McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Doc on docs

McMaster's medical school focus of international documentary

Published: September 3, 2015

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University is the site for an international documentary about the best training of medical doctors.

Eos Films, a television production company from the U.K., has been on campus and in area hospitals to film all aspects of the program which pioneered small group, problem-based education for physicians and a candidate selection program that selects for communications, teamwork, problem-solving and ethical skills.

Eos Films has been commissioned to provide an six-part series, called 'The People's Health', about the universal challenges of providing good quality and affordable healthcare for Al Jazeera Media-Network, based in Qatar, and Companion (Beijing) Culture & Media Co., the largest Chinese documentary distribution company.

Each documentary is set in a different country and explores a different aspect of health care, such as providing primary care, providing remote rural health care and transforming health systems. Canada, McMaster and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine were chosen to illustrate excellent training of medical professionals.

"All over the world governments are tussling with the issue of affordable, universal health care — and some countries have achieved successes in aspects of their health systems," said Ingrid Falck, head of documentaries at Al Jazeera English.

"So we sent our teams in to see these projects first hand — to witness the blood, sweat and tears on the ground as well as meeting the managers, politicians and strategists. It presents a fascinating, personal insight into a critical global issue."

The TV series will be shown to a huge global audience, covered by the entire Al Jazeera Network and watched by tens of millions of people in China, which is going through the biggest health reform in its history.

"It's one thing to know we're training the next generation of superb physicians; it's another to have international attention that confirms the excellence of our medical school," said Dr. John Kelton, dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and dean and vice-president of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences.

The film crew followed medical students and residents through their learning and interviewed faculty over six weeks in 2014, and they are back for three weeks in August and September to finish up.

The series will be shown on Al Jazeera English in December 2015, and on Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera Arabic and other Al Jazeera Media-Network channels in 2016. It will be shown in China during the spring of 2016.  

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