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Creating a Province-Wide Resource

This section outlines some of the face-to-face meetings and retreats of the project. These working meetings served to orient new members, plan, gather input, build community and invigerate the project.  Between these meetings the work of the project continued via regular teleconferences, web-based communication tools and e-mail.


Summer Retreat 2002

Summer students are oriented to concepts of gender and health and the project during a three day retreat in Kingston. This retreat format was repeated with subsequent student groups.  The latter half of the retreat was used to set a work plan for the summer and a communications strategy.

First Curriculum Consultation Retreat, October 2002, Toronto

The first gender curriculum consultation meeting provided an opportunity for representatives from GIC-COFM, UE-COFM and all six schools to hear updates on the project, review examples of gender and health curricula and discuss local needs for implementation of gender and health curriculum. 

Summer Retreat 2003


A larger group of students, representing all six schools, were oriented to the project and began work on literature reviews of the specific areas of gender and health that will become the first modules.



First Site Coordinators Meeting, December 2003, Kingston

This was the first meeting of the site coordinator group:

  • University of Ottawa - Nahid Azad

  • Queen’s University - Dr. Rupa Patel

  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine - Sarah Strasser

  • University of Western Ontario - Debbie Penava

  • McMaster University - Lee-Anne Facey-Crowther

  • University of Toronto - Anna Day

After a  full orientation to project and brainstorming about how to integrate project into the medical school curriculum, the meeting focused on getting to one anothers interests, skills and vision for the project. 


Second Curriculum Consultation Retreat, January 2004, Toronto

Dr. Anna Jarvis, University of Toronto

The second consultation meeting of the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum Project was held in January 2004, at McLean House at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. This was also an opportunity for the site coordinators meet the day before the meeting to have some time to work together face-to-face.

This meeting provided an opportunity for UE and GIC-COFM and other key faculty to meet with the new site co-ordinators and the summer students.  Special invitees were the 3 chairs of research in Women’s Health: Carol Amaratunga from University of Ottawa, Dr. Beverly Leipert, from the University of Western Ontario and   Dr. Arlene Bierman from the University of Toronto.

This extended project group met together and planned for the future of the project and the integration of gender and health into the medical school curricula. Students, faculty and Deans from all six schools worked together to around the theme of ’planning for change’. 





Site Coordinators and Summer Students Retreat, June 2004, Kingston

Dr. Sarah Strasser, NOSM, and McMaster student Amy Andrews
In June 2004, the site coordinators and summer students met together in Kingston for a three day retreat. This gave the site coordinators an opportunity for a face to face meeting alone and to run an interactive workshop with the students exploring issues of gender in their medical education and the links between gender and health.  Role plays and "Gender Jeopardy" challenged the students to think about their experience of gender in their medical education and their clinical knowledge of the link between gender and health. Unstructured social time allowed for students and faculty from different schools to meet and get to know one another.  This combination of structured time and informal discussion allowed the working and mentoring relationships between faculty and students to begin to take shape.




Student retreat, end of summer 2004

Nadine Laraya, Queen’s student and Simon Lebrun from Tetraplex

A one day meeting at the end of the summer allowed for summer students and members of the project team to review the work from the summer and to have some closure on the studentship. 





Executive Meeting, April 2005, Ottawa

front: Dr. Janet Dollin - U of O, Linda Peterson UE-COFM back : Ms Allison Weinstein - COU, Dr. Shayna Watson - Project Coordiantor, Dr. Susan Phillips - GIC-COFM, Ms Mary-Kay Whittaker - COU, Dr. Cynthia Kenyon - UWO

This day-long meeting was an opportunity to review project progress.  The executive received a demonstration of the website, updates from the site coordinators and summer students.  Discussion of the future of the project included aspects of evaluation, project launch, presentation to COFM Deans and budget projections.








Site Coordinators and Summer Student Retreats,  2005


In the summer of 2005 there were three students working with the project. The first student meeting was a one day meeting in Ottawa. During this meeting the students met with Drs. Azad, Dollin and Watson, were oriented to the project, and discussed the approach we would take to our exploration of gender, poverty and health.  During the day we generated an initial list of themes, possible topics and worked on clarifying a life cycle approach.  We reviewed the pedagogical approach of the modules and instructional design.  We also spent time discussing the possibilities presented by the inclusion of video in the modules.  At the end of the meeting we were able to generate a  work plan for the summer.

In July a second meeting followed the same pattern as previous years and included the site coordinators Drs. Penava, Azad and Patel.

Student retreat, end of summer 2005

A third face to face meeting allowed the group to review some of the video content and to review the integration of the module elements.