The SOGC is one of Canada’s oldest national specialty organizations. Established in 1944, the Society’s mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and education.
The SOGC has over 4,000 members, comprised of obstetricians, gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals working in the field of sexual reproductive health.
A leading authority on reproductive health care, the SOGC produces national clinical guidelines for both public and medical education on important women’s health issues.
As of January 1, 2018, the Association of Academic Professionals in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (APOG) was officially integrated with the SOGC, strengthening and unifying the voices of both organizations in their common goal to improve women’s health in Canada through research and education.
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada granted the SOGC full accreditation as a Continued Professional Development provider for physicians and health care providers in Canada. The Society offers an impressive portfolio of professional educational activities including the Annual Clinical and Scientific Conference, Continuing Medical Education Programs, e-learning modules and popular Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM) program. The SOGC will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019. Watch the video below, Celebrating 70 years of excellence, to learn more about the history of the SOGC.
The SOGC's mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and education.
The SOGC believes that:
- women should have equitable access to optimal, comprehensive, culturally-safe health care provided with integrity and compassion;
- women should have the knowledge they need to make informed choices about their health;
- SOGC members have the right to practice in a safe and supportive environment;
- the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology must be based on the best scientific evidence available;
- the Society has a responsibility to facilitate change in relation to health system issues affecting the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology;
- every woman has the right to optimal care during pregnancy and childbirth to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and her baby.
Dr. Linda Stirk
Dr. Linda Stirk was born in Montreal and did her undergraduate BSc in Genetics, her PhD in Biochemical Genetics, and medical school all at McGill University. Her PhD thesis was entitled, "Biochemical and Ultrastructural Studies in Dominantly Inherited and Drug Induced Cataracts". She graduated with her medical degree in the class of ’81 at McGill.
Dr. Stirk then did her residency in Ob/Gyn at Dalhousie University, and received her FRCSC and FACOG in 1986. She was on active staff at the Victoria General Hospital and Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1986-1993, while caring for her two young children.
Dr. Stirk moved to Toronto in 1993, and holds a university appointment at University of Toronto, and a hospital appointment at North York General Hospital. She had a busy office clinical practice until 2009 and now works entirely at the hospital, where they deliver just under 6,000 babies per year, with a level 2 nursery.
Dr. Stirk has given many invited talks on various topics in Ob/Gyn, including Menopausal Symptoms and Hormone Replacement Therapy, Pap tests & LEEP, Post Partum Hemorrhage, Contraception, Management of Fibroids, Obstetrical care at High Altitude in Nepal and Tibet, and Gynecological Care of the Breast Cancer Patient. She is involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, doing amniocenteses, and sits on various hospital committees.
Dr. Stirk regularly attends SOGC meetings in both English and French. She has been a regional committee member for the Ontario region since 2007 and a member of the SOGC Finance Committee since 2010, and was treasurer from 2014-2017 before becoming President.
Board of Directors
The SOGC Board of Directors provides oversight for the governance and strategic planning of the society.
The SOGC has a vibrant, multi-disciplinary Board of Directors for 2018/2019 from across Canada:
- Dr. Linda Stirk - President - Toronto, ON
- Dr. Michael Bow - Past President - Edmonton, AB
- Dr. Anthony Armson - President Designate - Halifax, NS
- Dr. Hussam Azzam - Treasurer - Winnipeg, MB
- Dr. Margaret Morris - Vice President - Winnipeg, MB
- Dr. Elio Dario Garcia - Vice President - Gatineau, QC
- Dr. Baharak Amir-Wornell - Halifax, NS
- Dr. Jon Barrett - Toronto, ON
- Ms. Melanie Basso - Vancouver, BC
- Dr. Marie-Pier Bastrash - Montreal, QC
- Dr. Amanda Black - Ottawa, ON
- Dr. Michael Boroditsky - Winnipeg, MB
- Dr. Cyndi Ciezki - Saskatoon, SK
- Dr. Édith Guilbert - Sainte Foy, QC
- Dr. Laura Hopkins - Ottawa, ON
- Dr. Boshra (Sara) Hosseini - Winnipeg, MB
- Dr. Laurina Leyenaar - Rothesay, NB
- Dr. Annie Oullet - Sherbrooke, QC
- Dr. Catherine Popadiuk - Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, NL
- Dr. David John Quinlan - Victoria, BC
- Dr. Graeme Smith - Kingston, ON
- Ms. Rebecca Wood - Winnipeg, MB
- Dr. Jennifer Blake - Chief Executive Officer - Ottawa, ON
- Ms. Melissa Mech - Chief Financial Officer - Ottawa, ON
- Dr. Jocelynn Cook - Chief Scientific Officer - Ottawa, ON
Dynamic, skill-based board members are nominated and elected by the membership at large.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Jennifer Blake
Dr. Jennifer Blake has been an active member of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada since 1982.
