On May 13th, 85 members of the Department of Family Medicine and other departments across the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences gathered to attend the 9th annual McGill Family Medicine Research Symposium, organized by the Family Medicine Graduate Student Society. This year’s theme, Improving Sustainability in Primary Care, was highlighted by an enlightening keynote address and a multidisciplinary panel. The event was held at the Students’ Society of McGill University, University Centre and involved 16 oral presentations and 10 posters from medical students, research assistants, and undergraduate students, in addition to McGill’s graduate students. A big congratulations to the six prize winners who earned recognition for their quality presentations!


The symposium started with introductions to the various concentrations and programs offered in the Department of Family Medicine, including Medical Education, CIET-PRAM, Global Health, and Indigenous Health. The various program directors and their representatives were invited on stage to give an introductory elevator pitch about their programs, reflecting the diversity and versatility of offerings provided by the department.


Marion Dove, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, then shared her opening remarks and some thoughtful insights on what sustainable initiatives can look like within the Department, how this differs from the mainstream definition of sustainability, and what practical actions we might take within the primary care context as both patients and providers to create meaningful impact.


Following the opening remarks, Professor Amalia M. Issa (left photo), co-editor of the McGill Family Medicine Studies (MFMS) Journal, addressed the audience with a presentation entitled Health and Tech Collisions: Precision Medicine for Better Sustainability Decisions. The presentation led to an engaging question-and-answer period surrounding precision medicine, AI, and the implications of technological advancements on healthcare systems and healthcare delivery. Following the keynote address, Professor Machelle Wilchesky, co-editor of the MFMS Journal, along with Professor Issa, described the innovative ideas they will be bringing to the MFMS Journal, founded in 2006 by faculty members including the late Dr. Pierre Pluye and Dr. Roland Grad.


In addition to a variety of oral and poster presentations spanning an array of topics from queer and cultural identities to artificial intelligence and its place in healthcare, a multidisciplinary panel took part in a rich discussion on the topic of Improving Sustainability in Primary Care. Gina Costanzo (Director of Clinical Partnerships Office at the INgram School of Nursing), Jessica Sherman (Faculty Lecturer at the Ingram School of Nursing) and Justin Sanders (Director of Palliative Care McGill), spoke about their observations of sustainability practices within their respective roles. They also unpacked what it means to create a sustainable work environment at both personal and institutional levels, which is conducive to fostering positive attitudes towards of healthcare providers, and alleviating clinician burnout.


Thank you to the Symposium Organizing Committee, namely Raphaela Nikolopoulos, Nia Kang, Karen Wassef, Maysaloun Mokaddam, Yasmine Elmi, and Angeli Moonsee, all of the FMGSS executives, and the tremendous volunteers and peer-reviewers who helped organize the event, as well as the Department of Family Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences for their generous support. The day would not have been possible without those who contributed to making this event a huge success!


Here are some more photos from the event: