Research in Medicine

Canada’s health care system is at a critical juncture. With decreased human resources, rapidly changing technologies and escalating incidence of chronic disease, health professionals are challenged to provide better, more efficient, more accessible health care and medical education.

In such a dynamic and challenging environment, the time has come to revolutionize the delivery of medical education across the continuum, extending through undergraduate MD education, residency and fellowship programs, and into practice.

At Dalhousie Medicine, we are already making necessary changes to the way we deliver medical education at the undergraduate, post-graduate and Continuing Medical Education levels. Our revitalized undergraduate medical education curriculum is the first of its kind in Canada and it incorporates such innovations as case-based learning, inter-professional experiences, and critical thinking skills.

At the heart of this innovative new curriculum is the belief that the medical school needs to function as a curiosity-driven enterprise. Research is part of the fabric of what we do as a medical school. Indeed, every innovation for health care comes from careful and concentrated research and today’s physicians will need these creative and critical thinking skills to advance their profession for the well-being of their patients. To that end, Dalhousie Medical School is one of a select few schools in North America – and the first in Canada – to introduce a program that positions research as an integral part of the curriculum.

 

Instilling a culture of inquiry – The Research in Medicine program

Launched in September 2013, the Research in Medicine (RIM) component of Dalhousie’s undergraduate medical curriculum represents the leading edge of an international movement to equip physicians with the research tools to both create and take advantage of new insights for improved health care. RIM is a longitudinal curriculum stream that embeds research experience in medical training from day one – and carries it across all four years of the undergraduate program.

The program, which pairs medical students with faculty mentors, aims to effect a cultural change so students learn to see research as a central and sustained activity, rather than a short-term add-on. Students learn how to approach and conduct several different types of medical research – basic science, clinical research, clinical epidemiology, medical education and history of medicine – and work with faculty mentors to design and complete a project in one of these five areas. Ideally, graduates will be inspired to continue their involvement in research throughout their professional lives.

A summer studentship provides the student with a stipend of $5,000 to allow them to conduct research during that time.

 

Fostering research skills from the outset of medical training

The first program of its kind in Canada, Research in Medicine is a mandatory program that introduces Dalhousie medical students to research from the start of their medical training. From first year on, it fosters their research and critical thinking abilities as they complete independent research projects.

By the time they receive their MD degrees, Dalhousie medical graduates have a thorough understanding of the vital role that research plays in today’s health care system and a strong sense of how they can incorporate research into their medical careers—not only to advance their own practice but to improve the quality and outcomes of care throughout the health care system and around the world.

Studentships provide a stipend of $5,000 to be paid to the medical student over the summer months.  DMRF’s goal is to build endowed funds for these studentships. Each endowed fund of $100,000 will generate $5,000 per year.