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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
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Paediatrics

Hospital Positions

Clinical Immunologist
Division of Immunology and Allergy

Chair Positions

  • Chair, Specialty Committee, 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 
  • Chair, Postgraduate Medical Education Committee, Core Paediatrics, Department of Paediatrics (RPC - Residency Program Committee) 
  • Chair, Competence Committee, Paediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology Training Program 
  • Chair, POWER Steering Committee, University of Toronto 
  • Chair, Resident Selection Committee, Department of Paediatrics 
  • Chair, Resident Selection Committee International, Department of Paediatrics 
  • Chair, PERLS (Paediatric Resident Lecture Series) Committee, Department of Paediatrics 
  • Chair, STACER Committee, Department of Paediatrics


Dr. Atkinson is a Professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, with a Staff Position in the Division of Immunology and Allergy at SickKids.  Her clinical work focuses on patients with primary immunodeficiencies, bone marrow transplantation, and complex allergic diseases with an emphasis on reactions to food, drugs and biologics.

Dr. Atkinson is currently the Director of Postgraduate Medical Education for the Department of Paediatrics administering the training program for over 80 paediatric residents at the University of Toronto since 2006.  She is a graduate of the Education Scholar’s Program, through the Centre for Faculty Development.

Dr. Atkinson holds a number of leadership positions with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada including Chair – Specialty Committee – Paediatrics and Chair – Scientific Program, International Conference on Residency Education. She is also a Clinician Educator with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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
  • Oct 2006–Present: Director - Post-Graduate Medical Education - Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto - Training Program Director – Core Paediatric Training Program, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005–2009: Stepping Stones Certificate, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto,Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Jul 2000–Present: Staff Immunologist, Division of Immunology and Allergy, SickKids, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1991–1994: MD, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Atkinson is involved in an antibiotic de-labelling study with Drs. Michelle Science, Alisha Jamal, Adrienne Davis, Susannah Shuh, and Ms. Kat Timberlake. They are designing a pilot study to de-label children in the Emergency Department who identify as having a beta-lactam allergy.


Leadership roles

  • 2019–Present: Chair, Specialty Committee PaediatricsRoyal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
  • 2016–Present: Clinician Educator responsible for national Implementation lead for Competence By Design (CBD), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

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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