Department of Medicine
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Glimpse of a Vision

The plans for the Department of Medicine will be forged in a series of retreats, in which the Faculty will play an active role. In the mean time, here are some of my thoughts about future directions for your consideration.  I look forward to your postings. Suggestions and advice are welcome on the Blog.

My plans for the Department of Medicine are ambitious but will be done in consultation with the faculty. In working closely with the Division Chiefs, I will strive to better define and enhance the careers of existing faculty, particularly junior faculty who are in the formative stages of their careers. Recruitment is also planned, including clinician scientists, clinician educators, and clinicians.

Education and mentorship:

I will be working closely with Chris Smith to ensure the excellence of our training program is maintained and enhanced.  Together we will foster innovative enhancements to our training program, such as the use of iPads by house staff to enhance patient care. A formal mentorship program for trainees and junior faculty will also be developed.

Clinical care:

Clinically, I will be working with faculty and administration to enhance patient access and satisfaction with the inpatient and outpatient experience. Our overarching goal will revolve around enhancing the patient experience and shortening waiting lists through the use of physician extenders and single point of entry clinics. Programs of distinction that offer our patients high-tech and complex procedures will be fostered to enhance our provincial and national impact. I will be working with the faculty and hospital leadership to enhance engagement between KGH, the Hotel Dieu, and St. Mary’s. The new St. Mary’s hospital under development, the new clinic space at Hotel Dieu, and the imminent phase two redevelopment of KGH offer both the opportunity and responsibility to be engaged in planning our future. I will be looking for every opportunity to engage the faculty in the committees that will determine the direction of the Hospitals and the Health Sciences Faculty.


Closer ties with the basic science department are needed in order to fully take advantage of the genomic, proteomic, and translational opportunities that exist in 2012. I hope to reduce the distance from laboratory to bedside. I will be applying to CFI for funding to build core facilities that will help support my own lab while also benefitting translational research within the department. I will also work with my fellow department heads and the leadership of the Cancer Center to promote collaboration and, where applicable, joint recruitment. The Department of Medicine is strongest when we combine a willingness to lead with a spirit of partnership to promote the broader good of the Health Sciences Faculty. I will outline my personal research program in a Grand Rounds on Thursday January 17, 2013. I will be looking for faculty and trainees interested in participating in this research and am hoping that once I reestablish my lab I can collaborate in your programs.


Change can be daunting and is best when it is addressed from the roots up, rather than from the top down. Consequently, one of my first tasks will involve consultations with faculty and trainees. These consultations will include a series of three facilitated, daylong retreats to be held early in 2013 on the following themes: 1) Clinical Care; 2) Education and Mentorship; and 3) Research, these retreats will be facilitated by Mr. Erik Lockhart from the Business School. Please set aside time on the following dates January 19, March 23 and April 20, 2013 Armed with input from these retreats and meetings with hospital and university leadership, divisional directors, faculty members, and trainees, I am confident that we can map our future path to becoming a highly unified department and thereby enhance our role within the university, province and country.

You are invited:

As a first step in enhancing the unity of our Department, a Holiday celebration will be held Wednesday December 12, 2012 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. This party will celebrate achievements of several senior faculty members, and Kathie and I look forward to meeting you. As a second step, we will be rejuvenating Grand Rounds. This is the flagship academic venue of the department and we will be encouraging the invitation of nationally and internationally respected leaders to give these lectures. We may need to adjust the time of the rounds, but ultimately the attendance/participation of the faculty is part of the citizenship expected from all faculty members and trainees. Likewise, to enhance transparency of the department’s business and academic plans, regular faculty meetings will be held at which faculty attendance will be essential.

Vision for the Department:

I will offer a more formal vision for the department at a Grand Rounds in the first quarter of 2013. I will also be updating you on the state of the department through a reinvigorated web page and blog. I hope to use these to share my plans/thoughts and celebrate your achievements, so send them my way.

The Pledge:

I will give you my very best effort to ensure that Queen’s Department of Medicine realizes its amazing potential. In return, I ask for your ideas and the full engagement of your talents, not only in the traditional domains of medicine, research and education but also availing the department of your connections to the community, philanthropy, government, and NGOs. Our success will largely be determined by your abilities to serve as ambassadors of the university and the department in these diverse venues. Whether you are a medical student or the most senior faculty member, your energy and drive is needed to make the department a nationally recognized center of excellence where patient-centered care, superior medical training and research thrive.

The Dream:

The dream –which I hope you share– is to work at a medical center where exemplary, patient-centered care is built upon clinical programs of distinction. The clinical world should be buttressed by, and, in turn support high caliber research programs that extend from molecules to populations and should span divisions and departments. Enthusiasm for discovery, invention, and the training of the next generation of physicians will thrive. Together we can make the dream a reality. Is this seemingly lofty dream possible? Assuredly yes.

As Nelson Mandela said in his biography, Long Walk to Freedom, “It always seems impossible until it is done”


4 Responses to Glimpse of a Vision

  1. Richard Reznick says:

    Welcome Stephen,

    We are lucky to have you back at Queen’s. I am in full support of your bold plans and your vision of a pathway towards realizing those plans. There are many talented clinicians, scientists, educators and leaders in the Department of Medicine, who are ready to help you push further and support the FHS mission. At Queeen’s we ask questions, we seek answers, we advance care, and we inspire change.


    Richard K. Reznick

    • Stephen Archer says:

      Thanks Richard. It is an honor to be back at Queen’s. I am already enjoying the community and collegiality and look forward to working with you and the rest of the team to elevate the Department to new heights.

  2. John says:

    Dr Archer, thank you for this eloquent description of your vision for the future. In terms of your plans for the research program, do you see that as being primarily lab based or clinic based? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Stephen Archer says:

    Hi John! I will be attempting to walk the tightrope of clinical Medicine and Research while running the Department. The clinical side will be smaller than before, probably Cardiology outpatient care, primarily….perhaps some CCU attending. The lab will focus on discovering new treatments for pulmonary hypertension and cancer with a focus on mitochondrial and metabolic research. I will continue training physician Scientists-such as yourself-of course. My major focus will need to be on the Department…advancing its people and programs and improving care for patients. So if you like watching someone juggle while walking a tightrope-stay tuned. Fortunately I have great colleagues to help make the feat possible. SA

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Dr. Archer, Dept. Head
Dr. Archer, Dept. Head