Dr. Roger Wong has been awarded the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Duncan Graham Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education for his impact on medical education in B.C. and across Canada.
Currently vice dean, education for the faculty of medicine at UBC, Dr. Wong is lauded by colleagues not only for his work in education but also for his dedication to the field of medicine.
“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. Dermot Kelleher, dean of UBC’s faculty of medicine and vice-president, health at UBC. “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.”
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 their expansion and 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. Ravi S. Sidhu, associate dean, postgraduate medical education at UBC.
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 Dr. Kelleher. 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.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s website.