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Medical Foundation 1 Director

Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Leadership Position 

Posted February 9, 2021

For a PDF copy of the position description and responsibilities please click here.

The Medical Foundation 1 (MF1) Director is responsible for overseeing the planning and delivery of Medical Foundation 1 within the distributed medical education network of McMaster’s MD Program. The Director will demonstrate a commitment to advance the priorities and principles of the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program, including the use of student-engaged learning methods, evidence-informed curriculum practices, and an orientation towards quality improvement.

The ideal candidate will have a strong interest and experience in medical education, and more specifically in the planning and delivery of UGME curricula. The MD Program of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is a fully distributed medical education program that uses problem-based, self-directed, and early patient exposure learning approaches. Experience with these pedagogical approaches is highly desirable.

MF1 is the first block of curriculum in the first year of the Undergraduate MD Program. It is 11 weeks long and runs from early August to the end of October. The overarching themes of the MF include Introduction to Medicine, Respirology and Cardiology.

Note that gender-based singular-person modifiers (i.e. his, her) are substituted in this document in the plural (i.e. they) and should be interpreted within the intended context.


  • Ensure that MF1 aligns with and advances the missions of McMaster University, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the UGME Program.
  • Advance the core principles of the UGME Program: Distributed medical education (DME); problem- based, small group, and other student engaged learning methods; self-directed learning, including self- and peer-assessment; early patient/clinical exposure; lifelong learning, including use of evidence- informed practice; and a commitment to innovation.
  • Curriculum Development and Delivery:
    • Convene and chair regular meetings of the Medical Foundation Planning Committee;
    • Establish and monitor the goals, objectives, and content of MF1 including:
      • Ensuring integration and continuity between MF1 and all other relevant elements of the MD Program, and,

      • Ensuring appropriate coverage of content relevant to MF1; including accurate mapping of MF1 objectives, addressing under- and over-coverage of material, and appropriate introduction of new topics

    • Oversee the planning, development and delivery of the MF1 curriculum working with the Pre- Clerkship Committee, the Subunit Planners and other members of the MF1 Planning Committee, Professional Competencies Co-Chairs, Longitudinal Planners, Clinical Skills Planners, Program for Education in Anatomy, and others who contribute to the MF1 Program;

    • Provide content expertise in the curriculum development and delivery of the Introduction to Medicine subunit aligning with MD program specific objectives.

    • Collaborate with medportal, the Computer Services Unit, and others to ensure optimal and equitably distributed use of technology in the delivery of MF1; and,

    • Liaise with MD program administrative staff and the Division o fe-Learning staff to ensure optimal curriculum delivery methods and formats

  • Under the direction of the Chair of Pre-Clerkship and working with the Chair of Student Assessment and the Chair of Program Evaluation, develop and evaluate tools to assess student competence and performance with respect to the goals and objectives of ​MF1
  • Serve as a member of the MD Program Pre-Clerkship Committee which meets monthly during the academic year
  • Participate in the appointment of subunit and other planners for the ​MF in consultation with the Pre-Clerkship Chair
  • Review and evaluate expressions of interest from faculty who wish to act as planners, tutors and preceptors
  • Provide orientation and ongoing support to MF1 tutors ensuring that all faculty participating are familiar with the learning objectives and methods of student assessment
  • Provide a student orientation to MF1
  • Review student applications for Leaves of Absence that occur during the Foundation and make decisions on these
  • Ensure the completion of student assessments by tutors and preceptors within the time frame required by accreditation standards
  • Review and sign off on all student and faculty evaluations within 6 weeks of completion of the Foundation, and address performance issues as necessary
  • Participate in quality improvement activities within the MD Program, including, review of feedback about the MF provided by students, tutors and others; and the incorporation of the use of best practices and available evidence when planning curriculum and assessment across the distributed education network
  • Ensure that the MF1 curriculum meets the accreditation standards of the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools.
  • Be readily available to problem-solve as needed during the MF.


  • Demonstrated interest in undergraduate medical education
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the Pre-Clerkship curriculum and problem-based learning
  • Experience as a curriculum planner in the Pre-Clerkship is desirable
  • Tutoring experience is highly desirable; if the applicant has not tutored in the curriculum, s/he must either be a graduate of the McMaster MD Program or must take the tutor-training workshop provided by the MD Program as soon as is reasonable.

Appointment: The ​Medical Foundation 1 Director is appointed by the ​Associate Dean, UGME in consultation with the Pre-Clerkship Chair on the authority of the UGME Program Executive Committee.

Eligibility: The Medical Foundation 1 Director must have a current faculty appointment with McMaster University; or must be in the process of securing a faculty appointment; or must be assured a faculty appointment before beginning their first term. The applicant must be in good standing with their academic and/or clinical associations (e.g. universities; hospitals or other clinical settings; and health regulators), both past and present.

Time commitment and Stipend: The expected time commitment for this role will average out to 1/2 day every week over the year, with the understanding that the time commitment will increase in the 3-4 months leading up to the MF and during the time that the MF is actually taking place. The associated stipend is $26,000 per year consistent with UGME program stipending processes. This leadership role is attributed 400 hours of indirect academic contribution per year.

Term: Three years, renewable once, subject to review by the Pre-Clerkship Chair on the authority of the UGME Program Executive Committee at the end of the first three-year period.

Applications: Interested applicants for this position should submit a cover letter and CV addressed to Dr. Karen McAssey, Pre-Clerkship Chair, UGME. This should be submitted to Ms. Jan Paci ( prior to Monday, March 1, 2021. The cover letter should include a brief overview of your qualifications and anticipated priorities for the position. Please feel free to contact us at the email above for further clarification or information. Interviews will be conducted in March with an anticipated start date of April 2021.

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement.

In keeping with McMaster’s Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, the Undergraduate Medical Education Program strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. While all qualified candidates are invited to apply, we particularly welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons.

Applicants requiring any form of accommodation throughout the selection process are asked to contact the UGME program office, c/o Jan Paci or 905-525-9140 x 22141.

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