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South Asian ‘Desi’ Origin Doctors Shine at 2023 OCFP Awards Ceremony


The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) recognized the exceptional contributions of South Asian ‘Desi’ origin doctors at the 2023 Awards Ceremony held on November 22, 2023. The event underscored the significant impact these healthcare professionals have made in the field, showcasing their outstanding skill, knowledge, and unwavering dedication to keeping Ontarians healthy.

The OCFP Awards program is an annual acknowledgment of the pivotal role family doctors play in the healthcare landscape of Ontario. This year’s ceremony brought together a diverse group of medical professionals, each distinguished for their commitment to patient care and their efforts to enhance the overall well-being of the community.

Regional Family Physicians of the Year
The Regional Family Physician of the Year Award recognizes six physicians – one from each region of the province – who provide exemplary care to their patients and are passionately involved in activities that contribute to excellence in family medicine.

Dr. Farhan M. Asrar

Dr. Asrar is a Mississauga-based family physician who has merged his expertise in family medicine, public health and preventive medicine (PHPM). During his residency, he trained at the joint PHPM and Family Medicine programs at McMaster University. He also holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. Currently, he serves as the Trillium Health Partners’ Physician Lead for THP@home and the Physician Research Lead for the Family Medicine Teaching Units at Credit Valley and Mississauga hospitals. Simultaneously, he is an associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto and cross-appointed with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Global Faculty member at the International Space University and Adjunct Faculty at McMaster University, underscoring his dedication to academic excellence.

Dr. Asrar’s global impact extends beyond his clinical practice, being an internationally recognized leader, physician, educator and researcher in public health, family medicine, space medicine, EDIA, and medical education. His passion for education and research has fostered international collaborations, resulting in him leading international teams and projects and numerous publications in renowned journals from around the world.

Nusha Ramsoonda

Medical Student of the Year

The Medical Student of the Year Award is presented to a medical student who is an emerging leader and advocate for family medicine and has made contributions to family medicine and/or primary care in areas such as patient care, peer support, advocacy, community service, research, and education.

Nusha Ramsoondar, originally from Trinidad and Tobago is currently a fourth-year medical student at Northern Ontario School of Medicine University (NOSM) and lives in Thunder Bay. While on placement in Northern communities of Dryden and Timmins, she developed a passion for full-scope rural family medicine and caring for the vulnerable populations who make up these communities.

As the previous inaugural Vice President of Equity and Inclusion for the NOSM student council and a member of the SAFE for Health Institute’s research team, she is focused on equity-oriented social accountability, creating new opportunities for marginalized learners and using a health equity lens in her future practice.

Upon graduation, she plans to use the skills learned during her community placements in Dryden and Timmins to work in other rural communities in Northern Ontario, providing locum coverage to fill gaps in health-care services.

Awards of Excellence

The Award of Excellence recognizes an exceptional accomplishment or innovation achieved within the past 24 months in a specific area or for a specific project pertaining to the specialty of family medicine.  

The Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions in a specific area pertaining to the specialty of family medicine: patient care, community service, hospital or health-care institutions, College activities (CFPC or OCFP), teaching, research or other elements of the academic discipline of family medicine. 

Dr. Anil Gupta

Dr. Anil Gupta is recognized for conducting ground-breaking research on sotrovimab as a COVID-19 therapeutic, that had an immediate and positive global impact on the clinical management of COVID-19. Dr. Gupta supported several COVID–19 related studies that helped further the understanding and ability of doctors to treat patients during this critical time. His research entitled, “Effect of Sotrovimab on Hospitalization and Death in High-Risk Patient with Mild to Moderate COVID-19, A Randomized Clinical Trial” has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Dr.Latif Murji

Dr. Murji is recognized for his leadership and commitment to health equity through the creation of the VaxFacts Clinic, a first-of-its-kind vaccine confidence clinic in Canada. Since its inception, the clinic has provided more than 2,500 one-on-one, judgment-free phone consultations that led to approximately 84 per cent of consults choosing to become vaccinated after their session. By emphasizing the importance of open communication, patient-centered care and building trust, Dr. Murji’s work has demonstrated the potential of targeted interventions in addressing vaccine hesitancy and improving public health outcomes and the vital role family physicians play in addressing complex public health challenges. 

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