McGill Family Medicine Blended Learning Program in China and the Coronavirus


Published: 29Mar2020

McGill Family Medicine Blended Learning Program in China and the Coronavirus

An important and unexpected benefit of the McGill Family Medicine Innovations in Learning (FMIL) international distance blended learning program for GP teachers in China has been the creation of an online community. The 12-month distance blended education program for 25 Chinese GP teacher participants in 3 cities in China: Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Qinghai was completed last year. As part of the program, an online discussion group with the Chinese GP teachers and McGill Family Medicine professors and instructors was set up using WeChat. Although the program finished before the pandemic, many of the community and hospital GPs who participated in the program are using the WeChat group to discuss and share experience and questions on how they are managing and living with the Coronavirus. In the next McGill Family Medicine distance blended program for GP teachers scheduled to begin in several months for participants in Shanghai, a module jointly developed by McGill Family Medicine and Tongji University Family Medicine on the public health and primary care response in China and Canada, is in the planning stages.

Example of questions asked by one of the McGill Family Medicine instructors:

  1. If the patient is asymptomatic, is it recommended to use nucleic acid to test a large number of people and then isolate them from their family members?
  2. People in China use lopinavir/ritonavir 200mg/100mg BID or plus ribavirin, and chloroquine 500mg BID*10 day. Which one do you use most frequently? Which ones are the most efficient? Do you have any suggestion?

Some answers by GPs in China:

  • For those patients who are not showing symptoms, they are contagious for others. They should be tested and isolated. If resources is available, should isolate all the contacted people as soon as possible. We tested as many people as possible here and the test results come in the same day. This is critical to protect other people from getting it. From our experience, a lot of the contacted people with confirmed cases have been tested positive at a later time.
  • From a point of view to prevent the propagation, people should isolate themselves. We should provide all isolated people with living essential supplies.
  • Blood routine and Creactive protein should be used as the initial screening method, followed by chest CT to identify suspected cases
  • CT test should be used in early stage to detect the suspects, and then send to Nucleic acid test as soon as possible
  • Treatment: Interferon 500U nebulized BID, Abidol, Vitamin C, and a small amount of antibiotics, effective for early treatment. For patients with severe symptoms (high temperature, severe lung situation), methylprednisolone 40mg – 80mg for three days


Article by: Tamara Carver and Rachel Simmons 

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