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Department of Family Medicine Newsletter | January 2023


Chair's Message


We are looking forward to welcoming our applicants through the CaRMS process next month. A combination of 45 preceptors and PGY2 residents will be reviewing applicant files this month to select candidates for interviews. The CaRMS Interviews will take place virtually from February 8th to the 10th. With the help of more than 140 preceptors and residents, we plan on interviewing up to 850 applicants during this 3-day event to select the best residents for our program. We wish to thank everyone in advance who will be participating in this important selection process in finding our future family physicians.

In order to attract the best candidates to our program, we will be offering information sessions on Tuesday, February 7th, to showcase our program. The department has created unit highlight videos for CaRMS that will be shared with our applicants. We look forward to seeing you all virtually for CaRMS. For more information, please contact our Education Manager, Kim Rozon, at

New Career Opportunities

Our department has two exciting new career opportunities for those interested in becoming more involved with our family health teams. Both the Bruyère Academic Family Health Team and the Montfort Academic Family Health Team | équipe de santé familiale académique Montfort (ESFAM) are looking for Full-Time Academic Physicians to join their teams. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply. Please visit the complete job description for Bruyère and Montfort for full details and how to apply. These jobs will be posted until the positions are filled.

Family Medicine Grand Rounds

We also welcome you to join the Department of Family Medicine’s MainPro+ Certified Family Medicine Grand Rounds via Zoom on January 26, 2023, from 8:00-9:00 a.m., for presentations by L’Hôpital Montfort’s Dr. John Joanisse, The Unforgotten: The aged awaiting arthroplasty, and Dr. Rohit Gandhi, Choosing Wisely: Audit & Feedback in Primary Care. For more information, please view the poster, or contact Miya Ismayilova at

Primrose Family Medicine Centre

As part of our efforts to showcase the great work at our teaching sites, this month, we are proud to celebrate the Primrose Family Health Team with an update from the Unit Medical Director, Dr. Sohil Rangwala.

Primrose is an academic family health team, with 8 providers and 16 residents. It is one of two sites within the Bruyère Academic Family Health Team, located in the Bruyère hospital.

Within this multidisciplinary clinic, the Primrose team works collaboratively with RN’s, social workers, pharmacists, dieticians and a shared mental health team. It provides inner city health care and refugee health care, primarily to a Syrian and Burmese population. The team provides resident and medical student education, well baby clinics, prenatal clinic and procedure clinics for patients that are staffed by both providers and residents. These specialized primary care focused clinics are very well received.

(L-R) Marie-Claire Coulombe (RN), Mehdi Hegagi (Resident), Lucy Shum Sin (Resident), Heather Cameron (Lead Clerk), Stephanie Leonard (Front Staff Clerk), Tyller Trottier (Front Staff Clerk), Hannah Kis (Resident) 

(L-R) Daniel Pau (Primrose Chief Resident), Dr. Jolanda Turley (Staff Physician, Unit PG Director), Stephen McCarthy (Resident) and Ankita (Resident)

Over the last year, in-person events have resumed, from graduation, to RIO day, to journal clubs and welcome BBQ’s, which have been very positive for team cohesion and wellness.

Primrose staff, 2022 Summer BBQ

Award Winners

Primrose also celebrated the following 2022 award winners:

  • Dr. Alan Ng – DFM Educational Leadership and Teaching Award
  • Dr. Jolanda Turley – University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence, Professionalism Award
  • Dr. Rita Hafizi – CFPC Early Career Development Award

Dragons' Den Winners

Finally, as the recent 2nd place winners at the December 1st DFM Dragons’ Den for a submission led by Dr. Jolanda Turley, the Primrose team now has funding for a session of reflection and expression, during which an artist will be present, and a piece of art or mural will be created. This artwork will be showcased onsite and will welcome visitors to Primrose.

PRIME Grants and CaRMS

The Primrose team remains engaged with the academic mission. Dr. Sohil Rangwala and Dr. Alan Ng are working on PRIME grants, and the whole team is involved in the CaRMS selection process, from file reviews using a new selection tool, as well as interviews for future candidates.

