Humanizing Medicine: Lessons Learned from a Nun’s Journey from McGill to Building Family Medicine in San Paulo, Brazil

May 28, 2019 @ 7:30 pm
Auditorium at St. Mary's Hospital
3830 Avenue Lacombe
Montréal, QC H3T 1L5
Free admission. Reservations are essential.
Sam Browman

The McGill University Department of Family Medicine and the St. James Literary Society are pleased to present the Dr. Hirsh Rosenfeld Annual Distinguished Lecture in Family Medicine.

Sr. Monique Bourget, the Medical Director of Santa Marcelina Hospital in Brazil, will explore her journey from her medical training at McGill University to her work in San Paulo, where she developed community-based family health programs. She will share her experiences in family medicine, how she fit that in with her calling and the work she is currently doing. This public lecture will allow Sr. Monique to convey her dedication and passion providing inspiration and hope for patients and families here in Montreal.

Refreshments will be served.

Photo: Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

McGill graduate 1992 in Family Medicine; Masters in Epidemiology; immigrated to Brazil; Director of the Santa Marcelina Primary Health Care network since 1996 and of a tertiary care teaching hospital in São Paulo.

When Sr. Monique Bourget arrived in Brazil nobody there knew what a family physician was. Over time, working diligently, she eventually helped establish the different criteria for the recognition of Family Medicine as a specialty.

The health care teams were made up of one physician, one nurse, two auxiliary nurses and a few community health agents to serve areas of 1000 households. They began with only 11 physicians since that kind of work was not thought of as being very attractive. Eventually, the idea took off and now there are 1500 such teams.

In 1998, Sr. Monique helped open a new community hospital, Hospital Santa Marcelina – Itaim Paulista. She took over technical direction of the facility, which houses close to 300 beds with services in obstetrics, internal medicine, surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Seven years later, Sr. Monique was appointed medical director of the teaching Hospital Santa Marcelina de Itaquera, with more than 700 beds. Sr. Monique also helped initiate the hospital’s residency training programs which emphasize humanization, social responsibility and palliative care.

Of interest to the general public as well as to health-care professionals, this Distinguished Lecture Series in Family Medicine was inaugurated in 1990 and was made possible by an endowment by the late Dr. Hirsh Rosenfeld, a Montreal family physician. He was a staunch supporter of a number of educational activities and this lecture series is another example of his generosity.