Blog

Advocacy Update

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

CWIM joins calls to Memorial University Medical School to protect students who report racism.

CWIM is joining with multiple organizations and hundreds of signatories to call on Memorial University Medical School to clearly state that they won't allow retribution against a group of students who raised concerns about racism. You can read more about this case here and read our original letter here

Dear Dean Dr. Margaret Steele,

We are deeply concerned by reports of retaliation against medical students by the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine for reporting potentially racist and unprofessional behaviour by Dr. Zachary Kuehner.

As previously reported,1–4 Dr. Kuehner is a medical resident who is a self-proclaimed Islamophobe. In one opinion piece, he called Islam a "racket."5 He also posted an inflammatory anti-Muslim cartoon saying that "Islam is dangerous and, as such, deserves our virulent disrespect."6 Dr. Kuehner has called the Indigenous communities he worked with as a medical student 'dysfunctional' and 'hopeless'. In one article, he referred to Indigenous people travelling to Thunder Bay for “entertainment, school, prison, and aimlessness” as its “cross … to bear,” blaming them for many of the social issues there.

Dr. Kuehner's views on Islam, Indigenous health and the Black Lives Matter movement led several courageous medical students at Memorial University to file a complaint with the Faculty of Medicine.6 Subsequently, Dr. Kuehner was sanctioned by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador.4

It was recently brought to our attention7 that the courageous medical students who wrote and supported this complaint are now the subject of a complaint by Dr. Kuehner at the medical school. This development is disturbing, since it shows Dr. Kuehner does not appreciate the gravity of his mistakes. Instead of reconciling with the communities he hurt and the students who helped correct him, Dr. Kuehner is taking steps to retaliate against the students who raised concerns about his conduct.

Even more grave is that the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine is allowing this complaint, giving the regrettable impression that the Faculty is participating in this retaliatory effort. A 2018 report commissioned by the Faculty of Medicine on intimidation, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment cited “fear of reprisal or repercussion” as one of the central reasons why harassment continues at the Faculty.8 Allowing this complaint to continue will damage the Faculty's reputation, as well as create a chilling effect on students who would consider raising concerns in the future. This is especially true as the students' original complaint against Dr. Kuehner appears to have been disallowed on a technicality.

We respectfully ask that you, on behalf of the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine, provide the following assurances:

  1. The students who filed the complaint against Dr. Kuehner are not under investigation;

  2. There is no formal or informal active or pending complaint or investigation against them for taking action against Dr. Kuehner; and

  3. The Faculty of Medicine supports in deeds as well as words these courageous students who complained against a person they saw as undermining the profession.

We believe that you are “very committed to a learning and working environment free of racism, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment,"1 as has been cited in the media. We remain hopeful that your and the Faculty's actions can meet this lofty commitment.

Sincerely,

The undersigned 646 physicians, health care workers, organizations and concerned members of the public:

