Profile: Professor Allyn Walsh Chair, WONCA Working Party on Education

April, 2012

Prof Allyn Walsh has been a family physician in Canada for close to 35 years. Her favourite quote describing the nature of this work comes from Sir William Osler, a great clinician and medical teacher:

"Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought, the true poetry of life – the poetry of the commonplace, of the ordinary man, of the plain, toil-worn  woman, with their loves and their joys, their sorrows and their griefs".

She likes to think that all of us in WONCA have an opportunity to participate in this “poetry of life” in our work with patients, and that the WONCA Working Party on Education is engaged in passing on the recognition of this joy to learners at all levels.

Allyn has been chairing the WONCA Working Party on Education since 2010, and has represented the College of Family Physician’s of Canada’s Section of Teachers at WONCA Council, since 2007.

In Canada, she has been involved or chaired a number of the educational committees of the College of Family Physicians of Canada including the Accreditation Committee, the Section of Teachers Council, The Working Group on International Training and Certification, the Working Group on Postgraduate Curriculum Review and the Working Group on Faculty Development.

She is Professor of Family Medicine at McMaster University, where she has been at one time or another the Postgraduate Program Director for Family Medicine, the Department Education Director, and the Assistant Dean for the Program for Faculty Development for the Faculty of Health Sciences, amongst other tasks.

Her particular interests are in clinical teaching, but she has also published on inter-professional education, faculty development topics, accreditation, and curricular development in family medicine.