Chair, Department of Family Medicine

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.

Chair, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University

Since 1967 the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University has been making a difference in our communities not only locally but nationally and internationally. Working with government, academic, clinical and community partners, we continue to build on our more than 50-year history of changing the way primary health care is designed and delivered in Canada.

Our mission statement captures what drives us: “Together we serve, teach and discover: Primary care for better health and a brighter world.”

Each member of our Department is integral to our mission of having an impact on lives locally, nationally and globally. Our values reflect who and how we are together.  They anchor our commitment to truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, to addressing the harms of racism experienced by Black and other racialized people, and to creating and sustaining an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace for all.

Our Education team of clinical teachers, educational researchers and staff support health care learners to become compassionate, self-aware, dedicated and confident health care professionals. Our strengths in urban, distributed and rural education, and our innovative approach to learning are recognized internationally. We value comprehensive generalist practice while supporting development of specific expertise which is reflected in our over 1,500 part-time clinical faculty members practicing across south-central and rural Ontario. These clinician educators teach the majority of our 200 residents in the 8 urban and 6 rural sites of our 2-year residency program, and they embody excellence in primary care while serving over a million patients. These strengths are enhanced by the two Clinical Teaching Units operated by our Department in which the majority of our 33 full-time clinical faculty practice alongside colleagues of the McMaster Family Health Team, serving over 40,000 patients.

Our rapidly expanding research programs, including the recently launched David Braley Primary Care Research Collaborative, focus on answering questions that matter to the lives of people we serve and to those providing care. Our research shapes policy, enhances integration of care in communities, contributes to health professional development and explores the match between burden of care and capacity to benefit. Our practice-based research is person-focused, health equity-aware and recognizes the importance and impact of technology in enabling better health and system outcomes. Through strategic collaboration with industry partners, we share our innovations broadly and sustainably for societal benefit.

The complex, interdependent network that comprises our Department is supported by skilled staff in human resources, faculty relations, finance, facilities management, information technology, communications and general administration. Our Department leadership team reflects strong faculty- professional manager dyads in each domain who together provide both strategic and operational direction aligned with the Department’s mission.

Family Medicine, which includes the Divisions of Palliative and Emergency Medicine, is one of fourteen departments and schools within the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). FHS fosters exceptional interdisciplinary collaboration by combining health professional education in medicine, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, physician assistant and midwifery with health related undergraduate and graduate educational offerings in a single Faculty.

FHS Faculty members hold almost $300 million in research funding, including $10 million in Family Medicine. FHS is third overall in national research rankings, driving McMaster’s ranking as Canada’s most research-intensive, medical-doctoral university, and our family medicine research unit is one of the leaders in Canada. The Faculty enjoys close relationships with its academic hospital partners, as well as strong collaborations with researchers in Canada and around the world.

Expectations of the Role

As the Department Chair, reporting to the Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, you will work alongside with team and colleagues, providing academic and administrative oversight, strategic direction and leadership to develop and build on the strengths of existing programs while advancing family medicine locally to internationally.


To be considered for this position, candidates must have an MD (or equivalent degree), specialty certification in Family Medicine (or equivalent), and be licenced or eligible for license by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Ideal Skills, Attributes and Experience

The ideal candidate will:

  • be a respected and internationally recognized strategic leader, academic administrator, scholar, clinician and skilled collaborator who demonstrates great vision, champions change and innovation, supports personal development, and fosters a cohesive and enthusiastic community of faculty, staff, and students;
  • have broad administrative and leadership experience within an academic environment that includes largescale and innovative educational and research initiatives, and progressive clinical practice operations;
  • highly value relationships and have demonstrated strengths in leading, engaging and supporting others within a distributed, complex organization that interfaces with dynamic health systems in multiple communities;
  • embrace collective leadership structures that promote collaboration, autonomy and interdependence to realize full potential across a diverse team, while providing clear and confident direction and decision-making;
  • have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and an ability to have or facilitate hard conversations effectively;
  • have a clear record of improving equity, diversity and inclusion at multiple levels within an organization;
  • have a robust personal scholarship portfolio that demonstrates your reputation for, and commitment to scholarly work, and you have shown consistent ability to increase scholarly productivity, including research, across your scope of influence;
  • be recognized a primary care leader who possesses a thorough understanding of, and capacity to build and sustain, synergistic working relationships with the diverse community of primary care and hospitals' primary care leadership;
  • have demonstrated skill and sound ethical practices in multi-level system advocacy and in meaningful engagement with policy makers, decision-makers and potential funders;
  • have the ability, working alongside clinicians and researchers with national and international reputations for their scholarship, to build respectful inter-professional relationships across the Faculty of Health Sciences and McMaster University to foster collaboration in both research and education;
  • have the academic and leadership credibility, confidence and collaborative spirit required for leadership in health sciences at the institutional, national and international levels.

In naming these ideal skills, attributes and experience, we recognize that there are many different ways these may be fulfilled or demonstrated that may not conform to traditional academic pathways. We honour these differences and look forward to exploring them with interested candidates, affirming our belief that the diversity of our community and workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity, and strengthens our research and teaching excellence.

How to apply

Applicants are asked to apply online  Search for job opening 36809. Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact the Faculty of Health Sciences Faculty Secretary at  to communicate accommodation needs.

The application package must include:

  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  • A two-page statement of interest. This statement should include your leadership experience, research interests and plans, teaching interests and experience, and an outline of contributions that you have made to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in teaching, learning, research and/or service within post-secondary, community-based and other professional settings.

Please note that as part of the application process applicants are asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey will take approximately two minutes to complete. All information collected is confidential and will be used to support efforts to broaden the diversity of the applicant pool and to promote a fair, equitable and inclusive recruitment process.

The Selection Committee will review applications in early May 2021 and will continue to accept applications until a suitable candidate has been identified. The preferred date of appointment is July 1, 2021. Salary and academic rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. To achieve this vision for inclusive excellence the University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity and inclusion, who will contribute to the diversification of ideas and perspectives; applications are welcomed from First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women and persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be considered first for this position. In addition, the University is obliged to gather information about applicants’ status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenship; however, all applications must include one of the following statements: “Yes, I am a citizen or permanent resident of Canada” or “No, I am not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada”

For more information about the Department of Family Medicine, please visit our website:  The terms of reference for this position are available here:

Questions regarding the position can be addressed to: Chair, Search Committee for the Chair, Family Medicine, c/o: