Mount Sinai Poet In Residence Events – next week – Oct 15-16

What do you need a poem for?
Ronna Bloom, Sinai Health’s Poet in Residence, will be prescribing poems as part of Healthy Workplace Month.
If you are a patient, a visitor, a clinician, a staff member, or a passerby, come and get a poem for what ails you. Everyone is welcome.

October 15, 2018
Mount Sinai Hospital

RioCan Food Hall

October 16, 2018
Bridgepoint Health

Main floor across from Tim Hortons

For more information or questions, please email

Save the Date – Mindfest 2019

Save the Date!
Mindfest will return on January 24, 2019 from 10 am- 2 pm at Hart House on U of T campus.

This full-day event, open to all, aims to start conversations around mental illness and resilience in fun and interactive ways. Mindfest is a collaboration between the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University and the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Stay tuned for more details!

For More Information and this year’s schedule, please visit:

The Mary Seeman Humanities Award 2019

Call for Submissions: Mary Seeman Humanities WRITING Award: 2019

The Mary Seeman Humanities Award: 2019: Deadline April 12, 2019

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, psychology , 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 a) The submission must be sole-authored and previously unpublished.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:
i. a scholarly essay in the area of humanities and mental illness

ii. 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 12, 2019. 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

The official launch of the Toronto Physicians Choir ! Come Sing

Dear All,

Thank you for your patience over the past few months! Way back in May, at the initial meeting at the OMA offices, the four of us were tasked with moving this project forwards and I am delighted to report that we are now able to announce the official launch of the Toronto Physicians Choir!

The initial idea for the choir came out of a Doctors’ Lounge event organized by Dr. Harold Pupko on behalf of District 11 of the OMA. We have tried to honor that original vision of a choir open to local physicians and medical students with a variety of previous musical experience and diverse musical tastes. We have also taken note of the feedback we received from our first email to you all. We were very encouraged that even with the minimal information available then, enough people were willing to commit to allow us to move ahead.

Barbara Stubbs and Bill Logan interviewed five stellar candidates for the position of choral director and we feel that we have found the ideal candidate in Paul Genyk-Berezowsky. You can read more about him in the attached info sheet, but he is a multi-instrumentalist who already leads three choirs and has a great vision for this choir.

Mary Lilley, again ably assisted by Bill Logan, has found a great location for our rehearsals at Fairlawn Avenue United Church, near Yonge and Lawrence. It is close to the subway line and has lots of parking nearby. The church leadership has been flexible, supportive and welcoming.

The choice of the evening for our rehearsals was challenging. The feedback from yourselves was that while many people were fairly flexible, four people could not make Tuesdays and four people could not make Wednesdays. We also had to take into account the availability of the choral director and the venue and that is why we settled on Wednesdays. Our sincere apologies to those who could not make the Wednesday slot – we very much hope that you will be able to join us at some point in the future. We plan to meet three times a month from 7.30-9.30pm. Two of the sessions will be for members who have committed to the whole year and want to work on a defined repertoire. The other session (which will usually fall in the middle of the month) will also be open to “pay-as-you-go” singers who are looking for a more informal session of singing.

For info on fees, dates, registration, please contact us at

Claire Middleton for the Toronto Physicians Choir

Mindfulness Training and Research Initiative at Sick Kids, Toronto

The Hospital for Sick Children is conducting a research study and we are recruiting physicians in the GTA to take part in a 5 week mindfulness training program that is part of a PhD research project. This study is being conducted through the Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

The purpose of this research study is to assess the impact of mindfulness training on the wellbeing of physicians.

Why participate?

Mindfulness has been indicated to:

Increase personal wellbeing, work-life balance, resiliency & self-regulation

Decrease burn-out & stress

Positively impact the quality of patient-physician relationships

Build effective communication skills

Significantly add to the growing conversation around the importance of physician wellbeing

Program & participation details

Five 2hr training sessions held onsite at SickKids Hospital

Participants can select an option from several days/times

• As part of the study, participants will be asked to complete pre- and post-surveys, as well as participate in a post-program qualitative interview either onsite at SickKids or over the phone (exact times will be coordinated with participants within three weeks of their final program session)

If you are interested in participating in this training program and study, please click on the link below to register or email us at mindfulresearch@utoronto.cato receive further details.


Or copy link into browser:

Participation in any research study is voluntary. Your decision to not participate will not affect your relationship to SickKids. If you decide to participate in this study, you can change your mind at any time without giving a reason.

Interested but not sure if this is for you? We want to connect! Please reach out to learn more about the program before making a commitment.

Thank you for your time,

Elli Weisbaum

PhD Candidate & Research Coordinator

Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Department of Neuroscience & Mental Health, SickKids Hospital

Art Gallery of Ontario Elective Opportunity

An opportunity to view and make art through the lens of the body

What story does art tell of the body and our relationship to it? Through a mix of gallery tours, discussion, and drawing classes, this course provides an introduction to how art can help us think about the body, and our social engagement with the body. We aim to foster a discussion about the intertwined history of medicine and the visual arts, and to encourage ‘critical’ looking.

