We are devoted to educating future physicians to pursue distinction, not only in biomedical and clinical sciences but also in the human elements of medicine: to treat everyone with excellence, compassion, and justice.
As a newcomer to both the University of Toronto’s Department of Medicine and city of Toronto, I can describe the greatness of both by talking about what brought me here in the first place. The University of Toronto is one of the world’s premiere universities, and its Faculty of Medicine ranks among the world’s elite medical schools. The Department of Medicine is the largest department of the Faculty of Medicine and is an international powerhouse in research, clinical care, and education. The department is responsible for training a substantial portion of the physician workforce in the province of Ontario and the nation as a whole. Our faculty members are intimately involved with every step of the education of physicians—from the first year of medical school to the last year of residency and fellowship. Mentoring for success—nurturing the next generation of leaders—is a core value of the department, and there is a long tradition of unrivaled commitment to educational excellence.
What attracted me to the department was the incredibly rich environment for educational innovation and collaboration within the department itself with the various hospitals and healthcare facilities that house the department’s clinical, research, and educational activities. The breadth and variety of learning experiences—from the highly specialized tertiary care in the intensive care units to healthcare facilities and clinics that have deep, long-standing roots in their surrounding communities—allow graduates of the department great versatility in addressing challenges facing society’s health and welfare. The very fact that many of the hospitals of the University of Toronto system have their own cutting edge, world-class educational centres (e.g., the Wilson Centre of the University Health Network, the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education of Women’s College Hospital, the Centre for Faculty Development, the Waters Family Simulation Centre, and the Li Ka Shing International Health Care Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital, to name but a few) spoke volumes to me about the institution's and the department’s engagement in, and commitment to, teaching and learning. We are devoted to educating future physicians to pursue distinction, not only in biomedical and clinical sciences but also in the human elements of medicine: to treat everyone with excellence, compassion, and justice.
In terms of the Greater Toronto Area, what better place to live than in one of the most diverse, vibrant, creative and safest big cities in the world? Ever since I was first introduced to Toronto a couple of decades ago, I have always included it on my short list of great places to visit (and eat!) and now my family and I have the chance to live, learn and work here.
The vision of the department has also been tremendously important to me. Among my clinical, education, and research interests are teaching patient-centred care and addressing issues of diversity, equity, and social justice in medicine and medical education. These themes are among the department’s top strategic priorities and are the focus, not only of education, but also of research, clinical, and administrative efforts in the department. In this sense, the work of the Vice-Chairs (Education, Research, Quality Innovation, and Mentorship, Equity, and Diversity) are focused on assisting the Chair to work on common goals and aspirations.
Above all, what has attracted me to the Department of Medicine are the people—the students, residents, faculty, and staff—and their energy, enthusiasm, esprit de corps, and sense of tremendous pride in the department and the University of Toronto. I am profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the tradition and educational mission of such an amazing group of individuals and institution.
For more information about Arno Kumagai, Vice-Chair, Education, his biographical sketch is available here.