McMaster University

McMaster University

History of Professionalism in the Faculty of Health Sciences

The university has always had an office that dealt with issues of sexual harassment and discrimination, the name has changed over the years, beginning as SHADO and currently known as the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO).   

In the early 90's Dr. Len Levine, Division of Psychiatry, was asked by the Dean to mediate such issues on behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Under the direction of Dr. John Bienenstock, this role was revisited and Dr. Anne Niec and Dr. David Groves were put in the role of Faculty Liaison for issues of harassment and discrimination. These positions reported to the Dean and VP, Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr. Groves retired and Dr. Kevin Eva had a short stint in this position with Dr. Niec. In 2008, the faculty liaison position was revisited and the decision was made by VP Education, Dr. Susan Denburg, to develop a full time position of a staff person who would mediate complaints, and provide education in consultation with a Faculty Lead.

Ms. Robin Edwards was hired in the role of Advisor Clinical Based Education, with Dr. Niec continuing in the Faculty Lead role. The title of Advisor Clinical Based Education was later refined to Advisor, Professionalism. Over the years, these positions have developed into not only mediating complaints that fall within the university policies, but also, promoting further education in the area of professionalism, human rights and policy development for FHS.

The roles of Ms. Edwards and Dr. Niec are in collaboration and parallel to that of HRES on campus. The difference being, the mandate of the FHS positions is to address concerns of members who fall within the schools and programs of clinically based education.

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