New Dean appointed to Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. David Walker graduated from Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences in 1971.
Dr. David Walker graduated from Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences in 1971.
Photo courtesy of David Walker

Dr. David Walker, Queen’s new Dean of Health Sciences, says that his appointment has come at a challenging turning point in medicine — one that will draw on the skills of the many members of the Queen’s medical community.

“We are facing many challenges, but there are hundreds of faculty and students to help answer the questions,” he explained.

Walker, who has served as acting dean since 1999, was appointed earlier this week by Principal William Leggett. The appointment, effective immediately, was made with the unanimous support of the Advisory Committee on the deanship.

“David Walker will bring to this appointment not only his impressive credentials and vast experience in the field of medicine, but also a great capacity to anticipate and embrace the challenges that lie ahead in providing the most exceptional learning environment for the next generation of health-care providers,” said Leggett.

“We are extremely fortunate that he has agreed to serve Queen’s in this critical leadership role.”

In making this announcement, Leggett expressed his appreciation for the leadership and outstanding contributions of Dr. Barry Smith, Dr. Walker’s predecessor, during his term as dean of the faculty.

Dr. Walker responded to his appointment with great enthusiasm.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great honour to be offered the job at this time rife with possibilities and opportunities.”

In an interview with The Journal, Dr. Walker discussed many of the pressing considerations that will face the faculty of Health Sciences and the medical profession in the future. For Dr. Walker, Queen’s ability to adapt to these changes is of primary importance.

“There will be substantial changes for doctors and nurses in rehabilitation therapy in the next 10 years and substantial modifications to the way we teach. There will be critical decisions in research because of increased research funds. There will also be structural changes, deciding on the appropriate fees for medical and nursing students,” he explained.

A native of Middlesex, England and a graduate of Queen’s University Medical School (‘71), Dr. Walker completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine in 1975, achieving a fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

He was appointed to the Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Surgery at Queen’s where he was promoted to Professor in 1991 and served as chair from 1986 until 1995. At that time, the division became Canada’s first academic Department of Emergency Medicine and Dr. Walker was appointed Acting Head.

Dr. Walker also held an appointment as Associate Dean, Continuing Medical Education and in 1997-1998 he was Medical Director of Kingston General Hospital. He served an eight-month term as acting head of the Department of Psychiatry. In 1998, Dr. Walker was appointed vice-dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and in 1999, Director of the School of Medicine.

—With files from the Office of Advancement

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