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"The goal of a CME AWAY® conference by Sea Courses is to provide the very best opportunity for health care professionals to not only LEARN but to CONNECT with peers in a stimulating yet RELAXING environment."

About Us


On a CME AWAY®  by Sea Courses, freed from the interruptions and hectic pace of everyday life, conference attendees have the opportunity to embrace learning with renewed enthusiasm.

The Sea Courses’ team specializes in creating the ideal CME experience that combines quality education with an experiential journey. We offer cruises and land trips to parts of the world that are not only vacation experiences, but learning experiences as well. Our goal is first and foremost to deliver the very best CME program. But in addition to this and recognizing the limited time physicians have available away from their practice, we also want to deliver the very best vacation experience. One reason that our conferences are so highly rated is because we’ve made it our business to anticipate the needs and desires of our guests. We firmly believe that by taking care of all the details of your travel, we will enhance the learning aspect of your CME AWAY® experience. You will quickly realize the incredible value with combining continuing education with a trip away from home. Our surveys continue to validate that destination CME’s offer three key advantages over traditional local classroom CME events:

Even though your primary goal is to be educated, you will accomplish so much more on a CME AWAY® by Sea Courses … The health benefits of time away, the learning experience that is a big part of travelling the world, a vacation experience with family and colleagues. These are the unique advantages of the Sea Courses’ CME AWAY® environment.

Who We Are

Sea Courses is recognized as Canada’s leader in CME (Continuing Medical Education) seminars. We are the only company in Canada with a primary focus and mandate of providing physicians with a range of CME AWAY® opportunities on cruise ships, at resorts and on custom designed tours. Founded in 1995 by Dr. Martin Gerretsen and Mr. Harvey Strydhorst, the company was specifically designed and developed to provide physicians and allied healthcare partners with continuing education courses. On June 30, 2015 Sea Courses merged with Ontario based travel agency group, Uniglobe Adventure House Travel. This is a Canadian owned and operated independent agency led by Mr. Ron Dawick, a travel industry leader with over 45 years of retail travel, airline and tour operator management experience.

What We Do

We provide physicians and allied health care partners with continuing education courses on board cruise ships, at select resorts and on custom designed tours around the world. Along with all the newly expanded Sea Courses team, the founders Martin Gerretsen and Harvey Strydhorst continue their pivotal roles in the merged operation. The company now offers:

Principles of CME Programmes

About Our Faculty

The Faculty members for each Sea Courses program are carefully selected. Faculty are chosen based on their knowledge of their subjects, their presentation skills based on previous evaluations as well as input from various sources and their ability to transfer knowledge in the most effective and entertaining manner. Both their topics and their learning objectives are reviewed by the planning committee for that program. Many of the Faculty have been involved in the development of National Guidelines and been involved in the development and review of many CE presentations. As our courses are designed to allow for maximum interaction between faculty and attendees, we look for speakers/presenters that can work as a team and are open to feedback and discussion.

Why a CME AWAY® Provides the Best Possible Learning Experience

Physicians are finding it extremely difficult to even find time to travel to local cities for their continuing education. But a CME AWAY® allows everyone to combine their education requirements with personal health time not only with family but with a learning experience that only travel can provide. Research by Sea Courses points out two main advantages to our conferences. First, there is Inter-professional Learning. Very few home based conferences offer an opportunity for attendees from a variety of specialties to interact, share experiences and learn from one another. Second, there is Longitudinal Learning. The course sessions are spread over several days, so there is ample opportunity for attendees to interact with both faculty and colleagues and to discuss individual issues and learning needs.

Co-Chairs, Scientific Planning Committee


Dr. Sol Stern

B.Sc., M.Sc., MD, MCFP

Dr. Stern is a Family Physician and the Former Chief of Staff at Halton Healthcare Services in Oakville, Ontario. Dr. Stern is the Lead Family Physician of the Argus Medical Centre Family Health Organization. He is  member of Thrombosis Canada and is Co-Medical Director of Sea Courses/CME Away.   Dr. Sol Stern obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1982 after obtaining a BSc and MSc at the same university. He started a family medicine practice in Oakville, Ontario in 1983 and has been practicing in Oakville ever since. Dr. Stern spends about 1/4 of his time involved in CME and has developed and collaborated on many CME workshops including the topics of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic pain management. Dr. Stern has developed, reviewed and presented over 1000 CME programs over the last 25 years.


