Research: The concept of Social Accountability is emerging as an explicit element of the mission of medical schools worldwide. The question of how to better prepare future physicians to be responsive to the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations, the broader determinants of health and to effectively address related inequities is one of the most pressing and challenging issues facing medical educators today. Dr. Shafik Dharamsi’s teaching and related research is focused on how medical education can best prepare students to make judgments that are not only technically correct but also ethically and socially considerate.
Teaching: Dr. Dharamsi is the UBC Faculty of Medicine CanMEDS Health Advocate Role Train-the-Trainer; and Faculty Mentor for the DPAS Community and International Service Learning Option. 2004-2007 He served as Course Director of DPAS 410/420 (Doctor, Patient & Society) – an interdisciplinary course for first and second year medical and dental students that examines critical issues in health care dealing with the social determinants of health, ethics, social accountability, global health, and population & public health. Dr. Dharamsi spent a significant part of his early career at UBC studying and developing service learning and community based dental education as a potentially viable pedagogy to support social responsibility, professionalism, and for preparing the next generation of dentists to respond to oral health disparities.
Global Health: Dr. Dharamsi serves as the Associate Director of the UBC Centre for International Health, College of Health Disciplines. The mandate of CIH is to facilitate leadership, research, education and community engagement, and to build capacity for exploring, developing and implementing creative, progressive, rigorous and sustainable solutions to the problems of global health, particularly within the context of the social determinants of health. He implemented an innovative health promotion and early-childhood development initiative in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda through the Aga Khan Development Network. His work has been featured on a Canadian television documentary series, The Global Villagers, which follows Canadians who work to promote peace and meet the basic needs of developing countries.