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Concentration in Global Health and Social Accountability

The Faculty of Medicine offers a core global health curriculum to students through the UGME program and through graduate programs at the School of Epidemiology and Public Health. 

The Concentration in Global Health and Social Accountability is open to all Faculty of Medicine learners. The core of the updated concentration is comprised of a set of experiential learning activities that students can select and complete based on their specific interests. In response to student interest in the social determinants of health and how these relate to health inequities and healthcare needs of marginalized populations living in Canada, the scope of the concentration has been expanded to include social accountability, planetary health, and Indigenous health.   

The benefits of participating in the concentration include: 

  • Learning about diverse global health and social accountability issues and topics
  • Networking with peers and professionals who are working and studying in the field of global health and/or working to improve the health and health equity of marginalized populations in Canada
  • Gaining skills and experience to advance future career prospects in related fields

The format emphasizes participation in experiential learning activities and provides resources for students to undertake further optional self-directed learning.

The concentration may be completed over a period of 1-4 years.

The assessment entails both qualitative and quantitative components based on participation in activities and student reflections on their experiences.

Qualitative: At the end of each term, students are required to submit brief (maximum half-page) reflections on their experiences of activities they participated in as they relate to competencies in global health and social accountability*. The purpose of the written reflections is to emphasize self-reflection as a critical component of professional development, cultural competency and uptake of knowledge.

Quantitative: A points system is assigned for activities based on their duration. For example, 1 point is assigned to an activity that is 1 hour to half a day in duration, 2 points for a full day activity and so on (see point value chart below).

Type of Experience


Point Value



Global health or social accountability placement/elective


  • UGME minimum is 2 week/70 hours
  • MPH/PHRAM Practicums and MSc/PhD thesis research experiences can be counted towards this activity
  • PGME elective rotation
  20 hours with a group or organization related to global health, planetary health, social accountability or Indigenous health 10
  • UGME can complete with an Aesculapian society interest group related to global health, planetary health, social accountability, or Indigenous health
  • Graduate students can complete with uOttawa's CCGHR Student Chapter, CCGHR Students and Young Professionals (SYP) Group, or other relevant club or organization
  • PGME elective rotation


San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training


The training is approximately 8 hours


Annual SimEx humanitarian exercise

1 point/half day


Global Health Journal Club attendance




Global Health Journal Club presentation



Global Health Learning Network Seminar Series



Planetary Health Webinar Series 1/session
  Faculty of Medicine IGHO Symposium 2 (1-day conference)
  Conferences and workshops with themes in global health, planetary health, social accountability, or Indigenous health 1 point/half day


Presenting on a global health, planetary health, social accountability, or Indigenous health topic at a conference


NOTE: UGME mandatory Community Service Learning will not count toward the concentration.

  • Reflections should be completed within 2-week of the activity so that they are fresh in your mind
  • Separate 1-page reflections will be submitted for the global health placement experience and the 20 hours with a global health or social accountability organization
  • Submissions should be made via email to [email protected].

Requests for points toward activities not included in the above list may be considered. You must fill out the special request form before (pre-approval) or after (retroactive) your activity. You may not request points for activities that took place before your date of enrollment.

Learners who complete a minimum of 50 points, including reflections, will receive a certificate of achievement outlining the activities they participated in. This recognition can be listed on the student’s CV.

To register in the Concentration in Global Health and Social Accountability please complete the registration form.

Global health and social accountability education resources to support learning activities


“This optional concentration is an excellent opportunity for MD students to gain a deeper understanding of underserved and marginalized populations in a global context” — Dr. Melissa Forgie, Vice-Dean of UGME.

''I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to complete the uOttawa Global Health Concentration. The program was both interesting and relevant, and I would recommend it to any medical students in Ottawa who are interested in global health. It definitely confirmed my love for international and global health, and allowed me to develop a better understanding of the social determinants of health, population health, globalization and human rights in healthcare. The curriculum from this program, combined with my clinical experiences, has given me a strong foundation in global health that I hope to build upon for the rest of my career. I recognize that with the health concerns of our heterogeneous Canadian communities, adopting a culturally adapted, socially accountable approach to medicine is essential. What I've learned from this program will help me become the kind of doctor I want to be." Lissa Bair, MD 2020

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