Congratulations to Efrat Gold for receiving the Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Associated Medical Services (AMS) History of Medicine and Healthcare Program. Gold is one of five research grant and fellowship award recipients this year, chosen by an expert review panel. These talented scholars will enhance the scope of History of Medicine research in Canada and act as a source of lessons that will positively shape Canadian healthcare.
Founded in 2015, the AMS History of Medicine and Healthcare Awards Program promotes scholarship, teaching and public interest in history of healthcare, disease and medicine. Researchers, healthcare professionals and students can apply for three types of awards: Post-Doctoral Fellowships of $45,000, Doctoral Completion Awards of $25,000 and Project Grants of up to $10,000. Through this funding, the program aspires to develop leaders and provide resources for crucial activities in medical history, healthcare research, education and clinical practice, improving care for all Canadians.
Gold’s project, titled “Archiving Patient-Led Mad Activism in Canada, 1970s–2020,” strives to promote archival research in an innovative way. Specifically, Gold aims to create a new source of open access archival data and accompanying teaching and learning materials rooted in revisiting past mental health practices and philosophies through patient-led initiatives.
Her project is designed in two parts. The first segment involves the curation of mad-centered archival material that is not yet available in the public domain. The second, an original research segment, uses critical discourse analysis of the archival material to enhance understandings of the crucial and active role of mental patients in shaping mental health care.
Gold’s work has the power to positively enhance the scope of History of Medicine by emphasizing the intersections between mad activists and other disenfranchised groups, including queer/trans people, Indigenous organizers and anti-racist activists. Madness Canada/Folie Canada will coordinate the digitization and public display of the project once the archival series and accompanying teaching and learning materials are developed.
Outside of this project, Gold challenges dominant views of mental health and illness through her writing and activism. Motivated by social justice-informed approaches to madness and disability, her work unsettles psychiatric ideology by exposing the absences of those deemed mad and exploring life-affirming possibilities for mad inclusion. Gold’s publications appear in scholarly and community venues, demonstrating her commitment to producing research and pedagogy that is accessible and incorporates the voices of mad and disabled people through consultation, activism and solidarity. Through this kind of community-engaged research, curation and publication, Gold can positively enhance Canadian healthcare practices in the future.
Applications for the 2023 AMS History of Medicine and Healthcare Program will open on November 1, 2022, offering over 250K in funding for researchers, healthcare professionals and students. More information is available on the program’s website: ossu.ca/resources/ams-healthcare.