Dr. Samantha Pomroy, MDSean KennedyYahia ZakariaDr. Munsif Bhimani, MD, CCFPAisha Van Der LooDr. Ioulia Napolskikh, MD, CCFPNigel ChampionAreeba SamiShannon DriscollAkram ArabKathleen CrawfordSoha RamadanSara KasasniDr. Patricia Howse, MDEimaan KhanDr. Krista Loewen, MDKatherine SuttonDr. Dorotea Gucciardo, PhDAyesha Tasneem, HBSc, MD (Candidate)Ned PrattJacob PrattDr. Andrew Bresnahan, MD, MSc, MPH, FRCGSNatalia da CostaDr. Elsa Dinsdale, MDAmanda MazzaHisham ShokrSamra MianDr. Saad Ahmed, MD, CCFPDr. Dalal Dahrouj, MD, FRCPCDr. Giuliana GuarnaRandi GeorgeDr. Desiree RouleauEmily StuartDr. Kristi KyleJeff MacRobertsShannon StirlingShaina LeeSteph MaloneDr. Michelle Cohen, Advocacy Co-Chair, CWIMDr. Mo Yu Li, MD, CM, FRCSCSameea BajwaDr. Rebecca Howse, MD, CCFPAngela ChengDr. Melissa Bota, MD, FRCPCDr. Tabitha Tse, MDDr. Brianne Lewis, MD, FRCSCDr. Iram Yunus, MDDr. Erin Dwyer, MDDr. Meghan Leitch, MDIbrahim Mohammad, BScKin, MD(c)Dr. Jumana Sarraj, MDDr. Safiyya Karolia, MDDr. Ahmer Karimuddin, MDDr. Caitlin Gallagher, MDDr. Shannon Laity, MD, FRCSCMayme LefurgeyDr. Quynh-Dao Dinh, MDDr. Jenn D’Mello, MD, FRCPCDr. Brooke Saunders, MD, CCFP(EM)Dr. Charissa Chen, MDDr. Andrea Estey, MD, FRCPCDr. Dorothy Kuk, MD, FRCPCAfrah RazaLesley BautistaDr. Josdalyne Anderson. MD, CCFPDr. Christa Dakin, MDDr. Joanne Lau, MD, CCFPDr. Ursula MadejDr. Nabiha Islam, MD, FRCPCDr. Susan Furlong, MDDr. Anjali KamraJacob BenderDr. Robin Williams, MD, FRCPCDr. Harkamal Randhawa, MD, FRCPCTarek Bin YameenNida TaherHarjot AtwalDr. Sara Wainberg, MDAleem HussainRebecca O’LearyJack KerrDr. O.Jarkas, MD, CCFPDr. Mythri Kappagantula, MDSarah Walters JohnsonJacqueline Holiff, MD, FRCPCDr. Yong-Li Zhang MD, CCFPGregory BrushettDerek ChanDr. Allison MeiwaldDr. Hisham AkhtarAja SuttonMaisoon YousifJane CoozeLeah BurrowsKristin ChowBridget ClarkeAli HussainDr. Claire Hirst, M.D. CCFPDr. Renee Gauthier, MDTanzila BasrinRusan Lateef, PhD CandidateDr. Yezarni Wynn, MD, MScDima KalacheStephanie HartDr. Michelle Pinto, MDDr. Elissa Laflamme, MDDr. Sameer Kamra, MD, CCFPTalha MaqboolCaroline Hennessey RNStephanie JeansKrisztina HuszarAhmed Abbas, MScDr. Jae Ford, MD; Memorial University FoM AlumnusDr. Afroze Salahuddin, MDCourtney KrawecPhoebe BurrowsLaura MatemiszDr. Katharine Smallwood, MDSofiaNathan WilsonMarcos ibrahimDylan SohiDr. Carolyn Teng, MDEmily KingDr. Danielle Nelson, MD, CCFPSarah ColvenZahra RehanStephanie JeansBalsam ArwiniAsma ToorCrystal WilkieDr. Sofija Rans, MD, CCFPAli JafriKara O’KeefeSavanna GodfreyAfiza ElahiDr. Shahna Tariq, MDDakotah JanesAmanda williamsMaria DoyleSara WasefDr. Arianne St Jacques, MD, FRCPCDre. Elaine Champagne, MDErin McCarthyDr. Caroline Cook, MD, CCFPJulia ChalkerDr. Meghan O’Leary, MDShannon HartNicole SmedDr..Danielle Ouellette, MDJennifer LuuGlenn SaundersDr. Sara Loubani, MDDr. Mahmoud Loubani, MDDr. Deanne Benning, MD, CFPCDr. Jennifer Tse MD, FRCPCDr. Erin Peebles MD, FRCPCAdelaide Burrows, MD (2023, Queen’s Medicine)Zainab DoleebLindsay BattDr. Monisha Harricharan, MD, CCFPPatricia RobertsDr. Marissa Joseph, MD, MSc, FRCPCCatherine KingDr. Crystal Pinto, MD, FRCPCLeah RusnellJohanna AdamsKayla ClouterSusan TothDia RahmanDr. Vicki Scholten, MDJustin NecpalSelina SpeckerAndrew BigioniDr. Katie Cuttini, MDCharlotte