Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Conference

Uncovering Racism in Medicine: A Pathway Forward

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) is dedicated to dismantling biases and discrimination experienced by medical students, residents, and physicians.  Uncovering Racism in Medicine: A Pathway Forward, a one-day Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Conference, was held on Sept. 22, 2023, at the Saskatoon Inn.


The Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank together proudly support the Uncovering Racism in Medicine: A Pathway Forward conference, one of several initiatives that comprise our 10-year, $115 million commitment to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada.

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Conference Speakers

Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka

Racial Gaslighting – What does it really mean?

Dr. Ndubuka currently works as a medical health officer with the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an Associate Professor with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan with a cross appointment at the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan. 

As a researcher and public health expert, Dr. Ndubuka is particularly interested in the contribution of social determinants of health to infectious disease epidemiology including TB, HIV- and HCV-related risk behaviors and public health practices. Over the past decade, Dr. Ndubuka has worked collaboratively with policy makers, academia, Indigenous communities, and people with lived experience on several community-based studies concentrating on the social construct of communicable disease-related risks.

His continuous involvement on regional, provincial and national programming and policy-making advisory bodies ensures that Indigenous communities are engaged and contributes directly to decision-making priorities for the purpose of policy reformulation.

Dr. Ndubuka is past-president of the Canadian Association of Nigerian Physicians and Dentists (CANPAD).

Dr. Modupe Tunde-Byass

Race in Heathcare

Dr. Tunde-Byass is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the UK. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Ibadan in 1987. She completed her OBGYN training in the UK and Canada. She received special interest training in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at King’s College, London. UK. She has been an active staff at NYGH since 2004. She is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto. In June 2022, she completed the New Evolving Academic Leadership (NEAL) program at the University of Toronto.

She has been serving in the role of Black Physicians of Canada since 2020 and has been central in the organization’s growth. The focus of BPC is to unite, support and empower Black physicians, physicians in training and the Black population about the Canadian health care system. Her focus in EDI is on Anti-Black Racism and maternal mortality.

Dr. Tunde-Byass has held major administrative positions like Residency site coordinator and Interim Chief of OBGYN at NYGH. She is involved in key quality initiatives at the Provincial level. She was the Co-chair for the Quality Standard on Increasing access to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean section and an expert panel member for Early pregnancy complications and loss. She is the Vice-Chair of Maternal Newborn Outcome Committee at Better Outcome Registry Network (BORN). She has received numerous teachings and innovation awards.

She is involved in medical education and has received numerous awards. Her research interest is in Early pregnancy complications and Quality improvement and patient safety initiatives like decreasing CS rate by increasing access to trial of labour after Caesarean section. She has presented some of her research at international conferences and has publications in peer review journals. She is the recipient of the 2022 Postgraduate medical education, University of Toronto Social responsibility award. She is co-founder of Women Health Education Made Simple (WHEMS).

Dr. Kannin Osei-Tutu

Be the Change: The Essential Transformation of Becoming an Anti-Racist Leader

Dr. Osei-Tutu is the inaugural Senior Associate Dean – Health Equity and Systems Transformation at the Cumming School of Medicine having previously served as associate director of student advising and wellness in UME and Director of Resident support at PGME.  

Dr. Osei-Tutu is well established as a provincial and national leader in change transformation. The founder and president of the Black Physicians’ Association of Alberta, he elevates the voices of Black physicians, trainees and learners and is a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta’s Anti-racism Anti-discrimination Action Committee. He informs the development of policies, educational programs and curricula that are inclusive and has established partnerships with regulatory and licensing bodies to advance health equity.

In this new leadership position, Dr. Osei-Tutu will carry the CSM forward as a partner for health equity in the community. He will develop policies and actions that support equity culture and increased diversity of the CSM, including development of a social accountability plan with the Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office leadership team. He will champion anti-racism culture while implementing concrete steps to address change within the CSM and beyond.

