Professor Receives 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from OSOG

Mar 8, 2021

Headshot of Dr. Wendy WolfmanDr. Wendy Wolfman, Professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology The Ontario Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (OSOG) held their annual Ontario CME in December, presenting a number of awards including their 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. One of the award winners from the 2020 event was professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Wendy Wolfman.

"She has truly dedicated her clinical and academic career to improving the lives of women," said Dr. Michelle Jacobson, Assistant Professor with the Department, as well as former trainee and colleague of Dr. Wolfman. "She has improved access to women's healthcare across Canada and internationally through her gynaecological guideline work with the Society of ObGyns of Canada, of which she was the past chair for over a decade."

"It is truly a wonderful honour," said Dr. Wolfman while accepting her award. "In looking back over my life, it has been framed by two pandemics - the polio epidemics of the 1950’s that handicapped my father and currently COVID-19. My father’s illness inspired my decision as a young child to become a doctor and there were no societal norms that could stop me."

Dr. Wolfman went on to reflect on her time in residency and how the treatment of women practicing medicine has shifted. "Last month [November] we had our UofT half-day on diversity and equity. It gave me time to reflect on how far our profession has come since those grueling residency days. For instance, my postpartum leave lasted five weeks. Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, there was subtle and overt discrimination in attitudes to women and their capabilities in a surgical subspecialty, as well as lack of mentorship."

"We have come very far since my residency, but the discrimination towards aging women still exists. My mission over the last 20 years has been to educate physicians about symptomatic women at menopause. My other goal was to improve the health of Canadian women as the Chair of the SOGC Gynaecology Guideline Committee for 10 years. Hopefully these guidelines have reduced unnecessary interventions for benign gynaecologic conditions, such as asymptomatic endometrial thickening and benign ovarian cysts. I hope I have moved the bar nationally and internationally forward for menopausal women and women in general. It has been my honour to serve and represent the women of Ontario."

Dr. Wolfman is the program director of the Department's Mature Women's Health and Menopause Fellowship; the Carol Mitchell Chair of Mature Women's Health; the Director of the Menopause and Premature Ovarian Insufficiency Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital; the head of the Society of Obsetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Gynecology Guideline Committee; a founding member of OSOG; an educator and clinical researcher; as well as a mother and grandmother.

Congratulations to Dr. Wolfman! To hear Dr. Wolfman and Dr. Jacobson's full speeches, see the video below.

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