by Jim Oldfield
Originally published: September 21, 2017
University of Toronto's Sharon Straus still remembers the first time she met Dr. David Sackett. She had just arrived at the University of Oxford for graduate training and Sackett, a global pioneer of evidence-based medicine, asked what she wanted to do with her career.
“He sat me down and listened, then told me he’d do everything he could to make my hopes a reality. It was a pretty powerful thing to hear,” says Straus, a professor in U of T's Faculty of Medicine who holds the vice-chair of mentorship, equity and diversity. “And he not only said it, he lived it. The only thing he ever asked was that I do the same for others.”
Straus keeps Sackett’s request – and his example – close to her heart. She has mentored many researchers and clinicians, and she recently volunteered as a mentor in the Faculty of Medicine’s new diversity mentorship program, which has matched 36 faculty with MD students who identify as racialized, differently abled or as members of other equity-seeking groups.