Medicine: a Trade or a Profession?

September 23rd, 2009 2 comments

September 21,2009, The Winnipeg Free press published an editorial titled “Of Light, Of Liberty, Of Learning”  (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/of-light-of-liberty-of-learning-59978307.html). The edtorial  responds to a presentation made by President Barnard. Incuded in  the editorial  comments are the following:

“Universities are not technical schools, although they may teach things like medicine, engineering and law — in fact, they should be the places that one goes to learn those important trades”

The editorial goes on to state:

“Neither are they places where people lollygag about, occasionally reading romantic poets or discussing their adolescent theories of existentialism, although a little knowledge of both romantic poetry and existential philosophy are useful things for even doctors or lawyers to acquire.” (underline is mine)

To this point our blog has been mostly informative. It is my hope that we may explore points of view raised by this editorial, and stimulate some comments.

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A Week of Celebration-Homecoming

September 12th, 2009 1 comment

Home coming weekend is an annual event we look forward to. This year we have had  11 class reunions, 9 during home coming week. The sense of the excitement in the room, and a reconnection with colleagues was wonderful. Our president Dr. David Barnard spent the morning with us and brought greetings. Tours were arranged for those who had not seen the facilities for some time. As special thanks to our new alumni affairs coordinator Darcy Routledge and all the work that she has done on behalf of our alumni this year. The entire team including Ilana Simon, Barbara  Becker, Blair Nichols, Lisa Thompson, Rosanna Tillberg, Amelie Findlay and Janice Labossiere deserve special thanks as well for a great event.

We encourage you to use our Alumni Online Community, a password protected University of Manitoba website, similar to Face Book, that would allow you to keep in contact with your colleagues in a convenient way. To register go to : www.umanitoba.ca/medicine/olc.html

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A Week of Celebration-The Joe Doupe Lecture

September 12th, 2009 No comments

So much of the essence of our school has been determined by the mind, character, values, and teaching of Joe Doupe that the annual Joe  Doupe lecture can easily be defined as the high point of our academic year. It is my task to introduce the lecture, and to put some perspective on it by reflecting on the person we are honoring. It is  difficult since some of you remember him and I have never worked with him. I chose this year to provide 2 quotes by individuals who worked closely with him. They seemed to find a definitive description elusive as well. Imagine the scene for the first quote: written by what was then a tired medical officer with the “Forgotten Twelfth Army” in Burma.

“On the banks of a muddy Burmese River its name long since forgotten, Joe Doupe entered my life driving a war weary Jeep accompanied by a matching slovenly Service Corps driver. I will always be grateful to the gods of war for that chance encounter. He accompanied my Field Ambulance Company from where ever it was down to Mandalay, putting the jeep, the driver and his own skill as an M. O. entirely at my disposal, although I never did clearly understand what he was supposed to be doing there. On reaching Mandalay the military situation became static and Joe took himself off with characteristic abruptness.”Dr Jack Hildes, 1967

The second quote is from Dr Arnold Naimark, a colleague of Joe’s who said:

“Is not not easy to describe his influence in a few words and perhaps there are many intangibles which will only come to be discerned in the achievement of his students.”

To which I would add “and the students  of his students”. Our Joe Doupe lecture this year was given by Dr David H. Peters, B. Sc. Med./86, MD/86 MPH, DrPh one of our outstanding students of the students of Joe Doupe. The achievements of Dr Peters are immense. He is currently Director of the  Health Systems Programs at John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and takes part in programs to improve health systems in low income countries. His talk was outstanding.david-at-joe-doupe

Hats off to Dr David Eisenstat who organized the event and leads the Advanced Degrees in Medicine Program. He has doubled enrollment in the B.Sc. Med. program in 2 years. The presentations by 8 B.S.c. Med students were excellent. Congratulations to Jane Colish, Pierre-Paul Lizotte, Andrea Mazurat, Tamarar McColl, Brent Sheardown, Maneesh Sud, Kristjan Thompson, and Catherine Wach as well as their supervisors.

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