News and Announcements

Where we are so far: curriculum planning for the SFU Medical School

March 13, 2023

SFU’s Medical School wants to do medical education differently.

A curriculum planning working group is proposing a place-based curriculum model, which means the context of where a student is learning, including the history, the politics and the social dynamics of the community they are in, all become an additional source of learning.

“Students will study in communities starting in their first year, unlike traditional medical schools that have two years of classroom-based education before practical experiences begin,” explains Kevin Oldknow, Chair, Curriculum Working Group for the SFU Medical School, and Senior Advisor to the Provost.

The curriculum will include an Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) program, and a Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) program. The first intake of students is expected in fall 2026.

Key traits and themes that will be woven throughout the school’s curriculum include:

  • social accountability
  • community engagement
  • place-based and longitudinal (immersive) learning
  • inter-professional/team-based learning
  • technology enabled learning
  • innovation
  • patient-centred & generalist approach
  • ongoing professional learning/faculty development

Undergraduate students can expect to complete their program in four years. This is to ensure they have sufficient time to meet the required competencies, and the flexibility to pursue alternative endeavors, such as an additional degree, research, or expanding their clinical expertise.

Graduates of both programs will emerge with outcomes in line with the vision, mission and values of the medical school, and will be able to transition to independent practice in underserved urban, rural and remote communities.

“The curriculum will play an important role in the learning journey of future students. We look forward to hearing from the SFU community and continuing to bring this work to life,” says Oldknow.

To find out more about plans for the SFU medical school:

  • Have a look at a recording of our Information Session for students, faculty and staff held on Mar. 2, 2023.
  • Access our website for all the latest updates.

To help shape the medical school:

  • Participate in a survey open to all SFU students, faculty and staff:
  • Attend an upcoming dialogue session:

    • March 28, 2023: 1-3 p.m. An online research focused session for faculty and graduate students, hosted by Dugan O'Neil, Vice-President, Research and International. To register:
    • April 3, 2023: 12:30-2:30 p.m. An in-person information session, with lunch, for Indigenous students, faculty and staff and those who support Indigenous communities, hosted by Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis, Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation; and Kris Magnusson, Faculty of Education Dean pro tem. Location is the Learning Hub on the Burnaby campus. To register:
    • April 2023: An in-person information session for students, faculty and staff, hosted by Kris Magnusson, Chair, Workforce Working Group for the SFU Medical School and Senior Advisor to the Provost; Steve Dooley, Executive Director of SFU’s Surrey Campus, and Roger Strasser, Interim Dean, SFU Medical School. Date, time and location is TBD.