McGill to host first family medicine summit

By McGill Reporter Staff

Medical students from Quebec’s four faculties of medicine will have a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about academic and research careers in family medicine during the first McGill Family Medicine Summit, to take place on Nov. 14 at the Centre Sheraton.

Under the theme Training Tomorrow’s Leaders, the summit will showcase the rewards of academic family medicine with the objective of sparking additional interest in a field that is striving to attract not only practitioners, but researchers and teachers as well.

“McGill is committed to the development of family medicine as a strong academic pursuit with an accent on research,” said Dr. Martin Dawes, Chair of McGill’s Dept. of Family Medicine and a member of the summit’s organizing committee. “This exciting initiative represents an important milestone in McGill’s continuing efforts to promote this field, which is so critical to the present and future well-being of our society.”

“It will give students a valuable chance to speak with some of the finest family medicine researchers, academics and practitioners from Quebec and beyond,” said Dr. Ivan Rohan, Director of Continuing Medical Education at McGill’s Dept. of Family Medicine and chief organizer of the Summit.

Dr. Yves Bolduc, Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, will open the summit, which will also feature welcoming remarks from Dr. Richard Levin, McGill’s Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine, and five speakers, all leaders in the field.

The summit is the latest example of the Faculty of Medicine’s initiatives to promote family medicine. This fall, the faculty introduced a new master of science in Experimental Medicine – Family Medicine option. The objective of the program is to increase the research skills and capacity of family physicians interested in carrying out research in their field.

“We provide research training in quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches. The integration of these three research perspectives is one of our unique strengths,” said Charo Rodríguez, director of the new program. “It is the first program of its kind in Canada and one of only a handful worldwide.”

The McGill Family Medicine Summit is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), a multidisciplinary organization for primary care researchers.

According to Dr. Lisa Graves, Undergraduate Program Director for the Dept. of Family Medicine, having the summit take place alongside the NAPCRG meeting will give students exposure to some of the top professionals in family medicine. She hopes it will dispel the misconception that family doctors can’t pursue their research and teaching goals while they are practicing physicians.

“These vocations are very compatible with being a family physician, and we hope this will be clear to the students,” she said, noting that family medicine cannot grow as a discipline without researchers and teachers.

With files from Craig Toomey and Maria Turner.