Does a Canadian diabetes curriculum work for future physicians in China? Lessons from the Ottawa Shanghai Joint School of Medicine

  • Alexandra Kobza University of Ottawa
  • Ying Dong Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Amel Arnaout University of Ottawa
Keywords: internationalization of medical education, globalization of medical education, diabetes, curriculum development, Western medicine, Chinese medicine


Background: The Ottawa Shanghai Joint School of Medicine (OSJSM) is a campus of the University of Ottawa Medical School in Shanghai, China. This collaboration allowed us to study whether a Canadian curriculum is suitable for the Chinese population. The aim of this study is to evaluate: 1) The OSJSM diabetes curriculum; and 2) The relevancy of the content for the Chinese population.

Methods: The diabetes curriculum content was evaluated using a curriculum comparison between the University of Ottawa, OSJSM, and the Shanghai Jiao Tong School of Medicine (SJTSM). A literature search compared the diabetes populations in Canada and China. Interviews determined how physicians and patients manage diabetes.

Results: The diabetes curriculum at the OSJSM is identical to that of the University of Ottawa. Canada and China have a similar diabetes prevalence, diagnostic criteria, and management. Although both countries utilize the same screening guidelines for diabetes and its complications, patients in Canada are more likely to adhere to these recommendations.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the diabetes content of the University of Ottawa curriculum remains relevant in China. A greater emphasis on the importance of screening for disease complications in the curriculum may facilitate making this a priority for patients and healthcare providers in China. 

Author Biographies

Alexandra Kobza, University of Ottawa
Faculty of Medicine
Ying Dong, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Faculty of Medicine
Amel Arnaout, University of Ottawa
Facuity of Medicine, Assistant Professor
Major Contributions