Firstly, I wish you a healthy new year and share my hope for a better 2022, for all of us.
We started the academic year in fall 2021 on a more positive note. And so, it is all the more difficult that we are beginning the winter 2022 term in a pandemic.
We are, in fact, in a better place than we were this time last year. In January 2021, the vaccine rollout was just beginning, and the situation was much more precarious than it is now. The progress we have made is thanks to the outstanding work of scientists, health professionals and countless others working behind the scenes around the world, as well as here in this Faculty.
That said, these are very difficult times.
Our Faculty members are working on the frontlines in our health care institutions under extremely stressful conditions. They include our professors, residents, as well as students across our health profession programs – Medicine, Nursing, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy.
The Faculty’s scientists have also persevered throughout these long months, to advance our understanding of this virus, as well as to progress critical research in other areas, despite the situation, to combat debilitating and fatal diseases.
Our academic staff is working relentlessly to support our students and trainees to offer them an excellent educational experience.
Our administrative and support staff, too, have worked tirelessly over many, many months, including over the holidays, with deep commitment, in the context of a University-wide hiring freeze, to support those in our clinical environments, classrooms, labs and offices.
We know that many of you are juggling so many roles at this moment – parent, employee, caregiver, virtual school supervisor, counsellor, errand-runner. Despite all this, you continue, because you know that others are depending on you.
We have a special role and mission in our Faculty, to ensure society stays healthy and well. Our mission is unique, and we are very fortunate that you are all a part of it in the role that each of you play.
Thank you, everyone.
David Eidelman, MDCMVice-Principal (Health Affairs) Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
A helping hand
These trying times can take their toll on our mental health. Whenever you can, please take the time to take stock and also to breathe – and allow those around you to do the same.
The University has a number of resources available to support students, faculty and staff. Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of these – they are there to help.
The Well Office (for health professional learners)
Wellness Resources During COVID-19 (for faculty and staff)