Dr. John Axler


John Axler MD, CCFP, FCFP is an Assistant Professor in the U of T Faculty of Medicine, Dep’t of Family and Community Medicine. His CME career began in the 1980’s when he organized “The Fundamentals “ at what was then known as the Toronto East General Hospital and has been actively involved in CME since then for over 40 years. He was the Director of Continuing Education Projects for U of T Faculty of Medicine, Dep’t of Family and Community Medicinefrom 2003 to 2011 and was then the Director of Continuing Education from 2011 to 2016. He was the Course Director for Saturday at the University and the Course Director for Pri-Med (formerly Primary Care Today) from it’s inauguration in 2003 until 2012. He currently is the co-director of CME AWAY® by Sea Courses and Director of Medical Affairs for the International Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. He is the 2009-2010 co-winner of the U of T faculty of Medicine Colin Woolf award for Long Term Contribution to Continuing Education and the 2011 co-winner of the DFCM award for ex-cellence in CME. He has helped develop over 300 certified CME programs, the Course Director of over 130 CME conferences , an invited speaker to over 100 CME programs and an author or co-author of over 100 published articles. He was in full time active family practice and on active staff at MGH from 1969 to 2012 and has since done locums at the Albany Clinic since 2012.

Medical Advisory Board


Dr. Lydia Hatcher


Dr. Hatcher graduated with her MD in 1982 from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).  She received certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and holds a Diplomate with the Canadian Academy of Pain Management.

She has received the Canadian Psychiatric Association’s Mental Health Awareness Award.  As well, the College of Family Physicians of Canada awarded her a fellowship.

She has been a full-service rural family doctor, an emergency physician, full time academic and has a specialty in pain management and psychotherapy which she now does exclusively. Her focus is on a bio-psycho-social approach to pain management.   She uses pain-focused psychotherapy using CBT, ACT, Mindfulness and Positive Thinking.

She teaches chronic pain management across the country and internationally; this includes medical trainees, all health care providers, veterans and their families as well as many public lectures.

She is a medical inspector for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and an expert witness for the CMPA.   She Chairs a subcommittee for the National Opioid Use Guideline Group.  She is President of the Canadian Academy of Pain Management and a member of the Canadian Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.

She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a Clinical Associate Professor at MUN.


Dr. Mitchell Shulman

Dr. Mitch Shulman (or Dr Mitch as he’s known to his many fans on radio, TV and print) has always loved teaching and been actively involved in teaching medical students (he’s an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at McGill), residents (he’s an attending physician in the emergencies at the 2 campuses of the McGill University Health Center) and his peers. He teaches regularly at McGill’s Thursday evening lecture series and its lunchtime webinars and yearly at the McGill Refresher Course for Family Physicians and many other professional meetings. He is also actively engaged in educating the public. He appears daily on Bell Media Radio, monthly on Global TV Montreal’s This Morning and has a regular column in the largest English language weekly in Quebec, The Suburban. He volunteers his time speaking at many charitable events throughout the year. After completing his undergraduate training at Harvard, he came back home to Montreal to attend McGill Medical School and then do a residency in Emergency Medicine (where he was Chief Resident). He was among the first Royal College certified Emergency Medicine specialists (1983) and served as an examiner for the Royal College for many years. He was acting Director of the Emergency Department and served as its Research Director. He’s been a community doc and an occupational health physician. Currently, as well as his emergency department clinical responsibilities, he also serves as a medical scientist on an ethics review committee and works at the McGill Student Health Center. His philosophy on teaching has always been that we all have valuable knowledge to share and so he sincerely looks forward to hearing your own experiences as we share the learning at Sea Courses.


Dr. Roman Jovey

Dr. Jovey, a family physician and emergency physician for 20 years, closed his practice in 1999, to focus on his twin interests of chronic pain management and addiction medicine. From 1991 – 2014 he was the Physician Director of the Credit Valley Hospital, Addictions and Concurrent Disorders Centre. Since 2005 he has been the Medical Director at CPM Centres for Pain Management, the largest, outpatient chronic pain management organization in Canada. He is also a staff physician at the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton. He is a Past-President of the Canadian Pain Society, a medico-legal expert for the Canadian Medical Protective Association and a provincial Coroner. For over 30 years, Dr. Jovey has been treating patients with chronic non-cancer pain in an outpatient practice setting. He has presented educational workshops and seminars on pain to health care professionals in Canada and internationally.


