Medicine Matters — Issue 29 – November 2018
Simulation education grows
The program and its offerings are now listed on the DoM website. The program uses high fidelity equipment, simulated patients and cadavers to best replicate real scenarios. Offerings include:

  • Boot camp for first year residents, designed to review equipment and scenarios that the incoming residents will face on call and in code blue situations.

  • Procedure days, two days in the fall and two days in the spring, designed to review the indications, contraindications and complications of the common and a few of the uncommon procedures performed by internal medicine physicians. This covers procedures required by the royal college (EPAs). Other procedures, where residents are expected to perform as a staff but are not taught, have also been added based on site lead recommendations.

  • The Simulation half-days occur every Friday morning from September to May. They teach and strengthen “crisis management skills” (how to keep your cool when you are very stressed out by the clinical scenario in front of you). Along the way residents also pick up clinical pearls of how to manage the sickest of our internal medicine patients.

  • Breaking Bad News and Goals of Care sessions will be a new part of the simulation program planned to run as two half-day sessions after the completion of our usual Friday simulation sessions. The first is planned for spring 2019. Dr. David Dupe and Dr. Nabha Shetty have agreed to assist with program development.

Thanks to Dr. Chiasson for her leadership in helping to grow this program.
8 Divisions give medical students early exposure to specialties
This past summer the Department of Medicine supported 40 second-year medical students who took advantage of the inaugural Pre-clerkship Residency Exploration Program (PREP). The program, led by students, gives students early exposure to a variety of specialties and aids their career decisions.
Throughout the two-week intensive summer elective program, depending on the specialty, students were offered half-day elective slots, skills sessions, specialty-specific workshops and lunchtime seminars.

The program included a pre and post survey that asked students to rank their career choice interests. Keeping in mind not all 40 students participated in each specialty, the survey showed that following the program this many students put our specialties in their top three career choices: general internal medicine (16), cardiology (10), physiatry (9), neurology (9), endocrinology (7), hematology (3), nephrology (2), and medical oncology (1).

Thank you to the physicians, residents and staff who played a role in helping the Department participate in this new program.
MEDICINE MATTERS – Continuing Professional Development Conference
Plenary 2018
Conflict Management in Medicine
Debate 2018
Be it Resolved that Medical No Codes are Appropriate Patient Orders
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada – 2018 Physician of the Year
Congratulations to Dr. Ian Epstein , Division of Digestive Care & Endoscopy, for winning the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 2018 Physician of the Year Award .

This is the second year in a row a Department member has been honoured with this national award. Dr. Jennifer Jones won in 2017.
Department research success showcased during Research Evening
The Department rounded out the evening with the presentation of Research Excellence Awards to three very deserving faculty:
Dr. Amir AbdelWahab , Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology, was recognized for his research on non-invasive localization of the origin of ventricular tachycardia.
Dr. Olga Theou , Assistant Professor, DoM Research Scientist, who while still early in her career, is considered by Expertscape as fourth in Canada and twelfth worldwide in frailty expertise.
Dr. Michael West , Professor, Division of Nephrology, is one of the foremost researchers in the area of Fabry disease, which is more prevalent in Nova Scotia than anywhere else in the world.
New Co-Chairs named for Resident Research Committee
The baton has been handed from Dr. Lisa Barrett, Division of Infectious Diseases, to Dr. Leah Cahill, Howard Webster Department of Medicine Research Chair; and Dr. Ravi Ramjeesingh, Division of Medical Oncology. The new co-chairs of the Resident Research Committee are looking forward to providing support to our residents. You will be hearing more from them soon and in the meantime, you can reach them through the DoM Research Office at with your questions and suggestions.
Grant Received – Breaking "Bad Rest" Study
Dr. Olga Theou, clinical research scientist in the Department of Medicine, received a $100,000 grant from Canadian Frailty Network’s 2018 Catalyst Grant Program for The Breaking “Bad Rest” Study: Interrupting sedentary time to reverse frailty levels in acute care.

