Global Health

Global health is the study of health equity amongst all communities, and is a natural extension of Family Medicine.  The family doctors’ expertise in caring for people of all ages, cultures and circumstances can be applied anywhere in the world. From the disadvantaged in our own city, to northern communities in our own country, to the inhabitants of other continents, family doctors are uniquely positioned to make a difference for marginalized populations.

Our program aims to help eliminate health inequities both locally and globally by promoting excellence in primary health care education and delivery by engaging learners in global health teaching, scholarship and clinical care in order to assist communities with unmet health needs thereby promoting social accountability in their current and future practices.  Our values are based in collaboration, social justice, sustainability, accountability and respect.

The Enhanced Skills in Global Health PGY3 program is uniquely designed for each learner to give the resident the philosophical and practical experiences, skills, and networks to respond to the health inequities they are most passionate about.

Goals and Objectives

At the end of the program, you will have acquired the knowledge and skills to work with and advocate effectively for various underserved populations in Canada and abroad.

Program Structure

A career in Global Health requires flexibility and creativity. This program prepares you for a career in this field by combining training in clinical domains, along with an introduction to systemic issues and global health partnerships.

The resident will take an active role in designing their program in consultation with the Program Director.  There are opportunities for longitudinal experiences through research, clinical, public health and mentorship, as well as participating in block style rotations.  Residents may also choose to include certified or structured courses in their program.  A practicum, either overseas or with a vulnerable population within Canada, will allow residents to consolidate clinical skills while aiding in understanding project design and program implementation.  A scholarly project will also be completed.  Finally, you will maintain a connection to Family Medicine through a clinical half-day back.

Below you will find examples of block-style rotations, longitudinal experiences, practicum placements and courses that are available through the Global Health program.  This is just a starting point, and the Program Director will support you in seeking out training that meets your objectives.

Rotations and Longitudinal Experiences in Ottawa

HIV Primary Care;

  • Infectious Disease clinics (include tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, tropical medicine and pediatric and adult HIV clinics);
  • Inner City Medicine and Homeless Health;
  • Mental Health Care and Addictions;
  • New Canadians and Refugee Health Care;
  • Public Health (Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa Public Health, World Health Organization);
  • Prison Medicine;
  • City-Wide Global Health Journal Club;
  • Teaching opportunities for PGY 1/2 +/- undergraduate medical students;
  • Resident representative on Global Health Committee, Department of Family Medicine; and,
  • Half day back in a Family Medicine setting.

Residents are encouraged to seek out a primary care clinic or program in Ottawa that primarily serves a vulnerable or marginalized population. They will attend this clinic for one half-day per week during all blocks in Ottawa.

Global Health Courses

Scholarly Project

During the program you will contribute to the growing body of Global Health scholarly work.  You may choose to answer a clinical question or complete a literature review.  You may also undertake an educational, advocacy, needs assessment or program development project related to the community you will be spending your practicum with. 

The uOttawa Centre for Global Health can provide mentorship with this portion of your program, and you may even wish to align your research interests with their ongoing research.  There are also educational initiatives in Global Health based at the Bruyère Family Medicine Centre and Montfort Hospital you can connect with.

We will encourage our residents to publish their work or present at a Global Health Conference.


You will select 1 or 2 sites, either overseas or within Canada, to complete the practical clinical portion of the program. This may be done over 4-6 consecutive months or in shorter periods over the year- depending on your interests, the needs of the community, and possibly the structure of your scholarly project.  We emphasize involvement with sustainable health care programs, and avoid short-term medical missions in favour of integrating into ongoing projects with a strong local mandate. 


Your time in the program will be evaluated using standardized forms available through the Department of Family Medicine’s one45 system. Field notes allow us to collect direct observation evaluations.  Residents will also meet with the Program Director regularly throughout the residency period.

Before you apply

Consideration will be given to modification of this program to permit parallel work on a Masters of Public Health (MPH), Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) or similar program, or to initiate such during the PGY3 year.

Many of the elements of this program may come at an additional cost to the trainee (eg. Course tuition, travel costs).  Applicants should be mindful of this as they plan their year, and look for other possible funding sources such as grants or bursaries, including the Department of Family Medicine Global Health Travel Bursary.


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