Reading time: 3 minutes
By Samira Balsara
Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi announced in late September that a Senior Medical Advisory Committee (SMAC) had been established to help plan the university’s proposed medical school in Brampton.
The group consists of nine physicians who will work together to provide clinical expertise to the medical school, provide recommendations for research areas and assist in the development of the curriculum, as well as projects included in the proposal for Ryerson.
The SMAC will be chaired by Dr. Andrew Padmos, a hematologist with over 40 years of clinical experience in addition to over 28 years of experience as a professor of medicine at Dalhousie University.
According to Padmos, committee members were approached to be part of the SMAC after the school’s planning came to fruition. Planning for the committee began in July.
“They approached me… and told me that we needed advice and help to integrate the planning process, the perspectives of medical educators and leaders. So we decided that a committee of people with these characteristics would be beneficial, ”said Padmos.
According to Padmos, SMAC is beneficial for medical school planning as it is a “multi-level process” due to the different areas of medical education such as physiology, biology, chemistry and epidemiology.
While the SMAC is chaired by Padmos, eight other physicians will contribute their expertise to the planning of the School of Medicine.
Dr. Claire Touchie is a professor at the University of Ottawa with 30 years of medical and teaching experience. She works in the area of HIV care with a focus on women’s health and refugee care.
Touchie said her participation in CSIA is exciting for her as she works with a new group of people on a project that will benefit patients in Ontario.
According to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the last Canadian medical school established was the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian and Lakehead Universities, which opened in 2005. Prior to that, the School of Medicine Michael G. DeGroote of McMaster University was established. in 1965.
“Medicine has changed dramatically during this time. It is very difficult for established medical schools to make big changes for a multitude of reasons, ”said Touchie. “However, Ryerson has the incredible opportunity to move forward from the start and establish a truly 21st century medical school.”
Padmos echoed the idea, adding that Ryerson’s proposed medical school will strive to educate and train future healthcare professionals for a medical system 30 years from now. The school will seek to integrate more technologies into its programming to involve a futuristic approach with virtual care, artificial intelligence, health applications and augmented reality.
“Medical knowledge expands and doubles every 18 months… so you need to train physicians and other healthcare professionals in resilience, efficiency, and handling the influx of data, information and data. ‘opinions in the best interests of the patient,’ he said.
Padmos says it’s not just the Greater Toronto Area that will benefit from a new medical school, but Canada as a whole. He said Canada has a lower number of doctors per person compared to other wealthy countries.
“We are actually among the lowest in terms of the number of physicians per 100,000 [people]”Padmos said.” Now that’s not the full story, but it’s at least a marker that Canada is probably not overcrowded with doctors. ”
A 2015 report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that there were 228 physicians per 100,000 population. For comparison, in Australia, 2015 data showed the number of physicians per 100,000 to be 392.
A proposed medical school could help increase the number of doctors and solve Canada’s problems in the medical field, including family medicine, where, according to Padmos, many Canadians do not even have a family doctor.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2019, about 4.6 million Canadians aged 12 and over reported that they did not have a regular health care provider when they needed help or advice on health issues. health.
“Having a goal of very good primary care is pretty important. Ryerson, when he began to articulate his case for support, identified community primary care as one of the pillars of the school, ”said Padmos.
The SMAC will work to help develop the current proposal by focusing on the pillars upon which the School of Medicine is designed. This includes an emphasis on primary care, care for the elderly, culturally sensitive care, and the use of technology in certain practices.