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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Dennis Scolnik, LRCP, LRCS, LRCP&S, MB, ChB, LMCC, FAAP, FRCP(C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Physician
Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Research Institute
Project Director
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto
Associate Professor

Phone: 416-813-4915
Fax: 416-813-5043
Email: dennis.scolnik@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Scolnik qualified from the University of Zimbabwe and spent five years each in England and Israel with short stints as a family doctor in Saskatchewan. With paediatric qualifications from the UK and Israel, he went on to one-year of nephrology and two years of clinical pharmacology and toxicology fellowships at The Hospital for Sick Children. This was followed by two years of residency at The Hospital for Sick Children to requalify for paediatrics in Canada. He subsequently joined the Division of Emergency Services Staff in 1994. Dr. Scolnik has participated in three medical missions to Guyana. He holds a major research grant investigating the use of humidity in the treatment of croup. He is also working on several other clinical research projects, many of which are in collaboration with fellows, residents and foreign medical graduates.

Academic Background

Glasgow & Edinburgh, United Kingdom

University of Zimbabwe

Research Interests

  • Paediatric emergency medicine
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Clinical trials
  • Medical aid to developing countries
  • Croup

Research Activities

  • My research on anticonvulsants in pregnancy elucidated the teratogenic effect of phenytoin. It has also generated information essential to the care of the a large number of pregnant women who may have to be on an anticonvulsant during pregnancy.
  • My work as a researcher in the field of paediatric emergency medicine falls into three main areas:
  • Fever and antipyretic drugs. Research has included work into the dosing of rectal acetaminophen, and parental attitudes concerning the use of acetaminophen. This work revealed potentially serious errors in dosing.
  • Drug errors. This subject is currently very topical and my work has continued into attempts at prevention due to the unacceptably high error rate of ten per cent which we found in the Emergency Department. Additional studies have included examining the utility of therapeutic drug levels in seizure patients
  • Airway disease. The work in this area has led to a PSI funded study examining the use of humidity in croup. It will be the first study to take into account airway dynamics and droplet size in the use of humidity in airway disease.


Kozer E, Scolnik D, Keays T, Shi K, Luk T, Koren G. Large errors in the dosing of medications for children. N Engl J Med 2002 Apr 11;346(15):1175-6

Lavine ES, Scolnik D. Lack of efficacy of humidification in the treatment of croup. Why do physicians persist in using an unproven modality? Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2001: 3; 209-212.

Jarvis A, Scolnik D. A Clinical Prospective on Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections in Children. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2000: 2; 201-202.

Nulman I, Scolnik D, Chitayat D, Farkas L, Koren G. Findings in children exposed in utero to phenytoin and carbamazipine monotherapy: independent effects of epilepsy and medication. American Journal of Human Genetics 1997: 68: 18-24.

Scolnik D, Koren G. Antihistamines, respiratory depression and the sudden infant death syndrome in young children – a review and recommendations. Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1996: 3; 71-4.