We are excited to announce that Dr. Juveria Zaheer has been named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40® list for 2020. Dr. Zaheer is a Psychiatrist and Medical Education Lead at CAMH’s Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Katchan Emergency Department, as well as a Clinician Scientist in the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research.
Canada’s Top 40 Under 40® is an annual recognition of the exceptional achievements of 40 outstanding Canadians under the age of 40. To date, it has recognized more than 800 outstanding Canadians and is among the country’s most coveted awards for young leaders. “It’s an incredible honour—and one that felt quite unexpected,” said Dr. Zaheer. “In academic medicine, you keep your head down and work as hard as you can, and this kind of acknowledgement is meaningful to me.”
Aside from her excellent skills as a clinician—she was recognized by peers and colleagues as CAMH’s Physician of the Year in 2019—Dr. Zaheer’s groundbreaking research has been transforming the way we understand suicide in Canada. By combining population-level investigation, epidemiological data and qualitative research, her work seeks to move beyond models of prediction to focus on prevention.
“Suicide is such a tragic end to someone’s story, and it not only affects the person whose life is cut short, but their family, their friends and their community. It’s this incredible tragedy that we don’t talk about and have difficulty processing, and everyone’s cultural context makes this experience different,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from people with lived experience, and from scientists who do brain and behaviour research, those who do qualitative work, those who do epidemiological research. We’re looking to integrate all the ways we can look at suicide into a program that addresses the complexity of suicide and brings together all of this expertise to create interventions that work.”
Among Dr. Zaheer’s other accomplishments is her role as an educator, where she oversees the medical education of over 150 trainees per year.
“I tend to mentor people who think differently, who are passionate, curious, and believe in equity and access,” said Dr. Zaheer. “How can you take what is special about someone—their experiences and their knowledge, their backgrounds and their training—and shape it into what they can do that no one else can do?”
The 2020 Canada’s Top 40 Under 40® recipients were announced today on BNN Bloomberg and in National Post, and recipients will be honoured at a series of events in 2021. Click here for more information, and for a full list of recipients.