To all members of the Faculty community,

Welcome everyone to Fall 2022. I hope the last few weeks have been positive for all who are returning and exciting for those joining the Faculty for the first time. I am delighted to see our campuses come back to life. A highlight of the new academic year was the great turnout of our exceptional administrative and support staff team at the FMHS Montreal community celebration last week. I wish the Campus Outaouais administrative team the same success when they celebrate later this month.

While the return to campus is exciting, we must be mindful of what our community and the world have been through. We continue to battle COVID in our health care system every day. Even as campus life begins to resemble normalcy, we are acutely aware of the continued pressures on our people and programs. Thank you, everyone, for your collaboration and support of McGill’s academic mission in the face of so many challenges. Your determination and commitment are what have made it possible for us to continue to succeed.

The disruption of the pandemic continues to reverberate in our society. Sadly, we have seen a rise in intolerance, discrimination and racism, both globally and locally. We have even witnessed these phenomena in our own Faculty. Given our vision, our mission and our values, it is vital that as a community we always work collaboratively and respectfully with the goal of meeting the needs of patients, their families and society. We must find ways to do this regardless of our background or our political views. We may sometimes disagree, but in health care and educational contexts, our roles as healers, scientists and members of this Faculty take precedence.

These thoughts have been foremost in my mind over the last several months. I have spent many hours speaking with members of the Faculty – students, residents, academics, staff, others – about these issues. As a response, we recently launched a website called Our Words Matter, which is part of a larger strategy aimed at promoting mutual respect and compassionate listening across the Faculty through conversations and training. I hope to help make sure we are actively cultivating and providing an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed, respected and safe, regardless of differences. I invite you to visit the Our Words Matter website. There you will learn more about what’s going on in the Faculty and University to address these issues, as well as access workshops and other excellent resources, with more to come. I also encourage you to read the most recent message from the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) reaffirming the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and cultivating a safe environment for all.

I hope to see you at this afternoon’s Faculty Council meeting where we will touch on the Our Words Matter initiative, along with other timely topics, including the many, MANY achievements of the members of this Faculty, who continue to inspire, despite the challenges. It is a privilege to be part of this community.

Thank you for leading by example, and I wish you all a successful academic year.

David Eidelman, MDCM Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences