On Doing Better

May 30, 2020

We recognize that representation matters. At the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, we have been working to change a problematic history, when it comes to the number of Black doctors in training. We know that we have to do better.

As a faculty, we have made a commitment to the principles of inclusion and diversity in all that we do. Current experiences of racism in Canada and the U.S. are profoundly troubling, and the trauma and pain caused by these events are matters that should concern every Canadian.

As part of our commitment to do better, in 2017, the Faculty of Medicine introduced the Black Student Application Program. There has been a significant and sustained increase in the number of Black students in the MD Program at UofT since the inception of this admissions pathway:

In 2018-2019, there were 14 Black students who began the program.

In 2019-2020, there were 15 Black students who started the program through BSAP. In 2020-2021, we anticipate there will be more than 20 Black students who will begin the MD program.

The Faculty’s Community of Support program was created for students who are Indigenous, Black, Filipino, economically disadvantaged, or who self-identify with having a disability in order to help support their admission to medical schools across Canada. Involvement by prospective medical students with Community of Support has also increased over time. Last fall, 55 participants headed to medical school and there are more than 2,000 people currently in the program.

The world is in the midst of a global pandemic that affects people unequally. We stand behind and support efforts to promote equity and diversity and are accountable for the results. We want our medical school to reflect the diversity of the Canadian population and are taking steps to achieve that.

We know we have farther to go.

Dr. Trevor Young,
Dean of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions

Dr. Patricia Houston,
Vice Dean of MD Program

Dr. Lisa Robinson,
Associate Dean, Office of Inclusion and Diversity

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