SFU begins engagement on proposed medical program

October 05, 2021

SFU wants to deliver a new approach to medical education in British Columbia, and a medical program that embodies the university’s commitments to community engagement; equity, diversity and inclusion; and innovation is  proposed for SFU’s Surrey campus.

To begin the engagement process, the office of the vice-president, academic (VPA) is hosting an information session and discussion on October 18th. The session will be a chance for faculty, staff and students to hear more about SFU’s plans for the proposed medical program. Participants will get an opportunity to ask questions and offer input to inform early planning and guide subsequent engagement.

“A medical school at SFU is something that the university has been thinking about, working toward, and hoping for, for more than a decade,” says Catherine Dauvergne, SFU’s vice-president, academic and provost, who will be hosting the information session alongside SFU President Joy Johnson.

“Right from the beginning, we want to create a three-way partnership with the First Nations Health Authority and the Fraser Health Authority to guide the vision for the medical school.”

SFU has been working with its partners in recent months on building a foundation for collaboration on this exciting project. The partnership will ensure that graduates of the new program are well equipped to improve our health care system by meeting the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across the province, and in particular by understanding the primary care needs of the diverse underserved populations in the Fraser Health Authority.

“While the curriculum hasn’t been mapped out, one clear goal is for students to gain extensive experience in core areas of primary care,” Dauvergne adds.  

SFU has been engaged with the province around a medical school at SFU for more than a decade. During last fall’s provincial election, the B.C. NDP announced plans for a new medical school in B.C. with a central facility at SFU’s Surrey campus and learning centres spread across the Fraser Health Authority. Following the election, that commitment was confirmed in mandate letters to the minister of health and the minister of advanced education, skills and training.

Participation in the Oct. 18 information session and discussion is limited to 150 people. Please register here.

A recording of the information session will be available online after the event for those who cannot attend.