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McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Newsmagazine — Volume 9, Issue 3, Fall 2015

Mastering public health

As an arts and science student at McMaster, Joyce Chan became involved in interviewing older Hamilton adults as part of the TAPESTRY (Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality) research project of the Department of Family Medicine.

She was fascinated by how many different aspects of lifestyle and health contributed to an individual's quality of life. Then, working at a Toronto hospital, she was translating academic research results into interventions to be used by both older adult patients and their physicians.

Now the 22-year-old is interested in developing a career of building a healthy community, and she is one of the inaugural class of 30 who have begun the new Master of Public Health Program of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, led by its Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CE&B).

The program builds on the department's renowned expertise in health policy analysis and health methodology research, and uses McMaster's educational approach of small group, self-directed learning. The program is scheduled to take up to two years full-time or four years if taken part-time.

There are 25 students taking the program full-time and five taking it part-time. They have a mix of backgrounds, with some already in health professions such as medicine and nursing, while others have a recent first degree in health sciences. The program offers either a thesis or practicum stream.