Dr. Kathryn Giles


Dr. Kathryn Giles completed her medical school and neurology residency at the University of Toronto and moved straight to Cambridge Ontario. She has been a solo community neurologist, seeing both adult and pediatric patients for over 29 years. In addition to a busy full time clinical practice, she does clinical research in the area of multiple sclerosis and has authored numerous scientific posters presented at international MS and neurology meetings. She has sat as a volunteer on the Ontario board of the MS Society of Canada, completing a 6 year tenure. She is an active member of the International Women’s Forum, a global organization with a mandate to promote and support women in leadership around the globe. She is a passionate educator, and although not formally associated with a teaching university position, is an active teacher to medical trainees and practicing physicians. She has spoken internationally, and has toured Asia and Sweden in the area of MS. Her strength is her practical approach to neurological disease. Dr. Giles has been a faculty member at Sea Courses for 7 years and joined the medical advisory board 4 years ago. She helps guide Sea Courses in appropriate educational content to meet the needs of specialists, who comprise approximately half of Sea Courses attendees. Dr. Giles is an enthusiastic traveler and an enthusiastic lecturer, and hopes you will join her soon on a CME AWAY® adventure!


Dr. Jeff Habert


Dr. Habert is a Family Physician in Thornhill for the last 28 years. He is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Habert is also a Peer Assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Investigating Coroner for the City of Toronto and a Peer Leader at Ontario MD. He has an interest in the use of clinical practice guidelines, and has participated on committees to establish guidelines in the areas of Depression, Stroke and Thrombosis. He has recently served on the Committee for the 2016-2017 Canadian Stroke Prevention Guidelines and is the Co-Chair of Thrombosis Canada Guidelines Committee. He is also on the 2017 Canadian Stroke Congress planning committee. Dr. Habert is very involved in the continuing education of Family Physicians in the areas of Thrombosis/Stroke, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and Depression. He has served on numerous planning committees as a member and chairman for the creation of accredited CME programs. He has also lectured provincially and nationally on these topics. Dr. Habert is published in the areas of Thrombosis and Stroke Prevention, Depression, ADHD, Overactive Bladder and EMR use in Family Practice.

President & Owner


Ron Dawick

Ron has spent his entire career in the travel business. His experience includes holding senior executive positions at airlines, tour operators and retail travel companies. Ron and Sea Courses joined forces in 2015. He recognized the unique nature of the business and welcomed the opportunity to build on its success. In the past two years, not only has the company expanded its cruise offerings, but under Ron’s direction has added resort and land tours, giving Sea Courses the most complete array of CME AWAY™ opportunities for physicians.



SuZanne Gosrani

Senior Vice President

Experience – SuZanne has spent her entire career in the travel business. She has been with Adventure House Travel for 7 years and Sea Courses since 2015.

Favourite Destination – Kenya, especially Maasai Mara and the South Coast of Mombasa, Venice, Mykonos, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, Morocco, Antarctica

Bucket List – India’s Golden Triangle & the Ganges River, Egypt, Christmas Market River Cruise

Hobbies – Reading, hikes with our Portuguese water dog, Abbi, taking in an NBA game.

Travel Tip – I cannot offer packing tips, as I am the one with the most amount of luggage. Wherever your journey takes you, remember to take it all in and make lots of memories, sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle and need to take a moment to just breathe.


Charlotte Rogers

Vice President, Sales

Experience – I entered the world of travel in 1995 and have never looked back!  Travel is my passion, It is hard to imagine any other career.

Favourite Destination – All destinations have something unique to offer. I often find that I fall in love with wherever my last adventure has taken me.

Bucket List – My list is constantly growing. I would love the opportunity to experience South Africa.

Hobbies –Spending time with family.

Travel Tip – Walk. Take every opportunity to explore a destination on foot. You will be surprised by the people you meet, and the places you stumble across.


Patricia Allen

Operations Administrator

Experience – This is Patti’s second year with Sea Courses, but she has been in the industry for 38 years.

Favourite Destination – South Africa, Ireland, Turks and Caicos, and locally Victoria and Halifax.

Bucket List – European River Cruise, Arctic, Tahiti, The Galapagos Islands, Jordan and so many more!

Hobbies – Golf, reading, and running.

Travel Tips – Always bring excitement to experience new things, as well as lip balm with SPF and sunglasses, because it is going to be a beautiful day. Don’t forget a book in case there is no WIFI!

Administrative Team


Kirsten Dawick

Manager, Marketing & Communications

Experience – Kirsten grew up travelling frequently with her family, and it has always been a passion of hers. She’s been working in the travel business for 11 years and with Sea Courses since 2015.

