Primary Care System


In fulfillment of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2014, the Department of Family Medicine hosted two delegates, Dr. Yayun Wang and Dr. Lingxia Wu from the Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China with the aim of helping to solve one of China’s greatest healthcare challenges.

As the country works to build a robust healthcare system, one of its most challenging tasks has been filling an immense gap of primary care physicians. Currently in China only 3 per cent of all doctors practise family medicine; that’s compared to roughly 50 per cent in Canada, and many of those 3 per cent practise in rural locations and have very limited formal training.

Using the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s renowned family medicine program as a model, academic and clinical leaders from Nanjing Medical University gain first-hand knowledge of how to set up effective family medicine training programs at home.

Delegates spend three months shadowing physicians, observing postgraduate family medicine teaching, sitting in on departmental meetings and learning about the family medicine research that takes place at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry in the Department of Family Medicine.

Following on the success of this visit, we look forward to welcoming more physicians from China into this program.


Experiences, Objectives and Accomplishments

Objective 1: Understand and experience the structure and function of the Department of Family Medicine at Western, including the main components of teaching and research.




Personal Meetings

  • Department Chair
  • Program Director
  • Research Director
  • Understand departmental set-up responsibilities, oversight of postgrad programs
  • Oversight of research activities
  • Several meetings with Dr Wetmore, Department Chair, covering structure and function of medical school and residency program.
  • Met Dr Wickett, Program Director, and Dr Grushka, Enhanced Skills Director, to learn about residency and PGY3 programs.
  • Met Dr. Watling, Postgraduate Associate Dean to learn about oversight of residency training at Schulich.
  • Met Dr. Zwarenstein, Research Director, to discuss research in Family Medicine.

Attendance at Department meetings

  • Departmental
  • Understand department function and oversight of teaching programs and research activities
  • Attended two Department meetings
  • Made presentations to Department meetings about Nanjing and family medicine in China
  • Attended many committee meetings, Postgraduate, Research, Faculty Development

Objective 2: Understand the background and foundations for family medicine education at Western, and the qualifications and recruitment of family medicine teachers.

Experience Objectives Accomplishments
Meetings with Department Chair and others
  • Concepts of teaching and learning
  • Learn about primary care research
  • Understand the basis of scholarship in family medicine
  • Understand the patient-centred clinical method
  • Unfortunately not able to experience some of the courses in the Master’s program
  • Met with Judy Brown, Graduate Studies Director, to understand the Graduate program
  • Met with Dr Wetmore and Dr Wong, Postgraduate Evaluation Coordinator, to understand the training and evaluation of family medicine teachers
  • The concept of University appointment and promotion was explained.

Objective 3: Understand and experience the family medicine residency training program in all its components.

Experience Objectives Accomplishments

Attendance at meetings

  • Postgrad Committee
  • Resident progress meetings
  • Resident recruitment meetings and CARMs interviews
  • Understand department function and oversight of teaching programs
  • Understand resident evaluation
  • Understand role of scholarly work by family medicine faculty
  • Meetings with Drs Wetmore, Wickett and Grushka
  • Attended residency program meetings
  • Attended and observed IMG interviews for residency program and CARMs resident recruitment weekend

Attendance at Faculty Development Sessions

  • Family Medicine
  • Selected Western University sessions
  • Understand the role of faculty development
  • Attended Faculty Development sessions including UWO sessions “Residents as Teachers”, and “Giving Feedback”
  • Online sessions on Teaching in the Clinical Setting with Dr Wetmore

Observe teaching

  • Family medicine clinics
  • Distributed sites
  • Emergency room
  • Hospital care etc.
  • Palliative care
  • Diabetes Program
  • Understand daily clinical teaching
  • Observe direct observation of trainees and feedback
  • Understand competencies and evaluation
  • Observed clinical teaching at 4 different family medical centres
  • Observed teaching in the Hospital Palliative care settings and in the Emergency room
  • Observed teaching in the Primary care Diabetes Program
  • Reviewed with Dr Wetmore the CFPC Priority Topics and Key Features
  • Observed Development of EPAs  by Clinical Teachers
  • Looked at the on line resident assessment system

Observe academic teaching

  • Half day program
  • Wed am teaching
  • Rounds
  • Practice SOOs
  • Understand how teaching of academic part of family medicine is delivered
  • Understand the evaluation of patient-centred encounters
  • Attended and observed academic Half Day program including “Obstetrical Skills Day” and “Neonatal Resuscitation”
  • Observed Practice Soo sessions for residents
  • Resident Academic Projects
  • Understand the range of projects possible and the assistance provided
  • Meeting with Kelsey Klages, resident project Coordinator to understand the resident academic project system

Objective 4: Understand Research in Family Medicine through exposure to the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine and its faculty members.

Experience Objectives Accomplishments
  • Research
  • Meet CSFM Director
  • Attend Departmental Research meeting
  • Meet research faculty
  • Understand the importance of research to DFM
  • Understand the role of clinical faculty in research
  • Understand the educational research role and its contribution to the Teaching programs
  • Attended CSFM – Research meeting and observed research presentations
  • Meeting with Dr. Zwarenstein, Research Director
  • Meeting with Leslie Bosivert, research assistant to clinical faculty to understand her role.

Objective 5: Understand the role of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and its oversight of family medicine training throughout Canada.

Experience Objectives Accomplishments
  • Meeting with Department Chair
  • Meeting with Schulich Postgraduate Dean
  • Attendance at Family Medicine Forum and Sadok Besrorur Global Health Conference
  • Learn about accreditation of Residency programs in Canada
  • Understand the structure and oversight of Postgraduate training at Western
  • Meetings with Dr Wetmore and Dr Watling, Postgraduate Associate Dean
  • Observed the Family Medicine Internal review and understood the role of the CFPC in the accreditation process
  • Observe Family Medicine Forum and understand standardization of residency programs in Canada
  • Participated in Sadok Besrour Global Health Conference to understand International collaborations in Family Medicine and the role of the CFPC in promoted world wide access to comprehensive family medicine expertise.