Dr Sarita Verma is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Associate Vice-Provost, Health Professions Education, University of Toronto.
But before that, she was a diplomat in Canada’s foreign service. And before that, a successful lawyer. As a lawyer with a unique skill set in maritime boundary law, she went to the International Court of Justice in Hague to work on a dispute between Nova Scotia and Maine. As a junior service officer with the Ministry of External Affairs, she served in some of the most challenging spots in the world for Canada including Darfur in Sudan. She was drawn to medicine while working in Ethiopia during the famine.
She chose family medicine because she wanted to have positive interactions with everyone from babies to the elderly.
“I am very interested in aboriginal issues,” says Dr Verma. “In issues that affect the health of the homeless and marginalized immigrant women.
“I am committed to creating caring professionals. I bring these issues to the table every day. I guess I am what you would call a disruptive innovator!”
Dr Verma is the recipient of the May Cohen Gender Equity Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada.