Message from the Vice Dean

Allan S. KaplanAllan S Kaplan I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the new and continuing initiatives that GLSE has put into place this past year and also our strategic priorities for GLSE for the coming year.

Initiatives in place for the 2019/2020 academic year include:

  1. We have initiated a first ever for the University of Toronto -  an online systematic evaluation of the supervisory experience for all our doctoral stream students. We have run a successful pilot to test the technology of this new system and we are now ready to roll this out for our students in 2020. This new system will make it possible to systematically collect objective anonymous ratings of supervisors, which will provide the FoM with data to reward outstanding supervisors during the promotions process, and to identify supervisors in need of remediation in order to address deficits in their supervisory skills. This will directly impact on the quality of supervision that is provided to our students across the FoM.
  2. We will be sharing the results of the FoM Learner Environment Survey, which included for the first time graduate student responses.
  3. As a reflection of our commitment to prioritize the mental health of our students, we now have 2 dedicated embedded counselors to provide support exclusively for our graduate students. Laurie Coleman (MSW, RSW) is a Wellness Counsellor and Coordinator at Health and Wellness, Student Life. Since 2011, she has been part of the on-location mental health team. She provides service Mondays – Thursdays, 9am – 5pm at 500 University Ave. Saretta Herman (MSW, RSW) is a Wellness Counsellor and Coordinator at Health and Wellness, Student Life. Since 2015, she has been a part of the on-location team and comes to GLSE from the School of Graduate Studies. She provides services Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 9am – 5pm, in the Medical Sciences Building at 1 King’s College Circle.
  4. We continue our Leave of Absence (LOA) Program that supports our students financially when students need to take an LOA for medical/mental health reasons. We have now funded over 30 LOAs for our students.
  5. We continue our Graduate Professional Development Program under the leadership of Dr. Nana Lee.  This includes regular workshops and the opportunity to meet with Professor Lee for individual career counselling.

Strategic Priorities for 2020/2021:

  1. The development of online infrastructure to allow for e-learning of graduate courses.
  2.  A focus on EDI: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for GLSE. We will be seeking individuals from each Department to be the champions of EDI in graduate studies and to participate in the Faculty of Medicine initiatives in this domain, which is a strategic priority for the FoM.

In addition, I continue to host monthly lunches with students from across the graduate departments in the Faculty of Medicine. This allows me as your Vice Dean to have an opportunity in person to relate to you individually and to address concerns you may have about your graduate training. Please get in touch with my office if you wish to attend one of these lunch meetings.

As part of the Faculty of Medicine’s overall strategic goals, I very much look forward to continuing to work with all of you to fulfill our mission to prepare students for academic and non-academic careers, and to partner with our stakeholders in order to effect positive change in our larger community and in doing so advance graduate life sciences education.

Best wishes wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!


Allan S. KaplanAllan S. Kaplan

Allan S Kaplan MSc. MD FRCP(C)
Vice Dean, Graduate and Academic Affairs
Professor of Psychiatry