The Wightman-Berris (WB) Academy is comprised of:
- UHN (University Health Network) – includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehab
- Sinai Health – includes Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint
- Michael Garron Hospital, formerly Toronto East General Hospital
Some students will also attend educational sessions at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Humber River Regional Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital For Sick Children and other community sites associated with WB Academy.
The hospitals of WB Academy have a proud history of strength in patient care, research and education, and faculty members are highly supportive of innovations in medical education at the University of Toronto.
Currently, WB Academy student enrolment is approximately 91 first-year students. The Academy registers over 700 preclerkship, clerkship and elective students in total every year.
The anchor hospitals (UHN and Sinai Health) of WB Academy have very active ambulatory and inpatient services for family and community medicine, general medicine, general surgery, oncology and numerous tertiary specialty programs.
The association of UHN and Mount Sinai goes far beyond undergraduate education into joint clinical services, collaborative research and postgraduate educational programs.
UHN is home to the Wilson Centre for Research in Education and the Centre for Interprofessional Education. With 804 acute care hospital beds, UHN priority programs include organ transplantation, advanced cardiac and neurosurgical care and cancer care. There are 423 rehabilitation beds.
Mount Sinai Hospital is a 442 bed hospital with several priority programs, including perinatal medicine and special pregnancy care, chronic disease management, specialized cancer care and emergency care. Bridgepoint Health is a new state-of-the-art centre which specializes in rehabilitation and management of individuals with complex care needs.
Michael Garron Hospital is the Academy’s urban community teaching facility that serves the diverse population of East Toronto in a 110 bed general hospital, with numerous ambulatory clinics.
Dr. Andrea Page completed clinical training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Toronto, including a year as Chief Medical Resident, as well as graduate work in translational research at the Institute of Medical Science, prior to joining the Department of Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Toronto in 2012. Since 2013, Dr. Page has been the Site Director for the Internal Medicine program at Mount Sinai Hospital, and from 2018-2020 was one of two interim Co-Directors of the Mentorship, Equity, and Diversity portfolio for the Department of Medicine. She is currently a Clinician-Educator and attending physician on the ID rotation at Sinai Health and University Health Network, and on the Internal Medicine Clinical Teaching Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Page is the recipient of several teaching and education awards, most recently including the William Goldie Prize in Teaching from the Department of Medicine, and the John W. Bradley Award for Education Administration from the Wightman-Berris Academy.
The WB Academy is home to:
- the Paul B. Helliwell Centre at the Toronto General site
- the Toronto Western Hospital - Integrated Medical Education Centre
- the Cooper Family Education Centre, with a mandate to foster interprofessional education at Mount Sinai Hospital
- the University of Toronto Surgical Skills Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, where new educational and simulation technologies have been developed
Video conferencing is available between the teaching sites. At each site, there are seminar rooms, large classrooms, examination rooms and computing facilities, student lounges and lockers. Students may have some of their educational sessions, seminars and case-based learning at different sites, but clinical skills teaching is usually based at one hospital site for the first two years. A shuttle bus is available to take students from Toronto General to Toronto Western, as required.
At WB, educational administrative staff at each site ensure that students and tutors are brought together in the best possible learning environment, and are always prepared to help students quickly find their way around what initially appear to be very large health complexes. They endeavor to make the learning spaces comfortable and to create an atmosphere conducive to learning as well as socializing. Support services include counseling, information technology support and research support. The teaching faculty is enthusiastic about teaching and being involved in the training of future colleagues.
The Wightman-Berris Academy is named for two distinguished physician educators, Dr. KJR Wightman (1914-1978), who was Physician-in-Chief of the Toronto General and post-graduate Dean at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Barnet Berris (1921-2009) who was the Physician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai and clinical teacher extraordinaire.