across the country is over! It is turning into a wonderful opportunity for our whole family. While one daughter is left behind in New Brunswick, we may still entice her west, and now, we are closer to another daughter in Calgary.

Finally, I would like to thank Drs. Lou Qualtiere and Colum Smith for their dedicated service to the college. They have admirably accomplished what is a very challenging role as Interim Dean, and especially in what I am sure they will recall as truly interesting times.

So we are off! As I have said, I am very enthusiastic to become your Dean and am grateful for the confidence you have placed in me. I believe we can accomplish great things together as committed learners, researchers, faculty, staff and partners at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.


Preston Smith, MD, MEd, FCFP
Incoming Dean, College of Medicine
Room 5D40 Health Sciences Building
107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5
Phone: 306-966-6149 Fax: 306-966-6164


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