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Chair's Statement

We Are All Thinking of You

I feel the need to express my sadness about the horrific events that have clouded the world in which we live and work. This includes Trump’s ban on entry to the U.S. of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and a young pro-right Quebec man who killed six Muslim men, and seriously injured several more, at a local mosque in Quebec City. From our educational leaders, I hear our residents are frightened – many of them are from these ‘banned’ countries or have families there. They are Muslims. I want to confirm, once again, that I am thinking of those of you who have been most directly affected by these world events – we are all thinking of you. Read more.

Chair's Column

The Launch of the Palliative Medicine Subspecialty

As we are all well aware, things have changed in healthcare over the past decade or two. Most of our patients are now living well into their 80’s if not 90’s and beyond, and thus with multiple chronic conditions. As a University that trains the largest proportion of internal medicine specialists in Canada, it behooves us to ensure that our educational programs are adjusted to these changes to ensure our graduates are equipped with the skills required of them for the future. Key skillsets required for the future include competency not only in the acute disease management, but also the integrated inter-disciplinary chronic healthcare management of people living with multi-morbidity such that our efforts maximize the patient’s quality of life and address preferences for care. Read more.

Editorials & Opinions

My Circuitous Route to Academic Palliative Care

The realization that palliative care was the field for me came through being profoundly influenced by the ideals of Balfour Mount, a McGill urologist, who was a central figure in the palliative care movement of the 1960s and 70s. He gave a notorious annual lecture to the first year medical class...It involved a rousing narrative punctuated by musical interludes with contemporary music including Pink Floyd’s, The Wall. The message, compelling for me at the time, was that we lived in a death-denying society and that we had forgotten our mission, in the words of 19th century physician Edward Livingston Trudeau, “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.” Read more.

Featured Faculty

Dr. James Downar

The recognition of palliative medicine as a subspecialty by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada was a recognition of many changes that are taking place in medicine and society. Clearly, Canadians are getting older and living with more chronic, complex illnesses. They are also appreciating the importance of symptom management, and increasingly demanding access to timely care that is focused on quality of life rather than quantity of life. Read more.

Announcements & Events


Appointments & Awards

Appointments and Award Recipients: Feb. 2017

New Faculty, New Faces

Welcome to the Department's New Recruits

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