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Dean's Report

What do we want the Faculty of Medicine to be known for in the future?

The “next insulin”? How can we capitalize on our role as a global leader in health research and education to create transformative change? It’s a fundamental question – envisioned this past academic year by our community of learners, faculty, staff and partners – and it has guided the development of our 2018–2023 Academic Strategic Plan.

Today, we offer a preview of the three domains that have emerged:

  • Strengthening an Ecosystem of Collaboration
  • Catalyzing Groundbreaking Imagination
  • Achieving Excellence through Equity

Underlying these domains are two important sets of enabling activities: support for health and wellbeing in everything we do, and support for the infrastructure, policies and technology that will allow our work to have long-term sustainable impact.

Pending Faculty Council approval next month, the finalized Academic Strategic Plan will be shared by the end of the calendar year.

In this report, we highlight recent related initiatives and introduce some proposed objectives for the next five years. We’ve also consolidated our latest Faculty-wide facts and figures in a section below called Vitals. We will be updating this website throughout the year to report the most recent information about U of T Medicine.

Building the Faculty of tomorrow is complex and non-linear work, but we are committed to effecting change and creating opportunities for everyone to reach for their goals. That includes powering the drive for the “next insulin” but it’s fundamentally bigger than that. It’s delivering on our responsibility to the next generation of health and science professionals – and the citizens we care for, learn from and teach.

Signature of Trevor Young

Trevor Young, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCAHS
Dean, Faculty of Medicine and
Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
University of Toronto

animated icon of collaboration

Strengthening an Ecosystem of Collaboration

Talk to potential student and faculty recruits and it’s often Toronto’s large network of academic expertise that piques their interest: you can find an expert (or 10) in any discipline within the reach of U of T. As the central hub linking the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network, the Faculty of Medicine is uniquely situated to promote, incentivize and support a new level of collaboration that fuses the diverse strengths of our network and creates new possibilities for research, education and solutions for better health in our communities.

Among the Faculty’s proposed 2018–2023 objectives:

  • Create tools, resources and venues to enable easy sharing of existing research, innovation and scholarship across the Faculty and among our partners
  • Investigate, design and implement incentives for meaningful collaboration across our academic health sciences network
  • Elevate our teaching and student experience to embed expectations of collaboration in learning, clinical care and research
  • Identify strategic topics where a citywide effort provides obvious benefits and pilot a robust collaboration approach

Here’s how we’re advancing collaboration…

Space Force: Can the Design of Research Space Facilitate Collaboration

When you enter the Translational Biology and Engineering Program (TBEP) labs in the west tower of MaRS, there is no telling where one researcher’s space begins or another’s ends. The large airy space, featuring floor to ceiling windows and great views of Queen’s Park and hospital row, buzzes with a gentle hum as graduate students and researchers go about their work.

U of T students at the Translational Biology Engineering Program Lab at MaRS, Toronto

Collaboration Highlights

Ripple Effect for Global Surgery: U of T’s Prakash Fellowship

Strong First Step for Ontario’s Unmatched MD Grads

U of T Professors Lead Lancet Special Report on Canadian Health Care

U of T to Lead Canada's Largest "Living Population Laboratory"

animated icon of imagination

Catalyzing Groundbreaking Imagination

With the drive for high-calibre research already embedded in the DNA of our Faculty, the time is right for us to amplify our discoveries and academic excellence. We will continue to create an environment where fundamental research and novel ideas can thrive; we will create opportunities that drive learning across disciplines, fields and perspectives; and we will celebrate and reward activities that bring to life ideas that impact scholarship and society.

Among the Faculty’s proposed 2018–2023 objectives:

  • Leverage the university’s position as a hub to remove barriers and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations within and beyond the Faculty of Medicine
  • Foster passion for research among students and trainees to strengthen future generations of leading clinician-scientists
  • Give students the tools to create successful career pathways
  • Develop a pipeline for research and innovation leadership among faculty across the sectors

Here’s how we’re advancing research…

Gene Genies: How Toronto Became a Global Hub for Genetic Research

Stephen Scherer has had a finger on the pulse of genomic research for over 20 years. But that didn’t prepare him for what happened while he was vacationing at his Ontario cottage last summer.

