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Message from the Associate Dean, Learner Affairs

Photo of Professor Tony Pignatiello

Since opening our doors in early 2022, the Office of Learner Affairs (OLA) continues to work with learners across the education continuum at individual and systems levels to optimize the learning environment and experience and enable their development into accomplished health care professionals.

Building upon the services provided by our legacy offices – the Office of Health Professions Student Affairs and Office of Postgraduate Wellness – OLA has taken foundational steps to enable and support the provision of integrated services and harmonized programming for and to our learners at the St. George and Mississauga campuses. As health professions education expands to the Scarborough campus as part of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH), so too will OLA.

Learner success is at the heart of what we do, and we recognize the challenges learners may encounter as they move through the learning environment and prepare for a career as a health care professional. We have a dedicated team of education leaders and skilled professionals ready to help learners navigate those challenges, whether through counselling, career coaching or personal wellness. For example, we have established robust processes for  learners to discuss, disclose or report mistreatment they have experienced or witnessed.

The foundational steps we have taken and will continue to build upon reflect our commitment to helping learners elevate their education journey by providing a launching pad, which sometimes requires support for soft landings and handovers. Either way, our wellness programs and personal supports are designed to support the psychological, physical and social wellbeing of our learners. Whether in-person or virtual, we offer a non-evaluative, confidential and non-disciplinary environment for learners to seek help and guidance. 

Sometimes that help or guidance extends beyond our in-house services, and we offer redirection or referrals to ensure our learners receive the necessary support. In such cases, we are here to help advocate for personal or systemic solutions.

 The creation of an integrated Office of Learner Affairs has allowed us to focus on providing our learners with the best possible learning experience, regardless of what stage they’re at in their education journey. As we look towards the future, we are committed to continuing to improve our services, always informed by the goal of ensuring a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment and experience that enables all our learners to flourish.

Professor Tony Pignatiello
Associate Dean, Learner Affairs
Temerty Faculty of Medicine