July 10, 2024

Dr. David J. Price, founding dean for the SFU medical school

SURREY – A new medical school at Simon Fraser University (SFU) is moving forward with funding for space and operations, as well as a proposed three-year curriculum model and a founding dean.

The interim site is at the existing building space at SFU’s Surrey campus, as well as a leased space nearby. SFU will design, renovate and equip the spaces to accommodate classrooms, labs, and faculty and staff office space. The Province is supporting the medical school through $33.7 million in capital funding for interim space, alongside $27 million in operational funding through Budget 2024. This builds on a previous $14 million for startup and planning.

The medical school will focus on primary care and leverage the university’s strength in community engagement and strong partnerships with the First Nations Health Authority, Fraser Health Authority, other provincial health authorities and the practice community.

“I’m thrilled to celebrate this milestone for the School of Medicine and look forward to all it will accomplish for SFU, Surrey and our province,” said Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor, Simon Fraser University. “Everyone deserves health care that is effective, accessible, inclusive and culturally safe. We are working hard to build a school of medicine that will educate the next generation of physicians and make a difference for British Columbians in communities across the province.”

The proposed curriculum will follow a three-year, competency-based model, incorporating a minimum of 130 weeks of instruction. Collaboration, cultural safety and humility will be embedded throughout, along with First Nations and Métis knowledge systems and perspectives.

In May 2024, SFU’s senate and board of governors formally approved the establishment of a school of medicine. The school is working toward candidate status with the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, with the goal of preliminary accreditation by fall 2025. Upon successful completion of planned accreditation stages within this timeframe, the school will have approval to recruit its first class to start in summer 2026.

On July 4, 2024, SFU’s board approved Dr. David J. Price as the founding dean for the medical school. An alumnus of the UBC faculty of medicine, he practised comprehensive family medicine, including obstetrics and palliative care, in Vancouver for more than a decade. A nationally recognized leader in family medicine and primary care, he has held faculty and leadership roles in the department of family medicine at McMaster University since 2000.

The medical school at SFU is a complement to the more immediate work the Province is doing to train, recruit and retain more family physicians to meet the challenges people in British Columbia are facing.

Business Examiner Staff

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