Building upgrades

Over the last three years, Primrose has been working through a pandemic all the while having a building structure in need of repair. They have been fortunate to have support from the hospital. Over the next several months, there will be an upgrade to their existing space, and they will receive some additional space within St. Vincent Hospital, which their whole team is very excited about!

Team update

There have been some transitions in the past year. Dr. Sharon Johnston accepted the position as Scientific Director and Associate Vice President of Research at the Institut de Savoir Montfort; Nurse Practitioner, Manon Bouchard, has moved on to an exciting opportunity at the Centretown CHC. These team members will be missed. Primrose has been very fortunate to have welcomed a new NP, Kathleen Burgess, who has been a wonderful addition to the team.

2022 was a productive year for Primrose. They look forward to further successes in patient care, resident education and scholarly work in the year ahead. 


Faculty Award in Education Winners

This year’s Faculty of Medicine Awards in Education recognized the outstanding academic achievements of faculty learners and teachers in 2022. Winners were announced on December 1st at an awards ceremony which took place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The following Department of Family Medicine faculty members were among this year’s award winners, across a number of award categories: 

Continuing Professional Development Teaching Skills Attainment Award (TSAA)

  • Dr. Parisa Rezaiefar, Award of Excellence
  • Dr. Michelle Anawati,Teaching Skills Attainment Award with Merit (Level II)

Postgraduate Medical Education

  •  Dr. Ellias Horner, Award in Education for Communicator Competency

Undergraduate Medical Education

  • Dr. Gaelle Bekolo-Evina, Health Advocate Competency Award
  • Dr. Marie-Eve Bérubé, Collaborator Competency Award
  • Dr. Mélissa Guindon, Person Competency Award

DFM Staffing Update

We are pleased to announce some new staff who have recently joined us at 600 Peter Morand.

Within the Education team, we welcome:

  • Melissa Sardinha as the Program Officer. She will be working alongside Kim Beaubien in evaluations, residents in remediation as well as being responsible for the International Medical Graduate (IMG) stream. Melissa comes to us from the Civic FHT. She can be reached at

  • Taylor Widenmaier as the new PGY3/Community Coordinator. Taylor comes to us from the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program where he was the Program Administrator since 2018. For PGY3-related items, he can be reached at:; and for community related items,

  • Alicia Campagna as the UG/PG Coordinator. Alicia comes to us from the Palliative Care Program. She will be working closely with Donna Williams and the rest of the team to help support the educational program. We will provide her email address in our next communications.

Within the Departmental Affairs and Communications Team, we welcome:

  • Fadima Diallo as the new Communications and Special Projects Coordinator. She completed an Honours Degree in Communications and a Minor in Law at the University of Ottawa. As a co-op student, she gained valuable experience within four different government departments, most recently, in Employment and Social Development Canada as a Communications Officer. She can be reached at

  • Jordan Choy, who has joined as a Communications Assistant co-op student. He is currently pursuing a master's in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. He brings a strong interest in writing and communications from years of experience in public service that began with an internship for Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2016. He can be reached at

  • Joel Richard, who has joined our team as the new Faculty Affairs Coordinator and will be supporting the Chair, Dr. Liddy, with faculty appointment requests, among other administrative responsibilities. He comes to us from the Ottawa Civic Hospital Anesthesia Associates working within the partnerships group. He can be reached at

December 9th Staff Holiday Celebration

On December 9th, many members of the DFM staff gathered to celebrate the holidays and the end of 2022 at the Bridge Public House, pictured here.

