About The Program
Established in 1977, this was the first Master's level program to prepare family physicians for their academic roles. Since 1997, the program has been offered in a distance education format on the Internet.
A Program of Graduate Studies and Faculty Development in Family Medicine
The program has attracted Family Physicians from Canada and around the world who wish to enhance their knowledge, skills, and leadership within the discipline of Family Medicine. This program combines on-site (two weeks, once yearly) with distance education via the Internet. The course of study is designed to fit the needs of the individual applicant and utilizes the broad range of academic and research expertise of the faculty. The program is offered as both a part-time and a full-time program.
PGY3 in Academic Family Medicine
A program designed for residents in Family Medicine who have identified themselves with a strong interest in pursuing a career in Academic Family Medicine. The enhanced skills opportunity is available to a limited number of residents following the completion of their residency training program.
Brief history of the program
The idea for the Graduate Studies Program was developed by Professor I.R. McWhinney in 1972 while he was the Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. After five years of preparatory work, the Graduate Studies Program was launched in September 1977. Dr. McWhinney recognized the need for a graduate program to help prepare future faculty for a career in academic family medicine, to provide family physicians with the additional academic skills required for teaching, research, organizational management and administrative leadership. This remains essential for the discipline of family medicine to develop and evolve with a sound knowledge base and a robust process for seeking new knowledge.
With these visionary ideas and insights, the program commenced as both a full-time and a part-time program for selected family physicians leading to the degree of M.Cl.Sc. in Family Medicine. The program continues in this format attracting a number of family physicians from many countries around the globe including England, Scotland, Iceland, Israel, South Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Venezuela, United States and Canada.
Graduates of the program have taken up leadership roles in many Departments of Family Medicine in Canada and around the world, often leading to the development of other Master's Degree Programs to meet local needs.
The changing economic realities of the 1990s, along with the development of distance education using the Internet, convinced the program's faculty of the desirability of changing to a new format of delivery, primarily part-time distance education. During the external review of the Department in 1996, the Graduate Studies Program received favourable review, especially with respect to the changing format of the program.
By utilizing the Internet, the needs of future students can be met by allowing students to continue to practice medicine while pursuing a master's degree. This new mode of educational delivery will enhance the program's ability to continue to demonstrate leadership in graduate education. After three years of preparatory work, this new format was instituted in the 1997/98 academic year, starting with two courses - Teaching & Learning in the Health Sciences and Advanced Patient-Centered Medicine.
Brief description of the program
The program of study leads to a Master of Clinical Science (M.Cl.Sc.) degree in Family Medicine. This degree attracts family physicians anticipating an academic career in a university setting, junior faculty wanting to improve academic skills or practicing family physicians upgrading skills in order to teach or contribute to research in their own community setting. Physicians have also taken the program for mid-career rejuvenation. The program is now offered primarily part-time in a predominantly distance learning format, over a 3-4 year period.
The program offers full credit courses in Teaching and Learning, Advanced Patient Centered Medicine, Research Methods along with half credit courses in Theoretical Foundations of Family Medicine, Ethical Issues in Primary Health Care, Management of Organization and Rural Medicine and Health.
In addition, the program requires either a thesis with a course load of 4.0 credits, or a substantial research project and a major essay with a course load of 4.5 credits.
Optional courses may be selected from other universities around the globe to further enhance the range of educational opportunities to meet individual learning needs. Upon approval of the Director of the program and the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Western Ontario, a maximum of 1.0 course credits may be obtained from other universities. For more details about the courses, see the course descriptions.
- For additional details about the program, visit the link pages listed below.