Dr. Paul Garfinkel is awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his determination to challenge preconceived notions of mental disorders and to pioneer new ways of thinking about, and treating, disease.
Dr. Garfinkel graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine in 1969. After completing his residency at the Toronto Western Hospital, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Toronto General Hospital, Dr. Garfinkel became a specialist in psychiatry and entered practice as well as teaching duties in 1974. His early academic career is marked by the numerous academic awards he received, like the Canadian Psychiatric Association Award. His subsequent career is characterized by the honours bestowed upon him by prestigious institutions and governing bodies, such as the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and the Pacesetter Award from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
His research focuses on eating disorders, pernicious illnesses that hijack minds and starve bodies. His main focus is Anorexia Nervosa, a notorious disorder that affects primarily young women across Canada and the globe, robbing them of the vigor and vitality that should characterize their youth. Dr. Garfinkel has dedicated his life to helping these young women regain control of their minds and bodies. His passion and courage propelled him to challenge his colleagues to think about eating disorders in new ways. His scholarship is well regarded and recognized around the world. He has published 155 refereed journal articles, 10 books, 82 book chapters, and many other publications over the course of his trendsetting career. His textbooks alone have been called landmark achievements.
Dr. Garfinkel has also distinguished himself as an administrator: he has served as Head of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, and as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Toronto General Hospital and President and CEO of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, also in Toronto. From 1998 to 2009, he served as the Founding President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This centre was created after four independent facilities merged together to form the largest mental illness and addictions treatment facility in Canada. Dr. Garfinkel led this visionary merger; he led infrastructure development and capital campaigns all while fostering a new public understanding of, and support for, mental health and addiction treatment. Through his innovative approach, CAMH has transformed into an urban village that has de-institutionalized patient care.
In 1996, Dr. Garfinkel was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2008 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Today, his alma mater honours his courage and vision to pursue and share an improved understanding of contemporary society’s most serious mental disorders.
Paul E. Garfinkel