Visiting Professor with the DFM

David Spees, M.D., is a visiting professor from San Diego with an adjunct faculty appointment at the Department of Family Medicine for the 2022-2023 academic year. During his stint in Ottawa, Dr. Spees is attending the Family Medicine research meetings, Grand Rounds, and recently served as a judge for the Dragons’ Den during the December 1st annual Departmental Assembly. While Dr. Spees is not licensed in Canada, he is willing to volunteer his time and expertise for clinics and projects in the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Spees brings a wealth of international experience to his work in Ottawa. He worked for over thirty years as a family physician in a 500-member multi-specialty group in San Diego, California. He is a founding member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. For over 24 years he has volunteered as a preceptor for the University of California San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic where medical students and residents provide healthcare to uninsured patients and patients with insecure food and housing. He also lived and worked as a physician in England, worked for the USA Foreign Service in the Democratic Republic of Congo while covering the Central African Embassies, and had a second tour in Egypt covering the Middle Eastern Embassies. He can be reached at

Update from the Project Management Office- Veteran's Health

As the DFM looks to evolve its portfolio of socially accountable primary care eLearning materials, the development of a new project has begun: Veterans’ Health. The two eLearning modules and series of podcasts are jointly developed by the PMO team, Queen’s University, and the City of Ottawa’s Veterans Task Force, and will be made available as continuing professional education for practicing family physicians, military medical officers, and medical residents.

The Veterans' Health eLearning Modules will include two foundational, interactive modules titled "My Patient is a Veteran”. The foundations of veteran health and well-being as well as engaging with this patient population, will be explored. The project aims to:

  • Identify appropriate healthcare services available for Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP Members, including Veterans.
  • List common occupational health concerns for Veteran populations.
  • Describe the prevalence of chronic health conditions among Veterans for better provision of primary care and referrals.
  • Take the first steps to engage with Veteran patients using the Veterans Affairs Canada Well-Being Construct.
  • Develop cultural competence in addressing Veteran health and wellness needs in their transition from military to Veteran life.
  • Utilize strategies in practice to build a respectful rapport with Veteran patients and their families.

The Veterans' Health podcast episodes will be made available for streaming on YouTube, among other streaming services, and will feature interviews with subject matter experts on the following topics: Organizations Supporting Family Physicians in Treating Veterans, the Transition of Military to Civilian Life, Veteran Comorbidity Physical-Mental Health Injuries, and Women’s Issues in Veterans’ Health.

Additional information on how to access this material will be communicated upon its release. For any questions or comments on the development process, please contact the Project Manager, Marisa Duval,

For further information on the PMO initiatives, please view the Ignite Talk, which was presented at our Departmental Assembly last month (select presentation mode to hear the message from the PMO).

Recruitment for Study

Immersive VR for the Self-Management of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries in First Responders and Emergency Health Care Workers

Are you interested in participating in a VR experience? We are looking for first responders and emergency healthcare workers to participate in a research project (up to 150 participants, first come first served). Spend 1-hour exploring the VR scuba seascape and learn about post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI). Recruitment is open now until May 2023.

Learn more about participating in the VR experience that will be leveraged to better understand post-traumatic stress injuries, tools, and coping strategies. More information can be found on the Innovation Projects page of the DFM website, or by emailing Dr. Maddie Venables at

Immersive Virtual Reality for Self-Management of Stress & Anxiety

In partnership with Queen's University, the DFM created a virtual reality (VR) experience that simulates three scuba diving environments to teach users about stress and anxiety. Based on user feedback, we have updated and improved the VR experience. We are looking for faculty members and learners (medical students and residents) to test the new and improved VR scuba experience! For more information, please contact Dr. Maddie Venables: Read more

Updates from Research

Call for Projects – 2023 Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) – Deadline: February 1, 2023

The Faculty of Medicine’s Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) is offering bursaries of $5,500 and provides medical students the opportunity to gain first-hand training in research methodologies and skills while working with a faculty supervisor/mentor. This competitive program supports projects from across the medical research continuum, from fundamental research on the mechanisms of disease and drug discovery to evidence-based medical education and practice-changing clinical research.

