On Monday, May 16, McGill officially inaugurated the Outaouais campus of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Quebec’s Minister of Higher Education, Danielle McCann, and the MNA for Chapleau, Mathieu Lévesque, were among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony.
The campus offers the full range of medical education and training programs, in French, including the four-year Doctor of Medicine program, residency programs and the preparatory year in medicine.
McGill’s Outaouais campus follows a long-standing and close collaboration between McGill, the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), the Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais and the Quebec government.
“After two years of waiting, we are delighted to be able to officially celebrate the inauguration of the Outaouais campus with our privileged partners, the UQO and the CISSS de l’Outaouais,” said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier. “This new campus will play a key role in the training of French-speaking physicians in the Outaouais and will contribute to the delivery of quality health care in this region.”
Although the pandemic delayed the official opening, the campus has been active for almost two years. The first cohort of 24 students in the McGill Undergraduate Medical Education Program in Outaouais began distance learning in August 2020. At the same time, another 16 students began the McGill Medicine Preparatory Program, offered in partnership with the Université du Québec en Outaouais.
The Outaouais campus is also home to the two-year McGill Family Medicine residency program, which includes 36 residents. In November 2021, second-year students at the Outaouais campus participated in the White Coat Ceremony, which marks a medical student’s transition from laymanship to physicianship, for the first time.
“It is a privilege to officially inaugurate the Outaouais campus, which represents the culmination of decades of collaboration. By offering our programs here, we are training a new generation of health care leaders in the Outaouais,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health and Medical Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“It’s very satisfying to see the tremendous impact of the efforts we’ve been making for more than 35 years in the Outaouais,” added Dr. Gilles Brousseau, Vice Dean and Director of the Outaouais campus. “Since the creation of the Family Medicine Unit in Gatineau in 1987, followed by the implementation of the integrated clerkship in 2010 and, finally, the opening of the Outaouais campus, we have always worked to train physicians who are committed to serving society and caring for the people of this region.”
Since the inception of the McGill Family Medicine Residency Program in Gatineau, 70-80 per cent of residents have established their clinical practice in the Outaouais region upon completion of their training.
“McGill’s Outaouais campus brings renewal and vitality as physicians are trained right here in the region. This will increase the retention of family physicians in the Outaouais region in order to better serve the population,” said Josée Fillion, President of the Outaouais CISSS. “I am delighted with their contribution to the Outaouais CISSS as their presence contributes to the university and research outreach while enhancing our medical team. In terms of recruitment, this represents a significant improvement in the accessibility and quality of health care. I warmly thank McGill University for their contribution and their long-standing collaboration.”
“It has been shown that when there is a medical campus in a given territory, there is a much greater chance that newly trained doctors will stay in the region,” added Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann. Since 2020, more than 70 per cent of students who completed their residency in the Outaouais region have stayed to establish their clinical practice there.