GardinerManjot Sunner, MD (Candidate)Muhammad KhanRamesha JavedJCNoor BakirAhmed FaressZachary Al-KhatibDr. Nadiya Goswami, MDNatalia da CostaDr. Baseer Khan, Chief of Ophthalmology, Southlake HospitalDr. Zishan Allibhai, MDDr. Danish Khan, MDDr. Elissa Laflamme, MDSulemaan AhmedHaakon Webber-WinsorJean PoirierMaria ColbertBurhan HaqFaisal ArifAbeer HegaziDr. Ryhana Dawood, MDKendra GageSalman FerozDr. Sarah Donnelly, MDDr. Alyssa Smith, MD, FRCPCDr. Nicole Brown, MDTaha Ben MohamedMais Kvas MS1Kamila RedmondDr. Kamal MattarMary BoulosDr. Mimmi Thompson MD, CCFPNeera MalikAmna WastySetti BelhouariDr. Caryn Green, MDElizabeth LandellsDr. David Lacey, MDJanine EvansCindy ClouterYasmeen RazviJamie VinkenHassan Abdallah, MD (Candidate 2024)Rutanya WynesDhanuddara MohottalageDr. Caroline LeeZara Ahmad, Schulich School of Medicine & DentistryDr. Shireen Marzouk, MDKashif SayaJuliet LanphearAyesha KashifKrista Burrows, BEP MEDSuhaima TunioAndrea PowerNada Abdel-Dayem, RN, MD (Candidate)Christine MoonOlivia GintyKora Liegh GlattKristen MurrayZahra Haq, Medical StudentDr. Heather Bocz, MDReem A. QadirMichael Keefer, Prof. Emeritus, U. of GuelphJessica WongJamie ThompsonDr. Kathleen Moncrieff, MD, PhD, CCFPIsrael HuntMohammed ChammaDr. Alissa CentivanyMohamed MoinuddinDr. Catherine Arkell, MDSana Jawad, MD (Candidate)Jim KangDaniel TrotterHafsa Zia, MD (Candidate 2024)Youssif SewidanDr. Sonja Babovic MD, CCFPShannon LittleMartine FecteauDr. Gaibrie Stephen MD, CCFP(EM)Rachel BelangerNusha Ramsoondar, MPH, MD (Candidate)Claire HyattSadie BarnettMichaela KlukeKaitlyn ZugicVanessa Warren, BScN, MD (Candidate 2021)Madeleine NolanMadeline AngusJane KeatingCole AndersonCourtney LangloisAdam RitchieAmy HandDanika LavoieDr. Jodi Querengesser, MDDr. Sarah Smith, MD, FRCPCDr. Uzma Chaudhry, MD, CCFPMeghan WinsorNorman FabrownVictoria BrowneAsha AsokanBrittany ByrnesAdrianeHafsa Zia, MD (Candidate 2024)Ericha HendelDr. Paula Cooper, MDGreg GuentherDivya SanthanamMegan DuhamelLiam CresswellAmna MajeedSophie ThomasMeghan BealsDr. Firas Al-Dhaher, MDChelsie Baizan, MScDr. AbdulGhani Basith, MDTaranah AdliAnmoldeep KaurDaniel SmithAyla LawlorDr. Mukarram Zaidi, MDAnas SammanNicholas KardosAsiya BarakzaiHeather PerryJulia KimWali AbroMaija Martin, BarristerZinnia Al-NajjarDana Ghanem, BScGabriel PillerAnnie DubeDr. Michaela Burke, MDJared PardyElise ThorburnJacob BelangerDr. Sharon Obrien, MDVidya NatarajanDr. Jill Alston, MDDr. Amanda Rosenblum, MDAmerDr. Mario Francispragasam, MD, FRCPCChad TremblaySuffia MalikDr. Michelle Bartens, MDStephanie GallantDr. Teela Johnson, MDMiranda MellerupWazaira KhanNicole HajjarAimen ArshadChristian RabbatKate McNicholasRebecca BarronHazem MoharramSonja PooleEmma SolarTonja StothartKieran MaingotHeather PhillipsTanis BirdBrittany BestRachel Peet, BMScSumiya LodhiMariska BatohiAbby RossMaria Park, BScAnika SpasovHanan LoubaniMohamad ChahrourDr. Lisa Harvey, MD, CCFPDr. Stephanie Balog, MDYuvan Khandelwal, BScAdanna NjokuGurrattan ChandhokeChristopher GuptaSifth AhmadHui (Harriet) YanAnisa AdenRikesh raichuraEmily WenerHailey BergmanDr. Heather Grant, MDDr. André CarringtonDr. Kayla Furlong, MDSifth AhmadBrooke TurnerSomtochukwu IbeziNina Karachi-KhaledLaura TagliafierroAshley PerreaultMadison PateyDeborah OcholiPamela