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Our Administration ‑ Darrell White

Deans, department heads, managers and directors

Q & A with Dr. Darrell White, senior associate dean

Dr. Darrell White (middle), professor in the Division of Hematology. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Medicine)

Earlier this summer, Dr. Darrell White joined the medical school as its new senior associate dean. As part of the medical school’s senior leadership team, Dr. White will play an important role in steering the direction, focus and operations of the Faculty.

As a medical educator, clinician and researcher, we asked about his work and how he’ll be moving forward in his new role.

What drew you towards hematology?

Mentoring and role modelling played a big part in my choice to train in internal medicine and then hematology. During medical school, I was influenced by the enthusiasm and knowledge of instructors like Drs. Tim Dean, Jean Gray, Ormille Hayne and others.

Now, I enjoy the scientific basis of clinical hematology and the fact that we use current information in decision-making and practice relatively quickly. And as a hematologist, I get to see a great variety of patients in terms of age and acuity of illness.

What type of clinical work do you do as a hematologist?

My clinical practice and clinical research have focused on the treatment of multiple myeloma, both transplant and non-transplant. Myeloma is a plasma cell malignancy affecting many different systems. I was fortunate to do fellowship training in myeloma at a time when new breakthrough drugs were just being developed. There’s been tremendous progress since, making this more of a chronic disease for many, and hopefully moving closer to a cure.

As the new senior associate dean, what will be your priorities?

Some of the major issues that I will be involved with include ongoing development of distributed medical education--the longitudinal integrated clerkship, for example, is exciting and working well in New Brunswick. Physician Resource Planning is an important Faculty-wide project that I’ll be working on, and AFP negotiations will continue to be a big topic. As well, the medical school is approaching an accreditation review again.

With our distributed medical education model, how can the medical school better serve our communities' needs?

We plan to continue meeting with community health care providers to get their feedback on this question. The ability to be able to provide clinical experiences outside of the urban tertiary care setting has many benefits for students, residents as well as communities.

Moving forward, what excites you about the new position?

I think the potential to improve and move medical education forward is huge and I think Dalhousie has been making great strides. It’s going to be wonderful to be involved with this. The learning curve for me so far is steep, but I’ve already met a great team who have been very welcoming. It’ll be nice to be a part of this.