“I had four consecutive days where people came and asked, on behalf of their relatives, about a genetic test – asking what does this mean?” says Scherer, a University Professor at the University of Toronto who is a Director at U of T’s McLaughlin Centre and the Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Applied Genomics.


Research Highlights

Researchers Find Mechanism Behind Neuron Death in ALS and Dementia

What Science is Doing for Swallowing Problems

U of T Grad's AI Startup Raises US$1.5 Million to Accelerate Cancer Drug Discovery

Siloes, Status and Silence: Study Examines Organizational Factors Around Incivility in Medicine

animated icon of equity

Achieving Excellence through Equity

Inclusion and equity are essential components of how we will foster excellence in 21st century scholarship, clinical practice and health outcomes. To advance this ongoing culture shift, we’re drawing in and drawing on our global outlook through diverse perspectives from a range of disciplines; individuals across the Faculty of Medicine, regardless of how they identify, will be invited to have a voice and be empowered to effect change.

Among the Faculty's proposed 2018–2023 objectives:

  • Embed equity and diversity in curricula and teaching across the Faculty to create a safe and healthy learning environment for all
  • Create structures to draw in diverse voices around important education and research questions
  • Work with central university partners to ensure education, outreach and resources are provided to strengthen equity mechanisms and to hold leaders accountable for supporting inclusion
  • Partner with Indigenous communities, patients and across TAHSN to create a community-centred approach to health equity and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report

Here’s how we’re advancing equity…

Removing the Barriers: Fostering Inclusion in Medicine

Getting into medical school isn’t easy — but historically, students from marginalized backgrounds have faced additional barriers.

A suite of initiatives offered by the MD Program is increasing the number of students from groups underrepresented in medicine and health care.

Just two years ago, the first-year cohort of medical students had just one Black student. That number jumped in 2018/2019, when 14 students admitted through the Black Students Application Program (BSAP) began their studies at the Faculty of Medicine.

Summer Mentorship Students

Equity Highlights

Honouring Transformative Work in Indigenous Health

No Longer Faceless

These Students are Patient Advocates

On Being a Black Woman in Medicine

animated icon of success

Enabling Success

Essential to all parts of the plan – and what we heard loud and clear from Faculty-wide consultations – are two key cross-cutting activities that will enable our success:

  1. Supporting health and wellbeing in everything we do: We will create a set of metrics and drivers that support a culture of wellness and professionalism. And we will build a comprehensive strategy – including leadership, mentorship and partnerships – to advance health and wellbeing for learners, faculty and staff across the Faculty of Medicine.
  2. Creating infrastructure, policies and technology that compel collaboration and support sustainability: Working with university and hospital partners, we will integrate policies, structures and incentives to support the seamless flow of ideas, people and resources to deepen our impact and sustainability.

We have a real opportunity at U of T Medicine to unlock the potential of every learner, and deepen our impact as educators, researchers and clinicians. Under the leadership of Prof. Lynn Wilson, Vice Dean Partnerships, we will bring this plan to life over the next five years through a series of cross-Faculty initiatives. And we will encourage sectors, departments and programs throughout Medicine to consider the “local impact” they can create with their work through the lens of these strategic domains and enabling activities. This will allow everyone in our Faculty of Medicine community to flourish and contribute as fully as possible, enhancing the learner experience, driving scientific discovery and improving patient outcomes.


How do we demonstrate we are Canada’s leading faculty of medicine? Through data. From international rankings to research funding and donor support, the new Vitals website quantifies this Faculty’s impact. These figures will be updated throughout the year to report the most recent data about U of T Medicine.

$864 Million Total Research Funding

3rdClinical Medicine
2018 National Taiwan University Ranking

35Affiliated Sites

Link to our Vitals website

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University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine

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