May 17, 2021

Innovation thrives within new precision health program

Job-ready specializations in health care bridge scientific discovery and commercialization; application deadline June 30

A first-of-its kind University of Calgary program embracing innovation at the vanguard of health care is welcoming people from all disciplines who want to become impactful agents of change.

The application deadline for the new precision health program that brings together future leaders, entrepreneurs and educators with the goal of improving health care is June 30. The program gets underway this autumn.

“You don’t need to be strictly from a health background, as we are welcoming applications from all disciplines in particular specializations,” says Dr. Beverly Adams, MD, senior associate dean of education, Cumming School of Medicine. “We’re providing an exciting, innovative and accessible curriculum that is available only at the Cumming School of Medicine.”

The transdisciplinary precision health program will bring together specialists from diverse backgrounds — including business, education, and engineering — with health-care professionals.

In an exciting development, the Ministry of Advanced Education has approved a master’s degree being made available in the precision health program. So, the entire program is stackable, meaning that students who complete the one-year graduate certificate program can earn credit toward the graduate diploma and then move on to a master’s degree.

The program’s four streams of study include two fresh areas of specialization. These are Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Health Professions Education Leadership. The specialties will provide students with experiential learning and practical, job-ready skills to accelerate careers.

Discover the Entrepreneurship and Innovation specialization

Dr. Oleksiy Osiyevskyy, PhD, associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Haskayne School of Business, says the program can be a vibrant bridge between scientific discovery and commercialization, enabling forward-thinking entrepreneurs to help change the world for the better through health-care advancements. 

“All the major breakthroughs in human history have happened thanks to agents of change,” says Osiyevskyy. “Without successful entrepreneurial processes and their champions, the best ideas and health-care inventions remain merely ideas.”

“For example, the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 later required the vision and 16 years of continuous efforts of Howard Florey and his colleagues at Oxford University to realize its potential as a life-saving drug and pave the way for its manufacture and use on a large scale,” says Osiyevskyy. “In other words, implementing health-care innovations is as important as the initial discoveries, and the commercialization process requires specific skills, knowledge and leadership.”

Challenged to think entrepreneurially

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialization provides a holistic and hands-on approach and will equip health-care innovators with the necessary knowledge, experience and professional contacts to make sure their ideas get stakeholder support and reach successful implementations, says Osiyevskyy.

Leaders in the precision health program will be challenged to think entrepreneurially. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialization trains health professionals in the design, analysis, implementation and evaluation of precision health innovation projects, within the context of new ventures or large health-care systems.

Health-care sector jobs related to this specialization include:

  • business analyst
  • product manager
  • program manager
  • enterprise services development manager
  • product technical specialist, and many more.

Explore the Health Professions Education Leadership specialization

The Health Professions Education Leadership specialization is a highly practical program with an emphasis on developing skills in overlooked but critical areas, such as accreditation and curricular negotiation.

Students will take part in experiential learning and advance their leadership skills, which is crucial for the creation and oversight of educational initiatives.

“Our program guides students in using cognitive, educational and leadership science to confidently deliver on great educational initiatives and accelerate their careers in leading health professions education,” says Dr. David Keegan, MD, associate dean, Office of Faculty Development and Performance, and associate professor, family medicine, Cumming School of Medicine.

Learners specializing in this specialization will have a strong foundation to develop clinician curricula, adapt their teaching practices and lead new education initiatives in a precision health context.

Jobs related to this specialization include:

  • leadership roles in designing and delivering curriculum for health professionals, with a particular focus on precision health
  • for someone from a master’s degree from a different discipline, a precision health certificate or diploma would expand their experience to include formal training of health professional education
  • this would position graduates to successfully fulfill roles in leading, managing and developing health professional curriculum

Learn more about the specializations in the precision health program and apply now:

Canadian Innovation Week at UCalgary  
As part of UCalgary’s partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation, we are celebrating Canadian Innovation Week. Join UCalgary experts and researchers May 17-21, for a week of conversation, inspiration and ideas. Learn more. 

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