Anil Walji (1998)

waljiAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Cell Biology and Anatomy.

Citation: Anil H. Walji is one of the most outstanding teachers in the Faculty of Medicine and Oral Health Sciences. He has received twenty-three teaching awards in the last nine years, including the prestigious University-wide Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He is also the only faculty member in the School who holds the distinction of achieving two perfect course evaluations in courses totalling 160 students. Anil is an extremely organized, articulate and demonstrative teacher. He was one of the first to introduce large group interactive instructional formats at the School. The students have been delighted with his creative approaches. He pays careful attention to the detailed preparation of his lectures, enjoys teaching, and develops a special relationship with the students that allows them to feel free to approach him. Anil developed the first MD graduation oath for the Medical School as well as the School’s student code of conduct. He was instrumental in establishing the Faculty Mentorship Program where role-model faculty members are each assigned 8-10 students whom they meet on a regular basis to discuss a variety of issues dealing with their academic programs, support networks and personal problems.

Anil was recognized for his achievement in Medical Education by being appointed Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in 1994. Soon after his appointment, he began the restruc turing of the undergraduate medical curriculum which would emphasize student-centred learning, early patient contact, medical informatics, communication skills and social and integrative medicine. Anil also helped pioneer the introduction of small group, problem- and case-based learning sessions to the medical school. He continues to develop innovative teaching methods and has presented papers on his educational techniques at national and international conferences. He takes the initiative to help his colleagues achieve in teaching through organizing departmental, faculty and university-wide seminars and workshops. He also works closely with University Teaching Services and the Division of Studies in Medical Education to promote teaching excellence across the faculty and the university. He has been honoured by being inducted into two Medical Honour Societies and was named by Maclean’s Magazine as one of the University of Alberta’s “Popular Professors.”