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Global Mental Health

As part of our commitment to the department’s strategic direction of equity, innovation and partnerships, we have entered into an educational partnership with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Western Uganda, as of 2014. The partnership, referred to as McMUST, was initiated with the goal of supporting the delivery of teaching and training at MUST, as well as providing unique learning opportunities for psychiatry learners from different systems of care.

McMUST is led by Dr. Godfrey Rukundo at Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Dr. Sheila Harms at McMaster University, along with strong resident involvement from both universities and a dedicated Hamilton steering committee. This institution-to-institution partnership is based on an invitation from psychiatry leadership at MUST to educational leaders within our department. The following values act as a guiding framework within the collaboration: relationships built on trust, respect, mutual engagement and benefit, equity, sensitivity, justice, humility, compassion, sustainability, innovation, reciprocity, sharing of resources, excellence in education and patient care, decolonizing approaches to learning, as well as effectiveness (i.e., doing what works).

Routine annual trips are taken to Uganda by McMaster University faculty who are paired with residents. Each of these dyad opportunities allow for McMaster University psychiatry participants to join the MUST residents and faculty in their setting to learn about psychiatry, global mental health and education, within this context. Specifically, the McMaster faculty provide formal and informal education sessions, as well as direct observation of clinical skills, for the Ugandan and McMaster trainees. McMaster residents engage in the set curriculum in a way that mirrors the MUST residents as part of their learning. This typically involves both resident groups preparing and delivering small group teaching sessions topically reflected in the core curriculum. The Ugandan trainees and interprofessional staff provide a rich, reciprocal learning environment for McMaster faculty and trainees.