Social, Political and Scientific Issues in Family Medicine



The seminar series is intended to focus on both the principles of primary care the emerging issues in healthcare. Participants will be required to listen to online seminars and participate in student and guest speaker live seminars. The issues will generate discussion both online and during sessions on the social political and scientific issues that directly or indirectly influence primary care. An example of “social” factors would be: socioeconomic disparity in Ontario or globally. An example of “political” factors would be: the health care system in Ontario. An example of “scientific” factors would be: controversial areas in the medical literature. It is important to note that the seminar series is not intended to cover clinical topics per se unless such a presentation emphasizes the scientific debate around a particular clinical topic. The course focuses on an in-depth study of Ian McWhinney and Thomas Freeman’s acclaimed Textbook of Family Medicine.


For participants to analyze, synthesize and evaluate presentations on a variety of social, political and scientific issues in primary care and in doing so broaden their understanding of the forces that influence one’s ability to provide quality health care in Ontario, Canada and the rest of the world.


This is a blended course of both asynchronous online activities and synchronous class meetings either in person or on a video platform. The course is divided into 12 modules consisting of 2 weeks in each module. The course will run over two terms. Students are required to viewed and or attended a minimum of 40 seminar topics.

Week 1 of each module will contain 2 pre-recorded seminars, a quiz, and a chapter reading from the course textbook by Dr. Ian McWhinney, Text of Family Medicine. Week 2 will include a synchronous class meeting and a monthly discussion board online.


Assignments will consist of:

  • Module Quizzes
  • Student Presentations on the McWhinney book chapters including facilitated discussions
  • 3 Reflections
  • 5 Discussion Boards



Thomas R. Freeman. 2016. McWhinney's Textbook of Family Medicine, 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.



Participants must be licensed in a recognized health profession or a senior trainee therein.


Participants must be licensed in a recognized health profession or a senior trainee therein.