The residency program is a medical postgraduate training program leading to Royal College certification as a specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (formerly Community Medicine).  This is the specialty that focuses on the health of populations, on prevention, health promotion and health protection, using epidemiology and data analysis as its basic science.

There are a number of career paths, including working in various levels of the public health system (regional, provincial, national or international), as a medical epidemiologist, in clinical preventive medicine, in academic medicine, or in health administration.

Saskatoon, where many of the placements are based, is an attractive and livable small city with a university strongly linked to the community.  The program includes placements in a number of other locations around the province to take full advantage of varied learning opportunities.

It is a new program, having started in the summer of 2011.


Program Director:  Dr. Cory Neudorf

                          Phone: 306-966-2276  

Program Coordinator: Koreen Skjonsby

                          Phone: 306-966-8752

Looking for more details about applying for a Public Health and Preventative Medicine residency position at University of Saskatchewan? 
Visit the CaRMS website at and search by University or by program to find out details about the program and the application process for Canadian graduates or international graduates.


The curriculum is designed to meet Royal College requirements for the specialty, with the usual length of training after medical school of 5 years of postgraduate medical education tailored to support the candidate's career goals, whether those are related to a role in the public health system, as a medical epidemiologist, in clinical preventive medicine, an academic setting or in administrative medicine.

Elective time will be used to tailor the training to a candidate's career goals.

In order to provide the best experience for learning, a number of mandatory placements are provided outside of Saskatoon, including the rural or northern public health placement, a rotation at the Ministry of Health in Regina, and a 2 month placement in Environmental Health at BC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. 

For candidates seeking to complete a Family Medicine residency within the Royal College program this will be the first of two years where the candidate is full time in the family medicine program. It is expected that one 4 week elective block in first year will be devoted to an orientation to public health, and that once a month the resident will participate in the academic half day of the PHPM program.

For other candidates not seeking to complete a Family Medicine residency the PGY1 year will consist of basic clinic placements to provide an appropriate background for the candidate's future career as a PHPM specialist.

Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
Provides content expertise in the area of epidemiology and epidemiologic methods during the program.  It also houses a master's degree program which is one option for the academic content of the residency program.  Staff in the department have a particular focus on qualitative data as well quantitative methods.

The School of Public Health
The School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan also provides an MPH program with a wide range of courses appropriate for the specialty.

The following table describes locations for the mandatory placements:

There numerous other sites for potential elective placements for residents, depending on their career plan. Some of these are described in the following table:

Program Strengths

The strengths of the program will be in helping residents learn how to function effectively as specialists in Public Health and Preventive Medicine within a integrated regionalized health care system, able to work in a public health department, and with other parts of the health care system.

The variety of public health experiences available in rural, northern, and urban settings as well as the provincial level will provide a well-balanced learning environment.  The small size of the program will also ensure a greater ability to exercise responsibility appropriate to the competence of individual residents as they progress through the program, and to adapt training to their career goals.

As well as being a good learning environment for educating public health "generalists" there are the academic resources to support other career goals in the specialty, whether that includes academic medicine, medical epidemiology, administrative medicine or a combination of clinical practice and public health work.

The University of Saskatchewan has a unique combination of academic units related to health issues, including a veterinary college, agriculture college, school of public health, school of the environment, school of public policy, and a world class vaccine development centre (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization).

Being embedded in a relatively small health care system, this program will provide residents with the opportunity to get to know first-hand the important components of the public health system.

Because it is a small program, during the first years we will be linking with other western program for joint learning experiences where possible, both for the learning opportunities and to enable residents to meet their peers.

For details about the program and application process:

For details about the specialty:

Biostatistics is the study of statistical techniques applied to medical, biological and agricultural data. Applications arise in areas such as public health, clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, health services, and occupational/environmental health.

The Biostatistics Program is a collaborative venture of the School of Public Health, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, and Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Through classroom participation, laboratory sessions, biostatistical consulting opportunities with core faculty members, and research, MSc and PhD students will have the opportunity to explore developments in theoretical statistics and the application of this theory in the life sciences. The Biostatistics Program provides students with opportunities to study and conduct research in such areas as:

  • Design and analysis of clinical trials;
  • Longitudinal data analysis;
  • Analysis of complex survey data;
  • Measurement error;
  • Survival analysis;
  • Computational statistics; and
  • Multivariate statistics.
Download Program Factsheet
Download MSc & PhD Program Checklist

Population health research is concerned with understanding the individual and collective factors that determine health and applying this knowledge to maintain and improve the health status of  populations and reduce inequities in health status between groups.

