Funding & Support

Celebrating achievement

The depth and breadth of our activities would not be possible without funding from our generous donors. Our funding sources include:

Direct donations

The Medical Humanities-HEALS program is grateful for the generous support from its donors.

Robert Pope Foundation

The Robert Pope Foundation supports diverse activities in the arts and humanities, including:

  • a summer studentship
  • medical student travel support to present at arts and health/humanities-related conference
  • physician and trainees well-being
  • integration of humanities into the core medical curriculum

Find out more about the Robert Pope Foundation.

Dr. Gerald and Gale Archibald Endowment

This endowment provides funding for a variety of activities, most prominent being the Archibald Gold-Headed Cane Award (please see bottom of this page for more information).

It will now provide sustained funding for the Artist-In-Residence program.

Associated Medical Services (AMS)

AMS helps support the activities of the Stewart Student Society for the History of Medicine and co-funds student travel to present at the annual History of Medicine Conference in Calgary.

Cynthia Davis Endowment

This endowment provides awards for creative writing by medical student/residents, medical science or health professions students. Suspended between 2015-2019.(Please see bottom of this page for more information.)

Alpha Omega Alpha Endowment

This endowment supports activities related to physician well-being, interdisciplinary professional education and practice.

Savage Trust

More information to come

Gosse Endowment

This endowment funds various activities including a summer studentship.

Flax Family Fund

This fund primarily provides a bursary-scholarship to a medical student with financial need who is involved in the medical humanities. Selection is made by Financial Services in consultation with the Medical Humanities-HEALS program.

Euphoria Class of 1970

The medical class of 1970 (including Tom Marrie, Ron Stewart, Mike Banks, Dan Reid) created this fund to support the student-led show Euphoria. It now supports activities such as enabling students to attend the Gold-Headed Cane gala and the Quill and Stethoscope event.


It's donations such as those listed above that help us celebrate student involvement by providing summer studentships, awards and other projects. Six Dalhousie medical students participating in Music-in-Medicine are given preferential consideration for summer studentships in accordance with Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation regulations for such studentships. 

Financial support for Dalhousie medical students

The Medical Humanities-HEALS program is willing to co-fund medical students who are presenting at conferences. Student Affairs can provide guidelines for students who would like to claim their conference travel-related expenses.


We celebrate excellence in humanities-related activites through a variety of awards:

Gold-Headed Cane Award (for our medical faculty)

Since 2002, we’ve been recognizing Dalhousie Medical School physicians for their remarkable combination of scholarly attainments, humanism, professional skills and service, as well as their excellence as role models for others in the medical humanities.

This award, which was launched by Dr. Jock Murray and supported by an endowment from Dr. Gerald and Gale Archibald, is represented by a gold-headed cane and a generous monetary award to the recipient.  

In 2008, we began awarding a second Gold-Headed Cane Award, in an effort to recognize deserving physicians practicing in Nova Scotia. The recipients are selected and awarded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.

Due to COVID-19 we were unable to hold the Gold-headed Cane awards dinner last month (May 2020) but hope to do so sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Call for Nominations (for Medical Humanities)

2019 Gold-Headed Cane Recipients:


Previous Gold-Headed Cane Recipients:

  • 2018 winners:  Dr. Kenneth Rockwood (geriatric medicine/neurology) and Dr. David Brake (Cape Breton respirologist)
  • 2017 winners: Dr. Stephen Phillips (neurology -- stroke) and Dr. Richard Hall (Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, QEII Health Science Centre)
  • 2016 winners: Dr. Mervin Shaw (member at large, Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association) and Dr. Peter Jackson (family physician, East Bay, NS)
  • 2015: Dr. David Haase (medicine, internal medicine); Dr. Mandi Irwin (Dalhousie Family Medicine Teaching Clinic, the Methadone Maintenance Clinic, the Rockingstone School Clinic and the Dartmouth General Hospital)
  • 2014: Dr. Mary Lynch (anesthesia, pain management and perioperative medicine); Dr. John Fraser (family medicine, addiction, chronic pain management, North End Community Health Centre, Halifax, NS)
  • 2013: Dr. R.N. Anderson (Medicine- retired); Dr. Geoffrey Turnbull (digestive care and endoscopy)
  • 2012: Dr. Brian Hennen (family medicine); Dr. Michael Igoe (internal medicine)
  • 2011: Dr. Wendy Stewart (neurology); Dr. Rajender Parkash (internal medicine)
  • 2010: Dr. Lara Hazelton (psychiatry); Dr. Tim Benstead (neurology)
  • 2009: Dr. Gerri Frager (pediatrics); Dr. Anne Barry (family medicine)
  • 2008: Dr. Richard Goldbloom (pediatrics); Dr. Lynn Johnston (infectious diseases)
  • 2007: Dr. Margaret Casey (family medicine)
  • 2006: Dr. Vonda Hayes (family medicine)
  • 2005: Dr. Ian Cameron (family medicine)
  • 2004: Dr. Ivar Mendez (neurosurgery)
  • 2003: Dr. T.J. (Jock) Murray (neurology)
  • 2002: Dr. Ronald Stewart (emergency medicine)

Cynthia Davis Writing Award (for students and residents)

2014 winner: Sarah Fraser, Class of 2014 ($1000)

2014 honourable mentions: Adam Dmytriw, Class of 2014; Marisa Webster, Class of 2015 ($250)

2014 consolation/special: Carolyn Reardon, Class of 2016 ($150)

Each year, this $1000 award is given to a medical, medical sciences or health professions student. It’s a writing competition—and the winning composition must bring light to the experience of wellness or illness within the mental, physical or spiritual domains. All those who receive prizes are invited to read from their work at the celebrated Quill and Stethosocpe taking place on March 28, 2020 at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

Think you might have something to contribute? Why not enter your own prose, poetry, drama or short story?

Send your prose, poetry, dram or short story to by midnight January 31, 2020.

Hunter Humanities Award (for graduating medical students)

2017 winner:  Brittany Cameron, Class of 2017

Generously donated by Dalhousie alumna Dr. Mary Hunter, the $1000 Hunter Humanities Award celebrates graduating medical students who have not only made an outstanding contribution to the concept and spirit of the humanities in medicine, but have also demonstrated concern and compassion in the care of their patients.

The award considers any projects or activities that capture the spirit of medical humanities, whether they’re part of the humanities program, or another area of the medical program or the community.

To nominate:

Deadline for Nominations:  Friday, April 30, 2021

You may nominate yourself or be nominated by another student or faculty/staff.

Send a nomination letter, 2-page CV and supporting background information to  

Poster [pdf 188 kB]

Boodoosingh Memorial Prize (for graduating medical students)

2016 Winner: Andrew Chan, Class of 2016

The Dr. Ram Singari Boodoosingh Memorial Prize is an annual book prize of up to $200 that is awarded to a graduating medical student whose clinical skill and sense of humour brings art to the practice of medicine.

To nominate:

Deadline for nominations: April 8, 2016

You may nominate yourself or be nominated by another student or faculty/staff. Send a cover letter, CV and supporting background information to For more information, email or call 902-494-1533902-494-1533.