Favourite Destination – Iceland & Antarctica because of the “otherworldly” landscapes and how unique they are. Nassau, Bahamas because it was a frequent getaway destination when she was younger.

Bucket List – Cambodia, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Scotland!

Hobbies – Might be obvious – but TRAVEL! Also anything that allows me to be outdoors, and spending time with my dogs & family.

Travel Tip – Overnight flights are always my top pick, sleep on the flight and rely on coffee upon arrival to overcome jetlag! Venture off the beaten path and typical tourist routes to really experience a foreign culture and your surroundings. You also can’t take too many photos!


Margaret Barrie

Director of Operations

Experience – My career in the Travel Industry has given me the opportunity to work in various positions with tour operators and airlines. I’ve been with Adventure House Travel 8 years and recently moved over to join the Sea Courses Team.

Favourite Destination – Israel is one of the most fascinating countries I have visited. From the historic ancient sites, to the modern-day world, the diversity is immense and alluring. Hawaii’s beauty and island culture will always be a favourite. Loved Spain & Italy and would return to either at any opportunity.

Bucket List – At the top of my list would be New Zealand, Dubai, Egypt to cruise the Nile and an African Safari, but to be honest, just about anywhere I haven’t been.

Hobbies – Cooking and enjoying time family & friends. Cross border shopping trips are always on the radar. Most winter weekends are spent following the National Lacrosse League.

Travel Tip – Make sure you always pre-select your seats on flights. Why not treat yourself and upgrade to Premium seats on long haul flights. The extra leg room and perks can make all the difference for your in-flight comfort.

Travel Specialists


Lucia Jorge

Experience – 8 years of experience in the travel industry

Favourite Destination – Scotland was definitely my favourite destination!

Bucket List – Africa

Hobbies – Reading, hiking and volunteering

Travel Tip – I always try to meet with a locals when visiting a country to learn more about culture, food and history


Telma Prior

Experience – Telma has recently joined Sea Courses and comes from a leisure travel background with 4 years of experience in the travel industry.

Favourite Destination – Portugal, Costa Rica and Cancun.

Bucket List – Dubai, Japan, Peru and South Africa.

Hobbies – Enjoying time with family and friends, baking, gardening, reading, good wine and traveling!

Travel Tip – Don’t be afraid to explore off the beaten path, you may be pleasantly surprised!


Todd Hancock

Experience – Todd has been with Sea Courses for 13 years and has been in the travel industry 23 years.

Favourite Destination – Antarctica, The Galapagos Islands, Tahiti and Iceland. The best trip was Antarctica!

Bucket List – Todd would like to do an around-the-world wine-tasting trip, hitting New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe and then finishing back home.

Hobbies – Bicycling around his beautiful home city of Vancouver, British Columbia and wine-tasting any chance he gets!

Travel Tip – Avoid a big breakfast on a cruise ship. You can eat lots of bacon & eggs at home – save your calories for the wonderful dinners they have on ship!


Peter Banh

Experience – Peter has been in the travel industry for 17 years and it has provided him with the opportunity to travel to many different countries.

Favourite Destination – Maui

Bucket List – The Galapagos Islands and Safari

Hobbies – Travelling and watching hockey

Travel Tip – Only pack what you need and not what you think you might need.

Sea Courses came into being in 1995. It was the creation of family physician Dr. Martin Gerretsen and his business partner Mr. Harvey Strydhorst. The first CME AWAY® trip operated in 1996 and this has been followed by almost 400 more trips since then. Initially all trips were on cruise ships. The daily itineraries made for the ideal situation, i.e. having classroom sessions while at sea, leaving participants free time in the ports of call. Survey results provided the company with ideas for new cruise destinations. But, the survey results also indicated that physicians would welcome land tours as well and these were introduced to compliment the cruise offerings. The key elements that research indicated physicians were looking for were a medical learning experience, the opportunity to explore and learn about different cultures and time to relax with family. All CME AWAY® programmes are certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In 2015, the company was acquired by Ron Dawick, a travel industry leader with over 45 years of airline, tour operator and retail travel experience. The travel agency team now helps CME AWAY® participants with all of their travel needs making CME AWAY® by Sea Courses a truly one stop CME and travel provider.

Eastern Canada Office

110-3425 Harvester Rd

Burlington, Ontario, L7N 3N1

905-845-6631 Or 1-800-268-3273

TICO #3328458

Western Canada Office

402 West Pender Street, Suite 715

Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1T6

604-684-7327 Or 1-888-647-7327

BC Travel Agent Reg. #3320-2