Dr. David Goldbloom

Former Senior Medical Advisor at CAMH & Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada

David Goldbloom was born in Montreal in 1953 and raised in Quebec and Nova Scotia. He completed an honours undergraduate degree, majoring in Government, at Harvard University and then attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar where he obtained an M.A. in Physiological Sciences. He trained in medicine and psychiatry at McGill University and then spent three years as a Medical Research Council Centennial Fellow in the Program for Eating Disorders at The Toronto Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Paul Garfinkel. From 1985 to 1993, he was a staff psychiatrist at The Toronto Hospital where he worked on a general psychiatry inpatient unit and directed outpatient schizophrenia clinics. From 1989 to 1993, he was the Director of Fellowship Training in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. From 1993 – 1998, he was Head of the newly created Division of General Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

In 1995, he became Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief of Staff at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. In 1998, he was appointed inaugural Physician-in-Chief of the newly created Centre for Addiction and Mental Health resulting from the merger of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, the Addiction Research Foundation, Queen Street Mental Health Centre, and the Donwood Institute. Upon completion of his term in 2003, he was appointed Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He retired from clinical practice and his hospital position in 2022.

He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. In addition to his clinical and research activities, he has been active as a teacher within the Faculty of Medicine and in 1991 and 1995 was selected as one of the two outstanding teachers in the entire Faculty by the graduating medical class. He received the Department of Psychiatry’s Robin Hunter Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Education in 1989 and the Abraham Miller Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education in 2000. In 1997, he was elected as a Senior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto. In 1998, he was elected to the American College of Psychiatrists. In 2001, he received the Council Award of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, awarded annually to four outstanding physicians in the province. In 2005, he was awarded the Henry Durost Award for Excellence in Creative Professional Activity from the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Toronto. He has been elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2016, he was made an Honorary Member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

He is the author of over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has edited a textbook entitled Psychiatric Clinical Skills (in two English editions and a Mandarin edition), as well as co-edited Psychiatry in Primary Care: A Concise Canadian Pocket Guide, appearing in its second edition in 2019. How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist, co-authored with Dr. Pier Bryden (Simon & Schuster, 2016), is a best-selling book targeted at the general public. It has been translated into French and Mandarin editions.

“This book is wise, thoughtful, and funny. It will touch your heart and change your mind.”
– The Honourable Bob Rae on How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist

His latest book is We Can Do Better: Urgent Innovations to Improve Mental Health Access and Care (Simon & Schuster, 2021). He has provided numerous talks and lectures to student, professional, and public audiences.

In 2007, he was appointed Vice-Chair and in 2012 Chair of the Board of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, completing his term in 2015. He serves on the Board of the Graham Boeckh Foundation and the Daymark Foundation. He previously served on the Boards of the CAMH Foundation, the Canadian Mental Health Association Metro Toronto, and jack.org. Beyond his professional responsibilities, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is a past Chair of the Board of Governors of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Glenn Gould Foundation and former President of the Board of the Off Centre Music Salon, a professional chamber music ensemble.