The University of Ottawa's faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, in collaboration with the faculties of Social Sciences, and Law (Common Law Section) and the Telfer School of Management offer a transdisciplinary doctoral program in population health, under the auspices of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS). The program is modeled around a framework which encompasses population health issues, determinants and causes of illness, design of multi-component interventions, health care delivery systems, and health policy. Unique in Canada, the program draws on a wide range of disciplines, both basic and applied. It brings together the insights of social, biological, clinical, organizational, and political sciences; and the strengths of quantitative and qualitative methods. Its transdisciplinary approach recognizes the inherent complexity of many health problems and seeks to assemble and mobilize all pertinent scientific and scholarly disciplines.
The population health doctoral program is closely linked to the University's Institute of Population Health, which brings together ten faculties within the University (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Medicine, Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences, Law (Common Law Section), Telfer School of Management, Engineering, Arts, and Education). The Institute is composed of fifteen research centres: Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre, Centre for Global Health, Centre for Multiple Interventions, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, CIET, Cochrane Health Equity Field and Campbell Equity Methods Group, Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group, EPOC, Family Medicine, GAP-Santé, Globalization and Health Equity, Immigrant & International Health, McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Réseau de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la santé des francophones en situation minoritaire (RISF), Women’s Health Research Unit.
The doctoral program is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of candidates, such as health professionals; epidemiologists and biostatisticians; social and behavioural scientists, health administrators, and lawyers with an interest in population health; environmental scientists interested in the health sector; biologists with an interest in human population health. Students are encouraged to apply the science of their individual background disciplines to issues of population health. They acquire a broad knowledge of population health through courses and the comprehensive examination, and pursue in-depth study in an area of specialization within the population health framework. The four fields of the program are the following: health determinants, global and local health inequities, health interventions and policies, and health risk and resiliency.
The population health doctoral program participates in one interdisciplinary initiative: the graduate diploma in health services and policy research. This program is suspended.
Population Health PhD Interdisciplinary Program
The PhD program has the following fields:
- Health determinants
- Global and local health inequities
- Health interventions and Policies
- Health Risk and Resiliency
This field studies the unequal distribution of health status of a population by examining the multiple determinants and their interactions as social, politic, physical environments; personal and collective health practices; individual capacity and coping skills; human biology; early childhood development; and health services.
Global and local health inequities
The study of health inequities, defined as disparities in health status that are avoidable and unfair, focuses on the higher burden of disease in developing countries, and on the impact of globalization processes on health within and amongst all countries.
Health Interventions and Policies/Interventions et politiques de santé
Focus on the examination of multi-level and intersectoral interventions to address population health issues and to reduce inequalities and inequities in health. The filed concentrates on the elaboration, planning, implementation and evaluation of different levels of interventions and policies.
Health Risk and Resiliency
Analyzes health risks from a broad spectrum of hazards, including those of technological (toxicants), environmental (extreme weather events), infectious (SARS), and social origin (bioterrorism). Examines how populations and decision makers understand and respond to risks, with particular attention to risk assessment, communication, and management.