Dr. Dharini Mahendira

2020 Emerging Teacher – Educator Award

Dr. Dharini Mahendira completed her medical degree at the University of Toronto before going to Queen’s University to do her internal medicine training and then returning to Toronto for her rheumatology training.  Following completion of her formal training, she undertook a Clinical Associate position at St. Michael’s Hospital.  Dharini has also completed the Master Teacher Training Program and her Masters in Health Practitioner Teacher Education.  With this background training and experience, Dharini began her formal appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology in 2014.

Dharini is recognized as a superb clinical teacher.  She is extensively involved in teaching at the undergraduate, internal medicine and postgraduate levels.  She won a resident teaching award while an internal medicine trainee, a hospital-based teaching award in 2016 and the U of T Rheumatology divisional junior faculty teaching award in 2019. She is perpetually passionate about her work and transmits this to trainees in her clinical setting, inspiring many residents to become rheumatologists.

Dharini has worked on a number of education projects including a needs assessment upon which to base a national immunology curriculum, setting the stage for a series of immunology videos which have completed, evaluated and are in the process of being distributed for use in Canadian rheumatology training programs.  Her curriculum development skills have been utilized as Co-Chair for the 2018 National Rheumatology Residents Weekend and the imminent 2020 NRRW, as well as the Resident Pre-course at the CRA.  These national projects are in addition to the planning and administration of our local rheumatology Academic Half Day curriculum and extensive work on teaching and education committees locally and nationally.

Although still considered early in her career, Dr. Dharini Mahendira has established herself as a highly respected teacher and educator with local and national contributions within the Canadian rheumatology community.