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Social, Political and Scientific Issues in Family Medicine

Course Number
5600 (Clinical Public Health)
Course Instructor(s)
Abbas Ghavam-​Rassoul, Lina Al-​Imari

Course Description

The seminar series is intended to be a forum where participants can deliberate, discuss, and debate a wide variety of social, political, and scientific issues that directly or indirectly influence primary care. Participants will broaden their understanding of the forces that influence ones ability to provide quality primary health care in Ontario, Canada, and the rest of the world by participating in and synthesizing presentations on a variety of social, political and scientific issues in primary care. 

The course is divided into 12 2-week modules. In each module, there will be an in-depth study of Ian McWhinney and Thomas Freemans acclaimed Textbook of Family Medicine facilitated by students and instructors, guest speakers on primary care topics, and asynchronous assignments. 

It is important to note that the seminar series is not intended to cover clinical topics. Some clinical topics may arise in the context of scientific debate around a particular clinical topic. 

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to: 

  • Identify and describe a variety of social, scientific, and political influences on primary health care delivery in Ontario and internationally.  
  • Apply the impact of social, scientific, and political influences to one’s own practice locale and to other healthcare professions in primary care. 
  • Identify and evaluate emerging trends in family medicine and primary care. 
  • Debate and critically question issues related to primary care, including scientific issues that arise in primary care literature. 
  • Examine the history of primary care in Canada as well as the socio-political influences on the discipline’s development and reform over time. 
  • Evaluate and synthesize presentations on a variety of social, political, and scientific issues in primary care.   

Method of Assessment

Module Quizzes – 12/year 12%
Presentation  20%
Reflections – 3/year 30%
Discussion Boards – 6/year
Participation 14%