Programs of Research

We celebrate the diversity of family practice and the research questions that arise. The Department of Family Medicine promotes scholarly activity in all areas of relevance to the discipline and practice of family medicine.

Not withstanding the broad scope of family practice, most research activities in the department can be categorized into the following four areas:

Health Services

Health services research focuses on health system organization and health systems provision and examines issues related to the quality, capacity, manpower, and organizational systems of providing health services in the primary care setting. Multidisciplinary collaboration is key to the success of health services research.

Care of the Elderly

The primary research focus in care of the elderly is cognitive impairment. Within this primary theme, the core areas are CIND/mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and depression. Within each of the core areas, targeted areas of research concentration include screening; barriers to care; evaluation of models of care delivery, etc. There are also a number of secondary research themes - geriatric inpatient rehabilitation, falls, geriatric outpatient rehabilitation.

Medical Education

The department strives to improve the educational process of medical students and family medicine residents by undertaking scholarly inquiry related to education and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.

Undergraduate Family Medicine Education

Department activities in undergraduate family medicine focus on:

  • assessment of student performance,
  • evaluation of instructors,
  • clinical history taking,
  • comprehensive clinical skills,
  • breaking bad news,
  • teaching human sexuality,
  • interprofessional health education,
  • medical school experience,
  • professionalization of medical students, and
  • how students choose their career.

Family Medicine Residency Training

Research on family medicine residency training can be classified along the four principles of family medicine:

1) Family physician is a skilled physician: assessment of resident performance; evaluation of preceptors; clinical and procedural skills learning.

2) Family medicine is community-based: interprofessional teams; teaching in primary care networks; rural training; web-based education.

3) Family physician is a resource to the practice population: preparedness of residents to work in interprofessional teams/primary care networks; best practice/clinical practice guidelines; electronic medical records; continuity of care; rural training.

4) Doctor-patient relationship: breaking bad news; behavioural medicine; continuity of care