Data floating above a computer



UPLEARN, the University of Toronto's Practice- and Community-Based LEarning And Research Network, is a "living laboratory" dedicated to clinical studies and health services research in family medicine that will enhance the primary care experience for both patients and providers, optimize the use of resources, and improve health for all.

UPLEARN is led by the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, and is part of the Ontario-wide Primary Care Ontario Practice-based Learning And Research Network (POPLAR), a “network of networks” from six university Departments of Family Medicine and the Alliance for Healthier Communities in Ontario.

Our mission

As the backbone of the health system, family doctors and other primary care providers are embedded in their communities. Leveraging this connection, UPLEARN’s mission is to contribute to a Learning Health System by engaging patients, care providers, administrators, and policymakers in prioritizing research questions, supporting DFCM faculty to engage in research, and translating research findings into tangible changes in policy and care.

Areas of focus

Research excellence
Practice support and quality improvement
Health professional education
Policy evaluation and impact
Partnership with and service to our communities

What is a Learning Health System?

A Learning Health System is one “in which internal data and experience are systematically integrated with external evidence, and that knowledge is put into practice.”

What is a Primary Care Practice-Based Research and Learning Network (PBRLN)?

PBRLNs are groups of learning communities with diverse disciplinary perspectives and expertise that focus on improving delivery and quality of care. PBRLNs are linked to, and deeply embedded in, the communities they serve. As a result, they recognize and are strongly motivated to address inequities informed by a deep understanding of the social determinants of health, and the need to integrate biological, social, and psychological interventions.

Our history

UPLEARN builds on the experience and lessons learned from the University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network, and previous primary care research networks in the Toronto area. UPLEARN goes further to place a greater focus on learning – specifically in the areas of quality improvement, education, policy evaluation and community engagement.