News and Announcements

SFU Medical School monthly update: August 2023

August 25, 2023

Starting this month, the SFU Medical School (SFUMS) will share regular monthly updates on its planning work, progress towards key milestones and other news.

A quick refresher on medical school planning progress to date

The medical school submitted its draft business case to the government at the end of May 2023. It anticipates a funding announcement in spring 2024, along with Board of Governor and Senate approvals. Since June, the team has been working closely with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to refine and clarify the business case. It will be presented to the Treasury Board for detailed review this fall.

The search for a founding dean is underway

In late June, the Office of the Provost and VP Academic announced that SFU was beginning the search for the founding dean of the SFU Medical School. The search will follow policy A13.05, and it may take up to a year to fill this critical role. Early this fall, students, faculty and staff will be able to participate in the consultation process and provide feedback on the founding dean's needed qualities and role profile. Learn more about the search process and timeline here.

The medical school welcomes new team members

While the founding dean search continues, the SFUMS welcomes Dr. David J. Price as its acting dean and special advisor. Dr. Price is a practicing family physician and professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and a nationally recognized leader in family medicine and primary care. The team also welcomes Brian Kwok as its new director of finance. Brian holds a CPA, CA designation and comes to SFU from the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

What we heard in our spring engagement sessions

Several engagement sessions this past spring, hosted by the SFU Medical School and Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, significantly contributed to medical school planning and helped inform its draft business case. “We had the opportunity to learn from prospective students, IT staff, researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including Indigenous faculty. They reaffirmed important values and gave us good, practical advice”, said Kris Magnusson, senior advisor to the provost. Stay tuned for more engagement opportunities this fall - and for a quick overview of the spring session results, scan the two-page infographic here.

Upcoming engagement opportunities for research faculty

This fall, the medical school is planning several activities for faculty members who want to learn more about its research vision and share research-related ideas. Faculty are invited to contact Valorie Crooks, associate vice president research, pro tem, at to express interest and help shape these collaborative sessions. Read more about the SFU Medical School’s research planning here.

SFUMS attending CLIC Conference this September

In their third year, MD students (those completing the first four years of medical education) are typically placed in hospital-based settings to work with patients and learn more about core medical specialties. SFUMS, however, intends for its MD students to take a family practice-oriented Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) in their third year, which places them into communities faster. This clerkship allows students to follow patients who regularly interact with the healthcare system for a year to 18 months and supplements their classroom learning. To learn more about how this model can work at SFU, SFUMS staff and associated physicians will be attending the 2023 CLIC Conference, September 21-23 at Washington State University, including LIC 101.

The Drs. Strasser featured on Cooner’s Corner podcast

Drs. Roger and Sarah Strasser were recently guests of Dr. Manpreet (Micky) Cooner on Cooner’s Corner podcast. Dr. Cooner’s show serves members of the White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice and keeps them up-to-date on local and regional issues about family physicians. In this 20 minute episode, The Strassers describe how the SFU Medical School intends to take a novel approach to admissions, curriculum and community-based learning and how the school has begun case writing workshops with physicians. Listen on Apple or Spotify.