Alumni Newsletter: I was second on call the evening of the Danforth shooting on July 22. I spent that night operating on shooting victims; repairing holes in organs, arresting hemorrhage and resuscitating patients out of profound shock and back to life.
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How a Rise in Gun Violence Made Me an Advocate
UofTMed Alum: How a Rise in Gun Violence Made Me an Advocate
Dr. Najma Ahmed

I was second on call the evening of the Danforth shooting on July 22, 2018.

As a surgeon with a subspecialty in trauma surgery, emergency general surgery and critical care based at St. Michael's Hospital, I spent that night operating on shooting victims; repairing holes in organs, arresting hemorrhage and resuscitating patients out of profound shock and back to life.

It was surreal. We hear of mass shootings in the United States, but so often consider ourselves protected in Canada. That night made us realize we aren’t immune.

For me, responding to the Danforth shooting added to a big blurry memory of trauma and tragedy that has only been growing throughout my career.

And as I treat the injured, often for months or years after they have been shot, I see a side of gun violence that doesn’t always come through in the headlines: I see how gun violence leads to life-long chronic disease for the innumerable victims who survive.

Read More ›

Dr. Najma Ahmed, PGME 2000 (Critical Care Medicine), is a Professor and Vice-Chair, Education in the University of Toronto’s Department of Surgery and a trauma surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Gut Immune Cells Cut Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis
Gut Immune Cells Cut Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis
U of T’s Jen Gommerman, BSc ’93, PhD ‘98, and Olga Rojas discovered that immune cells in intestine reduce brain inflammation in people with MS.
Profs. Neeru Gupta
U of T Scientists Find Lack of Fluid Flow in Glaucoma
Profs. Neeru Gupta, PGME ’95 (Ophthalmology), MBA ‘12, and Yeni Yucel, PGME ’96 (Anatomical Pathology), show fluid which flushes out the eye’s optic nerve doesn’t flow properly in mice with glaucoma.
Professor Anne Berndl
Making Pregnancy More Accessible
U of T Assistant Prof. Anne Berndl, works at one of the first clinics in North America that cares for pregnant women with physical disabilities.
Profs. Mary L’Abbé and Art Slutsky
U of T Professors Appointed to Order of Canada
Profs. Mary L’Abbé and Art Slutsky, BAS ’70, MASc ‘72, receive one of Canada’s highest honours for lifetime achievement.
Professor Robert Bristow
How Low Oxygen Drives Tumours
Prof. Robert Bristow, BSc ’86, MSc ’89, MD ’92, PGME ’96 (Radiation Oncology), PhD ’97, and fellow researchers discover low oxygen state that surrounds cancer tumours and helps them to grow and resist treatment.
Prof. Molly Shoichet’s team
U of T Startup Raises $3.25 Million to Eliminate Opioids After Surgery
Prof. Molly Shoichet’s team to develop gel-based drug delivery system to extend duration of anesthetics and reduce need for opioid prescriptions.
BSAP Opens Opportunities to Black MD Students
BSAP Opens Opportunities to Black MD Students
Fourteen Black students entered medical school in first cycle of new admissions pathway.
New Gift Marks 100 years of U of T's First Endowed Chair
New Gift Marks 100 years of U of T's First Endowed Chair
To mark the milestone, John Craig Eaton made a $1-million commitment to the Department of Medicine’s Eliot Phillipson Clinician Scientist Training Program.
Brian Morrison
Community Honours Beloved Neighbour, Establishing Palliative Medicine Award at U of T
When Brian Morrison died in August 2018, his family and friends raised $50,000 to create a graduate award.
Mark Shafarenko, Sara Mirali, Ayesh Seneviratne And Tara Tofighi
MD Students Create Study Guide, Pay it Forward: 35 Years of Toronto Notes
Students dedicate profits from study guide, donating close to $3.7 million to Boundless campaign.
Janet Cottrelle
I Determined I Would Be That Advocate — Janet Cottrelle
While Cottrelle and her husband had discussed establishing a foundation, her ovarian cancer diagnosis caused them to do so earlier than expected.
Gary Bader
Melding Computer Science with Biology to Revolutionize Data Analysis — Gary Bader, PhD ‘03
Bader takes human biology data to make predictions about personal health.
Prof. Rigby
AutoScribe Ambition: 50% Less Screen Time for Docs — Noah Crampton, PGME ’18 (Family Medicine)
AutoScribe is a software that uses real-time conversations between patients and doctors to auto-fill digital forms.
Dean Trevor Young
The Winter 2019 issue of UofTMed magazine looks at death and dying in medicine. Alumni attended the UofTMed Inside the Issue panel discussion featuring palliative care physicians Sandy Buchman and Jeff Myers, geriatric medicine specialist Samir Sinha, and assisted-death advocate Maureen Taylor, who joined UofTMed magazine editor Heidi Singer to explore the changing role of medicine in our final days.

