A meeting of minds: interdisciplinary research in the health sciences in Canada

CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal De L'Association Medicale Canadienne
Judith G HallPatty Solomon


Brought together by the newly formed Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), recognized national leaders in the 6 health sciences disciplines consider the environment for conducting interdisciplinary health research (IDHR) in Canada. Based on first-hand knowledge and thoughtful reflection, the authors argue that although much progress has been made in support of IDHR in Canada, the practical experience of researchers does not always bear this out. This article examines government, industry and academia to identify the cultural and structural characteristics that demand, promote or prevent IDHR in each sector. At its heart is the question, How can universities best support and enhance IDHR, not only for the benefit of science, but also to meet the growing needs of industry and government for intellectual capital? Focusing on the predominant health sciences disciplines, the authors define IDHR as a team of researchers, solidly grounded in their respective disciplines, who come together around an important and challenging health issue, the research question for which is determined by a shared understanding in an interactive and iterative process. In addition, they suggest that IDHR is directly linked to translational research,...Continue Reading


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