Dr. Helen P. Batty
Toronto, Ontario

2020 Ian McWhinney Award winner Dr. Helen P. Batty

Dr. Helen P. Batty is a professor in the University of Toronto (U of T)’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, where she has taught for more than 45 years. She has received many awards in family medicine teaching and faculty development and has contributed significantly to educating Canada’s future physicians by building capacity among academic family medicine educators.

She served as a founding director of several family medicine faculty development and master’s degree programs at U of T, including co-founding the Five Weekend National Family Medicine Fellowship Program. Launched in 1994, this unique program focused on the essentials of education, management, communication, critical appraisal skills, and the principles of family medicine to develop leadership and team-building skills. The fellowship counts several CFPC presidents among its alumni.

Dr. Batty has also designed and implemented many other ongoing family medicine programs at U of T that physicians from other specialties also pursue. They include the Clinical Teacher Certificate; the Interprofessional Applied Practical Teaching and Learning in the Health Professions (INTAPT) course; the Academic Fellowship and the Medical Education Fellowship; and the Women’s Health enhanced skills program.

In 1994 Dr. Batty was instrumental in designing the Master of Public Health in Family and Community Medicine Program at U of T, and in 2007 she designed the one-year Master of Science in Community Health Program; the Master of Science in Community Health in Health Practitioner Teacher Education Program; and the Master of Science in Community Health in Family and Community Medicine Program.

The foundational role of Dr. Ian McWhinney’s vision of family medicine is reflected in Dr. Batty’s work with fellowship and graduate programs. Learners attending her seminar series participate in weekly chapter-by-chapter readings of his Textbook of Family Medicine. Class discussions focus on the importance of generalism in medical education, patient-centred continuity of care, and the pivotal role of family medicine in the health care system.

Given her decades-long commitment to Dr. McWhinney’s groundbreaking work in family medicine, Dr. Batty expressed how meaningful it is to receive the prestigious Ian McWhinney Family Medicine Education Award.


Ian McWhinney Family Medicine Education Award

This award honours excellence in family medicine education and is presented to a teacher of family medicine deemed by their peers to have made a unique and innovative contribution to family medicine education in Canada.