Nearly two centuries ago, the McGill Faculty of Medicine awarded its very first medical degree, to William Leslie Logie, who was also McGill’s first alumnus and Canada’s first medical graduate. While our mission to train, discover and serve society is largely the same today, the world in which we carry it out has changed dramatically.
We are, in fact, at a time of great promise in the health sciences and care. Our understanding of the origins of disease and ability to modify their course are unprecedented. The growth of new knowledge in this era of “Big Data” is only going to accelerate. And, a legacy of generous benefactors and supporters, beginning with James McGill himself, has enabled our Faculty to expand from one solitary brick building to multiple schools and sites.
Opportunity, however, goes hand in hand with challenge. Society’s needs have also evolved. In Quebec, as in many parts of the world, we are living longer because of the major advances that have been made in research, care and lifestyles. This; however, has precipitated a rise in chronic ailments. The elderly of tomorrow may be more active and autonomous, but many will live with medical conditions that will be our responsibility to alleviate. The diseases we face, both here and globally, are more complex than ever before.
And so, the McGill Faculty of Medicine itself continues to transform. As a result of the changing landscape, we continue to improve the way we do things, in the pursuit of excellence. The Class of 2017 represents the first cohort of medical students to experience our new MDCM curriculum, Patient at Heart, Science in Hand, which exposes them to a renewed focus on the patient, while being firmly rooted in the basic sciences. Primary care, evidence-based medicine, lifelong learning and inter-professionalism are core components of this new course of study.
Change is also ongoing in post-graduate medical education and in all our schools. The Ingram School of Nursing last year received glowing accreditation for its direct-entry master’s program, the first of its kind in Canada. The School of Physical and Occupational Therapy continues to experience tremendous growth in enrolment, while our School of Communication Sciences and Disorders celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall. Meanwhile, the Faculty’s Continuing Health Professional Education team continues to expand its offering to practicing professionals.
We are able to contribute positively to the health of society not only through the Faculty’s work, but also in close collaboration with our major teaching hospitals: The McGill University Health Centre, The Jewish General Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital Center and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. This is also true for our many health partners across RUIS McGill, which is responsible for coordinating access to health care, education and research for 63 per cent of the province’s land mass. Our scholars across the McGill network are leaders in their fields, whose footprint can be seen around the globe—a testament to the exceptional standards we have strived for from the beginning.
I have strong ties to McGill University and to this Faculty. My medical training began here and, following a brief respite outside the province both the city and the university drew me back home. I am deeply honoured to serve as Dean for the McGill Faculty of Medicine, including its thriving community of students, residents, health care professionals, scientists and staff who, like me, are committed to making people healthier and reducing human suffering.
David H. Eidelman, MDCM
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine