French grad program in health education planned for Sept. 2021
The University of Ottawa’s faculties of Medicine and Education will offer a joint graduate program in Health Education in French, beginning in September 2021, pending approval by the uOttawa Senate.
The program is intended for physicians, residents, and other health professionals from across Canada, as well as individuals interested in health education research. To be eligible, potential candidates must have an undergraduate diploma in a health discipline, a related discipline, or the equivalent; and must be capable of pursuing graduate-level studies in French.
The program will offer students the option of pursuing a master’s degree; a 15-credit diploma; or individual modules of six credits each. The master’s degree may be obtained by following the traditional route (coursework option or research paper option) or by accumulating modules. Students will receive a certificate upon completion of each module.
All credits obtained as part of the modules or the diploma will automatically be recognized, should the student wish to pursue a master’s degree. The Faculty of Education will be responsible for granting the master’s degree, while the Faculty of Medicine will manage the portion of the program relating to diplomas and module-related certificates. The courses themselves will be divided between the two faculties.
In the past, the Faculty of Education had offered a master’s program and a graduate diploma in health education in French, but these programs were suspended due to multiple challenges.Consequently, the Faculty of Medicine approached the Faculty of Education to discuss various possible scenarios. The faculties decided to work together on developing an updated version of the existing program, rather than opting for the creation of a new program.
In 2018, Francophone Affairs of the Faculty of Medicine began considering the idea of implementing a graduate studies program for physicians and other health professionals looking to develop their knowledge in health education. After various discussions with physicians and other professionals, as well as an environmental scan, it was possible to identify a number of factors justifying the establishment of such a program, including:
- The desire to raise the profile of education in French in the health field
- The fact that few clinicians are interested in a traditional master’s program, or are able to follow such a program
- The momentum around research in medical education in French arising from the creation of a new Research Chair in Medical Education as part of a collaboration between the University of Ottawa and the Institut du Savoir Montfort
- The Ontario government’s desire to expand the range of post-secondary programs in French The potential funding for such a program that could come from the federal government’s Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages
The Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Education are already active in their respective circles to raise awareness of the program and generate interest among the target clientele. Furthermore, each of the faculties is already working to develop new course offerings.
The vibrant community of Francophone professors and learners in the Faculty of Medicine, the vitality of research in medical education in French, and the increasing emphasis on the quality of education, all point to a promising future for this program.