Allan Peterkin

Allan Peterkin MD, FCFP, FRCP
Program Director
Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine
Head, the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities, University of Toronto

Allan Peterkin completed a degree in English and French literature before completing medical school at the University of Manitoba.

He went on to complete residencies in psychiatry and family medicine at McGill, all the while working on his own creative writing projects. As a resident, he published “Staying Human During Residency Training-How To Survive and Thrive After Medical School” (now in its 7th edition and 1st UK edition). Dr Peterkin is currently a full Professor of psychiatry and family medicine at the University of Toronto, where he heads the Program in Health, Arts and Humanities. He also serves as Humanities Faculty Lead for the Medical Education Portfolio: the MD Program, Post Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development.

He was a co-founder of Creating Space-Canada’s annual medical humanities meeting, now in its 12th year., and was instrumental in founding the Canadian Association for Health Humanities. He has always been interested in the interface between medicine and storytelling and co-led a therapeutic writing group for men and women living with HIV for 20 years. A collection of these patients’ narratives was published as “Still Here-a Post-cocktail Aids Anthology” (Life Rattle Press). This work led to further training in narrative-based medicine in the US and UK and he was a pioneer in bringing narrative approaches in medicine to Canada.

Dr Peterkin has written/edited 14 books on subjects as varied as cultural history, human sexuality, physician health and narrative medicine.

His humanities titles include : “Portfolio to Go-1000 Prompts and Provocations for Clinical Learners”, “Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education” with Dr Anna Skorzewska, and “Keeping Reflection Fresh-a Practical Guide for Clinical Educators”, with Pamela Brett-Maclean PHD.

He is also an author of 5 picture books for children. Recent titles include “The Flyaway Blanket” and “Peacock and Sketch”.

Dr Peterkin was a co-founder of the award-winning Canadian literary journal Ars Medica and has been an editorial consultant to CMAJ and Medical Humanities(BMJ).

His poetry, journalistic pieces and creative non-fiction have appeared in journals and magazines in the US, Canada and the UK.

He is delighted to be a Program Director for the CPD program in Narrative-based Medicine which has trained colleagues from all over the world. This program continues to create new opportunities for finding renewal and community by celebrating the stories shared by students, colleagues, patients and educators from multiple clinical and arts-based disciplines.

Karen Gold

Karen Gold PhD, MSW RSW
Program Faculty
Instructor, Narrative-Based Medicine: An Introduction to Reading, Writing, and Reflecting in Clinical Practice and Self-Care
Clinical Educator, Health, Arts & Humanities Program, University of Toronto

Karen Gold, PhD, MSW is a narrative medicine practitioner with 25+ years experience as a hospital-based social worker and educator. She has an interest in writing and well-being and narrative ways to promote compassion for self and others.

She is currently an Instructor in the Narrative-Based Medicine Certificate at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She has published and presented extensively on health humanities including a recent essay on poet Mary Oliver. She has facilitated hospital and community-based NBM sessions for diverse groups including healthcare providers, therapists, learners, patients, shelter residents, and artists.

Faculty Disclosure

It is the policy of University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Continuing Professional Development to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all its individually accredited or jointly accredited educational programs. Speakers and/or planning committee members, participating in University of Toronto accredited programs, are expected to disclose to the program audience any real or apparent conflict(s) of interest that may have a direct bearing on the subject matter of the continuing education program. This pertains to relationships within the last FIVE (5) years with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or other corporations whose products or services are related to the subject matter of the presentation topic. The intent of this policy is not to prevent a speaker with a potential conflict of interest from making a presentation. It is merely intended that any potential conflict should be identified openly so that the listeners may form their own judgments about the presentation with the full disclosure of facts. It remains for the audience to determine whether the speaker’s outside interests may reflect a possible bias in either the exposition or the conclusions presented.