AFMC - May Cohen Equity, Diversity, and Gender Award


The AFMC- May Cohen Award in Equity, Diversity and Gender award was established as a national award in 2003. This award recognizes the outstanding effort or achievements of members of the faculties of medicine in improving the equity, diversity and gender environment in academic medicine in Canada. Named after May Cohen, the award is to exemplify the characteristics that she represents. 

A pioneer for positive change in women’s health, May Cohen graduated at the top of her class in 1955 at a time when fewer than seven percent of medical students in Canada were women. Following a twenty year career as a family physician in Toronto, Dr. Cohen joined the department of family medicine at McMaster University in 1977 and served as associate dean of health services from 1991 to 1996. She co-founded the first faculty of medicine Women’s Health Office in 1991, triggering several medical schools to follow suit, which led to the creation of the Women’s Health Inter School Curriculum Committee for Ontario’s medical schools. May Cohen is an inductee in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Selection Criteria
Nominations must include:
  • Evidence of the nominee’s achievements in improving equity, diversity and gender environments in their faculty of medicine or beyond their faculty of medicine on a provincial and national level;
  • Evidence of scholarship in the area of equity, diversity and gender issues;
  • Leadership in leading change with demonstrated impact in improving equity, diversity and gender issues in academic medicine;
  • Participation in committees and or other activities on the topic of equity, diversity and gender;
  • Personal characteristics that are embodiment of the values that support equity, diversity and gender in academic medicine.
The award and an associated $ 1,500 honorarium will be presented at the annual AFMC Presidential Address and Award Ceremony at the CCME. The award recipient will receive a complimentary registration for the conference. Please check the General Information section for more details.
Nominating Procedure
The nomination must be made by a letter of nomination by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the nominee’s school. Each Faculty may nominate up to two nominees. Nominations must be accompanied by an abbreviated CV, two supporting letters from peers and other relevant documentation as required to meet the criteria above. Please check the Nominating Guidelines for more details regarding the nomination process. 
To submit a nomination, please complete the Award Nomination Form

Previous Recipients


Dr. Sharon Straus, University of Toronto


Dr. Darlene Kitty, University of Ottawa


Dr. Bruce Martin, University of Manitoba


Drs. Karine Igartua and Richard Montoro, McGill University


Dr. Gurdeep Parhar, University of British Columbia


Dr. Janet de Groot, University of Calgary


Dr. Jane Philpott, University of Toronto


Dr. Saleem Razaack, McGill University


Dr. Catherine Cook, University of Manitoba


No nominees


Dr. Wilfreda Thurston, University of Calgary and Dr. Sarita Verma, University of Toronto


Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, University of Montréal


Dr. Nahid Azad, University of Ottawa


Dr. Blye Frank, Dalhousie University and Dr. Susan Phillips, Queen's University


Dr. Barbara Lent, Western University 


Dr. Sheila Dunn, University of Toronto


Dr. Dorothy Shaw, University of British Columbia