SheavesTara GholamianAmira EliasKaty AlbrechtDr. Ashley Raeside, MDMichael IlvesFarhat Rehman MSMMarsha CondonCassie WebberKelsie OuSheila O'NeillSihyun BaekBailey CollinsDr. Kim Kelly, MD, CCFP (AM), FCFPDaniel Friedberg, BHScSabrine AzraqShanza KhanAnna SyedIman AhmednurSania MalikJenna Pylypow MDYvonne SullivanLeena Abdel-DayemNimet KarachiAbeer HegaziJason McDonaldSamantha SweetDr. Alia Ali, MDConcerned StudentNadine GhanemIlyas Abdi MohamdSarah HoganEmily HoganMeghan WinsorBrianna RuddockDr. Helena Hauman, MDWaghma AhmadzayAndrew O'DeaSarah DevereauxMaggie O'DeaStephan OreskovichKim MillerJanet WilsonDr. Sobia Shaheen Shaikh, Anti-Racism Coalition NLSarah HandTazrine HaqueMegha ShettyDr. Alex Anawati, MDSofia DescalziZana AlaiDr. Chantal Forristal, MD, FRCPCNuzhat JafriSeth WhitleyTaylor StocksDr. Sara Thomas, MDJill StoneAlexandra FranklynAnna CorbettSandy TecimerSoraya KhaleeliJim KangCarly PentonSharifa BeroualSamaa Elibyari, Secretary, CCMW-MontrealSara AhmedNourhan AliSumaiya Al-hadhramiElizabeth FureyMyriam AbbasDr. Fahad Masud, MD, FRCPCDr. Elias Jaffa, MD, MS, FACEPStephanie LindsayVictoria DeirTess PhillipsDr. Connor McLean, MDJim KangDr. Geoffrey Leblond, MDDr. Ada Gu, MDDr. Alana Rumbolt, MDRomesa KhalidBrian Park, MD (Candidate)Dr. Ayesha Raza, MDDr. Amr Abdel-DayemKabisha VelauthapillaiSinthu SenthillmohanSolmaz Sahin (Order of Canada spouse)Lobna Abdel-DayemDr. Hamza Riaz, MDSamantha SweetLayla SharifKristen MilleyDr. Samir C. Grover, Program Director, GI, U of TStephanie StevensAdrianna BroussardLisa BrownLeah BennettJamie KimAiman MohammadIdin FakhrjahaniNicholas LeBel, MD (Candidate 2024)Alice CavanaghSamantha FordJacqueline HanleyElla ProulxHallie Prescott, MD (Candidate 2024)Sebastien LabelleTara Kurihara, RN, MD (Candidate)Enrique QuinterosSarah Silverthorn, RNZahra GrantGbolahan OlarewajuMaggie BurtonHeather ElliottDr. Fareeha Qayyum, MDAdhora MirAlmasum MirDr. Bradley Murphy, MDJulia BrysonFatima MazharAlisha CoeJessica GormleyKathryn ClarkIan JonesSajine SathiaselanKeerthana PasumarthiDr. Jennifer McAlister, MDAli Beydoun, MD (Candidate)Chris LeeJenny ChanStephanie MarrOrianna MakAmirthan SothivannanGayatri SivaratnamAdib ShamsuddinGalen ChanStacy GardnerDr. Eleni Levreault, MDHenry HeAnika MengHeather JarvisSureka PavalagantharajahSherry CuiDaniel VoloshinSulman ZahidMichael ZusevDr. Mohammed Saeed Qureshi, MD, CCFPDr. Mustafa Ghani, MDDr. Maria Tauqir, MDZak ZiaGlenn DayDr. Sajida Hussain Shariff, MDSimon FarquharsonJustin WhitakerAndrea ChenRahul KapurHifza BuhariAli ButtSheza QayyumIbrahim NadeemJoshuaMimi Deng, MDVincent Wong, Human Rights LawyerLolade ShipeoluBenjamin LamCamille Zeitouni, BScBolade ShipeoluDr. Tarek LoubaniLaura DeschampsLaura FeldmanMaya Biderman, MScSonia IgboanugoKatie McLayDevon AitkenShereen KhattabReenika Aggarwal MPHLina ElfakiHannah Minnabarriet, UBC 2023Lolade ShipeoluAlia IbrahimTayler YoungRawaan ElsawiSumana NaiduMaryam ThrayaDr. Adrienne Borrie, MSc, PhDRiley LockhartMadeline TweelVanessa BournivalJasmine ChahalAndréa Rondeau-BrownAbeera ShahidAbdullah Haroon, BHSc, MD (Candidate)Jonathan WhelanBrigit DesjardinsCandace MakAshton BennettSarah CarsonMarissa Absi, MS2Nina VujovicDr. Uzma Enayatulla-Nasir, MDSabrina HaqueDr. Amaly Rahman, MDNazia ShaikhSamina AliAisha Ahmed

