A time to renew

 

It is a time of renewal for our Faculty, and we have reason to celebrate. We have changed the Faculty’s name to reflect how much we have grown in two centuries: we are now the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. We launched McGill’s Campus Outaouais, where medical students can now train entirely in French. We have two landmark birthdays: the Ingram School of Nursing turned 100 in 2020, and in 2021 McGill celebrates its Bicentennial.

And yet, world events cast a shadow: the global COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism are top of mind for everyone. Our Faculty is deeply committed to fight both these scourges, and others, with you.

The pursuit of excellence

The renaming of our Faculty marks the start of a new era. As we begin our third century, we take pride in our past successes but, more importantly, challenge ourselves to build on our accomplishments, constantly striving for excellence. In education. In science. And in our commitment to society. The extraordinary challenges we are all facing have inspired us to re-examine all of our missions—how we teach, how we do research and how we conduct ourselves as an institution.

Teaching and learning have been upended around the globe by the pandemic. Our Faculty community has risen to this daunting challenge, embracing remote learning and other innovative pedagogical approaches, and adapting to the new reality with remarkable acumen and speed.

In this context, there has been a call for greater interprofessionalism and interdisciplinarity, which is transforming health care and health professions education. We are embracing these changes in our six unique Schools, each a leader: Medicine, Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Population and Global Health, and Biomedical Sciences.

The pandemic has highlighted many of our great research strengths in infection and immunity, public health, epidemiology and genomics. We are well positioned to build on these, as science becomes increasingly interdisciplinary, globalized and driven by massive datasets.

In the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd, we have created an action plan that recognizes where we have failed and identifies steps we must take to tackle anti-Black and other systemic racism. Our hope is to bring about lasting change with the voice of those impacted at the centre of what we do. One of our Faculty’s alumni, Kenneth Melville, BSc’26, MDCM’26, MSc’31 (1902–1975), lends his name to the University’s new Black Faculty Caucus.

A healthier world

Today, the promise of better health for millions is greater than at any time in human history. Despite this, we continue to face longstanding challenges to health and well-being. Beyond the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic, cancer still strikes one in two individuals, chronic neurological and mental health disorders take an enormous toll, and millions suffer the health consequences of social and economic disparities.

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has a remarkable history and is approaching its third century: it has the science, the expertise and the vision to continue to excel and improve health on a global scale.

Together, we will meet the challenges, with compassion, resilience and determination, as we have done since the Faculty first opened its doors.

Welcome to the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

David Eidelman, MDCM’79
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

 

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