Save the date for the next UofTMed Inside the Issue on June 1, 2019 taking place at U of T Alumni Reunion.
UofTMed Alumni Weigh in on Death and Dying in Medicine

“UofTMed magazine’s winter 2019 issue is one of the best ever. I read it cover to cover. Death and dying has never been adequately discussed by doctors with their patients. Unfortunately, in my opinion it should have been discussed many years ago particularly before the legalization of MAID in Canada.”

— Graeme Barber, MD ’67

“First of all, kudos for this excellent publication on dying and death — much needed in a society that still is 'death phobic’ in attitude. Having been bedside with loved ones and patients who were dying or have died, my hope is that health care providers will talk about the sacred space that is often experienced when people are dying. My own experiences have made me deeply aware of how much life, love and compassion are embraced at the end of life.”

— Karen Faith, MEd ’86, MSc ’99

“Very hot subject. Very cool issue. Bravo from this end of the gurney.”

— Joe MacInnis, MD ’62

“Depressing read, but enlightening at the same time. The stories touched on several areas that could really benefit from more research. After reading what people went through, I’m really hoping for some better ways in dealing with end-of-life choices.”

— Susan Ing, BAS ’78, DIH ’91

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Join the Selection Committee for the 2019 Dean's Alumni Awards

Help review nominations and select the award recipients for this year’s Dean’s Alumni Awards. Nominees can include graduates of life sciences, rehabilitation sciences, MD, MD/PhD, former residents or fellows. If you would like to participate on the committee, please email Karen Lee, Alumni Relations Officer at
Alumni Reunion

Save the Dates for U of T Alumni Reunion: May 29 – June 3, 2019
Join us for a weekend filled with activities to welcome alumni back to campus. Highlights include the bi-annual UofTMed Inside the Issue panel discussion, the Dean's Alumni Awards, stress-free degrees, MSB tours and much more.
FEB 20 – 23 Daffydil — Playing with Matches
FEB 24 – 27 32nd Annual Update In Emergency Medicine
FEB 26 Regulatory Jurisdictions in Medical Devices
FEB 28 –
MAR 29
Leading Transformation: Building Adaptive Capacity - Advanced Learning Program at IHPME
MAR 12 Knowledge Translation
MAR 18 – 20 Aging & Brain Health — Prevention & Early Detection of Dementia
MAR 26 Implementing Innovations
APR 4 – 6 59th Annual Program for Practicing Surgeons Update in General Surgery
APR 4 19th Toronto Breast Surgery Symposium
APR 5 49th Annual Toronto Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Symposium
APR 9 Frontiers in Translation
APR 13 – 14 Toronto Anesthesia Symposium
APR 27 Toronto Breast Imaging Conference

View all events ›
Dean Trevor Young
As the Boundless Campaign Closes, We’re Still Advancing
“In counting down the final moments of 2018, we also marked the end of our Boundless campaign. While we’re still tallying final numbers, I’m thrilled, humbled and thankful to share that the Faculty of Medicine has surpassed our ambitious $600 million goal, raising a total of over $637 million as of December 21st.” — Dean Trevor Young (pictured above with Darina Landa, Executive Director, Faculty of Medicine Advancement)
Faculty of Medicine Advancement Office
6 Queen's Park Crescent West / Toronto, ON Canada M5S 3H2

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