This course is co-led by AGO’s artist-instructor Kerry Kim together with Allison Crawford and Lisa Richardson.

Course Dates: October 11, October 25, November 8, November 22

Course Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

Eligibility: No art experience necessary. All course attendees must be a current University of Toronto student.

Cost: There is no cost for the course. Thanks to funding from Post-MD Education at the University of Toronto.

$10 for materials. Materials will be available to purchase and pick up the week of the course at:

Aboveground Art Supplies

74 McCaul Street

Toronto, ON M5T 3K2

Registration-For Medical learners Only:

To register go to eventbrite:

Please be sure to register through this eventbrite link and NOT through the Art Gallery of Ontario website. Kindly bring a copy of your “Free” ticket on Thursday October 11th along with your materials.

*Note: There is a limited number of seats for this course. Please register as soon as possible!

For more information please visit:

Please address queries to:

Allison Crawford MD PhD FRCPC

Visual Ways of Knowing at the McMichael Gallery

Visual Ways of Knowing: An Art-Based Workshop for Medical Learners at the McMichael Art Gallery


Eligibility To Participate:

No art experience necessary.  All materials, including entrance fee, provided thanks to funding from Post-MD Education at the University of Toronto.

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis for medical students, residents and fellows at the University of Toronto.  Up to two spots may be reserved for medical educators if space permits.

You must commit firmly to attending both parts of the workshop (see below). For more information and to register:

Goals :
This two-part workshop will address learners’ needs for:

  • – critical thinking
  • – mental and emotional flexibility
  • – awareness of preconceptions/biases
  • – practice in disrupting assumptions
  • – alternatives to judgment/self-judgment
  • – fostering reflective capacity
  • – observational acuity/visual literacy


Objectives :
Through viewing, describing, discussing, and creating visual art, learners will:

  • – practice alternative ways of perceiving
  • – develop a vocabulary to articulate what they see
  • – work collaboratively with peers to generate meaning
  • – reflect on their cognitive and affective responses to visual images, which can be incorporated into course learning portfolios
  • – consider the connections between a keen appreciation of visual art and enhanced practice of medicine
  • – practice art-making as a means of understanding and reflection
  • – enhance their appreciation of the rich contexts of Canadian visual culture.


Dates – In two parts:
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 10am to 3:30pm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
10365 Islington Ave, Kleinburg


Thursday, December 6, 2018, 7:30pm
Private Collector’s home
35 Owen Blvd, Toronto

Michael J. Weinberg MD MSc BSc FRCS(C), Plastic Surgeon; Board Member, McMichael Gallery
Shelley Wall MSc BMC PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Communications, UofT; Illustrator-in-Residence in the Faculty of Medicine, UofT; VTS-trained
Eva-Marie Stern RP MA, Art Psychotherapist; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UofT; VTS-trained
Allan Peterkin MD FRCP(C) FCFP, Professor of Psychiatry, UofT; Head of University of Toronto Program in Health and Humanities

Health Narratives Research Group at Mount Sinai

The Health Narratives Research Group (HeNReG) Meetings

Every Wednesday from October 3, 2018 – April 24, 2019, Room 920 (9th floor) Mount Sinai Hospital


The Health Narratives Research Group (HeNReG) allows researchers the opportunity to take the personally relevant stories that initiated their commitment to health care and develop them into narratives with a particular point of view. The process includes both personal reflection and the willingness to share one’s story and gain additional insights from the rest of the group.

The HeNReG is a voluntary, non-credit group open to any member of the university community interested in health care. Diversity of membership is both supported and encouraged. We encourage participants to develop their narrative into a piece for publication in either written (e.g. memoir, poem) or alternative format (e.g. graphic novelization). Completed narratives may be submitted to ARS MEDICA or posted on the group’s site.

The HeNReG is facilitated by philosopher of education Dr. Carol Nash, who as Scholar in Residence in the History of Medicine has created this process for developing narrative in collaboration with Professor Edward Shorter, the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine. The group is supported by the Health Arts and Humanities Program directed by Dr. Allan Peterkin at the Mount Sinai Hospital.

The HeNReG meets weekly on Wednesdays between the first week in October and the last week in April. Participants can join anytime by contacting Dr. Nash at There is a natural break at the end of the calendar year and new members often join in January.

Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One – Registrations now open!

The Centre for Faculty Development (CFD) and the University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development are excited to announce the launch of a new program:

Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One.

This program, consisting of six, two hour sessions, will meet the needs of healthcare clinicians and educators coming to narrative medicine for the first time. There will be little or no homework/readings for this program. Please see this link for detailed program information, including learning goals, schedule, and location.

The art of telling – and listening to – stories is fundamental to what it means to be human. Storytelling is a craft that can be developed with practice.

Narrative medicine, both in medical practice and education, is practiced with a focus on the skills of communication and collaboration which are essential to positive health outcomes. Learning how to write and reflect on narratives will give you a powerful ability to build therapeutic and collegial relationships, improve patient outcomes, and live and work in a more reflective and engaged way.

Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One will introduce the theory and practice of Narrative-Based Medicine through a variety of practical activities and discussion. Participants will be guided through in-class exercises in close reading, close listening, and creative and reflective writing. We will also create and share written work to enhance participants’ comfort with expression, communication, and feedback. As well as discussing the goals and benefits of narrative medicine, class discussion will return to the questions raised by the participants’ clinical and educational practice with the aim of enhancing narrative competence in working life.

There is a $500 fee and registration is required. Registration closes Sep 26, 2018. There is a maximum capacity for 15 participants. 

For registration and detailed information, please visit:  

Please feel free to contact if you have any questions.

Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant – Call for Proposals September 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As previously announced, Post MD Education has introduced the Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant in the amount of $5,000 per project proposal, distributed on a semi-annual basis. The first (inaugural) call went out in January 2017 and grants were awarded in June 2017, December 2017 and June 2018.

I am writing to announce the call for the fall 2018 submissions. The submission deadline is October 15, 2018 with grants awarded to the successful applicants at the end of November.

The integration of humanities in medical education curricula has the potential to improve observation skills, self-reflection, and enhance learner competencies in the CanMEDS roles. Projects and proposals may reflect a variety of curricular designs which identify how medical humanities will be integrated into curricula and further enhance CanMEDS competencies.

Each proposal will require a matching funding commitment from the submitting department/division, i.e., if the project budget is $4,500 – a letter from the department chair committing to $2,250 is required. Funding will be provided for a one year period, and applicants must agree to submit a project report at end of the period.

Post MD Education will transfer the awarded funds to the successful applicant’s Academic Department in the Faculty of Medicine. Business Managers will provide Financial Information Services (FIS) account numbers to facilitate this transfer within 4 weeks of application approval or the funding offer will be withdrawn. The Academic Department will be responsible for the disbursement of funds to the successful applicant.

Below is further background on the purpose of the grant as well as a template for the application. Please distribute widely.


We look forward to receiving applications for the Medical Humanities Education Grant by October 15, 2018.  

Please submit your package by email to Arlene McKinley at


Professor, Department of Anesthesia and
Vice Dean, Post MD Education – Postgraduate Medical Education & Continuing Professional Development
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

The Fifth Annual Calgary Health Humanities Symposium 2018

Announcing The Fifth Annual Calgary Health Humanities Symposium 2018 

October 18 & 19, 2018

Keynote speaker: Michael J. Green on Graphic Medicine

Faculty and learners from all disciplines with an interest in healthcare are invited to submit an abstract for an oral or a poster presentation on a topic related to the theme of the symposium: Art and Medicine: Friends, Enemies or Distractors. You are encouraged to present material that offers compelling descriptions and critical analysis of applications of any humanities-based understanding, skill development, evaluation or research across the continuum of healthcare practice.

Possible topics include: How might the arts and humanities help us create better health care providers? Can expertise in visual arts and creative writing enhance the clinical observation skills of clinicians? What is the place for art in clinical education? Do the arts or humanities offer understanding or skills to enhance the professional’s experience of care and protect them from burnout ?

Call for abstracts, submission and registration forms are now posted on the website:

Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Retreat with Bill Gayner

August 23 to 26, 2018

Ecology Retreat Centre, Orangeville, Ontario

This four-day silent retreat will introduce newer meditators to a meditation practice that is gentle and open from the outset, as well as support experienced meditators in developing more compassion and empathy for their inner world and experience.

Where most forms of mindfulness focus on the breath and other bodily sensations, emotion-focused mindfulness therapy (EFMT) emphasizes mindfulness of embodied emotional experiencing. Rather than feeling better, the emphasis is on getting better at feeling, so that our feelings help us better navigate our lives.

Meditation sittings will range from 20 to 40 minutes long, with time for journaling after each meditation. Bill will be giving two daily talks, with two discussion periods each day. There will be daily small groups for sharing and exploring your meditation experience led by Bill and other teachers, as well as opportunities for retreatants to speak individually with a teacher about their meditation practice.

When: Thursday August 23, 2018 at 4pm to Sunday August 26, 2018 at 1pm

Location: Ecology Retreat Centre, 308046 Hockley Road Mono, Ontario L9W 6N2


Bill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW, has taught and researched mindfulness for over fifteen years. He is developing emotion-focused mindfulness therapy (EFMT), a mindfulness approach that treats emotions as adaptive resources. Bill leads EFMT groups for psychiatric outpatients and people living with HIV, and trains hospital staff in emotion-focused mindfulness. He teaches Mindful Psychotherapy in the Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

Cost: Includes all retreat fees (accommodation and snacks & delicious organic meals) as well as the teachings offered, and group and private meetings with emotion-focused mindfulness teachers to deepen meditation practice. The retreat also includes exclusive access to the swimming pool, daily yoga classes, labyrinth for walking meditation and a variety of hiking trails great for walking meditation or jogging, campfire circle and peaceful streams and ponds.

Single room $1050CAD *Limited number available

Shared room $800CAD per person

*Reduced Rate can be requested for those in financial hardship.

For more information, please contact:

Justina Zatzman:

Bill Gayner: