McGill University pressed ahead with its plans to open a new satellite campus for its Faculty of Medicine in the Outaouais this week, despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 20 medical students attended their first classes at the campus on Monday, while four others attended class virtually. The satellite campus, which is attached to the emergency department of the Gatineau Hospital, was announced back in 2016 in a bid to keep more doctors in the region. Students can now complete their four-year undergraduate medical education in French at the Outaouais campus. They will also be able to complete their residency in the region.
The new campus is a joint project between McGill University and the Outaouais health authority, the Centre intégré de santé et services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO). The opening of the new campus was highly anticipated in the region, according to its associate dean and director, Dr. Gilles Brousseau. Brousseau told Radio-Canada he was happy to finally welcome the students, but warned the pandemic means students and faculty would have to be flexible and embrace online learning.