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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 13 | September 6, 2001

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, says Sheps.

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.

More information

Contact Sam Sheps at 604-822-3081.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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