Please visit the following link for more information and submit your research project proposals to the student body by February 1, 2023

Discoverability – Your UNIWEB Profile

Discover the research/teaching/clinical interests of over 4000 members from across 11 Faculties at the University of Ottawa through the UNIWEB Profile – a great tool that facilitates finding potential collaborators across disciplines. For more information or assistance in getting started, access the help section of or contact us at

Publications 2022 – DFM’s Contribution to the Body of Knowledge in Primary Care

DFM Faculty members published over 110 articles in 2022, contributing to the body of knowledge in primary care by doing extensive and innovative research. Visit our Research Publications for 2022 for a complete list. If your publication is missing, send the citation to

DFM Funding Programs – Important Dates

Locum Support Fund: For protected time to conduct research activities or prepare your application for academic promotion. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Tuition/Education Support Fund: To support Faculty interested in the pursuit of higher learning education in exchange for a return of service. Deadline: March 1, 2023.

Leadership Training Support Fund: To support Faculty members interested in the acquisition of leadership skills through training. Deadline: March 1, 2023.

Scholarly Presentation Support Fund: To support Faculty members in presenting at a provincial, national or international educational conference. It will promote new authors in conducting research and disseminating their results. Deadline: March 1, 2023.

Ad Hoc Research Support Fund: To support Faculty members and staff in responding to unexpected or time-sensitive research related opportunities for which no or insufficient funds are available. Deadline: March 1, 2023.

PRIME Grant: To support faculty members in undertaking a scholarly or research project with access to an experienced research team, including guidance from a research adviser and mentoring from a medical educator. The PRIME grant provides up to $20,000 per project in support of research in primary care or medical education innovation. The deadline for Letters of Intent is September 1, 2023

Upcoming Events

CME Monthly Sessions

Dr. Anna Wilkinson organizes free, virtual, accredited CME monthly sessions hosted by the Champlain Regional Cancer Program. Sign up for free to stay up-to-date on the latest from everything about cancer care as it relates to PCPs. Sessions run the last Thursday of every month, from 12:15-12:45 p.m.

Check out the 2023 program:

  • January 26: Melanoma diagnosis, workup and follow up post treatment
  • February 23: Immunotherapy - what should I know as a PCP
  • March 30: High Risk Breast Cancer Screening
  • April 27: Imaging for Cancer work-up
  • May 25: HPV Cervical Screening
  • September 28: MAiD
  • October 26: Genetics for PCPs
  • November 23: Screening for transgendered individual

To register, scan the QR code provided here or visit this link: 2023 Lunch and Learn

Ottawa Practice Enhancement Network (OPEN) Information Session and Workshop

Dr. Simone Dahrouge, Associate Professor, Director of the Ottawa Practice Enhancement Network (OPEN), is hosting two free one-hour information sessions in January 2023, “Invited to the 2023 CPSO QI Program? Get oriented now!” to discuss the CPSO QI Program certification expectations for 2023. Follow the above-noted link for session information.

OPEN, in collaboration with the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development, has established a 9-hour experiential workshop delivered over 3 months on the essentials of QI, “Essentials for Practice Improvement for Ontario Physicians.” Follow this link to register.

The information sessions in January and the workshop are intended for those who have been selected for the CPSO certification this year. The workshop is helpful for those wanting to gain a basic knowledge of QI to undertake QI in their practice. Those attending are eligible for Mainpro+ credits.

Call for participants for a Virtual Care Patient Experience (VCPE) survey that has been launched to understand patient and caregiver experiences with virtual care. Please access the study, An In-Depth Examination of Primary Care Patients’ Experiences with Virtual Care, for more information.

Matinée du savoir – La recherche et les chaires de l’institut du Savoir Montfort

Offered in French, this free webinar on January 31st is an opportunity to learn about research chairs’ interests and various research projects. Please access this link for more information.

Smarter Imaging for Family Physicians and Internists is a virtual webinar series to update family physicians on imaging test selection for common clinical problems. Please follow this link for more information and to register. 

Meridith Marks

The 2023 Meridith Marks Day will be held on March 24, 2023, at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The event will showcase local research and innovations in Medical Education, and feature a plenary speaker, Dr. Glenn Regehr. The deadline for abstract submissions of oral and poster presentations is January 22, 2023. Please visit DIME'S website for more information.

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