Postgraduate Educational Series

The Quality and Innovation (Q&I) Program has led the way nationally in the development of a quality improvement (QI) curriculum for family medicine resident physicians. Over the last decade, we have trained hundreds of residents – and the faculty who teach them – in improvement methods and the nuances of applying them in primary care practice.

Since 2020, our curriculum has been freely available to support residents and faculty around the world to improve quality in primary care.

Our curriculum includes eight e-modules that integrate core content with relevant resources, references, videos and active learning elements. The curriculum includes modules on traditional QI elements such as the model for improvement, measurement and patient safety as well as foundational concepts including patient engagement, health equity and leading change. The modules are designed to be complemented by guided application including in-class sessions and a longitudinal practicum. 

We welcome teachers and learners to view and use our modules to advance the teaching and practice of QI in primary care. We are happy to provide consultation on adaptation/application of the curriculum for individual contexts. Please contact with comments or questions.

    Improving quality in primary care: an educational series for family medicine residents and learners

    Postgraduate educational series overview  Preview the modules 

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    Copyright: © 2021 DFCM - Department of Family & Community Medicine

    This educational material may be reproduced with the mutual understanding that materials and resources are for the sole purpose of family medicine resident/faculty education and with attribution provided according to the citation below. For all other uses, permission must be acquired from DFCM: please contact

    Learning objectives

    Designed to contribute to the goal of “Building Capability to Improve Quality in Primary Care”, the overall learning objectives of our postgraduate QI educational series are to:

    1. Demonstrate a commitment to improving quality for patients from a team, organization, and system perspective
    2. Engage in collaborative learning to continuously improve personal practice and contribute to collective improvements in practice
    3. Apply the science of improvement to improve systems of patient care
    4. Utilize data in various forms to improve the quality of patient care and optimize patient safety
    5. Advance quality care through collaboration and the engagement of others to improve quality at all levels of the health care system

    Citation & acknowledgements

    Citation: Patricia O’Brien, Tara Kiran. Improving quality in primary care — Improving quality in primary care: an educational series for family medicine residents and learners. Quality and Innovation Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto; Toronto, Canada, 2021.

    Acknowledgement: We would like to acknowledge Dr. Philip Ellison whose leadership enabled the design, development, and implementation of the inaugural quality improvement curriculum in 2011. Dr. Ellison’s vision of ‘advancing family medicine by living a quality culture’ continues to inspire our Program’s efforts to educate learners to improve quality in primary care.

    We also wish to acknowledge our Quality Improvement Program Directors at each of the fourteen DFCM academic sites, who through their teaching excellence and effective role-modelling have influenced hundreds of family residents since 2011 to envision a future where improving quality knowledge and skills are core to effective practice.

    A special thank you is offered to Mr. Brian Da Silva & Ms. Olivia Neale for the series design and presentation guidance; to Ms. Dana Arafeh, Ms. Laura Desveaux, Dr. Noah Ivers, Dr. Ritika Goel, Dr. Thuynga Pham, Dr. John Maxted, and Dr. Margarita Lam-Antoniades for guidance on selecting and integrating content and references for the patient engagement, measurement, improving equity and patient safety e-modules; to Ms. Lorri Zager for contributions to series design and content curation; and to Ms. Kirsten Eldridge for managing the many processes that comprise the development and maintenance of a longitudinal educational series.