Integrating Education into the Hospital: The Michener-UHN Integration
THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE 2015-2016 ANNUAL REPORT.
At the beginning of this year, Canada’s largest education institution for health sciences and Canada’s largest hospital network teamed up to improve education and training for health professionals. The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences (Michener) and the University Health Network (UHN) have integrated to form a unique partnership that will train health professionals to work in a fast-changing clinical environment with expertise in the latest clinical technologies and practices.
The undergraduate Medical Radiation Sciences program (MRS) at UTDRO was launched in 1999 as a joint partnership between the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences (now known as the Michener Institute of Education at UHN). Over the last 17 years, this program has graduated over 1,500 health professionals to work in radiation therapy, radiological technology and nuclear medicine.
For the current cohort of MRS students, the Michener-UHN merger will have little immediate impact. Their classes will continue to be held at the Michener Institute and the University, with clinical placements across Ontario. The biggest change will be seen in the coming years as the program seeks to leverage the integration to build a curriculum that will address the future needs of the professions. Cate Palmer, Director of the MRS Program, explains that “the integration between UHN and Michener, along with the University, gives us an ideal opportunity to reevaluate how we deliver education to the MRS students. Establishing new partnerships with clinicians across UHN, such as the Joint Department of Medical Imaging, will help us inform an evidence and practice-based curriculum.”
The integration will also benefit practicing Medical Radiation Technologists/Therapists who want to learn new techniques and technologies or refresh their knowledge base. With a renewed view of the continuing education portfolio, practicing professionals will have a plethora of options and opportunities.
“Embedding a health sciences education institute within a hospital is ground-breaking, and is first of its kind in Canada,” said Fiona Cherryman, Senior Director of Academic Programs at the Michener Institute. “The MRS students will have a greater opportunity to learn from and with the health care professionals in the clinical environment.”
In an online statement, the leadership team at Michener recognized that this integration will have a positive effect on patients. “By having a hospital and a health education institution working so closely, we will be much better able to prepare tomorrow’s workforce,” said Cliff Nordal, Chair of the UHN Board Education Committee. “It’s a natural evolution for an organization that has always existed to tackle the health problems of the day. Preparing graduates who work well in fast-changing clinical environments and have mastered the latest technologies will benefit the entire province.”
More information about the integration can be found on the Michener website: michener.ca.