1) A Reading and Book Signing By Dr. James Maskalyk, The Art of Medicine Speakers’ Series

“Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine”

Date/Location:  Room 4171 MSB (Medical School Building) , for your March 22nd talk at 630pm.  This lecture hall is located on the 4th floor instead. Folks can take the elevator to 4th floor and locate the room.


James is a physician and author, both of the international bestseller “Six Months in Sudan” and more recently, “Life on the Ground Floor“. He practices emergency medicine and trauma at St. Michael’s, Toronto’s inner-city hospital and is an award winning teacher at the University of Toronto.

He directs a program that works with Ethiopian partners at Addis Ababa University to train East Africa’s first emergency physicians and is a member of Medecins Sans Frontieres, an organization for which he has worked as both a journalist and a physician. In 2007, he was MSF’s first official blogger, He practices and teaches mindfulness at the Consciousness Explorers Club in Toronto, and is passionate about it’s potential to encourage personal and social change.



This year, Synesthesia will be held April 9th, 2018 in the Medical Science Building Stone Lobby. Submissions of original artwork (paintings, photography, computer graphics, poetry, sculpture, or any other form of displayable art) from students, faculty and health practitioners across disciplines make this show possible.


3) STORYTELLING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP- Finding Connection Through Medicine-with Dr Dawn Lim

Open to medical students, residents and fellows at no charge.

April 9th, 2018 , at the close of the Synesthesia Art Show: 5-700 pm

Room 2394 Medical School Building

**Maximum number of students is 20. First come , first served.

Goals of the Photography Workshop (2-hour workshop)

  • Learn to appreciate visual cues and the stories behind them through analyzing a series of well known and lesser known photographs
  • Discuss and discover the components of a powerful and meaningful photograph
  • Discover how photography may be used as a tool for advocacy

Equipment Needed

  • It would be ideal if students can bring in a DLSR camera (even a basic one is fine)

Useful website reference : National Geographic’s Your Shot forum at

Biography for Dawn Lim:

I am an emergency doctor, assistant professor of medicine, and an amateur photographer and writer based in Toronto. I enjoy weaving storytelling into my practice to help me connect to my patients. I feel storytelling builds empathy and is a great way to combine my interests in medicine and the arts. I’m particularly interested in photo-essays depicting motherhood and life in the emergency department.

Questions? Please email: Dawn Lim <>




Indigenous Health Film Screening + Discussion

Film: The People of the Kattawapiskak River

Guest: Dr. Lisa Richardson, Indigenous Health Education Co-Lead (University of Toronto)

“The People of the Kattawapiskak River”, a documentary by celebrated Mohawk filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, exposes the housing crisis faced by 1,700 Cree in a James Bay coastal community.  It chronicles the story of how racism and neglect led Attawapiskat’s band chief, Theresa Spence, to ask the Canadian Red Cross for disaster relief.  This film is a critical reminder of the role of social determinants of health such as housing for community wellness, and of how strong Indigenous leaders are advocating for change.   The use of film as a transformative teaching tool in health care education also resonates of Indigenous pedagogies that are grounded in  culture, experience and the wisdom of our ancestors, and foregrounds strengths-based models of change for Indigenous peoples.



Why Are You So Scared? “Other Questions about Poetry, Medicine and Shocks of Mortality”

A conversation with a poet-physician, a poet-patient, and Ronna Bloom, the Sinai Health poet-in residence:

SHANE NEILSON, author of Dysphoria (Porcupine’s Quill)

MOLLY, PEACOCK, author of The Analyst: Poems (WH Norton)

Ronna Bloom, author of The More (Pedlar Press)

Moderated by Dr. Allan Peterkin Head, the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities, University of Toronto

Location: Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave, 18th Floor Auditorium

Date/Time: Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:00-8:00pm


6) Call for Submissions: Mary Seeman Humanities WRITING Award: 2018

The Mary Seeman Humanities Award: 2018
This award is intended to encourage creative and scholarly activity in the interface between the humanities and issues related to mental illness and emotional well-being. The award is open to students from Dentistry, Kinesiology and Physical Education, Medicine (including undergraduate, residents and fellows), Nursing, Medical Radiation Sciences, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Social Work, Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto, as well as students from medical humanities disciplines including literary studies, history, bio-ethics and disability studies. The award is based on documented evidence of completed work of artistic and/or scholarly merit that contributes to a better understanding of the human condition. Submissions will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity and relevance to mental health and illness.  Please note only one submission per applicant will be accepted.

The following guidelines are suggested to assist applicants in preparation of their submissions.

  1. a)        The submission must be sole-authored and previously unpublished. To qualify for inclusion the submission must be:
  2. a scholarly essay in the area of humanities and mental illnessii.         a personal memoir, medical illness narrative
    iii.        a short story
    iv.        a description of program development that integrates humanities and mental health

All above formats may be illustrated, if appropriate, by drawings, photography or video but the core of the submission must be a well-written narrative

Word content of submitted narratives should be no greater than 4000 words.

If applicants are uncertain about the suitability of a submission, they are encouraged to contact any of the committee members. Submissions will be judged by the committee, with outside consultation where appropriate.

Deadline for submissions is April 13, 2018. The award consists of a certificate and cheque for $ 500.00

Prospective applications and queries should be addressed to: 

Dr. Ron Ruskin Department of Psychiatry (  

Mount Sinai Hospital 600 University Avenue, Toronto, M5G 1X5


7) The CURRENT issue of ARS MEDICA-A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities  is now available at:


8) The Health Narratives Research Group (HeNReG) meets Wednesdays from 4-6 pm at Mount Sinai Hospital | Info at:


9) THE ART OF MEDICINE SPEAKERS’ SERIES  CONTINUES- a dynamic new speakers’ series and book signing with physician authors  will be held at the medical school in 2018. Save the dates :

Brian Goldman -“On Empathy” (April 19, 6-8pm), and  Ron Epstein author of “Attending”  (June 1st 1040-noon)



Narrative Healthcare Atelier Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute

DATES: June 1-4, 2018

Visiting Keynote Speaker: Ronald M. Epstein, MD

Course Directors: Allan Peterkin, MD & Michael Roberts, MD

Canada’s Only Advanced Training Seminar in Narrative-based Healthcare for Health Practitioners and Educators across Clinical Disciplines

Explore and reflect critically on your clinical practices, challenges, personal and professional growth as health providers using narrative, storytelling and arts-based learning.  This 4 day workshop is designed to help you improve outcomes and to humanize your experiences within complex healthcare contexts. Themes related to relationship-centered care, professionalism, team collaboration and the hidden curriculum will be explored through visual, cinematic and literary texts including fiction, drama and poetry.

This intensive, interactive atelier will apply narrative theory and reflective practice in the contexts of interprofessional patient-centred healthcare, research and education.  It aims to:  enliven your engagement and collaboration as clinicians and educators from all disciplines; support best practices as teachers, clinicians and lifelong learners; transform the paradigm of your daily professional practice with a renewed commitment to the core values of humanistic healthcare.

Register at :


11) OTHER   NATIONAL HEALTH HUMANITIES  EVENTS: The newly inaugurated Canadian Association for Health Humanities now has a website and national/international list-serv :  WWW.CAHH.CA

CREATING SPACE , Canada’s annual Health Humanities Conference will be held before the CCME meeting  at Dalhousie University , Halifax, April 27-28-as a pre-CCME Conference event

Creating Space VIII:  April 27-28, 2018, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS


Theme: Fostering Critical Thinking Through the Arts and Humanities 


  • Teaching and Education
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Engaging Community