McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Medical School to be sited with School of Pharmacy in Kitchener

Region supports new satellite medical school with $15 million
Published: May 4, 2006
Waterloo Model
School of Pharmacy at Waterloo
Robbie/Young + Wright Architects, Hariri Pontarini Architects

A satellite of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine will be built at the University of Waterloo (UW) Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener. Support for construction has been secured by a $15 million contribution by the Region of Waterloo.

This investment supports construction of a $34-million, 54,000-square-foot facility on the corner of King and Victoria streets. Besides classrooms and state-of-the-art technology for the medical students, there will be a family medicine teaching clinic. This facility will be co-located with UW’s School of Pharmacy, which is currently under construction.

"This Region has a tradition of making community investments which set it apart from many others " said Regional Chair Ken Seiling. "In the area of health care, it has long seen the value of supporting health care capital projects. This is one that will be looked on in future years as a key investment that was pivotal to the future health and prosperity of our people."

The Ontario government has put $8 million towards the capital costs. It will also pay the operating costs of the satellite medical school, estimated at $70 million over the next 10 years.

The McMaster satellite medical school will start with 15 students in September 2007 and grow to a complement of 90 within seven years. Physicians will be recruited to Waterloo Region to teach them and, by 2012, more than 140 students and residents will have a medical experience in Waterloo Region each year.

Gerry Thompson, associate vice-president of strategic initiatives at UW said: "These changes will have a noticeable effect in alleviating the shortage of physicians in this area."

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, the second-largest medical school in Ontario, produces physicians faster than other schools -- in three years rather than four. The school is world-renowned for its innovations in teaching doctors using a small group, problem-based learning style with early exposure to patients and community focus.

"The Region of Waterloo has proved its reputation for innovation and vision again with its support of this unique opportunity to locate the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine with a school of pharmacy," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and dean of the medical school. "This will be specifically beneficial to the community, as well as the province and Canada.

"We’ve been honoured by the warm welcome we’ve received from everyone in the Region of Waterloo."

The innovative project builds on Kitchener's $30-million commitment and gift of land to the University of Waterloo. The UW Health Sciences Campus is expected to attract a wide range of health professionals and address the need for expertise in health technology, health informatics, biosciences, population studies and biomedical engineering, while filling the urgent demand for more pharmacists and doctors in Ontario.

"Our partners are McMaster and the region, and we at the University of Waterloo, are committed to seeking excellence in all that we do," said David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo. "This innovative partnership demonstrates what a community can accomplish when its members seek to turn a unique situation into an opportunity."

Among the benefits for the community in Waterloo Region:

  • Locating a satellite medical school in Waterloo Region will improve attraction and retention of doctors to an under-serviced community. It is known that a high percentage of physicians tend to practice where they are trained.
  • McMaster University will offer its students a choice of campus based on preference and geographic background.
  • The development of a primary care clinic and specialist clinics across the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will improve community access to an integrated spectrum of health care services.
  • UW and McMaster are ready to collaborate in several integrated teaching opportunities, including some joint learning of the medical and pharmacy students.
  • A dynamic community with innovative thinking as its hallmark, along with a rapidly growing population, will allow for transformation of research advances and knowledge into health benefits, economic opportunities and improved health care.
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