A message from our new Director: Dr. Susan Samuel

October 23, 2018

Dear Trainees and Colleagues:

It is my honor and privilege to be selected to serve as the Director of the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP).  I look forward to meeting each of you in person, and working together to impact children’s health and well-being.

 

While training at SickKids Hospital in pediatrics and nephrology, I was challenged by the tremendous need for research in child health, and the importance of ensuring optimal outcomes for youth after transfer to adult care.  These observations led me to consider research as part of my career to improve evidence base in child health care.

 

Clinician scientists have an ability to move seamlessly from patient care to research and back to patients.  This ability helps them build research programs to address priority issues in health care, while being guided by the patient voice. Clinician scientists are champions for change and innovation, and also provide leadership in diverse settings including senior academic, health services and policy maker roles.  Therefore, we are an invaluable group of highly skilled professionals in Canada and globally.

 

In recent years, the interest in pursuing a clinician scientist role has declined among young clinicians. Reasons are numerous – prolonged time required to train, highly competitive funding environment, lack of such roles in many disciplines, and lack of mentorship. A comprehensive model for scientist training, with a core curriculum, personalized learning and assessment, individual and group mentoring, and creation of community, is key to overcoming these barriers.  CCHCSP provides such an approach.  I believe that CCHCSP will play a greater role in training motivated individuals to excel in research, and clinician scientist roles will become exciting and viable career choices. I am committed to work towards this vision.

 

My goal as the third Director of the CCHCSP is to continue to build upon the excellent foundation laid by Dr. Norman Rosenblum and strengthened by Dr. Nicola Jones.  My prior experience as a CCHCSP trainee, and my current role as the Curriculum Chair, have provided me first-hand knowledge of the program and areas in need of development. The excellent culture of networking and mentoring that exists within CCHCSP will continue to flourish, and the curriculum refresh project will come to life. The patient voice will be integrated into CCHCSP and new partnerships will be forged with funding agencies at all geographic levels.  Yet most important is the necessity to formally incorporate wellness and personal effectiveness into the curriculum, while giving importance to collaboration and generosity within the scientific community.  With attention to these attributes, the exceptional people we train will transform and innovate health care and emerge as leaders of networks, institutes and institutions nationally and globally.

 

I am very much looking forward to this new role, to be an advocate for trainees and for the program across Canada and internationally.  Together with the CCHCSP community, we will contribute to a brighter future for all children and youth.

 

Sincerely,

 

Susan Samuel

Director, CCHCSP.

University of Calgary