We add the term ‘community’ to reflect the historic emphasis of our field on the creation, protection, and promotion of health within the context of communities, which may be geographic or based on shared identity and social ties.

When applying to our program:

Masters and PhD students will be admitted ONLY in the Fall term. 

In order to be considered for Fall admission, we must have your complete application by January 15 of the same year.

Please note: you are responsible for ensuring that all application materials are received by the relevant deadline.
Students will be notified regarding their application by April 30.

MSc Program

The MSc program in Community and Population Health Science prepares students for academic careers, including pursuit of doctoral studies, or to work in a variety of research-intensive environments. Students will learn about community and population health concepts, theory, and research; develop basic skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods and project management; and gain hands-on experience in research through the completion of a thesis.

MSc Program Objectives

After completing this program, students will:

  • Understand the history, fundamental concepts, theories, and principles of community/population health and the wide range of research approaches used in this field;

  • Appreciate the importance of conducting research collaboratively, with researchers from different disciplines and with varied stakeholders, and have the basic skills needed to work effectively with diverse team members;

  • Value the application of knowledge to practical problems and be able to communicate effectively to varied audiences, including practitioners, policy makers, and community groups;

  • Appreciate the central importance of social justice and equity for community/population health;

  • Have the knowledge and skills needed to manage a research project (grant preparation; budgeting; financial management; ethics; reporting);

  • Be able to critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative community/population health research;

  • Be able to design and carry out a community/population health research project.

PhD Program

This PhD program in Community and Population Health Science is designed with considerable flexibility, recognizing that students come to the population health field with diverse backgrounds. This allows students, with their Advisory Committee, to create individualized programs that take into consideration their particular research interests and the areas in which they need additional development.

Through coursework and seminars, students will gain a more sophisticated understanding of community/population health theory and the research-policy-practice context. Designing and carrying out an independent research project provides an opportunity to further develop knowledge and skills around a specific problem. 

PhD Program Objectives

The objectives of the PhD program build on those of the MSc, with doctoral students focusing on the same general types of skills and knowledge as Master’s students, but at a higher level of complexity and sophistication. In particular, doctoral students will, by the completion of the program:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of the scholarship and research within the field of community and population health. Specifically, students will understand theoretical approaches underlying research, historical development of the field, and the current advances and topics of discourse within the field.

  • Demonstrate a high level of competency in a chosen research methodology, including the mastery of specific skills and techniques required for independent research and scholarly work, as well as conducting collaborative research across disciplines and settings and applying the results of research to policy and practice.

  • Be able to communicate information effectively to varied audiences and design and facilitate learning experiences in their particular field of expertise.

Centre for Integrative Medicine

The Integrative Health Seminar is intended to promote innovation in healthcare by building bridges between research, education, practice, and public policy across a wide spectrum of medical specialties and health-related disciplines. Furthermore, it is intended to create integrative dialogue between a wide range of medical disciplines, organizational functions, and health-related paradigms.

The seminar normally runs on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from late fall until early spring, and is held in the Sasktel Lecture Theatre in the Royal University Hospital Main Mall.

The audience typically includes physicians, nurses, and allied health providers, as well as researchers, managers, business and community leaders, and policy-makers from a wide spectrum of health-related disciplines.

Topics in recent years have included:

  • Nutritional approaches for the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions
  • Emotion work, emotional labour, and stress in the workplace
  • Planning and implementation of an integrative health centre
  • Integrative approaches for the treatment of menopause
  • Psychosocial strategies for the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate depression 

In September 2005, the University of Saskatchewan gave final approval to the establishment of the Betty-Ann and Wade Heggie Lectureship in Integrative Medicine, the purpose of which was to support the cost of lectures and/or other delivery methods, and to provide continuing education opportunities for faculty, residents, and practitioners in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. 

The lectureship, which will exist in perpetuity, will provide resources to bring high profile, knowledgeable, and experienced physicians to the College of Medicine to address topics in complementary and alternative medicine.

