Global Health Partnerships

DFCM has extensive experience building primary care capacity in Canada and around the world. As recognized leaders in primary care, we bring a breadth of knowledge and practical expertise to our partnerships - and a deep commitment to collaboration and shared learning.

Our partnerships span the globe and guided by the following principles:

  • Collaboration: We work with our partners to develop partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
  • Respect: We respect the history, context and values of the communities in which we work.
  • Sustainability: We work with partners to build capacity so that programs and skills can be sustained and expanded
  • Responsiveness: We believe strongly that partnerships are learning experiences for all involved. Knowledge and experience flows in both directions.
  • Flexibility: We work with partners to adapt and customize programs to meet their needs. 

Our Partners


Partner Organization: Addis Ababa University

Goal: Capacity-building in Family Medicine Education

Project: Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Family Medicine (TAAAC-FM)

Description: The Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto (UofT) has supported Addis Ababa University in establishing Ethiopia’s first training program in Family Medicine (FM). After nearly five years of preparation, the program was launched on February 4, 2013. The introduction of FM in Ethiopia, where it had not previously existed, is expected to improve health outcomes by developing a new cadre of highly trained comprehensive care physicians. Since September 2012, the DFCM has supported an experienced Canadian family physician working in Addis Ababa in the role of TAAAC-FM program liaison. Other Canadian family physicians have contributed to this program including two physicians affiliated with CUSO and several DFCM faculty members who have worked in Addis Ababa for durations ranging from one to 5 months. Efforts to recruit another long term faculty member to assist with the program in Addis Ababa are ongoing. Canadian faculty have worked under the leadership of the Ethiopian residency program director and other Ethiopian faculty leads initially to prepare, and now to support the delivery of the program. Seven residents have completed the first year of the residency and will be the first graduates of the program in 2015. The second cohort of trainees began in February 2014. The DFCM has made a commitment to support up to 3 family medicine faculty members in Addis for the first 3 years of the program.


Partner organizations: Faculdade da Medicine Santa Marcelina (FASM- Sao Paolo) & Programa da Clínica da Família (PCF-Rio de Janeiro)

Goal: Capacity-building in Family Medicine Education and Systems Strengthening


FASM: The partnership of the DFCM with the Faculdade da Medicina Santa Marcelina (FASM) builds on nearly twenty years of collaboration between our department and various Brazilian partners. Our partnership with FASM includes a number of collaborative educational activities. Starting in 2014, FASM through its affiliated hospitals and health centres will host the six-month practicum of our Enhanced Skills program in Global Health and the Care of Vulnerable Populations. As of July 2014, FASM will also provide an elective in global family medicine for PGY2 in family medicine. Planning is currently under way for faculty collaboration specifically around Canadian resident supervision (at FASM), faculty development and enhancing the family medicine content of the undergraduate curriculum as FASM.

PCF: The DFCM has also recently engaged with PCF to explore potential areas of collaboration towards capacity-building and family medicine strengthening. PCF has invited the DFCM to send PGY2 in family medicine for electives in Rio and we expect our residents to travel in 2014. Potential collaboration in the areas of research and faculty development are currently underway. 


Partner Organization: Ministry of Health of Chile

Project: Chilean Interprofessional Program in Primary Care & Family Health

Target learners: Chilean primary care providers

Description: Since 1999, the Department of Family and Community Medicine has offered a 6 week training program in Toronto for Chilean primary care providers from various health disciplines. Participants have included midwives, family doctors, social workers, physiotherapists, dentists and nurses. The program focusses on the principles of primary care and of family health and on interdisciplinary teamwork. Over 150 health care professionals have participated in this program.



Partner Organisation: Roseau Health Centre

Project: Family Medicine Global Health Elective

Goal: To provide an opportunity for a comprehensive, community-based family medicine global health elective.

Description: May include visits to village clinics such as Soufriere, Scott’s Head, Pointe Michel, Mahaut, Massacre, or Laudat and visits to patients in the nursing home and/or prison. Supervision will be provided by Engish-speaking Dominican family physicians.

Collaborations and Consultations

We work with clinical, educational and and government leaders around the world to strengthen primary health care. We do this by collaborating and consulting to build capacity in academic infrastructure, primary care teams, curriculum development, and faculty development.


 The Center for Medical Institution Management of Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College