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In Adversity, We Show Our Strength

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Dear MD Program and Postgraduate learners,

The events of the past week are yet another sad example of the systemic anti-Black racism present in our society. The MD and Post MD Programs join with the Faculty of Medicine and the University of Toronto in expressing our commitment to addressing these challenges. As we recently stated, our educational programs have an important role to play in addressing racism and the chronic underrepresentation of Black physicians in our healthcare system. Moreover, each of us has a role to play not just as allies, but accomplices committed to action.

The change we seek must be informed by anti-racist and anti-oppression principles and practices, and it must involve a collaborative approach that is open to change, respectful and culturally safe. This is not a problem for those who are the victims of racism to solve. We must listen to those who have been marginalized, we must learn from their experience, but those in privileged positions must be the ones to do the work.

We are committed to building upon and expanding existing diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as the Summer Mentorship Program and Community of SupportBlack Student Application Program, the Diversity Mentorship Program and needs-based financial support. We are committed to continuing to integrate population-based content and case-based teaching into the curriculum and we want to ensure we provide our learners with intersectional cultural safety and anti-racist teaching that is relevant to all equity seeking and underrepresented groups. While these initial steps have been taken, we know that more can and must be done. Sustained, systemic, and attitudinal change can only occur in a collaborative manner. Solidarity must include sharing power, especially with those communities who are and have been subjected to oppressive individual and institutional policies and practices. Learners, patients, families, staff, and faculty deserve this.  

In addition, the Faculty of Medicine Office of Inclusion and Diversity and University of Toronto Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) are two important resources who are there to support healing, solidarity, allyship and change.  As of this Thursday, June 4, ARCDO is holding a series of events intended to foster and support restoration, reflection and critical dialogue.

We are here for all members of our community who are in pain and may be seeking support. We encourage you to reach out to any one of us or Office of Health Professions Student Affairs or the Postgraduate Wellness Office.

Stay safe; stay healthy; be kind to each other.

Dr. Patricia Houston

Vice Dean, MD Program


Dr. Glen Bandiera

Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education


Dr. Antonio Pignatiello

Associate Dean, Health Professions Student Affairs

MD Program


Dr. Julie Maggi

Director, Resident Wellness

Postgraduate Medical Education


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