About the Donors

Betty-Ann and Wade Heggie have both been prominent members of the business, volunteer, and philanthropic communities in this province for many years. Wade has been involved in aviation, life insurance, and financial planning, and has held prominent volunteer roles with several community-based organizations. Betty-Ann has had an illustrious career as a senior executive in corporate relations in the Potash Industry, and has held numerous directorships in the public and private sectors.

The Heggies have been wonderful supporters of the University of Saskatchewan, and have recently taken a leadership role in shaping the future of the University through their participation in the Thinking the World of Our Future campaign. They have also provided tremendous volunteer assistance in attracting other donors to the U of S over the past few years.

Wade and Betty-Ann have both had extensive personal experience at leading integrative health centres throughout North America.

This lectureship is the way that they have chosen to articulate their vision for integrative medicine in this province, with their own gift to the College of Medicine.

The Social Change Seminar Series is intended to help researchers and practitioners to integrate their professional training and work experience with their passions and values, to influence the structural determinants of health. It is based upon the following premises:

(1) Many of the upstream determinants of health are closely linked to social and economic factors.

(2) In order to influence the determinants of health, it may therefore be necessary to understand the process of social change.

(3) Social change happens through a complex web of causation, in which small actions can make a big difference.

(4) Each of us is capable, in our own way, of exerting influence in the process of social change.

The seminar series will focus on the process of social change, and the role of the change agent.  It will address activities such as social innovation, social activism, and social entrepreneurship.

The intention is to feature pathfinders who have carved out innovative roles for themselves in the service of society.  One objective is to sensitize students to the possibility of innovative career paths as an avenue for becoming agents of social change.  

Learning Objectives:

Describe the processes and mechanisms through which social change occurs.

Identify practical and effective strategies and tactics to influence the process of social change.  

Identify the characteristics of research that “makes a difference”.

Identify the factors that promote and enable the process of translating research findings into changes in health, economic, and/or social policy.  

Examine the dynamics of social movements in the twentieth century, to identify factors associated with the process of social change.  

Describe the lives of social innovators, social activists, and social entrepreneurs, in terms of career paths, lifestyle, work-life balance, sources of stress and satisfaction.

Learn how to integrate your talents, values and passions to make a difference in the world, and to help address the major challenges of our time.

Topics could include:

Models of change.  Relationship between individual, organizational, and social change. Directed and undirected change.  

Self-regulating systems.  Culture, values, ideologies.  Paradigm stress and paradigm shifts.  Thought-worlds and decision-making.  

Strategies and tactics for exerting influence.  Social movements and change agents.  Attitudes and belief systems.  Leadership and pathfinding.

Drs. Joe Schnurr and Michael Epstein have been collaborators on a number of healthcare initiatives since 1999. In 2002, they jointly co-founded the Program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (renamed the Centre for Integrative Medicine in 2004), with considerable support and encouragement from the Senior Leadership Team in the College of Medicine.

This award, which will be presented annually, is intended to provide a graduating medical student with a monetary prize in recognition of demonstrated motivation, initiative, and achievement in the area of Integrative Medicine.

The award is a gift of $1,000.00, and is made possible through the generosity of Drs. Shirley (DeeDee) and Tom Maltman in collaboration with a consortium of philanthropists and physicians from the greater Saskatoon area.


Dr. Schnurr is a family physician with advanced training in functional medicine, acupuncture, and integrative medicine. He was Medical Director of the Centre during the period 2004-12, and is currently an integrative physician with InspireHealth, a globally preeminent integrative cancer care centre in British Columbia.

Dr. Epstein is an educational and management consultant, specializing in strategic planning, organizational change, integrative medicine, and leadership development. He is Managing Director of the Centre for Integrative Medicine.

Integrative Medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic power of the doctor-patient relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and complementary  

To promote and accelerate the advancement of Integrative Medicine within the province of Saskatchewan, a group of philanthropists and physicians have created the Drs. Epstein and Schnurr Award in Integrative Medicine, to be awarded annually to a graduating medical student who has shown motivation, initiative, and achievement in the area of Integrative Medicine.

This is a monetary award with a value of $1,000.00.

Application Process

Open to graduating medical students from the College of Medicine.  Proposals will include a one-page statement from the student including the following:

  • Interest in and knowledge of Integrative Medicine.
  • Specific activities that they have undertaken to advance their training in Integrative Medicine. This could potentially include conferences, workshops, and other related activities.
  • Plans to further their studies in Integrative Medicine or to include the philosophies of Integrative Medicine in their chosen specialty.
  • Proposals may include a letter of support from a faculty member or Integrative Practitioner.  

