Saroo Sharda begins as the Faculty of Health Science (FHS)’s inaugural associate dean of equity and inclusion on Feb. 1, 2023.
Sharda is stepping into her new role established as part of the Faculty’s strategic goal of promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Her work at McMaster University will focus on creating a strategy to ensure the application of an anti-racist and decolonial lens to curriculum design, policy, procedures, professionalism issues, faculty development and patient care.
“As the new associate dean, I will continue to advocate for improvements in governance, policy and education to work towards culturally safe, accessible and equitable care for all, particularly those who are most marginalized by our system,” said Sharda, an assistant clinical professor of anesthesia at McMaster since 2012.
Sharda is the inaugural EDI lead at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), where her work in investigations, complaints, education and policy has seen the CPSO emerge as an EDI leader in medical regulation.
She has also served as one of the CPSO’s eight medical advisors, providing input on regulatory processes and the education of physicians across all CPSO departments including policy, quality improvement, investigations, accreditations and registration.
“I am excited to have Dr. Sharda begin this new role in the FHS, she is coming in at a time where there are so many EDI-Indigenous Reconciliation initiatives within the FHS which can benefit from her content expertise and her experience at the CPSO,” said Sonia Anand, McMaster’s acting associate vice-president of equity and inclusion.
As well as her EDI advocacy and academic work, Sharda is an anesthesiologist at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH). As the obstetric anesthesia lead from 2019 to 2021, she led interprofessional policy changes to enhance the quality and safety of obstetric care.
As part of that work, she collaborated with McMaster’s Centre for Simulation to embed interprofessional in-situ simulations at OTMH. Since 2019, she has chaired the physicians wellness committee of the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society.
Sharda is a member of the Federation of Medical Regulators of Canada’s anti-racism working group and has served as vice-chair of the Canadian Women in Medicine’s advocacy committee from 2017-18.
“Dr. Sharda brings with her a wealth of experience in building a culture of antiracism and dismantling the colonial structures in medicine that ultimately hold us all back,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the FHS.
“Her advocacy for equity and inclusion will be a cornerstone of our mission to make the FHS a safe and welcoming space that empowers cutting-edge research.”
Sharda obtained her bachelor of medicine and surgery from the University of Leicester Medical School in England in 2003 and her masters in medical education from the University of Dundee in Scotland in 2012.
She also completed a fellowship in education at the Wilson Centre for Health Professions’ Education at the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Currie Fellowship in 2011, for her emerging leadership in health professions education research. Both her masters and fellowship research focused on theories of power, hierarchy and identity formation.
Sharda completed her junior residency in anesthesia and intensive care at the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham in 2007. She completed her second residency in anesthesiology at the University of Toronto in 2012.
Outside the office, Sharda enjoys stories and her work as a creative writing coach, as well as a narrative medicine facilitator. She is also the mother of two boys aged six and nine.