Department Honours New Graduates at Annual Ceremony

Jun 21, 2019
Panoramic View of the crowd at graduation 2019

This year's Graduation & Alumni event was recently held on Monday, June 17th at Hart House. Over 240 family members, faculty, trainees and graduates attended on a fine summer evening.

Dr. John Kingdom, Chair of the UofT Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, opened the event by congratulating the graduating residents and subspecialty clinical fellows, as well as welcoming their families and friends.

The following were congratulated for their senior promotions to Associate Professor as of July 1st 2019:

  • Dr. Nancy Durand (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)​
  • Dr. Melanie Ornstein (Michael Garron Hospital)
  • Dr. Amanda Selk (Sinai Health System)
  • Dr. Danielle Vicus (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)

Dr. Kingdom continued by presenting Dr. Deborah Robertson (St. Michael's Hospital) with the 2018 Dr. Matthew Morton Award for excellence in education. Dr. Nir Melamed (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) was then congratulated by attendees on receiving the Waugh Family Chair in Twin Fetal Medicine Research, based at Sunnybrook. He was also thanked for the many opportunities that his research group has provided to the Department's trainees.

Dr. Paul Thistle delivers speech on global healthDr. Paul Thistle, Associate Professor As the ceremony continued, Dr. Derek Nicholson (North York General Hospital) and Dr. Harold Drutz (Sinai Health System) were celebrated as 50-year graduates (also known as "6T9") of the MD program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Sermer (Chief of ObGyn at Sinai Health System) then honoured the life and career of his mentor, Dr. Doug Gare, who passed away earlier this year. We were pleased to have Doug's wife and daughter in attendance with us.

For their support, the entire administration team at the 123 Edward office were thanked for their amazing dedication to our Department, with particular thanks to those supporting resident education including Jill Tomac, Joe George, Pascale Wilmot, Dr. Michèle Farrugia (Residency Program Director) and the Residency Committee. 

Dr. Glen Bandiera, Vice Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education, then addressed all the graduates, congratulating them on their achievements and encouraging them to continue their important work.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Paul Thistle, who graduated from our residency program in 1995, gave a passionate and rousing speech to our graduates from the lens of his dedication to Global Health in ObGyn (and General Surgery) based in rural Zimbabwe.

Dr. Jackie Thomas (Sinai Health System) expertly took on the role as our evening's MC, which included the presentation of certificates and awards to each of the graduates. The graduating PGY5s, in turn, thanked the faculty members for their hard efforts to transform them into tomorrow's specialists!

To close, Dr. E. Paul Bernstein, much-admired by all, was brought back to the podium by Dr. Kingdom, to acknowledge his long and prestigious career upon his retirement this month after 43 years of service as a staff physician at Sinai Health System. Dr. Bernstein is a "6T8" (1968) UofT Medicine graduate and completed his ObGyn residency at UofT/Mount Sinai in 1975. Dr. Bernstein then announced the creation of the Dr. E. Paul Bernstein PGY3 award, to be presented each year at Graduation & Alumni evening. A standing ovation was delivered, followed by dinner and drinks, with music provided by students of the UofT Faculty of Music. We look forward to Paul presenting his 2020 award next June!

This year's event proved to be another rousing success and, if you could not attend, we'd love to have you with us next year to continue this great tradition!

Graduating Residents    
  • Tamara Abraham
  • Laura Cancelliere
  • Darl Edwards
  • Kristin Harris
  • Brittany Hoover
  • Thomas Jordan
  • Karen Levy
  • Tumushabe Mutungi
  • Lauren Philp
  • Leslie Proctor
  • Neetika Sidana
Graduating fellows    
  • Swati Agrawal
  • Alyaa Alrefai
  • Abrar Alsadah
  • Eman Alsayegh
  • Samar Altoukhi
  • Ritika Arora
  • Eran Ashwal
  • Amir Aviram
  • Shira Baram
  • Ernesto Figueiró-Filho
  • Lara Gotha
  • Jinglan Han
  • Liran Hiersch
  • Lauren Jain
  • Jenna Kaiserman
  • Adrienne Li
  • Sonali Lokuge
  • Alaa Mansoor
  • Carmen McCaffrey
  • Chaula Mehta
  • Javier Mejia Gomez
  • Kirsten Niles
  • Miguel Russo
  • Ari Sanders
  • Ahmed Shahata
  • Shiri Shinar
  • Keren Tzadikevitch Geffen
  • Kristin Wadsworth
  • Marta Wais
  • Jellena Wong
  • Eran Zilberberg
  • Tiffany Zigras
Graduating residents and fellows


awards recipient(s)
Department of ObGyn Social Responsibility Award in Global Women's Health and Vulnerable Populations (Post-grad) Tumushabe Mutungi
(Faculty) Paul Thistle
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (PGY3) Kinshuk Kumar and Emma Skolnik
(PGY4) Meghan Brown and Brenna Swift
(PGY5) Tumushabe Mutungi
AAGL Recognition of Excellence in MIG Award Neetika Sidana
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Resident Award for Excellence in Obstetrics Marina Vainder
NASPAG Outstanding Resident Award Marina Vainder
Dr. Fredrick R. Papsin Award Karen Levy
The University of Toronto Division of Gynaecologic Oncology Award Lauren Philp
CREOG National Faculty Award Karen Tessler
Neelam Sierra Resident Advocacy Award Mara Sobel


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