The second candidate for the position of dean of the College of Medicine presented his vision for the college’s next seven years on Oct. 29.
The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine has been without a permanent dean since Bill Albritton resigned in 2012. The Dean Search Committee is now on their second round of applicants and has short-listed three candidates.
John Rudan has a Bachelor of Science degree in life sciences and received his M.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, On. where he serves as the head of the surgery department. His clinical interests include computer-assisted orthopaedic surgery, total joint surgery and oncology — the study and treatment of cancer and tumours.
Rudan has done substantial work at Queen’s University where he was a leader in the creation of the Human Mobility Research Centre — a clinical mechanics group. He was also involved in the establishment of several contracts with the Southeastern Ontario Medical Organization while he served as vice-president and president of the Clinical Teachers’ Association.
Rudan’s presentation was based on the importance of the people at the College of Medicine and its future opportunities.
“The faculty, the administration and the students are the university. What the university is and what it will become is dependant on you,” Rudan said.
Change and challenge are two things that Rudan requires, which is why he has come to the U of S.
“Challenge is important, change is important,” Rudan said. “I was drawn to this opportunity because in my profession … I believe in reconstruction; I believe in building. I believe in trying to do things to make people move.”
To get people moving, Rudan made his vision for 2020 based on a strong foundation that brings together the college academically through trust. He began by assuring those present that accreditation will no-longer be an issue in the future.
“One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is there will be full medical school accreditation at that date and beyond,” Rudan said. “The same will be said for our post-graduate programs. There will be no risk of probation or any other problems going forward. That won’t happen by 2020; that will happen long before then.”
Rudan said the college will look forward while building on its strengths and weaknesses, working proactively and not reactively. The College of Medicine has aspirations to be a flagship for the university as well as become an academic powerhouse, educate future physicians and service the past, current and future health-care needs of the province — all of which Rudan said he will build on.
One of the college’s major building blocks is its people, Rudan said, citing Saskatchewan as home to Nobel Laureate Henry Taube and former premier Tommy Douglas, father of Medicare.
Rudan said the challenge is to find a dean that brings together the common interests and needs of the college to find solutions to its problems. To remain ahead of the curve, Rudan said the College of Medicine needs to create an environment of trust and respect where change will not be resisted and that the dean is responsible for ensuring this environment.
Part of this process is having a monitoring system to ensure that goals and standards are met as a requirement of medical education, Rudan said.
“We must have unambiguous goals defined at all levels of the organization, from the president to the deans to everybody from that point to the practitioners who are carrying out their missions everyday,” Rudan said.
Strong objectives for teaching and assessment will become embedded in the students, Rudan said. The objectives need to be built on openness, transparency and accountability, but he assured that these are not merely buzzwords and that they transfer into action.
Rudan also said people will want to collaborate in an environment that is open and transparent, creating an institution that has successful research.
“Only when you stand back and look at all those tiles together is when you see the vision of the picture that you are looking at,” Rudan said. “It allows each person to be unique and a part of the overall picture. That’s why mosaics work.”
A strong academic environment for the College of Medicine at the U of S will attract international students who will want to become citizens and build the community of Saskatchewan, Rudan said.
Rudan closed his presentation by stating that the U of S has enormous potential.
“This is an opportunity for us to lead the world.”
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor