L to r: M. Jean Hébert, President and CEO, CISSSO; Dr. Rania Gosselin-Papadopoulos, Academic Lead, FMD, Dr. Marion Koch, Academic Lead, Clerkship, and
Dr. Guylène Thériault, Academic Lead, Physicianship, Campus Outaouais; Dr. Gilles Brousseau, Assistant Dean, Medical Education, Outaouais Region; Dr. Beth Cummings, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education; Dr. Maxime Labelle, Academic Lead, TCP, Campus Outaouais and Dr. Tin Ngo‐Minh, Academic Lead, Francization, Campus Outaouais; Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine at McGill.


With two years to go before the much anticipated McGill Campus médical en Outaouais (CMO) opens its doors, some 80 clinicians, professors and program administrators gathered at the third annual McGill retreat in Gatineau to continue preparations for the launch of the satellite Faculty of Medicine in September 2020.

The May retreat began with words of welcome from M. Jean Hébert, President and CEO of the CISSSO (Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais) and Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine at McGill. Both spoke of their shared mission to build health care capacity in Outaouais and their excitement at this pivotal moment in their long-time collaborations. Dr. Gilles Brousseau, Assistant Dean, Medical Education, Outaouais Region, presented a project update, including a short video illustrating how the new campus is taking shape. Dr. Beth Cummings, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, provided an overview of McGill’s MDCM curriculum.

Five clinicians from the region appointed as academic leads

While the physical plans for the satellite campus take shape, so is the academic governance supporting the four MDCM program components onsite, which now includes:

  • Rania Gosselin-Papadopoulos, Academic Lead, Fundamentals of Medicine and Dentistry (FMD), Campus Outaouais
  • Maxime Labelle, Academic Lead, Transition to Clinical Practice (TCP), Campus Outaouais
  • Marion Koch, Academic Lead, Clerkship, Campus Outaouais
  • Guylène Thériault, Academic Lead, Physicianship, Campus Outaouais

 Also announced at the retreat, the person in charge of the francization of the program in the region:

Special guest speaker Dr. Pierre Gagné, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, shared insights from the field when he was vice-dean during the opening of their satellite campus in Mauricie. Dr. Gagné spoke about the final outcomes, including the social, human and economic benefits of establishing a campus in the region, as well as the best practices and lessons learned. Of utmost importance, according to Dr. Gagné, is teamwork that includes all key stakeholders – academics, health professionals and the population at large.

Following a presentation on the Admissions process for the Outaouais campus by Dr. Ana Sant’Anna, Assistant Dean, MDCM Admissions, and Kate Hooton, Manager of Medical Admissions, separate workshops on the MDCM and postdoctoral programs ensued. During these sessions, led by Dr. Miriam Boillat, Associate Dean, Faculty Development, participants shared their vision, as well as perceived challenges and hopes for the Campus.

The CMO “will increase our visibility as a high-calibre medical centre, attract those interested in research and facilitate the recruitment of physicians […]. It’s easier to retain a doctor who has studied in the region than to make a doctor move several years following his or her studies, explains Dr. Magali Bigras, Director of Education at the Groupe de médecine de famille universitaire (GMF-U) in Gatineau. Among the challenges, according to Dr. Bigras, is ensuring we have all the human resources needed. “The challenge, as explained earlier, is recruitment. It’s important we seek teachers in all clinical environments, not just the GMF-U or hospital milieus […], to reflect the full diversity of practice in Outaouais.”

“The primary challenge is changing the culture in Outaouais to become a “university” region, and I think this is a plus for the region,” adds Dr. Lionel-Ange Poungui, Department Supervisor and Director in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the CISSSO. According to Dr. Poungui, the new campus will “shine a spotlight on the region, bringing to it dynamism and new blood.”

Dr. Carol McConnery, a family doctor at the GMF-U in Gatineau, believes the new Campus brings “added value for the youth in the region and the population.” The possibility to complete their courses in medicine in the region is an advantage for students in Outaouais, especially for those on the outskirts or from disadvantaged milieus, she explains.

According to Senior Project Director Michel Leblanc, the next major milestones on the horizon include: beginning of construction, slated for fall 2018; the implementation of the McGill MDCM program in French; and the layout of the Campus, the Simulation Centre and the laboratories. While implementing a satellite campus is no easy task, the project is on track with respect to both timeline and budget.

Congratulations to the many individuals behind the scenes not already mentioned, who are working with energy and passion to ensure the success of these efforts, among them: Associate Vice-Principal and Vice-Dean (Health Affairs), Dr. Sam Benaroya; Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education, Dr. Armand Aalamian; Montreal campus Component Directors, Drs. Colin Chalk, Mélanie Mondou, Sabrina Fallavollita, and Don Boudreau and Joanna Micol Caron, as well as the retreat’s Organizing Committee, Christine Ménard, Guylène Thériault and Carole Lemieux.

And a big thank-you to the technical team onsite!

    • Isabelle Bourret
    • Karine Cousineau
    • Yolande Duguay
    • Sophie Pitre
    • Sébastien Veillette
    • Irène Veilleux

Related coverage

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Le Soleil | Les 180 gestes du Dr Nault

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TVA | Quand la pénurie de médecins a du positif

Le Droit | « L’Outaouais va mieux » selon Couillard


*Photos by Joni Dufour


June 8, 2018