Siddiq Moolla

Dr. Ritika Goel, MD, CCFP, University of Toronto

Cassidy Clemente-Jones

Nina Vujovic

Dr. Uzma Enayatulla-Nasir, MD

Kevin Zhao

Sabrina Haque Dr. Amaly Rahman, MD, Nazia Shaikh

Samina Ali

Aisha Ahmed

Dr. Tracy Scott, MD, RCPSC, MUN medical school alumna

Hina Laeeque

Siddiq Moolla

Arielle Brickman

Dr. Bonnieca Islam, MD, Associate Professor

Dr. Raelene Foisy, MD Dr. Aisha Mirza, MD, CCFP (EM)

Douglas Lebo

Ahmed Elsehemy

Smruthi Ramesh

Dr. Julie Kim, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Zuhal Mohmand

Kylee Graham, DVM/PhD student

Felicia Gauthier

Dr. Sarah Khan, MD

Dr. Katie Janse van Vuuren

Omar Abdel-Razek

R Glen Franklin

Mahrukh Nisar

Haley Dupont

Rachel Currie

Kira Kenny

Chloe Lau

Alison Wong

Vanessa Arciero

Hannah Song

Padmaja Sreeram

Paige Homme, MSc

Sauliha Alli

Lauren Fox

Jan Giles, BSc, MSc, Bed

Imane Benaskeur

Leonor Separi, HBSc, MD (Candidate)

Dilshan Pieris

Lina Jabra

Kenna Kelly-Turner Jeanette Hui, MSc, MD (Candidate, 2023)

Chirayu Bhatt

Dr. A. Stasiuk, MD

Dr. Adrian Stacy, MD, CCFP

Harsh Naik

Simon Taylor

Madelyn Hache

Walter Spracklin

Kathryn Brien

Ebony Pharamond

Heather Bonia

Kristina Hudson

Ashley Rossiter

Brittany Bolt

Sarah Brothers

References

  1. Jun 09 RC· CN· P, June 9 2020 7:00 AM NT | Last Updated:, 2020. MUN students pen letter of

complaint against self-professed “Islamophobe” doctor | CBC News [Internet]. CBC. 2020 [cited

2021 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/zacharykuehner-mun-medical-school-dean-margaret-steele-1.5602810

  1. Jun 12 RC· CN· P, June 12 2020 1:40 PM NT | Last Updated:, 2020. Muslim groups call for MUN

to take action against “Islamaphobe” doctor and systemic racism | CBC News [Internet]. CBC.

2020 [cited 2021 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundlandlabrador/zachary-kuehner-islamaphobia-mun-muslim-groups-1.5609284

  1. Jun 17 RC· CN· P, October 1 2020 8:00 AM NT | Last Updated:, 2020. Doctor facing racism

complaints no longer licensed to practise medicine in N.L. | CBC News [Internet]. CBC. 2020

[cited 2021 Apr 22]. Available from:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/zachary-kuehner-licence-deactivated-1.5613933

  1. Loubani T. Dear Zachary Kuehner: If you’re not a white supremacist, you sure fooled us [Internet].

Medium. 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 30]. Available from: https://trklou.medium.com/dear-zacharykuehner-if-youre-not-a-white-supremacist-you-sure-fooled-us-e68bc92db1d5

  1. Moral Coura