Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is celebrating a pivotal development in the journey towards opening the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH), slated for 2026.

Dr. Caroline Chan has been appointed as the first academy director of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine (SAM), jointly announced by Dr. Samir Grover, Executive Vice President of Education at SHN, and Dr. Marcus Law, Associate Dean of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine MD Program at the University of Toronto (U of T). Effective May 13, 2024 for a five-year term, Dr. Chan will work collaboratively with SHN and U of T Scarborough to advance medical education in Scarborough and beyond.

In a recent interview with the the University of Toronto, Dr. Chan said she is excited to help build something new: “At SAM, I can help students excel academically, build a community, and have a wider positive impact.”

At SHN, Dr. Chan is the simulation co-lead for faculty development of emergency physicians, as well as the clinical operations research co-lead. She is a member of the SHN emergency department’s MD Council, and has taught medical education at various levels from undergraduate medicine to faculty development. In 2023, she received U of T’s Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) Early Career Excellence in Teaching Emergency Medicine Award, and in 2022, she received the DFCM Excellence in Quality Improvement in Emergency Medicine Award.

“I want to foster an environment that nurtures collaboration, critical thinking and curiosity so our learners can reach their full potential and become well-equipped to navigate the medical profession,” she continued.

In 2015, Dr. Chan completed her family medicine residency at SHN followed by the emergency medicine fellowship at Western University. Like many other SHN physicians, she is a part of a longstanding trend of returning to SHN. After completing a point-of-care ultrasound fellowship, she continued as a staff emergency physician.

“I love my emergency department colleagues. They’re outstanding.”

Research and Education is a strategic direction under SHN’s Strategic Plan 2024-2029, and as Dr. Chan gets started in her new role, the Network continues to plan and fundraise for a brand new Research and Education Centre at Centenary Hospital. This centre will be home to SAMIH students and faculty, as well as SHN Research Institute. Located only a 10-minute bus ride from U of T Scarborough’s campus, it will feature advanced facilities for education, training, and collaboration.

Learn more about medical education at SHN.

This story includes interview content from Erin Howe/the University of Toronto.

Dr. Caroline Chan’s “Made in Scarborough” story

My father is a family physician and worked in Scarborough for more than 40 years. I used to shadow him and got to meet some of his patients. When I was younger, he even brought me to “take your daughter to work” day. Scarborough has always been a part of my life.

Before studying medicine, I did an undergraduate degree and a master’s in industrial engineering at U of T. My research focus was on healthcare systems.

After graduating, I worked at SHN as an industrial engineer in the emergency department…. While I was in that role, I could see how the committed the staff were to the community.

I decided to go back to school to study medicine at U of T and returned to SHN for my Family and Community Medicine residency. After completing my emergency medicine fellowship, I chose to come back to Scarborough for my point of care ultrasound fellowship. I’ve continued to work here as staff ever since.