Irfan Dhalla


Affiliate Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Dr. Irfan Dhalla is Vice President, Evidence Development and Standards, at Health Quality Ontario. In this role, he and his colleagues are responsible for synthesizing evidence and making recommendations to the Minister regarding the public funding of health care services, as well as recommendations to health care providers regarding standards of care.

Dr. Dhalla continues to practice general internal medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, where he cares for inpatients and is an award-winning teacher of medical students and resident physicians. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dhalla’s research has been recognized with several awards, including a Rising Star Award and a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine, and a Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Dr. Dhalla obtained an engineering physics degree from the University of British Columbia, a medical degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in health policy, planning and financing from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which he completed as a Commonwealth Scholar.

Recent Publications

  1. Leung, PTM, Macdonald, EM, Stanbrook, MB, Dhalla, IA, Juurlink, DN. A 1980 Letter on the Risk of Opioid Addiction. N. Engl. J. Med. 2017;376 (22):2194-2195. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1700150. PubMed PMID:28564561 .
  2. Xie, X, Lambrinos, A, Chan, B, Dhalla, IA, Krings, T, Casaubon, LK et al.. Mechanical thrombectomy in patients with acute ischemic stroke: a cost-utility analysis. CMAJ Open. ;4 (2):E316-25. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20150088. PubMed PMID:27398380 PubMed Central PMC4933608.
  3. Eibl, JK, Gomes, T, Martins, D, Camacho, X, Juurlink, DN, Mamdani, MM et al.. Evaluating the Effectiveness of First-Time Methadone Maintenance Therapy Across Northern, Rural, and Urban Regions of Ontario, Canada. J Addict Med. ;9 (6):440-6. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000156. PubMed PMID:26484843 PubMed Central PMC4629488.
  4. Kaplovitch, E, Gomes, T, Camacho, X, Dhalla, IA, Mamdani, MM, Juurlink, DN et al.. Sex Differences in Dose Escalation and Overdose Death during Chronic Opioid Therapy: A Population-Based Cohort Study. PLoS ONE. 2015;10 (8):e0134550. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134550. PubMed PMID:26291716 PubMed Central PMC4546305.
  5. Weinerman, AS, Dhalla, IA, Kiss, A, Etchells, EE, Wu, RC, Wong, BM et al.. Frequency and clinical relevance of inconsistent code status documentation. J Hosp Med. 2015;10 (8):491-6. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2348. PubMed PMID:25851257 .
  6. Turner, SD, Gomes, T, Camacho, X, Yao, Z, Guttmann, A, Mamdani, MM et al.. Neonatal opioid withdrawal and antenatal opioid prescribing. CMAJ Open. ;3 (1):E55-61. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20140065. PubMed PMID:25844370 PubMed Central PMC4382031.
  7. Pattani, R, Wu, PE, Dhalla, IA. Other consequences of reduced duty hours. The authors respond. CMAJ. 2015;187 (3):207. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.115-0007. PubMed PMID:25691795 PubMed Central PMC4330147.
  8. Lail, S, Sequeira, K, Lieu, J, Dhalla, IA. Prescription of opioids for opioid-naive medical inpatients. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2014;67 (5):337-42. . PubMed PMID:25364015 PubMed Central PMC4214575.
  9. Palmer, KS, Agoritsas, T, Martin, D, Scott, T, Mulla, SM, Miller, AP et al.. Activity-based funding of hospitals and its impact on mortality, readmission, discharge destination, severity of illness, and volume of care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE. 2014;9 (10):e109975. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109975. PubMed PMID:25347697 PubMed Central PMC4210200.
  10. Dhalla, IA, O'Brien, T, Morra, D, Thorpe, KE, Wong, BM, Mehta, R et al.. Effect of a postdischarge virtual ward on readmission or death for high-risk patients: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;312 (13):1305-12. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.11492. PubMed PMID:25268437 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • Affiliated Faculty, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto
  • Core Member, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, University of Toronto
  • Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Vice-President, Evidence Development and Standards, Health Quality Ontario