RIM Unit Directors

RIM Unit Directors sit on the Governance Committee and are directly involved in the development of the RIM Unit. Each Unit Director oversees a cohort of students through Med I-IV. In that role, they review and approve student proposals and progress, and are the final assessor for student completion of the RIM Unit. Unit Directors also sit on different working groups of interest, from developing the RIM Exam to the Curriculum.

The RIM Unit is always looking for faculty dedicated to research and student achievement to be a RIM Unit Director. Terms run from 2-5 years with compensation. Any interested faculty should contact the RIM Office.

Current Unit Directors

Samina Abidi is a faculty member in the Medical Informatics Program, (Division of Medical Education), Faculty of Medicine and adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University.  She is a clinician with an expertise in health informatics. Her research interests include: Health Knowledge Management, Clinical Decision Support, Health Knowledge Modeling and Computerization, Patient-Centred Care, Co-morbid Care Planning, Knowledge Translation, Health Information Systems Design and Health Systems Evaluation. 

Jill Hayden is Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Community Health & Epidemiology, Dalhousie. Dr. Hayden’s research experience and expertise includes systematic review methods and knowledge translation, prognostic research, and musculoskeletal health. She is founding Head of the Nova Scotia Cochrane Resource Centre, whose aim is to build regional capacity in systematic reviews and evidence-informed health care decision-making.

Gerry Johnston is the former Associate Dean of Resarch, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. Following his training in genetics with Dr. Leland H. Hartwell (University of Washington), in 1975 he was recruited to Dalhousie University and developed a cancer research program focused on control of replication of yeast cells, building an international reputation. At the national level, he has held many senior leadership roles, including President of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and inaugural member of the Board of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research. He has played a pivotal role in strengthening the linkage between cancer researchers and clinicians.

Jana Sawynok is Professor (Retired) in the Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University. Her research interests include development of novel analgesics for chronic pain, with a particular emphasis on adenosine-based pharmaceuticals and topical analgesics, and have involved several collaborations with clinical faculty on clinical trials. An additional interest is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), especially for chronic pain, and she has coauthored several clinical studies involving fibromyalgia. She has also served on a national group involved in addressing CAM in medical education.

Jeff Kirby is a Professor in the Department of Bioethics. As a healthcare ethicist with a background in medicine and philosophy, he is primarily engaged in organizational ethics consultation and socially-just health policy development. His research interests include deliberative engagement methodologies and the ethical analysis of complex healthcare practices. He works with government and provincial health districts to enhance their capacity for ethics-informed decision making.

Brian Wheelock is a member of several medical associations that include the Canadian Neurosurgical Society, Canadian Spine Society and Canadian Medical Association, and since 1983 he has been a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has a long history in clinical and administrative medicine, and, as well, has been intimately involved in activities of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Brian is also a former president of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and Canadian Congress of Neurological Sciences.  From 2002 to 2006, he was on the Board of the Canadian Neurological Foundation.

Ron George is an anesthesiologist and researcher in the Department of Women’s & Obstetric Anesthesia at Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre. His areas of research interest include labor & postoperative analgesia, chronic postoperative pain, and spinal anesthesia hemodynamics. He currently holds the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Career Scientist Award. Dr. George is a founding member of the Women’s Pain Research Group at Dalhousie.

Bob Bortolussi is a pediatric infectious disease clinician and a Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University. Originally from Toronto, he completed his pre-medicine and medical education at the U of T. This was followed by Pediatric Residency training at the Montreal Children's Hospital (McGill) and at the Hospital for Sick Children (U of T). At the end of his clinical training in pediatrics, Bob took one year further training in microbiology at the U of T and three years doing research in infectious disease at the University of Minnesota.