Chair's Column: Welcome Back to a Brave New World

Sep 15, 2020
Dr. Gillian Hawker

Dr. Rupert Kaul with pike fishDr. Rupert Kaul with his big catch As Labour Day came and went, the summer unofficially ended. It will undoubtedly be remembered as anything but typical. Still, I hope you got a chance for some rest and relaxation.

Given the options, many of us explored Ontario and nearby Quebec. My husband and I headed to Howe Island in the Thousand Islands for a week of swimming, hiking, sleeping and reading. What a beautiful place. Thank goodness we live in such a spectacular country, where at our doors are opportunities to cycle, camp, hike, swim and even, yes — like our Infectious Diseases Department Division Director, Rupert Kaul — fish.

We are now six months into the COVID-19 pandemic and I continue to admire your fortitude and resiliency. 

Amidst this crisis, and having been on the frontlines of Toronto’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have demonstrated your sustained dedication to your patients, your learners, your scholarship, your learning, and to supporting one another.

I also want to acknowledge our Department of Medicine staff members. The transition to supporting our 1,500 faculty members and 1,000+ learners remotely happened literally overnight. You quickly adapted your workflows and processes so the department could run efficiently and effectively from afar.

We’ve come so far, but try as we might, it’s hard not to worry about what the fall and winter will bring. As a department, and as Chair, let me reiterate our commitment to helping you through this difficult time.

And although the last six months have been challenging, just think what you’ve accomplished. Here are just a few examples.

Dr. Gillian Hawker
Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine