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Broad engagement of faculty members and staff in research and scholarship supported by over $10 million in funding each year
Over 40,000 patients served by the McMaster Family Health Team in 2 clinical teaching units in Hamilton
We invite ideas
We foster an environment of curiosity and wonder. We offer faculty members resources and support to turn their wonderings into research that will answer important questions for all of us.
We are community connected
We have strong partnerships with primary care and health care partners to share knowledge, resources and extend programming where needed to the broader community.
We value primary care as an instrument of social change
Primary care is essential to continued health system improvement, person-centred care in communities, and optimal population health. We are committed to advocating for the essential role of primary care in the health care system.
Our Mission and Values
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Together we serve, teach, discover:
Primary care for better health and a brighter world
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We are committed to honouring and respecting others and ourselves
We practice creative and courageous inquiry and action
We engage one another with generous interdependence
MD, DMan, CCFP, FCFP
Dr. Cathy Risdon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster aiming to help reinvigorate a sustainable, inclusive learning and practice environment for current and future family medicine learners and providers. For Risdon, breaking down barriers and honouring different viewpoints is key to building a successful department capable of training top-quality family doctors and attracting skilled staff and faculty.
She was the first holder of the David Braley-Nancy Gordon Endowed Chair in Family Medicine, mandated to develop innovations in education, clinical service and research relating to the doctor-patient and interdisciplinary team relationships. She co-created the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine’s Professional Competency Curriculum, a two-year course to teach professionalism, communication skills, advocacy, ethics and reflective practice. Following the ten-year term of her Endowed Chair, she became Associate Chair, Academic within the Department of Family Medicine, as well as the co-lead for the McMaster Family Health Team.
Dr. Risdon has completed a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Change at the University of Hertfordshire where her research explored themes of excellence and improvisation within curriculum design and implementation. She has conducted training and consultations across North America for primary care and community-based agencies wishing to improve their capacity for effective team and interprofessional collaborations. Her expertise in facilitation was used to design and deliver on the successful Hamilton Health Team submission. She is an expert in health system integration and primary care and is one of three Canadians who has been inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Communications in Healthcare in recognition of her contributions to curricular design and facilitation.
A McMaster graduate (class of ’92), Dr. Risdon’s clinical practice has included a varied inner-city population with a focus on vulnerable populations.
After more than 30 years in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster, Dr. Risdon is still amazed at her good fortune in working with such terrific people. “We have extraordinary people engaged in our mission of service, teaching, and discovery. It’s my privilege to do all that I can to help them thrive.”
MD, DMan, CCFP, FCFP
RN, BScN, MBA
Tracey Carr is the Executive Director of the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University, a capacity in which she provides leadership in the strategic and operational direction of education, research, clinical services and eHealth innovations of the Department. Tracey is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration in Health Services Management from McMaster.
In her career, Tracey has collaborated effectively with diverse stakeholders and demonstrated skill in facilitating changes in process across systems, academic institutions and health care organizations. She was a founding member of the Senior Executive Team of the Trillium Gift of Life Network, an agency established by the Province of Ontario to promote and facilitate increased organ and tissue donation. As Administrative Director of McMaster’s School of Nursing, she was instrumental in strengthening collaboration within the Nursing Education Consortium comprised of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College.
Since joining the Department of Family Medicine in 2010, Tracey’s leadership has been integral to its success through a time of great expansion in both education and research, and substantial changes in the local health system. In addition to optimizing the Department’s infrastructure and strengthening operations across all domains and sites, she has been a key leader in Health TAPESTRY and local care integration initiatives (e.g. Health Links and more recently the Hamilton Health Team). Tracey brings a strong voice and skill-set in digital health to system transformation opportunities, and is the Department’s primary liaison with industry partners collaborating on Family Medicine’s digital health innovations. These include:
- OSCAR, one of the most highly-adopted EMRs in Canada;
- CP@Clinic and CP@Home, technologies supporting the clinically proven Community Paramedicine Program led by Dr. Gina Agarwal;
- TaperMD, a tool supporting the proven approach of deprescribing led by Dr. Dee Mangin;
- kindredPHR, a platform designed to enable each person to have their own customizable space within an expanding digital health ecosystem in which they can connect the people and information that matter most to their health from their perspective; and
- FAST (Flu Automated Surveillance Tool), a tool integrated with OSCAR to facilitate capture of flu surveillance data that has been proven to mirror actual incidence of flu in the community.
Tracey believes passionately in the transformative potential of people working together for a common purpose. Her professional background in health and business administration, her leadership experience, and her skill in conceptualizing and implementing solutions to health and health system needs, together, enable her to make vital contributions to our Department, University and community.
BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Sarah Kinzie is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. She is currently the Postgraduate Program Director for Family Medicine, a position she has held since 2015.
Dr. Kinzie joined the Department of Family Medicine in January 2000 after completing her undergraduate and postgraduate medical training here at McMaster University. She practices at Stonechurch Family Health Centre where she provides comprehensive care for a diverse patient population, in an interprofessional team-based model of care. Dr. Kinzie provided full-care obstetrics and neonatal care during her first 12 years in practice, and remains passionate about women’s health. Other areas of clinical interest include palliative care as well as home-based care for her frail elderly patients.
Dr. Kinzie’s primary academic focus lies in postgraduate medical education. As the former Hamilton Site Director (2009-2015), she led a number of curriculum innovations, including development of a unique, family medicine-led Maternal Child rotation for Hamilton residents, focused on interprofessional teaching of a comprehensive family medicine skill set in a family-centred model of care. Dr. Kinzie was also responsible for the creation of “Block 7”, an innovative, common, integrated Family Medicine-Academic block for all family medicine residents.
From 2005-2015, Dr. Kinzie served as National Director of the Residency Practice-Based Learning Program, (a program administered by the McMaster-affiliated, non-profit Foundation for Medical Practice Education). That involvement supported numerous research and faculty development initiatives that explore how physicians learn and change, with a focus on supporting the transition from residency to practice.
In her current role as Postgraduate Program Director, Dr. Kinzie oversees the training of over 200 family medicine residents distributed across 12 sites. In addition to curriculum development, her primary academic interests include relationship-centred care and teaching, effective learning and remediation strategies, and professional identity development.
BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Associate Chair, Education
MD, MPH, CCFP, FCFP
Dale Guenter completed medical school at University of Calgary, internship at Dalhousie, and Master of Public Health at Harvard. He joined the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster in 1999, at North Hamilton Community Health Centre, following several years as a family physician in the Canadian Arctic and in Calgary’s inner city. He developed a lasting collaboration with Ateneo de Zamboanga University in Philippines starting 1997, assisting with problem-based learning curriculum and a new Master of Public Health program. Dr. Guenter co-founded the Shelter Health Network in Hamilton as one part of a health care solution for people whose lives do not fit the mould of traditional medical models, and was the founding primary care lead for the Hamilton Health Links initiative. He joined McMaster Family Practice in 2006, and served as medical co-director from 2008-2016. He is a founding faculty member for the Master of Public Health program at McMaster, which started in 2014.
Dr. Guenter’s primary interest is in exploring and delivering novel approaches to health care that that will result in a more effective experience of healing. His research, teaching and clinical work are focused on people affected by HIV, mental health and addiction, chronic pain, frailty and end of life concerns. His work takes place through community partnerships, collaborations between public health and primary care, improved communication skills, and reflection-in-practice.
MD, MPH, CCFP, FCFP
Faculty Experience Director
BSc., MD, CCFP, FCFP
Associate Professor, Chair Pre-Clerkship Undergraduate Medical Program, Department Family Medicine Faculty Development Director
Dr. Bracken has been with the Department of Family Medicine since 2006 after working as a community based comprehensive care family physician for many years. Her desire to promote the career and calling of Family Medicine drives her focus on undergraduate medical education as an opportunity to impact learning and professional identity formation. Dr. Bracken has held several leadership roles in the department notably Maternity Center Director, Enhanced Skills Director, and Undergraduate Director including Clerkship. In this latter role, she revised the FM clerkship tutorials into an eLearning pathway using adult learning theory and incorporating technology enhanced learning. She is now moving into new leadership roles both in the department and in the undergraduate medical program.
Apart from these scholarly interests and leadership roles, Dr. Bracken enjoys the promotion of Women’s Health care along with the concept of wellness and resilience both nationally and internationally and continues to work toward true reconciliation and the dismantling of the many systems of oppression and racism in both the learning and provision of health care both in Canada and internationally.
Special Interests: Optimal clinical learning environments, promotion of knowledge translation using learning psychology and technology assisted innovation, resilience and wellbeing over the course of medical education.
BSc., MD, CCFP, FCFP
Faculty Development Director
Chair Pre-Clerkship, DeGroote School of Medicine
The McMaster University Department of Family Medicine is committed to healing and strengthening relationship with Indigenous Peoples and communities, to ensuring all aspects of our work are culturally safe and reflect awareness of Indigenous history and experience, and to living in accordance with the Two-Row Wampum Agreement and the core principle of “nothing about us without us”. This commitment is expressed in many ways, guided by Indigenous faculty members in DFM and colleagues in the Indigenous Health Learning Lodge of the Faculty of Health Sciences (IHLL). Some examples include:
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Indigenous Teaching Through Art Program
We have offered an experiential learning program that was co-designed and co-delivered by Indigenous and settler faculty members in DFM to all staff and full-time faculty. The program’s purpose is to share knowledge about Indigenous history and experience in Southern Ontario and Canada as one step on the journey of truth and reconciliation.
Creation of Leadership Structure and Roles for Indigenous Health in DFM
Through strengthening relationship between DFM and IHLL, and with leadership from Dr. Karen Hill, we are co-creating terms of reference for an Indigenous Health Committee in DFM, with two key leadership roles to lead Indigenous Health in the department (Indigenous Health Knowledge Carrier and Indigenous Health Steward).
Indigenous-led Culture of Safety Circles in Curriculum
We are offering family medicine residents the opportunity to have a direct experience of the circle process that is a central Indigenous practice, facilitated by Dr. Karen Hill with a focus on cultural safety.
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Indigenous Health Fund
DFM has invested $1,000,000 in an endowment to support Indigenous Health priorities defined and overseen by the DFM Indigenous Health Committee in collaboration with the IHLL. The endowment in perpetuity signals DFM’s unwavering and unchanging commitment to the full journey of reconciliation, and to returning to relationship with Indigenous Peoples in alignment with the Two-Row Wampum. Initial priorities for the fund are:
- integration of Indigenous wisdom and ways into primary care;
- enabling DFM services and programs to fulfill commitment to truth and reconciliation, and to reflect the Two-Row Wampum agreement in words, processes and actions; and
- leadership and support for the emerging role of the Indigenous primary care physician, including sustainability.
Collaboration and Allyship with Indigenous Leaders of Biindigen Well-Being Centre
We are in relationship with leaders of De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre (“DAHC”), Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services to support realization of their vision for transformative Indigenous health and community services. We are also joining with DAHC in co-creating an integrated primary care clinic serving Indigenous People as well as settler members of the surrounding community, and will jointly govern the clinic in accordance with the Two-Row Wampum Agreement and the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Agreement.
Indigenous Health Learning Lodge Learn More
The Indigenous Health Learning Lodge (IHLL) works alongside the Faculty of Health Sciences towards creating a learning environment that is culturally safe – working with humility to enable sustainable systems of change and to advance the work around the concepts of truth, reconciliation, and anti-colonization embracing all aspects of Indigenous health and well-being.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The Department of Family Medicine is committed to working through an EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), ARAO (anti-racism & anti-oppression) and Indigenous reconciliations lens. We aim to create and sustain a culture that values diverse interests, needs lived experiences and social identities across equity-deserving communities. In partnership with our leadership, department members and the broader community, we champion a collective effort towards a cultural shift that embraces disruption and dismantling of systems and structures of oppression. This work is lead and enabled by our full-time EDI and Anti-Racism Partner, a role we established in 2021 in collaboration with McMaster’s Equity and Inclusion Office.
