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Exceptional leader

Dr. Margaret Steele appointed dean of Medicine at Memorial

Teaching and Learning

By Jennifer Batten

The search committee for the dean of the Faculty of Medicine has completed its work and has recommended Dr. Margaret Steele for the position.

President Gary Kachanoski has accepted the recommendation; the Board of Regents approved the appointment on June 8, 2016. Dr. Steele will begin a five-year term effective Aug. 15, 2016. She will be the first female dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial and one of two female deans of Medicine currently at universities across Canada.

Longtime leader

Dr. Steele is an experienced academic administrator, scholar, researcher and psychiatrist who has held several senior leadership roles over the course of her extensive career in medicine and academia. She comes to Memorial from Western University in London, Ont., where she is currently vice-dean, hospital and interfaculty relations, in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“Dr. Steele has an exceptional track record in teaching, research and leadership in medicine.” –Dr. Noreen Golfman

She is also a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Family Medicine at Western University; an affiliated scientist at the Children’s Health Research Institute and a scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute; and an affiliated member of the Centre of Education Research and Innovation at Western University.

“Dr. Steele has an exceptional track record in teaching, research and leadership in medicine,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic). “I am delighted to welcome her to Memorial University and to Newfoundland and Labrador, and I look forward to working with her in this important role. She brings a wealth of experience to our team.”

Collaborative research

Renowned for her collaborative approach to research, Dr. Steele has extensive experience working with other researchers in child and adolescent mental health at local, provincial and national levels in the areas of psychiatric education, psychopharmacology and mentorship. Her research interests have focused on educating family physicians about child and adolescent mental health.

She has been a member of the Test Committee on Psychiatry for the Medical Council of Canada and an examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).  She also led the successful application for child and adolescent psychiatry subspecialization at the RCPSC.

Teaching and learning

Dr. Steele has been recognized on many occasions for her outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. She is the recipient of the Schulich Undergraduate Award of Excellence in Education, the Schulich Postgraduate Award of Excellence in Education, the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry in Canada Award of Excellence in Education and the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Excellence in Education Award.

She holds the Canadian Certified Physician Executive designation from the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders and is past president of the Ontario Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Association of Professors in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Canada.

Dr. Golfman expresses her thanks to the search committee and to faculty, staff and students who were actively engaged in the search process, providing feedback and engaging in discussions on the requirements for the key role.

‘Outstanding leadership’

She also acknowledges the work of Dr. James Rourke who has served as dean of the Faculty of Medicine since 2004. Dr. Rourke’s second term was extended for a year in June 2015 to provide continuity in leadership during the search process. A further extension to Aug. 14, 2016, has been approved by the Board of Regents.

“I thank Dr. Rourke for his outstanding leadership in the Faculty of Medicine and his steadfast commitment to fostering the success of students and faculty, enhancing the province’s ability to deliver the highest quality health care and engaging the community across Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Golfman.

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