Quality Improvement Experiential Student Training (QuEST) Program
QuEST is a year-long certificate program initiated at the Mississauga Academy of Medicine & Trillium Health Partners (THP) by a group of U of T MD Program students in 2021. Complementing the existing curriculum in the MD Program, this co-curricular quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) training program comprises several components:
- Asynchronous learning modules
- Synchronous learning - Seminar series, featuring QIPS experts from THP, the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN), and beyond
- Experiential learning - Longitudinal QIPS projects, aligned with THP institutional or departmental priorities and led by THP physicians
- Consolidating and demonstrating learning - Capstone assignments and scholarly outputs
QuEST is a great way to learn about the world of QIPS, gain hands-on experience in leading projects in a supervised, clinical setting and also have opportunities to engage in scholarly products. Applications for projects open in the Fall each year.
Benefits for Students
- Hands-on QIPS Experience
- Scholarly Work Opportunities
- Mentorship Opportunities
- Opportunity to Impact & Improve Patient Care
- Certificate Upon Completion of Requirements
Benefits for Supervisors
- Community of Learning & Practice
- Ongoing Faculty Development & Peer Coaching
- Increase Hospital & Institutional Capacity for QIPS
- Scholarly Work Opportunities
- Mentorship Opportunities
I wanted to learn the fundamentals of QI work, and my goal at the end of the program was to feel comfortable enough to play an integral part of a quality improvement project where I have some leadership role. I feel confident that I have not only met that but exceeded it. I believe I can lead smaller level QI projects completely independently.2022-23 QuEST Participant
QuEST Student Resource Package
The QuEST Student Resource Package includes links to guides and articles about QIPS, scholarly communication, as well as opportunities to present/publish from within U of T and other organizations. QuEST program participants can request the attachments described in the package by contacting Jonathan Hersh (email@example.com).
Frequently Asked Questions
How can becoming a QuEST supervisor benefit my team?
QuEST students can take on specific deliverables within your project, thereby providing your project with an extra resource to do the work. Part of their QuEST work includes completing a scholarly output (ranging from presentations to publications), so they would be able to advance any scholarly learning for the project as well. These students are also trained in QI methodology and would be a valuable addition to the project team.
What commitment is required from my project team?
The student will require a physician mentor. In addition, the student will need to work with the project director/key resource to be assigned specific deliverables and ensure these deliverables are complete.
How long does a QuEST student engage in their project?
Students are typically onboarded by October each academic year and engage with their projects, the seminars and their capstone until May of the following year. Some projects will not take the full academic year, allowing students to spend more time on scholarly outputs during their official QuEST time. Many students choose to continue working with their supervisors after the QuEST Program has concluded in May.
How do I apply to be a supervisor in the QuEST Program?
Please contact the QuEST Faculty Chair or Program Administrator for details (contact info listed above).
As a QuEST supervisor, how can this benefit my career?
Certain QIPS activities may be claimed for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Section 3 credits with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Additionally, letters of support will be issued to supervisors in recognition of their contributions to QIPS and Education.
How does the match process work?
New in 2023-24, QuEST will be implementing a match process using the Gale-Shapley algorithm, which is used in the United States for the Residency Matching Service, assigning supervisors and students based on ranked preference lists from each party.
Supervisors will rank student applicants based on their submitted materials such as their CV. Students will rank projects based on project descriptions provided by email.
We will endeavour to match students to their top options and connect interested students to other opportunities in the event we reach capacity.
Current Faculty Roster
Previous Faculty Roster
Thank you to QuEST supervisors from previous years for your leadership and mentorship! More information about them and their projects is available below.
Dr. S. Noor Ul Amin, MD, CCFP (SEM), FCFP, Dip. Sport Med (CASEM)
Dr. Noor Amin is a family physician and sport and exercise medicine physician at Trillium Health Partners. He is also Physician Lead for both the COVID-19 Vaccination Program and the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Trillium Health Partners. He is a Lecturer at the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine.
His professional interests include the COVID-19 assessment centre, case and contact exposure management, novel outpatient therapeutics, and vaccination.
His current QuEST project aims to address vaccine hesitancy with physician-led individualized counselling, and to support vaccine booking at point of care when patients arrive for COVID-19 assessment/testing.
Dr. Ali Damji, BHSc, MD, MSc, CCFP
Dr. Ali Damji is a family physician and addiction medicine physician at Credit Valley Family Health Team & Family Medicine Teaching Unit, Trillium Health Partners and the Mississauga & Halton Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine Clinic. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and an Investigator at the Institute for Better Health. He is the QI Program Director and COVID-19 Medical Director at the Credit Valley Family Health Team, Physician Lead for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at THP, and Treasurer for the THP Professional Staff Association.
His areas of interest include quality improvement in primary care and mental health care, promoting joy in work through QI, adoption of novel technologies in primary care, patient partnership, and enhancing integration and collaboration between sectors of our healthcare system by championing the Patient's Medical Home model.
His current QuEST project is focused on addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy amongst patients at the Credit Valley Family Health Team using an equity-based population health approach.
Dr. Adrian Fawcett, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Dr. Adrian Fawcett is a Stroke and Interventional Neurologist at Trillium Health Partners and a Neuro-intensivist at Hamilton General Hospital. He completed his MD PhD at the University of Toronto, followed by a Neurology residency at the University of Toronto and a Stroke and Neuro-interventional fellowship at McMaster University. He also holds multiple academic appointments, including Clinical Lecturer at U of T, Clinical Associate at McMaster, and Investigator at THP’s Institute for Better Health.
His areas of interest include strokes, neuro-intervention, and neuro-critical care. His current QuEST project is focused on determining if there are any differences between efficiency and/or safety outcomes in acute stroke assessments done in-person versus remotely via Telestroke.
Dr. Laith Ghazala, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Laith Ghazala is a Respirology and Critical Care physician at Trillium Health Partners. He practices both with a focus on general respirology. He is also clinical lecturer at the University of Toronto Department of Medicine. His current QuEST project involves improving the triage system of the Credit Valley Hospital Respirology Clinic.
Dr. Amina Jabbar BSW, MSc, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Amina Jabbar is a geriatrician at Trillium Health Partners. Dr. Jabbar also earned her Masters of Science with a focus on the evaluation of health care services. She subsequently completed medical school and internal medicine specialty training at the University of Toronto followed by subspecialty training at McMaster University. Dr. Jabbar is currently a Health Policy PhD candidate at McMaster University with specific focus on quality of care and models of care for older adults with complex health issues. QuEST students projects are assessing and evaluating the hospital's new Seniors Care Unit, an acute care inpatient unit for complex older adults. Students are currently involved in exploring who may be best suited for admission to the unit and as evaluating the quality of discharge summaries being sent to family physicians at time of discharge.
Dr. Terence Tang, MS, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Terence Tang is a general internal medicine physician at Trillium Health Partners. He holds many academic and administrative appointments, including Lecturer at the University of Toronto, Clinician Scientist at the Institute for Better Health, Physician Lead in Informatics at THP’s Clinical Systems & Informatics department. His primary area of interest is using data and digital tools to advance health care.
In his current QuEST project, the general internal medicine / hospital medicine group at Credit Valley Hospital is looking at how best to improve the quality of physician documentation in our recently adopted health information system, recognizing that adopting an advanced health information system can lead to many benefits for patients and providers.