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Headshot of Adelle Atkinson

Adelle Atkinson

Title: Associate Chair (Education), Department of Paediatrics
Designations: MD, FRCPC
Alternate Contact Name: Savannah Clancey
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 228349
Alternate Email:
Alternate Fax: 416-813-5230

Hospital Positions

Clinical Immunologist/Allergist, Division of Immunology and Allergy

University of Toronto Positions

Associate Chair – Education, Department of Paediatrics
Professor, Department of Paediatrics

Other Leadership Positions

Clinician Educator, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Chair, Specialty Committee in Paediatrics – Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 
Chair (Scientific Program), International Conference on Residency Education – Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 


Dr. Atkinson completed her MD at McMaster University in 1994 and went on to complete her Paediatric Residency at the University of Toronto in 1998 taking on the role of Chief Paediatric Resident in her final year.  From 1998 – 2000 Dr. Atkinson completed two years of subspecialty training in Paediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of Toronto. After completing this program, she was offered a consultant position in the Division of Immunology and Allergy at the Hospital for Sick Children, with a cross appointment to the section of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Dr. Atkinson is currently a Professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Paediatrics – University of Toronto, and a consultant Immunologist/Allergist in the Division of Immunology and Allergy at the Hospital for Sick Children.  Her clinical work focuses on patients with primary immunodeficiencies, bone marrow transplantation, and complex allergic diseases with an emphasis on reactions to foods, drugs and biologics. 

Dr. Atkinson currently holds the position of Associate Chair – Education, and was formerly the Program Director for Core Paediatrics for 17 years.   She is a graduate of the Education Scholar’s Program, through the Centre for Faculty Development, U of T.  She is the winner of the PARO Best Residency Program (2008), the Dr. Sarita Verma Award for Mentorship and Advocacy (2009), the Harry Bain Award for teaching excellence (2014), the Department of Paediatrics Continuing Education Award (2018), the Paediatric Chairs of Canada Clinician Educator Award (2018), the International Conference on Residency Education – Program Director of the Year award (2019) and the CPS - Michel Weber Education Award (2020).  She spends over 50% of her time in medical education related activities at the local, national and international level.  From a scholarship point of view, Dr. Atkinson is currently focused on data driven, evidence-informed efforts towards improving the learning environment in medicine, to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Atkinson also holds several other leadership positions including Chair – Specialty Committee for Paediatrics for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She is also a Clinician Educator with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, with a focus on the Implementation of the new national curriculum - Competence by Design.

Education and experience

  • 2014–2015: Rotman Executive Leadership Program, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 2008–2010: Education Scholars’ Program, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005–2009: Stepping Stones Certificate, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto,Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1991–1994: MD, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1988 –1991: BSc, University of Toronto


In addition to scholarly work in medical education, specifically in the areas of Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) and the learning environment (LE), Dr. Atkinson is involved in research around medication de-labelling, to improve therapeutic plans for paediatric patients.

International awards

  • 2019: International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) Program Director of the Year award. 
    This award is given annually to a program director who has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing residency education as evidenced by innovation and impact beyond their program.  

National awards

  • 2020: Canadian Paediatric Society – Michel Weber Education Award.
    This award
    recognizes a CPS member who’s work in medical and/or inter-professional education has had a significant and positive impact on learners in child and youth health.
  • 2018: Paediatric Chairs of Canada - Paediatric Academic Leadership Clinician Educator Award.
    This annual 
    award centres around excellence in Leadership which is primarily demonstrated through the advancement of educational innovation and practice that advances the quality of teaching related to children and youth and more broadly. 

Provincial/regional awards

  • 2008: Professional Association of Interns and Residents of Ontario (PAIRO) Residency Program Excellence Award.
    Awarded to the Paediatric Residency Program, for consistently providing and exceptionally positive and rewarding experience for the residents, while producing physicians who are expertly trained to deal with the challenges of their upcoming career

Local awards

  • 2018: Continuing Medical Education Award. Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
    Award for sustained contribution to continuing medical education.
  • 2014: Harry Bain Award. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
    Award for teaching excellence in a full-time faculty member of the Department of Paediatrics whom the residents select to be their best clinical teacher.
  • 2010: Sarita Verma Award for Mentorship and Advocacy in Postgraduate Training. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
    This award recognizes staff or faculty members who exhibit an exemplary level of leadership and commitment to social responsibility, mentorship, advocacy and resident well-being.

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  1. Abrams EM, Atkinson AR, Wong T, Ben-Shoshan M. The Importance of De-labeling β-Lactam Allergy in Children.  The Journal of Pediatrics 2019 Jan;204:291-297. C 
    The approach to β-Lactam allergy is changing, and this paper outlines the current up-to-date thinking about how to approach this common clinical problem, given the implications for patients, populations and health care systems. 
  2. Kim VH, Reid B, Atkinson A, Upton J, Grunebaum E, Roifman CM. Long-term immune reconstitution after matched unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for immunodeficiency.  J Allergy Clin Immunol.  2018 Mar;14(3):1154-1157. C.
    Given the strength of the transplant program at The Hospital for Sick Children, this paper contributes in a significant way to demonstrating long term outcomes for rare diseases, guiding practices around the world. 
  3. Bernstein S, Atkinson AR, Martimianakis MA. Diagnosing the Learner in Difficulty. Pediatrics; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1526. Originally published online July 15, 2013. C.
    The learner in difficulty is an ongoing issue for medical educators around the world.  This case based publication presents a novel approach to diagnosing and managing the learner in difficulty using a new model called “K-SALTS”.
  4. Chan ES, Cummings C, Atkinson A, Chad Z, Francoeur MJ, Kirste L, Mack D, Primeau MN, Vanderleek TK, Watson WT. Dietary exposures and allergy prevention in high-risk infants:  a joint position statement of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Canadian Paediatric Society.  Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol.  2014 Sep 2;10(1):45. C.
    This paper is the first guideline published in Canada, providing evidence based guidance around the prevention of atopy.  We are in the process of revising this guideline, adding in the latest research and recommendations.
  5. Kavadas FD, Kasprzak A, Atkinson AR. Antibiotic skin testing accompanied by provocative challenges in children is a useful clinical tool. Allergy, Asthma, Clin Immunol.  2013 Jun 14;9(1):22. doi: 10.1186/1710-1492-9-22. SRI 
    This publication from our drug allergy research program demonstrated > 90% de-labeling rate for patients referred with drug allergy to our clinic.  Was the stimulus for further research and collaboration.
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