McMaster University

McMaster University

Henry & Sylvia WONG Forum in Medicine

As former students of McMaster University, Henry and Sylvia Wong believe it is one of the best schools in the world, and have provided the financial support to establish an annual forum for the advancement of research and public education in medicine. Dr. Wong, who was part of the second MD class to graduate from McMaster in 1973, said he and his wife established the forum in repayment of both the education and enjoyment they had as McMaster students. Mrs. Wong graduated in 1969 with a BA in psychology, and worked in the Health Sciences library. The couple now lives in California.

"I really enjoyed the problem-based learning method, where we used our leaders as resources, and studied on our own and with the help of fellow students in small groups," said Dr. Wong. "We wanted to set up an annual lecture that would enhance our university."



2017 WONG Forum in Medicine    

Dr. Ellen Amster photo

Date: May 10, 2017
Time: 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.

David Braley Health Sciences Centre (2nd floor lecture theatre)
100 Main Street West (corner of Main and Bay Street)
Hamilton, ON

Reception @ 5:30 p.m. (outside lecture room)

This year's Guest Speaker will be:

Dr. Ellen Amster, Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Department of History, McMaster University

Cat's Cradle and the Clinical Trial: The Humanity of
Medicine and the Humanities in Medicine

Talk abstract: We are experiencing an existential crisis in medicine. A crisis of meaning manifests as physician discomfort with evidence-based medicine, caregiver burnout, and clinician ambivalence over empathy for the patient and the self.  In this talk, we return to the social and historical origins of medicine to make visible three truths about the metaphysics of healing and the relationship of the physician to society.  A clue is to be found in the history of EBM at McMaster University and the work of David Sackett, who drew ideas from the novel Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  Medicine touches the foundation of the human; the humanities offer a way of returning to this basic reality, of seeing ourselves and the meaning of our medical practice.


  • Understand the physician's role in history, society, and cosmology
  • Explore the metaphysics of healing and medicine
  • Brief introduction to the history of medicine, medical anthropology, graphic medicine, literature and medicine
  • Consider the humanities as a set of tools for medical innovation, education, clinical care, and self care

Wong Forum Flyers

To view past speakers, please click on the individual flyer below.

2017 WONG Forum in Medicine

May 10, 2017

2017 WONG Forum in Medicine - flyer


2016 WONG Forum in Medicine

May 4, 2016

2016 WONG Forum in Medicine - flyer

2015 WONG Forum in Medicine

May 6, 2015

WONG lecture flyer

2014 WONG Forum in Medicine

May 7, 2014

may 7, 2014 wong forum flyer

2013 WONG Forum in Medicine

May 1, 2013

2012 WONG Forum in Medicine

April 25, 2012

WONG 2012 flyer

2011 WONG Forum in Medicine

April 27, 2011

WONG lecture flyer 2011

2010 WONG Forum in Medicine

April 28, 2010

WONG lecture flyer 2010

2009 WONG Forum in Medicine

April 29, 2009

WONG lecture flyer 2009

2008 WONG Forum in Medicine

April 30, 2008

WONG lecture flyer 2008

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