May 8, 2024

Celebrating DFCM's 2024 Senior Promotions: Full and Associate Professors

About DFCM, Divisions, Education, Faculty, Faculty Development, Grad Studies & Fellowships, MD Program, Quality and Innovation, Residency, The Office of Education Scholarship, Research

Nine DFCM faculty members have been recognized for their contributions to family medicine and excellence in research, teaching and professional activities.

Senior Promotions

We are pleased to announce the following faculty members from the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) have been promoted to Full Professor or Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.

Nine DFCM faculty members have been recognized for their contributions to family medicine through excellence in research, teaching and professional activities. The promotions take effect on July 1, 2024.

This year our recipients represent the breadth and depth of expertise across DFCM and family medicine, from comprehensive care to the emergency department, in hospitals and health system leadership, in palliative care, academic research and, of course, clinical teaching. 

Congratulations to all!


Ann Burchell

Dr. Ann Burchell

Dr. Ann Burchell is a Canada Research Chair in Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Prevention.  Her research program investigates how to prevent STIs including viruses, like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), and bacteria, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, and their adverse outcomes, including cancers caused by these infections. She leads population health and implementation science projects on these topics, with an emphasis on producing evidence that supports their prevention and management in primary care settings.

Don Melady

Dr. Don Melady

Dr. Don Melady is an emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital and a scholar at the Schwartz-Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute (SREMI). After a short career as a high-school English teacher, he studied medicine at Western and completed his training in family medicine and emergency medicine at the University of Toronto. He holds a Master’s degree in Health Profession Education from U of T.  He worked as a community physician in Brampton for 14 years before starting his academic career in 2006. Since that time, he has been active both nationally and internationally in developing the field of Geriatric Emergency Medicine. He has focussed his clinical and academic activity on improving the care of older adults in emergency departments through developing education for clinicians; and disseminating and implementing innovative models of interdisciplinary care. He created a widely used website called Geri-EM online; founded Geri EM committees for both CAEP and the International Federation of Emergency Medicine; is the education lead with the American Geriatric ED Collaborative; and co-wrote a book on ED system change that prioritizes older people. For the past eight years, he has directed Canada’s only fellowship in Geriatric Emergency Medicine to create the next wave of leaders across Canada and internationally. His work has been recognized by career awards at both CAEP and IFEM. In 2023, Mount Sinai Hospital, his home for the past 20 years, established the endowed Dr. Don Melady Chair in Geriatric Emergency Medicine to ensure his legacy.

Associate Professor

Erin Bearss

Dr. Erin Bearss

Dr. Erin Bearss, an esteemed academic and medical professional, has been promoted to the position of Associate Professor in recognition of her exceptional contributions to various domains of medical education, leadership, research, and professional practice. 

Her innovative endeavors in Creative Professional Activity have significantly impacted the medical community through workshops focusing on intergenerational teaching and learning, physician wellness, and the integration of art and medicine. 

As a dedicated educator, Dr. Bearss has demonstrated excellence in teaching and education throughout her tenure at the University of Toronto. She has designed and implemented curricula addressing diverse topics such as ambulatory teaching, communication, compassion, and COVID education. Her commitment to mentorship and program leadership has been acknowledged through numerous awards and accolades. 

In the realm of research, Dr. Bearss has contributed to various studies, particularly in understanding the impact of adverse childhood events, developing innovative tools for medical practice, and investigating genetic factors related to COVID infection. Her scholarly achievements include numerous publications, presentations, and grants, reflecting her dedication to advancing medical knowledge. 

Dr. Bearss' administrative leadership roles, including as Family Medicine Residency Program Director, Professional Staff Association President and Family Physician-in-Chief underscore her commitment to service.  

Overall, Dr. Erin Bearss' promotion to Associate Professor is a testament to her multifaceted expertise, leadership, and dedication to enhancing medical education, research, and professional practice. 

Rahul Jain

Dr. Rahul Jain

Dr. Rahul Jain is an academic Family Physician and Hospitalist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He completed his Masters of Science in Community Health - Health Practitioner Teacher Education and has been a fortunate recipient of several awards in teaching, innovation, and continuing education. 

His academic interests include medical education, faculty development, and knowledge translation and implementation of clinical practice guidelines. He is involved in teaching and education at various levels of training (undergraduate, postgraduate, graduate), continuing medical education, faculty development, as well as the general public. 

He is recognized as a primary care leader and educator in cardiovascular care given his roles as co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Harmonized National Guideline Endeavour (C-CHANGE), C-CHANGE Education Program (CHEP+), and invited participation on guidelines with Diabetes Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. His knowledge translation activities include leading continuing medical education programs, developing clinical tools based on evidence-informed best practices, and invited participation to various national conferences, advocacy initiatives, and media opportunities as a Heart and Stroke spokesperson. 

