Appointment of Drs. Ayelet Kuper and Umberin Najeeb to Senior Advisor Roles
I am pleased to announce that Drs. Ayelet Kuper and Umberin Najeeb have agreed to join the Office of Inclusion and Diversity as Senior Advisors for an initial one-year term that began June 1, 2021. Dr. Kuper will serve as Senior Advisor on Antisemitism, while Dr. Najeeb will serve as Senior Advisor on Islamophobia. In these vital roles, they will advise me and other leaders within Temerty Medicine on curriculum, training programs, and policies to better address and raise awareness about religious-based discrimination that disproportionately impacts Jewish and Muslim communities. They will also be available to students, faculty, and staff who may require their counsel or support.
Dr. Kuper is a Scientist and Associate Director at the Wilson Centre (UHN/U of T) and an Associate Professor in U of T’s Department of Medicine. She practices medicine within the Division of General Internal Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Kuper is interested in the kinds of knowledge and knowledge production practices we see as legitimate within medical education and medicine more broadly, and in the ideas, individuals, and groups that are included or excluded based on their knowledge claims. A child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Holocaust literature in addition to her medical training and is cross-appointed to U of T’s Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, many of which relate to power, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
Dr. Najeeb is a staff internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and an Associate Professor in U of T’s Department of Medicine. She was recently appointed as the Equity Lead for the Department of Medicine and is currently the Co-Director of the Department of Medicine's Master Teacher program and Faculty Lead for the IMG/IFT mentorship program. Her scholarly focus is on the transition and integration of International Medical Graduates and other Internationally Educated Health Professionals into their training and working environments. As an educator, she also studies other aspects of health professions education with a specific focus on curriculum design, faculty development, and mentorship. Born in Pakistan, Dr. Najeeb uses her voice and lived experiences as a Muslim woman to be an ally in her many roles. She has won numerous national and provincial awards for teaching and mentorship, most recently the 2021 PARO Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.
This is an important early step of many more that we need to take to address religious-based discrimination more fully in Temerty Medicine. As previously stated, “We will not tolerate discrimination on any basis. This includes antisemitism and Islamophobia or any form of race-based or religious-based discrimination.” I am committed to doing the work necessary to uphold this obligation, informed by the communities most impacted by this hated and abuse.
Please join me in welcoming Drs. Kuper and Najeeb to these essential roles. I look forward to their ongoing advice and wisdom as we work to better support all members of the Temerty Medicine community.
Associate Dean, Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto