Course Descriptions

Required Courses:

Teaching and Learning in Family Medicine

This course presents an approach to teaching rooted in the principles of Family Medicine and drawing from theories of education, the psychology of learning, principles of instructional design and educational measurement. The approach is eclectic and focuses on practical application of principles to teaching in one-to-one, small group, and lecture formats. Students are expected to have opportunities to apply methods of teaching in their own clinical setting.

Foundations of Family Medicine

The course reviews the relevant literature on the scientific and theoretical basis of Family medicine.  For example, topics will cover Information Mastery, Research in Family Medicine, Disease, Health and Illness Experience, Systems Theory, Technology, Social Justice and Healing. Students completing this course will be conversant with the foundational ideas which have shaped 20th and 21st century science and medicine. They will have examined the world view of family medicine, its evolution in the last five decades and recognize the forces which are influencing it currently and into the future.

Advanced Patient Centered Medicine

This course examines the four components of the Patient-Centered Clinical Method with the first term serving as the building blocks. The second term will draw upon developmental theory, systems theory, life cycle issues, and the contextual influences that impact on a patient's/family's experience of health, disease and illness. Attention will be given to understanding the importance of finding common ground in treatment/management and the enhancement of the patient-doctor relationship. The course will draw upon the students' clinical experience to integrate theory & practice.

Research Methods in Family Medicine

This course deals with research principles and methodologies relevant to family medicine. Five types of epidemiological studies are reviewed: descriptive, cross-sectional, experimental, cohort, and case control. Evaluation methods and research synthesis are also covered. Theoretical principles that underline qualitative methodology are explored. Two specific qualitative methods – in depth interviews and focus groups will be demonstrated. In both the quantitative and qualitative methods the following details are covered: posing the research question, sampling, data collection methods, and analysis. Studies relevant to family practice are used as examples.

Optional Courses:

Canada's Primary Health Care System

Canada’s Primary Health Care system is universally recognized for its emphasis on access, equity and quality. However, like all health care systems across the world, the system could be made to function better. This course is structured to offer interested students an in-depth look at pertinent issues facing the Canadian Primary Health Care system.   

Clinical / Teaching Practice Experience

The Clinical / Teaching Practice Experience (CTPE) offers students an opportunity to enhance either their clinical or teaching skills through a supervised practicum. This may include enhancement of clinical skills (i.e. psychotherapy) or teaching skills (i.e. development, delivery and evaluation of a course(s)/workshop). As each student's situation is unique the CTPE is negotiated with the Graduate Studies Chair, and supervisors are assigned at both their home location and at Western.

Other Optional Courses:

Other optional courses can be selected from Master's programs around the world upon approval from the Chair of the Graduate Studies Program, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western, and provider university (Not to exceed 0.5 course credit).