Additional information will be provided as the application process is announced.

Please note that applications are now closed. 


To honor their mother and to support the advancement of integrative medicine, the children of Shirley Bergman have created the Shirley Anne Bergman Award in Integrative Medicine to be awarded annually to a third or fourth year medical student that has shown an interest in, or aptitude for, the area of integrative medicine.

The award will enable the recipient to attend a scientific conference on integrative medicine, and will cover the cost of travel, accommodation, and conference fees, up to $2,000.


Shirley Anne Bergman was a Saskatchewan woman, whom although she had no formal training, was a naturally gifted health care provider. She had a great respect for conventional medicine and inspired that interest in her children, three of whom pursued careers in healthcare, and two of whom are graduates of The University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine.

Shirley's interest in healthcare extended beyond the boundaries of conventional medicine and into the realm of complementary and alternative therapies. She had an enquiring mind and sought to make sense of the growing body of knowledge in these areas, motivated in part by her search for additional treatment options to help her husband relieve his severe symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Shirley worked hard to search out the most safe and effective healthcare treatments from all sources.

She respected the work of complementary health practitioners, but never accepted their practices uncritically at face value. In this way Shirley embodied the concept of Integrative Medicine long before the term was ever coined:  

Integrative Medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.

To honor their mother and to support the advancement of Integrative Medicine, the children of Shirley Bergman have created the Shirley Anne Bergman award in Integrative Medicine, to be awarded annually to a third or fourth year medical student that has shown an interest in, or aptitude for, the area of Integrative medicine. This award is a travel bursary with a value of up to $2,000, to cover the cost of travel and conference fees for a national or international conference in Integrative Medicine.   

Application Process

To apply for the award, students are asked to send a brief statement which covers the following points:

  • The student’s background, interest and knowledge of integrative medicine.
  • Description of the student’s plans for further study in integrative medicine or plans to include the principles and practices of integrative medicine in the student’s chosen specialty.
  • Proposals may include a letter of support from a faculty member or integrative health practitioner.
  • Any other information that might be of relevance to the selection committee.

The conference to be attended will be decided upon in discussion between the award recipient and the Chair of the Award Committee. This may be a National or International conference and should be attended within one year of receiving the award (with possible exceptions).

Applications should be sent by email to:

Dr. Michael Epstein, Managing Director, Centre for Integrative Medicine, College of Medicine,

Please note that applications are now closed. 

General inquiries:

Phone: 306-966-7935


The mission of the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) is to be a centre of excellence in research that will create new knowledge and understandings of population health, contribute to health policy and planning, inform public policy at all levels of governance, incorporate a population health perspective into the education of health professionals, and be a resource for public debate on population health.

Established in 1999, SPHERU is a non-profit research institute with Board representation from its two collaborating universities (University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan), and its three other founding partners (Saskatchewan Health, Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, and the Health Services Utilization and Research Commission).

The Saskatchewan Cancer Control Research Program directed by Dr. Anne Leis, Dr. Louis Schulman Cancer Research Professor, College of Medicine, was externally funded by the National Cancer Institute of Canada for 8 years until June 2005.

Since 2002, a steering committee made of Saskatchewan key partners (both universities, Saskatchewan Health, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHERF), the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division,  the Saskatchewan Cancer agency (SCA) and Dr. Svein Carlsen (vice-president research at the SCA) was established to foster the development and expansion of cancer research in the province and oversee the distribution of NCIC funds to researchers whose research proposals were worthy of funding (>3.5) but below the cut-off (similar to the CIHR RPP committee).

Today we have established a successful Cancer Research Network in Saskatchewan and we organize each year the annual Cancer research day, held in Saskatoon usually in December. The link to cancer survivors’ organizations is quite strong and they are involved in informing research questions and dissemination. Presently, we are in the process of creating a Saskatchewan vision for cancer control research and thinking through some of the structures that would enhance cancer research and its funding in the province.

Community-Based Health Training and Practice Program in Mozambique

The Training for Health Renewal Program (THRP) is a University of Saskatchewan international development project housed in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine. Its most recent project, the Community-Based Health Training and Practice Program, is a 5-year CIDA-funded project that continues a 10-year partnership with the Ministry of Health in Mozambique. The goal is to improve the relationship between health workers and the communities they serve. The partnership has established a health training centre in rural Mozambique, in the community of Massinga, and a unique methodology that combines community development, discovery-based teaching learning, critical reflection, and cross-cutting themes of gender equality and HIV/AIDS.