Warren Lewin

Dr. Warren Lewin

Dr. Warren Lewin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, at the University of Toronto, the Site Lead for the Palliative Care program at the Toronto Western Hospital, and a Senior Faculty member with VitalTalk. He completed his family medicine training at the University of Toronto and a one-year palliative medicine fellowship at Harvard University. He feels privileged to teach and learn from clinicians and trainees and speaks nationally and internationally about serious illness communication and burnout. He is the founding director of The Conversation Lab, a UHN hub to study and teach communication as a means to empower clinicians and health systems to deliver high-quality serious illness care. When he's not working, he can be found cycling around the city. 

Jesse McLaren

Dr. Jesse McLaren

Dr. Jesse McLaren is an emergency physician at University Health Network with a passion for learning and teaching ECGs. Starting with a local quality improvement project that won a national CAEP award, he developed the monthly ECG Cases blog on Emergency Medicine Cases—which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times around the world, and been sought after by education leaders. He has multiple publications on ECG interpretation in acute coronary occlusion, and is an associate editor of the internationally recognized Dr. Smith’s ECG Blog. Dr. McLaren has been invited to speak nationally on the paradigm shift from STEMI to Occlusion MI, and has launched a series of ECG interpretation courses at

Jesse has also collaborated to promote quality improvement and public health from local to national levels. He co-founded and for 5 years co-edited the Emergency Medicine Quality Improvement Digest, to share lessons from return visits and QI projects. From before and throughout the pandemic, Jesse has been a scholar and advocate for paid sick days and to end sick notes for minor illnesses, using scholarly and lay publications to promote public health and equity. 

Tania Tajirian

Dr. Tania Tajirian

Dr. Tania Tajirian is a hospitalist-trained health system leader who currently holds the integrated roles of inaugural Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO) and Chief of Hospital Medicine at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). As CHIO, she has spearheaded a clinically-driven, one-of-a-kind strategy to reduce documentation burden among physicians. Using a co-design and research-driven approach, this has motivated national work on reducing documentation burden among physicians, nurses and other health disciplines in the Canadian context.  As Chief of Hospital Medicine, Dr. Tajirian also leads a portfolio of research focused on physical health integration initiatives and advancing health informatics to optimize healthcare delivery and equitable population health. Collectively, this work uniquely contributes to improving the quintuple aim of health and the clinician experience in Canada. Her track record and impact on patient care has been recognized through multiple awards, including the 2022 Most Influential Women in Health IT Award from Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Women Leaders in Digital Health Canada. 

Deanna Telner

Dr. Deanna Telner

Dr. Deanna Telner is a family physician at the South East Toronto Family Health Team, an academic teaching site affiliated with Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).

A focus of her scholarly work is developing evidence-based, point-of-care tools with the Center for Effective Practice. These tools, including the Preconception Health Care Tool and the Management of Chronic Insomnia Tool have been presented and accessed nationally and internationally.

From 2009-2015 Dr. Telner was Chair of the Benign Uterine Condition Initiative, Ontario College of Family Physicians. She led workshops on endometrial biopsies, IUD insertion and pessary fitting for physicians throughout Ontario and at national conferences and published a series of articles on these topics in Canadian Family Physician (CFP). She also co-developed Infertility for the Primary Care Provider, video-based modules available through the division of e-learning at McMaster University.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Telner has been a Clinician Investigator in the DFCM Research Program. She is a strong advocate for the important role of community physicians in research and is a past recipient of the DFCM Award for Research Mentorship. Her research interests are diverse and include the teaching of primary care genetics, patients’ experiences with eating disorders, the effect of hot yoga on renal function, and educators’ adaptation of technology in teaching.

At MGH, Dr. Telner oversees all Family Medicine Resident Academic Projects, facilitates Journal Club and teaches office-based procedure. She co-developed the Comprehensive Dermatologic Procedures Pad, a novel educational tool to learn dermatologic procedures. This innovation was published in CFP and is used to teach these procedures to residents yearly.

Dr. Telner is an enthusiastic clinical teacher and has been recognized by DFCM with awards of Excellence in Teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Sherylan Young

Dr. Sherylan Young

Dr. Sherylan Young is a comprehensive family physician who started practicing in the community in 1996. With a growing interest in academic medicine, she moved her practice to the Academic Family Practice Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2005. Dr. Young’s primary focus in medical education has been in Undergraduate Medicine where she has held, and continues to hold, many leadership roles including Undergraduate Site Program Director at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Family Medicine Clerkship Curricular Coordinator and Family Medicine Evaluation Coordinator. She also served as the Department of Family and Community Medicine Interim Undergraduate Program Director in 2014-2015. In conjunction with these roles, she has worked to improve the quality of the program delivered by updating the program’s learning tools. She led the comprehensive development of “The Hub – Family Medicine” (a supplement for the Family Medicine Clerkship curriculum) and numerous e-modules that support learning during the Family Medicine Clerkship Rotation. The development of these learning tools has allowed for more accessible and timely delivery of high-quality medical information. Dr. Young was also instrumental in developing a health professional educator curriculum in the Family Medicine clerkship rotation which allows students to be more prepared to work in interprofessional teams.

Dr. Young is a dedicated clinician teacher, role model and mentor in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards for her work with medical learners as well as in curriculum development. Through her accomplishments, she has had a significant impact on the education of all medical learners rotating through Family Medicine at the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine over the last decade.