We offer a diverse selection of learning experiences for undergraduates, professionals, and care providers.
Our courses provide learners with practical skills to further high-quality research and innovation in healthcare.

Three-Day Professional Development Courses

Certificate Course in Qualitative Research Methods

The W21C program within the O’Brien Institute of Public Health at the University of Calgary, in collaboration with Continuing Medical Education, is offering an introduction to qualitative research methods course. This course is well-suited for anyone who would like more exposure to qualitative research methods, including faculty members, residents, or students.

The course will provide attendees with the skills to read and interpret qualitative data and provide foundational skills in thinking, devising, and conducting qualitative research projects.

Course Information

Title:  Qualitative Health Research Methods

Duration:  9 hours

Structure:  3 three-hour sessions

Participants will be eligible to receive credits through Continuing Medical Education for this course.

Topics covered will include: What qualitative research is, how to design a qualitative research project, different forms of qualitative data collection, and how to analyze and disseminate qualitative research.

The goal is to provide attendees with an overview of qualitative research which could provide them with the necessary background for more advanced training in conducting qualitative research.

By the end of this course the attendees will be able to:

  • Describe what qualitative research is.
  • Describe what qualitative research can be used for.
  • Describe how to use qualitative research.

For course inquiries, please contact Alicia Polachek.

Past course dates: 9 a.m. on April 27, May 4, and May 11, 2018


Registration for this course is currently closed.
If you are interested in being notified about future offerings of this course, please contact Alicia Polachek

Entrepreneurial Thinking in Medicine

Course Information

Title:  Entrepreneurial Thinking in Medicine

Duration:  Three full-day sessions (9:00 am – 4:00 pm). Breakfast and lunch provided.


  • Learn how entrepreneurial thinking can be applied within healthcare contexts
  • Develop skills to help innovate and implement improvements in your own area of work
  • Bring your real world challenges to the course and begin applying new skills immediately
  • Learn from proven innovators and educators at the University of Calgary’s W21C and Hunter Hub


  1. Understand the value of entrepreneurial thinking and how it can be applied to healthcare.
  2. Use design thinking processes to identify and begin to address needs in their own areas of responsibility.
  3. Treat entrepreneurial thinking as a means to innovate and effect meaningful change in both the private and public sector.

Contact with any course inquiries.

Past Course dates: April 7, April 21, and May 5, 2018


Dr. Derek Hassay, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary

Dr. Aleem Bharwani, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary


Who is this course for?

Physicians, faculty, residents, and other clinical staff. If you want to design or apply innovative solutions to challenges in your area of work, we can help you hone your skills.

What is the course format?

This course is designed to be very hands-on: there will be plenty of discussion, educational activities, and opportunities to think about real-world challenges and solutions.

How do I apply and register?

Interested course participants are required to fill out and submit an application form. We will invite successful applicants to register. There is very limited space and we may not be able to accept all who apply.

How do I get sponsored?

Have your director, department head, or equivalent fill out the final section of the application form. Sponsored participants must come to the course with a real-world challenge currently facing their organization or department that can be discussed throughout the course to help generate solutions. Sponsored participants also receive a 50% discount on course fees.


Registration for this course is currently closed. If you would like to sign up for future notifications and details about this course, please contact​.

Safety & Quality Courses

The W21C Education Portfolio offers courses for medical professionals, health leaders and undergraduate medicine students.

Through our various organizational partnerships with the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services, we are constantly striving to develop patient safety and quality improvement thinking with current and future health care providers, through class based learning, mentorship opportunities, and project work.

Certificate Course in Patient Safety and Quality Management

Created in 2010 through an ongoing partnership between W21C, Health Quality Council of Alberta, and the University of Calgary’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, the certificate course is designed for health care professionals who want to expand their working understanding of concepts in patient safety and quality management and learn from experts in the field.

The course is offered every September with a mix of in-person and weekly online sessions and runs until March. It boasts an impressive faculty including W21C members and experts from across Canada.

For more information on past projects, registration or professional credits please visit the course website.

Certificate in Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events

Offered through HQCA, University of Calgary’s Office of Continuing Medical Education and W21C, the Certificate in Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events is obtained through completion of both the 2.5 day introductory and advanced courses

Introductory Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events

This course can be taken as a stand-alone class or combined with Advanced Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events course, as the foundation for the Certificate in Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events

Focus is the Systematic Systems Analysis: A Practical Approach to Patient Safety Reviews (SSA:PSR) methodology

A practical, case based 2.5 day course

Participants will be eligible for continuing education credits (College of Family Physicians | Royal College)

Advanced Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events

This course is open to anyone who has completed the Introductory Investigating and Managing Patient Safety Events course

A broad focus on various aspects of managing the occurrence of harm, and patient safety events as well as SSA:PSR methodology

A practical, case bases 2.5 day course

Participants are expected to complete a patient safety review as a project for the course and mentors will be provided

Participants will be eligible for continuing education credits (College of Family Physicians | Royal College)

Professional Credits

This program meets the accreditation criteria of The College of Family Physician of Canada and has been accredited by the University of Calgary Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development for up to 37 Mainpro-M1 credits.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Calgary Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development. Participants may claim up to 37 study credits.


Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to 10 Category II credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.


For more information on these courses, please visit:

Applied Evidence Based Medicine in Quality Improvement (MDCN 440)

This course is only available to Undergraduate Medicine students at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. Questions surrounding this elective may be directed to Nishan Sharma.

Course Information

Title:  Dissecting the System-Projects in Quality Improvement

Duration:  60 hours


  • 5 two-hour small group sessions on Quality Improvement in Healthcare basics (September-October)
  • Mentored project-approx. 45 min
  • Required: Project presentation day (2 hours in January)
  • Critically Appraise Topic

Deliverables:  Project report, short oral presentation, CAT, small group session participation​

Project Topics:  Students are encouraged to present project ideas that align with their interests. We will be able to provide possible topics if no preference given.

Projects and mentors:  We will provide/suggest possible mentors, but students may also suggest suitable project mentors. Students will have a chance to rank the projects they are interested in and a best match will be made.


Ward Flemons (Director), Nishan Sharma (Coordinator), invited experts from University of Calgary, Health Quality Council of Alberta and Alberta Health Services

Past Student Projects

Click on the “Download” button to view examples from 2016-2017.


Please complete the Student Interest Form and return to Nishan Sharma, Education Lead, W21C.

Please note that by indicating your interest by filling out this form, you are not making a commitment to participate in this elective. You will be contacted in short order to meet with the Faculty in mid-May to get more information and see if a project might be developed to suit your interests.