Knowledge for innovation is an important component of the overall program. It is designed to use the Massinga Centre experience to inform the process of health systems development. Activities include environmental scans, evaluation, research, and knowledge exchange. Some activities will directly serve the program and increase its effectiveness, while others will serve a wider audience.  Taken together, they are intended to explicitly and systematically use the knowledge gained in the project to meet its goals – in particular, to improve the enabling environment for the promotion and use of community-based approaches to health training and services. 

The U of S has hosted Mozambican health workers, and the Massinga Centre has hosted U of S students on visits and practicums. To date, visits have been mainly short-term and community health oriented. Beginning in 2010, there is an opportunity for additional experiences in particular to assist with the teacher-training program as an MPH practicum. Students must be self-funded and self-motivated, including being prepared to learn some Portuguese, and being prepared to meet the challenges of working in a developing country. An orientation is provided. Beginning in 2010, students must also be screened by a THRP committee to ensure the site’s logistical and human resource capacities are adequate for each visit.

Research-based Master’s students interested in health systems in the context of international development might also consider a study that would support the MC’s knowledge for innovation activities and which would not require a field-based experience. The project might also interest a Ph.D. candidate interested in health systems.

For more information, about the program, please go to

As part of the College of Medicine, the Saskatoon HIV/AIDS Research Endeavour has partnered with AIDS Saskatoon to be the Saskatchewan Regional Team for the CIHR REACH Community Based Research (CBR) Collaborative Centre in HIV/AIDS. 

The CIHR REACH CBR Collaborative Centre in HIV/AIDS is providing infrastructure to build CBR capacity in HIV across Canada, and regionally here in Saskatchewan. Building on the successful foundation of the CIHR Centre for Research Evidence in Action for Community Health in HIV/AIDS (REACH) -- a national collaborative research network, we are establishing a vibrant, sustainable national collaborative among HIV/AIDS researchers, people living with HIV, community-based organizations, clinicians and policy makers that fosters rigorous, relevant CBR that will improve the health and well-being of people with or at risk of HIV. The Centre provides direct financial and infrastructure support to seven Core Regional Teams that will guide and drive regional initiatives that respond to local needs. 

CBR is a highly collaborative approach to research that respects and values the contributions and expertise of all team members across sectors and from diverse communities. In CBR, the research process itself is a form of social action that enhances knowledge and skills (for all partners), builds community and reduces stigma associated with HIV.

The Centre supports the regional teams by:
1.    Building Readiness for CBR through the development of an online CBR readiness tool and comprehensive database of CBR on HIV/AIDS in Canada;
2.    Building and sustaining relationships and partnerships across the sector by strengthening relationships with priority populations and communities, establishing partnership development resources and directly connecting people and building teams; and
3.    Building CBR Capacity by providing direct support and training for research and KTE to seed new projects, help teams get funded, improving practices for engaging peer research associates, and moving knowledge into action.

With the academic leadership of Dr. Ryan Meili, at the University of Saskatchewan, and the community leadership of Heather Byrne, Executive Coordinator at AIDS Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Regional CBR Team became fully operational in June 2013 through the establishment of a dedicated CBR Research Coordinator in Saskatoon. 

Our vision for CBR research in Saskatchewan is to create a network of academics, community members, and organizations to collaborate on CBR projects, working together to strengthen CBR capacity at a grassroots level. The regional CBR engagement strategy involves connecting this network to identify key priorities for HIV research and resource mobilization in Saskatchewan. These priorities will drive the development of impact-oriented research, consulting on all aspects of the research process. 

For more information on the Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Community Based Research Collaborative Centre please contact the Regional Coordinator, Jillian Wilmot, at


General Email:

Postal Address
Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
Box 7, Health Science Building, 107 Wiggins Road
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 5E5

Courier Address:
Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
Rm 3247 - E wing - Health Sciences
104 Clinic Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N-2Z4

Fax:  (306) 966-7920

Department Head:
Dr. Anne Leis

Department Head's Secretary:
Kathy Evans
(306) 966-7945

Graduate Secretary:
Cindy Elchuk
(306) 966-7946

Department Secretary:
Cheryl Bolster 
(306) 966-7944