The Medical School at SFU will add critical capacity to B.C.’s health care system

Everyone deserves care that is effective, accessible, inclusive and culturally safe. Critical physician shortages across B.C. and Canada have strained the health care system, making it difficult for British Columbians to access health care services in their home communities. 

SFU’s vision is to create a medical school designed explicitly to educate, train and support physicians to provide the health care urgently needed in B.C. communities, including those within Fraser Health where the school will be based. While focused on family medicine and primary care, the SFU Medical School will equip students to pursue residency training in any specialization.

The Medical School at SFU will supplement B.C.’s current academic health ecosystem by providing students with a complementary medical education path. The SFU Medical School will partner with Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to locate and embed education and training within communities — allowing students, residents and researchers an opportunity to gain valuable experience, insight and skills, and inspiring them to pursue a career in primary care practice in Fraser Health and across B.C. 

The new school's programs and curriculum will be built on five foundational pillars.

Training in communities, with communities, for communities

The medical school’s innovative approach to medical training and partnership with Fraser Health will immerse students in the community, helping them see health and wellness from different perspectives, learn from a variety of role models, experience local health challenges and identify research questions based on populations’ needs. Students will complete their training in communities where they may eventually practice. 

Designing and delivering with partners

SFU is known for deep, authentic community connection and collaboration. We are partnering closely with Fraser Health, the FNHA and the Ministries of Health and Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to ensure their input influences medical education programs, delivers desired practice outcomes and meets B.C.’s population health goals.

We will continue to grow respectful, mutually beneficial partnerships with our community physicians and specialists in practice, other health authorities, the UBC Faculty of Medicine and other health professions’ faculty, other post-secondary institutions and with community support groups vital to the health and care of B.C.’s diverse populations. SFU’s partnership with Fraser Health will build clinical experiences within its sites so that future students have a community focus in their training.

Advancing Indigenous health 

Working with partners, we will provide a training environment developed in collaboration with the FNHA, host First Nations, and Indigenous communities. The Medical School at SFU will embed First Nations, Inuit and Métis knowledge systems and perspectives and form strong connections with these communities.

We will work closely with the FNHA to support First Nations individuals, families and communities in achieving the highest level of health and wellness. Important issues like cultural safety and humility, traditional approaches to health and wellness, the social determinants of health, and liaison with local Indigenous health workers, healers and knowledge keepers will be at the heart of training to respond to local needs.

Building on SFU’s research strengths

The Medical School at SFU will leverage and build on SFU’s research strengths, where more than 60 research centres and institutes have landed SFU among Canada’s top universities for research impact. Many SFU researchers are already responding to provincial health and health care priorities, such as health tech innovation, ageing, chronic disease prevention, health system changes, the pandemic and the toxic drug crisis.

We look forward to building on our rich history of partnering with Fraser Health on health research initiatives and benefiting from their robust research infrastructure, particularly in areas of shared interest such as population health research and patient-oriented outcomes.  


for global impact on sustainable cities and communities*


in the world for climate action*


Sponsored research income in 2022

SFU is among Canada's fastest-growing research-intensive universities measured by research income growth.

*The 2023 Times Higher Education's Impact Rankings—which measure universities’ strengths in advancing the United Nations’ sustainable development goals—rank SFU as the world's top university for global impact on sustainable cities and communities and 5th in the world for climate action.

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