IHPME has taught me everything I need to know to become an insightful, productive, and compassionate health services researcher
Rui Fu has pursued both an MSc and PhD within IHPME’s Health Systems Research (HSR) program. Fu was initially drawn to HSR’s multidisciplinary approach and focus on exposing trainees to a wide range of research areas and skills.
“I thought this program would give me the flexibility needed to find my research interest and was impressed by the close connection between IHPME and a multitude of research, hospital, and data institutes,” says Fu. “Dr. Peter Coyte, who later became my supervisor for five years (and for lifetime!) was also a big reason I chose IHPME.”
Fu highlights the countless opportunities to participate in research projects on a broad range of topics was a particular highlight. It provided the flexibility to find research areas of interest and showcased the diversity of health economics research within the healthcare sector.
Fu shares HSR also allows students to build an academic portfolio while studying within the program. Fu had opportunities to publish journal articles, present research at academic conferences, and learn important practical skills such as grant writing, supervising students, and communicating research to diverse audiences.
“I have learned the essential hard research skills that allow me to design a study, conduct the analysis, draft the manuscript, and disseminate the study findings,” says Fu. “I have also learned many soft skills, such as how to coordinate an effective team meeting, how to ask for expert opinions, and how to resolve disagreements amongst team members.”
The knowledge and experience gained within HSR has directly led Fu to their current research position. Fu is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Evaluative Clinical Sciences Platform at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Fu’s research is focused on head and neck cancers, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic impact on cancer services delivery and patient outcomes in Ontario.
For anyone interested in HSR, Fu shares that the program will better prepare students and graduates for a career in academia, but also provides the skills and network for professionals to excel in any area of the healthcare sector.