February 21, 2021

At this time last year, we were together in Winnipeg, acquiring new knowledge, laughing and dancing together. Little did we know that only a few weeks later, our entire world would be turned upside down by a microscopic virus called COVID19. For many of us, that flight to Winnipeg was our last for over a year. This once-in-a-century global pandemic has brought us to our knees, but has also taught us about humanity, vulnerability, courage, and the role each and every one of us play in our global ecosystem.

With strife comes our greatest lessons. In the words of one of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked…When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.” In what feels like an endless marathon of isolation, Zoom calls, and PPE, we can look forward to once again experiencing joy from those moments we previously took for granted. A high five from a patient, a hug from a grateful mother, a smile and nod from a colleague as we pass them in the hallway. This is what gives me hope.

If COVID has taught us anything, it has shown us what we are capable of. The disruption that ensued in March 2020 has prepared us, and hopefully inspired us, to embrace a new way of working. As a group of pediatric endocrinology clinicians from across the country, we have the greatest opportunity to be leaders in re-designing pediatric health service delivery. From virtual care to digital technology, the potential of our impact on the lives of patients and families through cutting edge research, quality improvement and implementation science is endless. I for one can’t wait to dig in!

The biggest task that we faced this year was the upcoming conference. A huge thank you to Drs. Seth Marks and Jill Hamilton, who welcomed the challenge of leading the organization of our first ever virtual CPEG Scientific Meeting with unrelenting enthusiasm and aptitude. I have no doubt that this year’s conference will be a tremendous success, and although we cannot bond with each other in the same way, I hope that you will all find a way to connect with friends and colleagues virtually, with a drink in hand.

This year, I end my 2-year term as CPEG President, and I welcome Dr. Diane Wherrett as the incoming CPEG President. As I pass the torch, I find myself wishing I was able to achieve more, but this was not possible for personal reasons, and due to the pandemic that required our focus to shift to delivering the best possible care for our patients, while keeping ourselves, and the patients and families we care for, safe. This in itself was a huge accomplishment, and I hope that we can use CPEG as the platform for sharing our collective learnings and work together as a national collaborative to define the new care paradigm that will further our progress in achieving our mission of “excellence in the care of infants, children and adolescents with diabetes and other endocrine disorders.

Lastly, thank you all for giving me this opportunity to participate on the CPEG Executive as Past President. I am so grateful for all that I have learned and the wonderful colleagues with whom I had the privilege of working with.

I look forward to ‘seeing’ you all soon!

Kind Regards,

Shazhan Amed MD FRCPC
President, Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group (CPEG)