Established in 2019, the Division of Education & Innovation (DEI) is a new Division in the Department of Medicine. It is comprised of clinician and non-clinician educators and has affiliated members from multiple Faculties within McMaster University. It is the first of its kind within Medicine Departments in Canada. This division brings together faculty members who are exploring innovative pedagogical approaches in health sciences education and/or using their work to generate socioeconomic value. DEI aims to be the medical school’s primary resource for those looking to innovate in their respective fields, maximize the impact of their teaching, and collaborate with like-minded professionals to benefit the future of education.
As part of these efforts, the division works closely with the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Education Research, Innovation, and Theory (MERIT) program, MGDII Health Innovation, Commercialization & Entrepreneurship initiative, the Integrated Biomedical Engineering program, Program for Faculty Development, MERIT and the MacPherson Institute.
The Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare was established to enhance innovation within the Faculty of Health Sciences, and support activities which otherwise would not have occurred. The first initiative was the Health Leadership Academy (HLA), a joint program between FHS and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, led by Dr. Michael Hartmann. The Health Leadership Academy (HLA) strives to have a transformative impact on global healthcare by nurturing a community of future leaders. These leaders will be prepared to succeed in a number of fields – from informing government policy to developing and supporting health innovations. The next initiative was the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). This activity, led by Dr. James MacKillop, is making a national and international impact. Specifically, CMCR curates EBM data concerning the use and misuse of cannabis, including its use in the management of pain.
Over the past four years, our major focus has been the Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Health Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (MGD Health ICE). This is a pan-faculty initiative, but much of its initial activity has occurred within the Division of Education and Innovation in the Department of Medicine. MGD Health Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (MGD Health ICE) is intended to support faculty, students, and staff who aspire to create innovative approaches, or products, to benefit and change health care. Both formal programming (degree-granting) and professional development (micro-credentials and certificates) educational content come together in a physical space called The Clinic @ Mac. The first educational activity developed was termed the Health Venture Program (HVP) and is led by Sarrah Lal, a member of the Division of Education and Innovation. This program helps senior students, faculty, and staff acquire the skills needed to be an entrepreneur. The Health Venture Program (HVP) is complemented by a pre-existing undergraduate degree program termed Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed), which includes a specialization in entrepreneurship called Health, Engineering Science Entrepreneurship (HESE). Dr. Anna Korol, also a member of the Division of Education and Innovation, is a lead educator within HESE.
These two streams of entrepreneurial education are complemented by a hospital-based, applied learning program called “Innovators in Scrubs”. The Innovators in Scrubs program is comprised of teams of senior students, who address important clinical problems under the leadership of a clinician-innovator. Some of the more successful Innovators in Scrubs teams progress to project development where they can access innovation coaches, mentors, and content experts within The Clinic @ Mac. The Clinic @ Mac, opening Summer 2020, is located on the ground floor of the FHS library. It is comprised of a large event/meeting space, several breakout rooms, a board room, and offices. This space will support HESE, HVP, Innovators, and Scrubs, and will serve as a hub for faculty, staff, students, and clinicians with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.