About the Primer on Population Health

In 2007, a group of teachers from Canadian medical schools met and formed a Public Health Educator’s Network (PHEN). They agreed that integrating public and population health concepts into clinical practice is essential to the provision of high quality health care. They also agreed on the need for a textbook to introduce these concepts to medical students. The text would would be freely available on the web and would cover the population health learning objectives of the Medical Council of Canada, the licensing body.

The first edition in 2010 was created collaboratively by PHEN members and helped to establish agreement on a syllabus for public and population health teaching. A second edition in 2016 incorporated feedback from readers; the current, third edition (2024) updates the public health content and reflects revised learning objectives from the Medical Council. While the Primer is tailored for medical students, it can also serve residency trainees in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, as well as students of other health care professions and clinicians interested in improving their knowledge.

First and second editions:
Denise Donovan, Université de Sherbrooke: Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick
Ian McDowell, University of Ottawa

Third edition:
Ian McDowell, University of Ottawa
Reed Morrison, Public Health Ontario and NOSM University
Nikhil Rajaram, University of Toronto.

Production and translation of the first edition of the Primer was funded through a contribution by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Office of Public Health Practice, Professional Development Division.

Support in kind for the second edition is gratefully acknowledged from the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau Brunswick, Université de Sherbrooke, and from the University of Ottawa.

The editors have relied throughout on administrative support from the AFMC to manage the production process and website development.

We invite your comments on the Primer and welcome suggestions for its improvement. Please email us at info@afmc.ca, attention Ian McDowell.

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