Details –
The Department is pleased to welcome the following new staff:
Dr. Maia Von Maltzahn, Division of Geriatric Medicine (Locum)
Dr. Maltzahn re-joined the Department in July 2018 as a locum. She completed her residency in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto, her internal medicine residency at the University of Saskatchewan and medical degree here at Dalhousie University.
Dr. Kyle McCoy, Division of General Internal Medicine (Locum)
Dr. McCoy joined us as a locum in July. Dr. McCoy completed his GIM Fellowship (2018) internal medicine residency and medical degree at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Janet Roberts, Division of Rheumatology
Dr. Roberts joined the team in August. She obtained her Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie (physiotherapy) in 2003, her medical degree at Memorial University in 2013 and continued her training in internal medicine and rheumatology at the University of Alberta, finishing in 2018.  
Congratulations and welcome to Kelly Harnish-Mowery who is a new team lead for the Division of Rheumatology, effective September 17, 2018. Kelly previously worked in the Division of General Internal Medicine for 23 years.
Jennifer Delaney joined the Department on Oct. 31 as a new Program Administrative Assistant in the Division of General Internal Medicine.
Welcome back Crystal Melvin, Division of General Internal Medicine, who returned from leave on October 17.
Seneade Smith joined Digestive Care and Endoscopy while Maris Adamski is on leave.
Shelbie Stacey-Allen, previously with the Division of Rheumatology, is now an Administrative Assistant with the Division of Cardiology.
Jenny Thibodeau joined Neurology while Ashley Doucette is on leave.
Lindsay Christian joined both Cardiology and Neurology.
Brenda Nicholson has returned on a casual basis to work with DoM Physician Services.
Calum Robertson joined Infectious Diseases.
Best wishes to members leaving the Department.
We are sad to say goodbye to colleagues Dr. Bryce Kiberd (Division of Nephrology) and Dr. Arnold Mitnitski (researcher). We wish them both all the best in their retirements.
Our extended Department family has grown.
Congratulations to Ashley Doucette , Division of Neurology Residency Program Assistant. Her baby girl, Charlotte Amelia Moore, was born on September 27.
Fellow, Dr. Adnan Badahdah, Division of Neurology, welcomed baby Yousuf on September 15.
Etta Joan Bjork arrived on July 19. Proud mom, Teona Bjork is an EEG/EMG technologist who works with our Neurology team.
Department of Medicine members are go-to experts for local and national media. Each month they consistently help shape media headlines and openly share their expertise with the public. 
Halifax woman, who chose early medically assisted death, gets 'the last say' with her life
(November 1, 2018)

Dr. Rockwood joined the discussion on CBC Listen’s The Current to discuss Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) .

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood,
Division of Geriatric Medicine

Hematologist and patient highlight dangers of blood clots
(October 15, 2018)

“Blood clots are preventable,” said Shivakumar, a Winnipeg native who has worked in hematology in Halifax since 2003 after doing his residency here. “The most important thing is recognizing the symptoms and signs, which a lot of people don’t.”

Dr. Sudeep Shivakumar,
Division of Hematology

Researchers examine effect of job history on health into old age
(September 25, 2018)

“I want to paint a picture for our policymakers about the effect of occupational history across the life course on long-term health outcomes,” says Dr. Judith Godin. “It’s important to know if efforts to save money on one end are costing us more in health care on the other end.”

Dr. Melissa Andrew
Dr. Judith Godin
Dr. Olga Theou
Division of Geriatric Medicine

Residency numbers bolstered by $1.5 million annual investment
(September 12, 2018)

Dr. Christine Short, chief of medicine at Dalhousie University, said the new residency opportunities will ensure a stable supply of physicians in communities across the province .

Dr. Christine Short,
Department Head

Safe care for IV drug users
(August 27, 2018)

“About 40 per cent of people who develop endocarditis are IV drug users,” says Dr. Tommy Brothers. “I want to know what happened with these patients. Who had opioid withdrawal and how was that managed? Was anyone found injecting in the bathroom? Were people tested for HIV and hepatitis? Offered methadone? Referred to psych?”

Dr. Tommy Brothers,
Internal Medicine resident

$1.4 million study aims to eliminate hep C in Nova Scotia
(August 3, 2018)

“Our research will help focus local efforts and bring us closer to the World Health Organization’s target of eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public threat by 2030.”

Dr. Lisa Barrett,
Division of Infectious Diseases

To see more Department of Medicine members on local and national TV, radio and in newspapers, visit:
STRATEGIC PLANNING - Building Action Plans
Upcoming Events
Royal College Accreditation for Residency Training Programs
November 26-30, 2018
DoM Holiday Reception
Lord Nelson Hotel
December 6, 2018; 7 - 10 pm
Teach the Teachers
NS Rehab
February 19, 2019
DoM Strategic Planning - Building Action Plans
DoM Research Day
Pier 21
March 28, 2019