Dr. Roger Wong wins RCPSC 2020 Duncan Graham Award

For his outstanding contribution to medical education in B.C. and across Canada, Roger Wong, MD, FRCPC, is this year’s winner of the Royal College’s Duncan Graham Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education.

Dr. Roger Wong

Dr. Roger Wong

Dr. Roger Wong (Division of Geriatric Medicine) is currently vice dean, education for the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. Dr. Wong is lauded by colleagues not only for his work in education across the continuum but also for his collaborative style.

“Roger is well known in medical education in Canada and beyond where he has proven himself to be effective in communicating and advocating for learners and academic medicine anywhere in Canada,” says Salvatore M. Spadafora, MD, FRCPC, who is acting dean, Faculty of Medicine and vice dean, postgraduate medical education at the University of Toronto. “He is approachable, great listener, and engages all stakeholders. He does not hold back from offering his opinions where appropriate and contributes actively to discourse that helps to shape the thinking of others, and ultimately the direction of the dialogue.”

The national award is named in honour of the late Dr. Duncan Graham, chair of the Department of Medicine of the University of Toronto from 1919 to 1947. He was among the first to undertake postgraduate medical training after graduating in 1905 and went on to set up a program for the postgraduate training of medical specialists in Canada upon which the Royal College is modeled.

Enhancing education at UBC

At UBC, Dr. Wong oversees all educational activities for medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, midwifery and speech and language pathology. He led UBC’s residency programs through its expansion, “adeptly engaging and gaining the confidence of stakeholders such as physician groups, government, health authorities and our trainees,” says Ravi S. Sidhu, MD, FRCSC, associate dean, postgraduate medical education at UBC. Dr. Wong also started UBC’s Resident Wellness Office, known nationally for its innovative approaches and practices.

“He was ahead of his time in ensuring our residents were well versed in this critical aspect of being a physician,” says Dr. Sidhu.

Leading the charge for QI

Dr. Wong played a leading role in the development of the Royal College’s Quality Improvement Curriculum, the first of its kind in Canada. This work culminated in the publication of a national QI curriculum for all resident programs in a 2015 Royal College book entitled, Teaching Quality Improvement in Residency Education, and is slated for integration into the curriculum of other Canadian university training programs.

Innovative teaching through clinical practice

An active teacher in his clinical practice, Dr. Wong equips “learners with strong evidence-based medical practice, communication and lifelong learning skills as well as critical thinking and problem-solving abilities,” says Dermot Kelleher, MD, FRCPC, dean of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Wong has led several education initiatives geared to clinical settings, including the use of television shows and live audience response technologies to teach clinical communication skills. He also established one of the earliest electronic platforms of internal medicine learning resources providing mentorship to residents throughout B.C. – recognized by the Royal College as a best practice CanMEDS education model.

Advocating for those most vulnerable

Dr. Wong is also widely recognized as a strong advocate and public educator in his clinical specialty of geriatric medicine. A founder of the Acute Care for Elders unit in Vancouver, he is a public advocate for issues related to dementia and other cognitive challenges affecting older adults. Dr. Wong advocates tirelessly for older Canadians on the national stage, including his recent presentation to the Government of Canada Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on the protection and support of older adults amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He is a visionary leader in medical education and a far-reaching teacher, mentor and clinician within the university and medical community at large,” says Dr. Kelleher. “The breadth and success of his endeavours have been consistently exceptional and there is no doubt that his contributions will continue for years to come.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Wong on this outstanding achievement!

This story originally appeared on RCPSC Newsroom