Dr. Allyson Merbaum appointed Faculty Development Program Director

Sep 9, 2021
The University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) is pleased to announce that Dr. Allyson Merbaum has been appointed Faculty Development Program Director.

The Faculty Development Program Director is responsible for leadership and coordination of a broad range of faculty development activities designed to improve knowledge and skills in education, research, quality, innovation, global health, leadership and scholarship at DFCM.

The role, which is newly located within the Education portfolio, will also guide the work of two faculty development theme leads - one for Awards and one for Wellness.

“It is an exciting time for faculty development at DFCM. Our recent postgraduate accreditation and external review highlighted opportunities to build on DFCM’s extensive faculty development activities through collaboration with our Education Programs,” says Dr. Risa Freeman, Vice-Chair Education and Scholarship. “Dr. Merbaum’s experience in both professional development and education will help us further develop this strong portfolio built by the tremendous leadership of previous Faculty Development Program Directors.”

An Assistant Professor in DFCM and family doctor at North York General Hospital (NYGH), Dr. Merbaum joined DFCM in 2002 having completed her family medicine residency with the department. Since then, she has held numerous leadership roles including NYGH Professional Development Lead and Postgraduate Site Director (ongoing).

Dr. Merbaum is also an active teacher, having taught extensively at pre-clerkship, clerkship and postgraduate levels. She continues to play a key role in faculty development at NYGH as site director and as co-developer of a soon to be launched Virtual Care Competency Training Roadmap (ViCCTR) module for faculty supervising learners in virtual care.

Her focus on ongoing education extends to medical education research, with scholarly interests including continuity of care in family medicine residency, teaching exceptional learners and resident wellness.

“As family doctors, teachers and researchers we are on an ongoing learning journey,” says Dr. Merbaum. “At DFCM, we have a responsibility to ensure that our faculty development offerings are accessible and relevant to all our faculty members at every career stage, whether they are a downtown clinician-researcher, a palliative care physician in the wider GTA, or a teaching practice preceptor in Northern Ontario. I look forward to working with colleagues across DFCM to build on our exceptional faculty development offerings.”

Dr. Merbaum succeeds Dr. Viola Antao as Faculty Development Program Director. The transition will take place during October with the official transfer of responsibilities occurring November 1, 2021.

“We are deeply grateful for Dr. Antao’s excellent leadership and deep commitment to faculty development over the past five years. Given the growth in the Faculty Development Program, and on the recommendation of our external reviewers, the role will now be divided among several lead positions,” says Dr. David Tannenbaum, DFCM Interim Chair. “The new theme leads will build and further develop their respective areas of responsibility, support Dr. Merbaum in her role as Faculty Development Program Director and serve as resources across the department.”

“I am very pleased that Dr. Antao will be the new Mentorship Lead, and that Dr. Sheldon Cheskes will be the new Faculty Appointments and Junior Promotions Lead. Both will report to Dr. David White, Vice-Chair Family Doctor Leadership."

The other new lead positions - Awards and Wellness - will be posted in the coming weeks.