Dr. Osei-Tutu is at the forefront of emerging concepts in anti-racist, anti-oppressive and culturally safe medical education, and he approaches his work through the lens of intersectionality and compassion. He is a member of the CanMEDS 2025 Steering Committee and was selected to co-chair the CanMEDS 2025 anti-racism expert working group on which he plays a lead role in scholarship and co-creation of new physician competencies related to equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, anti-oppression and social justice. He has many recent published works and is a co-supervisor in a national research project exploring the ‘sense of belonging’ of equity deserving students in Canadian medical schools.

A trailblazer in systems-level solutions to structural barriers, he conceived, designed and secured funding for the first national support and reporting mechanism for racialized and other equity-deserving trainees who experience or witness racism or other forms of oppression in the postgraduate medical education environment. He also spearheaded the creation of and serves as a mentor in the Black Physicians’ Association of Alberta provincial mentorship program.

Dr. Osei-Tutu serves as the EDI and Anti-racism strategic advisor for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is chair of the Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium Accreditation Working Group to address anti-Black racism in postgraduate medical education. He and his team have advanced the greatest number of new accreditation standards in the history of the accreditation process, set to take effect next year.

Dr. Osei-Tutu earned a degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University, followed by a Master of Science and Doctor of Medicine at Dalhousie University. He completed a Family Medicine residency at the University of Toronto. He is the recipient of many awards including the 2022 Donald I. Rice Award from the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine, the 2022 John Ware Fellowship from the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, the 2022 Resident Doctors of Canada Puddester Award for Resident Wellness, the 2022 Calgary Black Achievement Award in Medicine and Health and the 2021 Foothills Medical Centre Medical Staff Association Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Dr. Saroo Sharda

Understanding Bias, Discrimination, and Racism in Healthcare & Storytelling as Advocacy: Listen, Write, Reflect

Dr. Sharda is the inaugural Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. At the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario where she is a medical advisor and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, she has led cross-organizational work to embed an EDI and anti-racist lens into complaints processes, policy work and ongoing education of committee and Council.  

She holds a Masters and Fellowship in Medical Education, and her scholarship is rooted in theories of power, hierarchy, anti-oppression and identity formation, and was recently awarded the Pauline Alakija trailblazer award for her EDI work. 

When not pursuing her hobby of creative writing and writing coaching, she works hard to avoid stepping on Lego pieces strewn around the house by her 7-year-old and 10-year-old sons.

Dr. Janet Tootoosis

Indigenous Health Matters

Dr. Tootoosis is the College of Medicine’s Interim Vice Dean Indigenous Health. Dr. Tootoosis is the senior leader in the College for all matters relating to Indigenous health and engagement strategies. She is accountable for the creation and implementation of the core foundations to launch the Division of Indigenous Health and position the College of Medicine in a place of prominence to achieve its long-term Indigenous strategies.

Dr. Tootoosis will be pivotal to providing visionary leadership to advance the teaching pedagogies and research ecosystem to address Indigenous peoples’ health needs, working in partnership with other colleges and university senior leaders to foster and support an integrated approach to Indigenous health strategies throughout the college and build alignment with university wide Indigenous initiatives and priorities.

Halima Mela

Creating Safe Workplaces: Recognizing and Challenging Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias: A look at the Experience of Minorities.

Ms. Halima Mela is currently an associate with Northern Reflections as a retail helper. She is also currently pursuing certification as an HR practitioner after taking time off from working to raise her family. She was born in Nigeria, West Africa on 2nd of September 1974. She has a degree in Law from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, a bachelor’s in international studies from University of Saskatchewan in Canada and a master’s in human resources management from University of South Wales in Wales, United Kingdom. She is a dedicated and passionate believer in being an uplifter and always works on assisting others, especially newcomers to find their footing and thrive economically. She is finding her voice in speaking about caring about mental health from a patient perspective and is an advocate for diversity which she sees in all areas of life. She is also an active member in her local church.

She and her husband own Hope Clinic on 5th in Saskatoon. She is blessed with 3 sons who are her joy.