We strongly value interdisciplinary collaboration across the department and continue working towards fostering an environment where all our staff, faculty and learners are active agents of transformative change. Through our policies, practices, and programs we have made significant efforts in embedding equity, diversity and inclusion at every level and domain of the department.
In 2021-22, we had 750 attendees for 12 educational events, workshops, and training across the department. We prioritized the facilitation of learning and unlearning opportunities and continue to develop innovative, action-oriented approaches to education and training. Our department also challenged ourselves when reviewing the CaRMS process and implemented the first EDI-specific question within our interview stations. Training 242 file reviewers and interviewers on implicit bias, we impacted 626 applicants in our 2022 CaRMS process.
Department of Family Medicine
Anti-Racism Collaborative Learn More
The DFM Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) is a community of practice that aims to sustain a safe, brave and inclusive environment for all Indigenous, Black and racialized folks within and outside of the department.
Anti-Racism Collaborative - Learn More
The DFM Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) is a community of practice that aims to sustain a safe, brave and inclusive environment for all Indigenous, Black and racialized folks within and outside of the department. With a commitment to working within an anti-oppressive and anti-racist framework, the ARC prioritizes 5 core pillars: consultation, advocacy, outreach, education and evaluation. Working with leadership, department members and the community, the ARC supports, guides and leads collective efforts toward a cultural shift that embraces disruption and dismantling of systems and structures of oppression.
The ARC provides a safe and accountable space to raise concerns, issues and experiences of racism and to center the voices and lived experiences of Indigenous, Black and racialized staff, faculty and learners across the Department of Family Medicine. A core objective of this group is to advocate for increased diversity at all levels and to explore how DFM can address the wider issue of racism in medicine, while working with non-racialized department members to provide education and training for all DFM members to foster an anti-racism culture.
Racialized Community of Support Learn More
The Racialized Community of Support (RCS) is a support space for all self-identifying Indigenous, Black and/or racialized staff and faculty.
Racialized Community of Support - Learn More
The Racialized Community of Support (RCS) is a support space for all self-identifying Indigenous, Black and/or racialized staff and faculty. This support space exists in response to the heavy burden that many Indigenous, Black and/or racialized faculty and staff carry from the marginalization, isolation and under-representation often felt when navigating both professional and personal spaces. It seeks to be a space for members to alleviate the mental, physical and emotional strain that derives from burnout and cultural taxation.
This group aims to provide confidential peer support to Indigenous, Black and/or racialized faculty and staff in a safe and respectful environment. This may take the shape of sharing lived experiences, expressing concerns and needs, identifying challenges faced, confiding about incidents of racism, seeking advice and peer support, or building a community of trust and understanding. Through these processes, members may develop skills and language to help navigate the daily experiences of being a Black, Indigenous and/or racialized member of a historically white, colonial space and in turn foster both collective and individual well-being and a sense of belonging.
Mentoring for Inclusive Excellence (In Progress) Learn More
The Mentoring for Inclusive Excellence program aims to provide the support, guidance and facilitation faculty require to develop and maintain a professional identity while successfully navigating and advancing on their career path.
Mentoring for Inclusive Excellence (In Progress) - Learn More
There is growing recognition of the importance and need for diversity at all levels of academic medicine. Unfortunately, differential attainment of equity deserving individuals, particularly those who are Indigenous, Black and/or racialized, remains a significant barrier to achieving this goal. Intentional and skilled mentorship is a key protective factor that can help racialized and other equity deserving faculty advance in their careers at the benefit of both the individual and the organization.
The Mentoring for Inclusive Excellence program aims to provide the support, guidance and facilitation faculty require to develop and maintain a professional identity while successfully navigating and advancing on their career path. By grounding training for mentors in anti-racism and anti-oppression principles, the program aspires to foster inclusive excellence at all levels of the department. The aim of the program is to support all junior and mid-level faculty along the continuum of their academic journey, facilitate career development, motivate and enhance teaching, scholarly and leadership competencies and provide a road map for the mentee to guide their continuing professional development.
