McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences

McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster Uniersity Health Sciences entrance.jpg
Established 1974
Dean Dr. John G. Kelton
Students 5,000
Location Canada Hamilton, ON, Canada
Website Faculty of Health Sciences

The McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences is one of six faculties at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The faculty was established in 1974 to oversee the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Graduate programs in health sciences. Today, the Faculty of Health Sciences oversees 5,000 students, 770 full-time faculty, more than 1,800 part-time faculty, and 26 Canada Research Chairs.[1]



The faculty currently houses the following programs:

  • Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Rehabilitation Science
  • Midwifery Education Program
  • Physician Assistant Education Program
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Graduate Program in Biochemistry
  • Graduate Program in Medical Sciences
  • Graduate Program in Global Health
  • Graduate Program in Health Management
  • Graduate Program in Neuroscience
  • Health Policy PhD Program[2]


The faculty currently operate a number of facilities on the McMaster's main campus and around Ontario for both education and research. The faculty also operates its own library at the university, known as the Health Science Library. The Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, which houses the faculty's medical school also houses more than 250 scientists and McMaster's medical institutes including, the Centre for Function Genomics, Centre for Gene Therapeutics, Institute for Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Research, Robert E. Fitzhenry Vector Laboratory, Centre for Asthma and Allergy Research (Allergen) and North American Headquarters for West Nile studies.[3]

The faculty also operate two regional campses in St. Catharines, Ontario and Kitchener, Ontario. The campus in Kitchener, known as the Waterloo Regional Campus, shares facilities with the Health Sciences Campus of the University of Waterloo.[4] The campus in St. Catharines is located at Brock University's Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex.[5] Approximately 30 medical students in each year of the program attend each campus.[6] Those who apply to McMaster's School of Medicine are asked to rank their site choice (Hamilton, Niagara Region, Waterloo Region) from first to third, or no preference. Offers of admission to the medical school are made from a rank list irrespective of geographical preference. Subsequent to filling the positions, registrants to the class are offered a position based on their preference and geographical background. The offers given out by McMaster are binded to the assigned site.[6]

The faculty is also currently affiliated with two major academic hospital systems, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Combined, the two faculties operate ten hospitals in the Hamilton area, each used as teaching hospital by the faculty.[7] Norfolk General Hospital is the latest hospital to be affiliated with the faculty, becoming an affiliated teaching hospital with the university in 2009.[8]

Medical school

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is the university's medical school and is currently operated by the faculty. The school was initiated in 1969 and graduated its first students in May 1972. At present, 203 students are admitted to the program each year. The medical school receives twice the number of applications than other medical programs in Canada, with more than 4,500 applicants competing for 204 positions.[9] McMaster currently has more than 500 medical students and more than 700 residents working in 44 specialties. The school now operates in three campuses; the main campus in Hamilton, and two satellite campuses in Waterloo and Niagara. The Waterloo Regional Campus is in the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus of the University of Waterloo. The Niagara Regional Campus will be moving to the Brock University campus in 2011. Medical students rotate through larger teaching hospitals and smaller community hospitals from Brampton through Brantford and Niagara Falls. The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine has gained international recognition for groundbreaking medical and health science research. For five years in a row, McMaster has ranked second in Canada for biomedical and health care research revenues. In 2008-2009, Faculty investigators were overseeing $133 million a year in research, much of that research conducted by scientists and physicians who teach in the medical school.[10]

Educational influence

The medical school is a pioneer in its teaching and admissions philosophies through the Program for Educational Research and Development, renowned internationally for grounding educational practice in evidence.[11] McMaster created a revolution in health care training by pioneering the problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum, which has since influenced health care education worldwide. The instructional strategy focuses on student-driven learning, which occurs in groups, to foster critical thinking, higher retention, and stronger cognitive competencies including coping with uncertainty and communication skills. Most medical schools in Canada and more than 80% of medical schools in the United States now employ PBL in their curriculum, and many international universities are continuing to do to the same.[12]

In the early 1990s, the School of Medicine developed the personal progress index (PPI) as an objective method for assessing acquisition and retention of knowledge for students in the medical program. The PPI is administered at routine intervals to all students in the program, regardless of their level of training, and plots students' increases in scores as they move through the program. Students typically score under 15% on their first write, and increase 5-7% with each successive write. Students are able to monitor the changes in their scores and receive formative feedback based on a standardized score relative to the class mean. Due to the overwhelming success and research supporting the use of the PPI as an evaluation tool, it is now used in Canada, US, Europe, and Australia.[13]

In 2004, McMaster developed the multiple-mini interview to address long standing concerns over the standard panel interviews as being poor reflectors of performance in medical school.[14] This format uses short, independent assessments in a timed circuit to obtain aggregate scores in interpersonal skills, professionalism, ethical/moral judgment, and critical thinking to assess candidates. The MMI has consistently shown to have a higher predictive validity for future performance than traditional interviews.[15] By 2008, the MMI was being used as an admissions test for the majority of medical schools in Canada, Australia, and Israel, as well as other medical schools in the United States and Asia.

In 2010, McMaster began using a computer-based simulated test as an admissions tool at the pre-interview stage. This is an assessment of interpersonal and decision-making skills that is more reliable, and predicts much more validity than standard autobiographical submissions. The test several involves video clips lasting 1-2 minutes in length, prompted by situational challenges and self-descriptive questions.[16]


McMaster's Health Science program has consistently been ranked within the top 100 universities. In the 2011 Times Higher Education rankings of clinical, pre-clinical, and health universities, McMaster's Health Science program ranked 16th in the world and second in Canada.[17] The program placed 82nd in the world and fourth in the country in the U.S. News & World Report university rankings for life sciences and biomedicine.[18] In the field of clinical medicine and pharmacy, the ARWU in 2010 ranked the program 51st–75th in the world and third in Canada.[19]


In 2010, the university was ranked by High Impact Universities 25th out of 500 universities—second in the country—for research performance in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, and health sciences.[20] For five years in a row, McMaster has ranked second in Canada for biomedical and health care research revenues. In 2008–2009, Faculty investigators were overseeing $133 million a year in research, much of that research conducted by scientists and physicians who teach in the medical school.[21] For its 2010 rankings, HEEACT ranked McMaster 26th in the world and second on a national scale for scientific papers in clinical medicine.[22] The Faculty of Health Sciences operates several research institutes, including the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, the DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, and the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.[23][24][25] In November 2010, researchers at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute turned clumps of human skin into blood cells, which may help alleviate the shortage of blood donors.[26] A portion of Albert Einstein's brain is preserved and held for medical research at the McMaster brain bank. Researchers there have identified differences in his brain that may relate to his genius for spatial and mathematical thinking.[27]

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Tour of the Facilities". Faculty of Health Science. McMaster University. 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Waterloo Regional Campus". Faculty of Health Sciences. McMaster University. 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine celebrates Niagara partnerships". McMaster Daily News. Office of Public Relations, McMaster University. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  6. ^ a b McMaster University (2011). "Niagara and Waterloo Regional Campuses". McMaster University. McMaster University. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Affiliated Health Centres". Research@McMaster. McMaster University. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Norfolk General becomes teaching site". Faculty of Health Science. McMaster University. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Barrick MR, Mount MK. The Big 5 personality dimensions and job performance: a meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology 1991, 44:1-26.
  15. ^ Hofmeister M, Lockyer J, Crutcher R. The multiple mini-interview for selection of international medical graduates into family medicine residency education. Med Educ. 2009 Jun;43(6):573-9.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Top 50 Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health Universities". Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011. TSL Education Ltd. October 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "World's Best Universities: Life Sciences and Biomedicine". U.S. News & World Report 2010. U.S. News & World Report. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy – 2010". Academic Ranking of World Universities 2010. Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. August 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "2010 Faculty Rankings For Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacology, and Health Sciences". High Impact Universities. High Impact Universities. 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine". McMaster University. McMaster University. 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Clinical Medicine-Top 100". Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan. Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan. 2010. 
  23. ^ "Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute". McMaster University. McMaster University. 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  24. ^ "Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR)". McMaster University. McMaster University. 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  25. ^ "McMaster Stem Cell Cancer Research Institute". McMaster University. McMaster University. 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  26. ^ Ian Sample (8 November 2010). "Skin cells transformed into blood". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 
  27. ^ "Why size mattered for Einstein". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 18 June 1999. 

External links

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