Program aims to address need for health researchers
Organizers plan to develop undergraduate learning opportunities
in research across range of disciplines
UBC's Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology has received a renewable
grant of $375,000 per year over five years from Canadian Health
Services Research Foundation to develop and implement a health services
research training stream.
"With so many emerging health-care issues, there is a critical
need for expert researchers," says Sam Sheps, program director and
former head of the Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology. "This
program is an innovative way to supply that demand and the new knowledge
will ultimately lead to improvements in our health services."
The training stream includes a four- to six-month co-op placement
at health service sites such as community health units, hospitals
and regional health boards -- an innovation rarely seen in PhD programs,
One of three similar new programs across Canada, the training
stream will be a collaborative program with the University of Manitoba
and will link to resources at the University of Northern British
Columbia (UNBC), Okanagan University College, Simon Fraser University
(SFU) and the University of Victoria (UVic).
The Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at UBC and
the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation will also play
key roles in the program.
The training stream will be fully integrated with the department's
existing graduate programs.
Health research issues include impact of downsizing on patient
care, effectiveness of screening programs, home-care quality, health
product and service advertising, surgical wait lists and issues
relating to rural and remote health.
Organizers also plan to develop undergraduate learning opportunities
in health services research for students in health sciences as well
as other disciplines such as economics.
"Traditionally there have been few opportunities for these students
to consider health services research as a career," says Sheps. "We
want to create opportunities to broaden the disciplinary contribution
to the study of health care issues within the university and in
the wider community."
Undergraduate learning resources include the Office of the Co-ordinator
of Health Sciences, UNBC, UVic, SFU, the University of Winnipeg
and Brandon University in Manitoba.
Curriculum will be developed with student and health services
community input. Community decision-makers will also be part of
the admissions committee.
The training stream will formally admit its first students in
fall 2003, however, up to three student stipends at each site will
be available this fall for study in health services research.
Similar programs are found in the Atlantic region and Quebec.
A fourth program centre is planned for Ontario.
Contact Sam Sheps at 604-822-3081.