Dr. Blake earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Waterloo in 1974. She then studied at McMaster University where she acquired her medical degree in 1977, completed a mixed internship in 1978, completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 1982, served as the MRC Fellow in reproductive endocrinology from 1982 to 1984, and earned her Master of Science degree in Health Research Methodology in 2004.
Dr. Blake is an educational leader with a multifaceted understanding of the profession, including the academic, clinical and regulatory perspectives. During her career, she returned to the academic setting assuming a number of appointments. After serving as Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at McMaster University from 1984 to 1988, she assumed the same position within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto from 1988 to 1991 where she was head of the Division of Pediatric Gynecology. Until she returned to Toronto in 1999 to become Professor and Associate Chair from 2003 to 2012, she assumed a number of leadership and management positions.
Between her academic appointments, Dr. Blake served as Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Head of Women's Health at the Sunnybrook and Health Sciences Centre, Chief of Pediatric Gynaecology at the Hospital for Sick Children and Undergraduate Dean of McMaster University's Medical School. She has assumed a variety of other leadership roles within departments and committees since 1988.
Acknowledged as an outstanding obstetrician-gynaecologist both in Canada and abroad, McMaster University formally acknowledged Dr. Blake as the recipient of the Dr. Carr Teaching Award in 1996 and the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership in 1995. The same year, she received the SOGC award for Best Reproductive Endocrinology Research Paper, which followed the SOGC's first place award for Best Gynaecology Research Paper in 1992. In 1983, she was granted the MOH Scientist Award and the R. T. Weaver Award for Best Resident Paper Presentation in 1980. Accolades for Dr. Blake are not restricted to those within the academic and women's health sectors. In 2011, Dr. Blake was identified as one of the top 25 women of influence in Canada.
Dr. Blake not only has an impressive research background and an active publication record, she is an experienced leader who has led major organizational change in both the hospital and academic sectors. She brings a national perspective from her work with the SOGC, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), the Association of Professors in Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada (APOG), and the Canadian Foundation for Women's Health (CFWH).
In addition to her membership with the SOGC, Dr. Blake is also an active member of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Toronto, the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the Society of Canadian Colposcopists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, as well as the International and North American Menopause Societies.
As a passionate advocate, respected leader, published author, dynamic lecturer, and trusted spokeswoman on issues relating to women's health, Dr. Blake has assumed a number of consultancy roles on projects pertaining to general obstetrics and gynaecology, continuing medical education, strategic planning, ethics, public affairs, menopause, human sexuality, oncology, as well as pediatric and adolescent gynaecology. She has also been an active member of advisory committees, board of directors, task forces as well as administrative, medical, and perinatal committees.
Dr. Blake's philanthropic and community service initiatives have included being a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the Junior League of Toronto (2011 to present), serving as Chair of the Canadian Foundation from Women's Health (2007 to present), as Vice Chair of the Genesis Research Foundation (2003 to present), and as Chair of the National Health Advisory Committee for the Look Good Feel Better/Lives Affected by Cancer Programme.
Dr. Blake enjoys an active home life. Together with her husband, Dr. Denny DePetrillo, they have three children, four grandchildren and a dog. She is an avid reader and writer, enjoys gardening as well as the great outdoors.
Following the integration of APOG and the SOGC, the Academic Council was created to support the strategic direction and educational and research goals of the SOGC, while incorporating the mission and mandate of APOG. The members of the Academic Council include the chairs of the five ongoing APOG committees – Department Chairs Committee, Education & Innovation Committee, Postgraduate Program Directors Committee, Subspecialties Committee, and Undergraduate Committee – ensuring representation from Canadian Ob/Gyn academic departments.
The Academic Council will evolve into a national voice for women’s health research with a focus on lifelong education from the undergraduate level through to retirement. This council reports to the SOGC Board of Directors.
- Dr. Graeme Smith (Department Chairs Committee Representative) - Chair
- Dr. Jon Barrett (Researcher)
- Dr. Jennifer Blake (SOGC CEO)
- Dr. Jocelynn Cook (SOGC CSO)
- Eve Duchesne (SOGC Director, Accreditation and Education)
- Dr. Wylam Faught (Royal College Specialty Committee in Obstetrics and Gynecology Chair)
- Dr. Prafull Ghatage (Subspecialty Committee Chair)
- Dr. Lynda Hudon (Postgraduate Program Directors Committee Chair)
- Dr. Venu Jain (Undergraduate Committee Chair)
- Dr. Nancy Kent (Education & Innovation Committee Chair)
- Dr. Sarah Smith (Resident Representative)
- Dr. Linda Stirk (SOGC President)
Strategic Plan 2016-2020
Our Strategic Plan, Vision 2020, paves a clear direction that will guide us for the next four years.
Vision 2020 is based on four key priorities designed to meet our over-arching objective of continually improving women's sexual and reproductive health in Canada and around the world. Read more at sogc.org/strategic-plan
Annual Report 2017-2018
Read about the practices the SOGC upholds as a not-for-profit organization in women's health.