Susan Law

PhD (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London)
MHSc (University of Toronto)

Other Affiliations

Trillium Health Partners – Institute for Better Health (Senior Scientist)

McGill University – Department of Family Medicine (Adjunct Professor)

St. Mary’s Research Centre, Montreal (Scientist)

Professional Interests

  • Patient and caregiver experience
  • Patient and caregiver engagement
  • Co-design

Research Interests

Susan leads a program of research and knowledge translation on experiences of illness using qualitative research involving audio/video recording. Results are shared online at to provide information and support to others with similar health problems, and so that others, including educators and healthcare professionals, can learn from their experiences to improve the quality of care, and help to shape healthcare systems that are patient-centred. The Canadian Health Experiences Research Network involves scientists, patients and care providers across Canada, and is part of an international network of 13 country-based teams engaged in similar research using methods originally developed at Oxford University. See:

Current Major Research Projects

  • Women’s experiences of heart failure
  • Living with long-COVID
  • Experiences of perinatal mental health
  • Perspectives on the use of medical cannabis for chronic pain

Professional Background

Susan has had a hybrid career in research and management, holding positions as a senior manager in the Canadian and UK healthcare systems, as a manager of research at the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CFHI and now Healthcare Excellence Canada) and CIHR, and has training applied and qualitative research methods. She is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Better Health at Trillium Health Partners, Scientist at St. Mary’s Research Centre in Montreal, Associate Professor at IHPME, and Adjunct Professor at McGill Department of Family Medicine.

Thesis Supervision (2013+)

  • Sarah Carbone (member of PhD advisory committee, IHPME) – Supervisor: Kerry Kuluski. Ongoing.
  • Katya Loban (member of PhD thesis advisory committee, McGill University). Supervisor: Jeannie Haggerty. Creating Partnerships for Change: A Multi-stakeholder Collaboration Towards Organizational Innovations to Promote Access to Primary Health Care for Vulnerable Populations. Completed 2021.
  • Ilja Ormel (supervisor for PhD thesis; co-supervisor Ann Macaulay, McGill University). A partnership approach to improving humanitarian assistance: patient and community narratives of cholera in Haiti. Completed 2021.
  • Shinjini Mondal (member of PhD advisory committee, McGill University) – Supervisor: Antonia Maioni. Understanding the dynamics of multisectoral policy: an examination of implementation networks and governance practices of tobacco control in India. Completed 2021.
  • Saadia Mahmood (preceptor for MHSc practicum, IHPME). Scoping review of the qualitative evidence on patient experience of Huntington’s Disease (published). Completed 2020.
  • Donna Plett (supervisor for MSc, IHPME). Evaluation of online resource featuring video narratives of partnership experiences. Completed 2020.
  • David Loutfi (co-supervisor for PhD thesis with Anne Cockroft, McGill University). Reducing HIV in Botswana: using social network analysis to locate and engage vulnerable young women in government structural programs. Completed 2019.
  • Nadia O’Brien (member of PhD advisory committee, McGill University) – Supervisor: A Pokomandy). Engaging patients and providers towards improving access to primary care for women living with HIV in Canada:  a knowledge translation project. Completed 2019.
  • Daniela Eassey (external examiner for PhD exam, University of Sydney). Living with severe asthma: a self-determination theory perspective. Completed 2019.
  • Nickoo Merati (co-supervisor MSc thesis with Jon Salsberg, McGill University). Cree youth engagement in community-based health planning. Completed 2018.
  • Safina Adatia (co-supervisor for MSc thesis with Jeannie Haggerty, McGill University). Introducing a quiet time on a maternity ward: engaging patients and staff to assess benefits and barriers. Completed 2015.
  • Nour Redding (co-supervisor for MSc thesis with Jeannie Haggerty, McGill University). Understanding women’s preferences, choices and expectations of group versus individual prenatal care. Completed 2015.
  • Alexandra Dimmer (supervisor for MSc thesis, McGill University). Mental illness in the family: investigating the sibling experience. Completed 2014.
  • Tabitha Tonsaker (co-supervisor for MSc thesis, with Gillian Bartlett, McGill University). Caregivers and web-based health information: An exploratory qualitative study of information seeking, information use, and perspectives. Completed 2013.

Selected recent publications:

Cadel L, Marcinow M, Sandercock J, Dowedoff P, Guilcher SJT, Maybee A, Law S, Kuluski K. A scoping review of patient engagement activities during COVID-19: More consultation than partnership. PLoS ONE 16(9): e0257880. https://

Loban K, Scott C, Lewis V, Law S, Haggerty J. Improving primary health care through partnerships: Key insights from a cross-case analysis of multi-stakeholder partnerships in two Canadian provinces. Health Science Reports, October 6, 2021, 4:e397.

Loban E, Scott C, Lewis V, Law S, Haggerty J. Activating partnership assets to produce synergy in primary health care: a mixed methods study. Healthcare 2021, 9, 1060. https://

Mahmood S, Bombard Y, Law S. “I have to start learning how to live with becoming sick”: A scoping review of the lived experiences of people with Huntington’s Disease. Clinical Genetics, July 3, 2021.

Law S, Ormel I, Babinski S, Kuluski K, Quesnel-Vallée A. “Caregiving is like on-the-job training but nobody has the manual”: What caregivers say about their roles within the healthcare system. BMC Geriatrics 2021, 21(404), 1-11.

Dimmer A, Rozmovits L, Babinski S, Law S. Mental illness in the family: the experiences of well siblings of young adults with mood and anxiety disorders. Accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, June 10, 2021.

Law S, Ormel I, Babinski S, Plett D, Dionne E, Schwartz H, Rozmovits L. Dread and solace:  talking about perinatal mental health. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 2021; 30(S1): 1376-1385. First published May 24, 2021.