The Mission Continues

Sep 9, 2020

Dean Trevor YoungDean Trevor Young We begin a new academic year that will be like nothing we’ve experienced before. In many circumstances, our lessons will be delivered online. Our research will be conducted in labs observing physical distancing requirements and with a reduced on-site team. Our meetings and conversations will be through online video chats or over the phone. We’ll miss the vibrancy of our campuses, as well as unanticipated meetings at our local coffee shop where we can share a laugh and catch up on news.

Despite these challenges, the mission of the Faculty of Medicine continues: namely, to deliver a world-class education, conduct transformative research and prepare the next generation of leaders in clinical practice, health research and fundamental science. We will do so in new ways and we will seek to overcome the physical separation we now experience. I want to thank our faculty and staff who have worked diligently over the last few months to ensure we are ready for the resumption of our programs this fall.

To succeed, we need the support of our entire community. It’s not enough to look for silver linings; we all have a role in helping to create them. We begin by recognizing the stresses and strains we’re all experiencing. In addition to maintaining our professional obligations, many are also trying to balance new demands at home while also aiding family members and friends. In addition, many members of our community are bearing an undue burden as a result of our society’s ongoing reckoning with systemic racism. They need our support and allyship now more than ever. 

It’s essential we continue to show each other respect, as well as understanding and empathy. We are gathered together with a common goal — to be the best we can in our chosen fields — be that as a physician, rehabilitation specialist, researcher, educator or administrator. We will not always succeed in every given moment. But when we fall short, we should trust that there will be others around to help and support us, not castigate or ascribe negative motives.

As we enter a new academic year, we should do so with one word in mind: “commitment.” Commitment to each other, our roles, our communities and to our shared mission. To those who are joining this Faculty for the first time, welcome! To those who are returning, welcome back! Together, we will ensure nothing slows down the Faculty of Medicine … not even a global pandemic.

Sincerely,

Trevor Young
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
University of Toronto

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