Message from Dean Kelleher: Celebrating the close of the academic year
“Our future is bright, because together we are incredibly strong.”
– Granger Avery, Canadian Medical Association Past-President 2016-17
A short time ago, we celebrated the accomplishments of hundreds of new graduates who will join us as new colleagues within the Canadian health system. As Dr. Avery reminds us, by working together, we have the ability to make a difference in the communities we serve.
Both Congregation and our Hooding Ceremony with the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, are joyous events. They serve to remind us that whatever work we do — whether in a lab, a lecture hall, a hospital, or an office — we are equipping each of our learners with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers as health professionals, fulfilling our shared contract with society.
This collective strength is reflected in a recent op-ed by graduate Dr. Rebekah Eatmon, who shared her personal journey to improving access to care for Indigenous people in B.C. — providing a deeply moving and personal illustration that reminds us of the need to strive for equity in everything we do.
As we look ahead to the next academic year, we have many exciting initiatives to look forward to as we continue to roll out both the Faculty of Medicine’s strategic plan, Building the Future and the University’s strategic plan Shaping UBC’s Next Century. Much has been accomplished, but there is still much to do! Importantly, we must continue our work to address the advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion and I look forward to the appointment of a new Assistant Dean who will lead this work. Equally, we will continue to focus our efforts through the Dean’s Task Force on Respectful Environments to actively maintain and enhance a respectful working and learning environments for students, trainees, staff and faculty. Everyone must play a part in owning and maintaining this environment — it is so very important that our culture reflects the highest levels of integrity, collegiality and mutual respect.
Remembering that research never stands still, we must always look to the future to maintain our pre-eminence in the present. As our new cohort of young translational academics come on stream, we must also strengthen our core capabilities in order to ensure their success. We also need to ensure that we engage collectively with our outstanding clinical faculty in both research and education — “our future is bright, because together we are incredibly strong.”
Once again, thank you all for your daily commitment to transforming health for everyone. I am continually inspired and heartened by your overwhelming commitment to excellence. Knowing how hard you have worked over this past year, I hope that you take some time to enjoy the summer with your family and friends, and come back with renewed vigor and excitement for the year ahead.
Dermot Kelleher, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FMedSci, AGAF, FCAHS, FRCPC, DSc (h.c.)
Professor, Department of Medicine
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
The University of British Columbia
This message was sent to all faculty and staff in the Faculty of Medicine.