A consultation process is currently underway to inform the creation of a Multi-Faith Space at our main site – David Braley Health Sciences Centre. The hope is for this to be a space for folks across all religious and spiritual faith backgrounds to comfortably and respectfully engage in prayer, reflection, meditation etc., throughout the work day as needed.
Faculty of Health Sciences
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenous Reconciliation Committee (EDI-IRC)
The (FHS) EDI-IRC is one of the faculty’s strategies to advance Inclusive Excellence. Its mandate is to highlight and dismantle oppressive and inequitable institutional practices and policies which, although often invisible, serve to reinforce inequities and impede inclusive excellence. The Committee’s membership consists of Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff, learners and faculty who believe that critical allyship, both personal and institutional, are fundamental to the advancement of Inclusive Excellence within the FHS. The Committee serves to advise the Dean and Vice-President, FHS and senior leadership within the Faculty of Health Sciences on related EDI and Indigenous equity concepts, issues and initiatives within the faculty.
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Equity & Inclusion Office Learn More
The Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) is a central resource where expertise is proactively drawn upon by administrators, faculty, staff, and students: to advance unit-specific and institutional equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility goals; to enact inclusive excellence principles; and to establish respectful living, learning, and working environments that are free from harassment and discrimination, and sexual violence including through timely and procedurally fair investigative and alternative dispute resolution processes.
Equity & Inclusion Office - Learn More
The EIO provides programs and services accessible to all students, staff and faculty in the following areas:
- Human Rights and Dispute Resolution
- Inclusion and Anti-Racism Education
- Accessibility Program
- Sexual Violence and Prevention Response
To learn more about the EIO: https://equity.mcmaster.ca/
African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University Learn More
The African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University (ACFAM) was founded in 2010 as a response to the increasing diversity among the student population, recognizing that students from diverse equity-deserving groups benefit greatly and have a richer educational experience by having a diverse complement of instructors. This faculty association acts as both a professional network and a community of support for self-identifying Black faculty members and provides a coaching and development program for incoming Black scholars called Thrive.
African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University - Learn More
ACFAM’s objectives also include:
- Raising awareness about the shortage of Black academics at McMaster and other Canadian universities and encourage hiring faculty of Black and other diverse communities.
- Providing an organizational base for networking, promotion and advancement of Black academics at McMaster
- Fostering academic and research collaborations among our members
- Mentoring and supporting Black undergraduate and graduate students at McMaster.
To learn more about ACFAM: https://acfam.mcmaster.ca/
Employment Resource Group for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Staff Learn More
The Employment Resource Group (ERG) for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Staff (BIRS), is open to any McMaster staff member who identifies as a member of a Black, Indigenous and/or Racialized community. It has been established to contribute to mutually beneficial individual and institutional goals.
Employment Resource Group for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Staff - Learn More
- Improve relationships and coalition building opportunities within and across staff communities.
- Amplify the voices of staff members in relation to issues and needs elevated for institutional attention.
- Support the acquisition of knowledge, skills, confidence, and networks to facilitate staff career growth.
- Increase staff awareness of and ability to navigate institutional.
- Increase the sense of connectedness, belonging and empowerment reported by staff.
- Improve institutional awareness of staff experiences and responsiveness to staff issues.
- Offer more race-conscious professional development and leadership advancement opportunities.
- Enhance organizational strategy alignment with anti-racist principles and practices.
President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community Learn More
The President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) identifies and anticipates issues affecting equity-seeking communities (including but not limited to members of racialized communities, newcomers and refugees, members of diverse faith communities, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+-identified individuals and women) both within the University and relevant to those seeking access to the University, and advise the President on such issues. PACBIC will be referring to the Indigenous Education Council (IEC) for direction on First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) issues.
Newsletters and Publications
Across the Department, we have several regular publications. These publications highlight our people, our expertise and the impact we have within our communities. If you have ideas for publications that you’d like to see, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
DFM Weekly Newsletters
- June 30, 2021
- June 23, 2021
- June 16, 2021
- June 9, 2021
- June 2, 2021
- June 1 (Chair’s Corner – Every Child Matters)