“Primary care, the foundation of Canada’s healthcare system, is in crisis. Multiple complex factors have resulted in an estimated 6.5 million (22%) Canadians and 2.3 million Ontarians who are now without a family doctor, creating significant challenges accessing primary care, especially for vulnerable populations. There is an urgent need for data-driven insights to understand and address the problems Ontarians face accessing primary care. With the PSI Graham Farquharson KT Fellowship, I will lead and mobilize research guiding decisionmakers’ and policymakers’ understanding of and responses to the primary care crisis. My KT strategy aligns with PSI’s goal ‘to move research into the real world to help improve health outcomes’ and applies an equity lens aimed at improving access for vulnerable populations.” – Dr. Kamila Premji
PSI Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Kamila Premji as the recipient of the 2024 PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation (KT) Fellowship.
About Dr. Kamila Premji
Dr. Kamila Premji is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and a Clinician Researcher at the Institut du Savoir Montfort (ISM). She is a Family Physician who provides primary care services to approximately 1,200 patients in an urban community-based practice in Ottawa. She was awarded the Junior Clinical Research Chair in Family Medicine by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa (2020-2025). She is currently enrolled to complete her Ph.D. at the Centre for Public Health and Family Medicine at Western University. To date, she has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers as author or co-author and presented at numerous national and international meetings. Dr. Premji’s focus is on health services and policy research, with a special interest in access to primary care.
About the PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship
Knowledge translation research aims at transitioning research discoveries to the real world to improve health outcomes. The PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship – valued at $300,000 for over two or three years – helps protect a promising new clinician investigator’s research time, allowing the Fellow to undertake high-impact translational research in Ontario.
Dr. Kamila Premji highlights the importance of salary support awards for early career physician researchers.
“For early career researchers, salary support is a critical enabler of productivity, impact, and career development. With salary support, we can accelerate the growth of our program of research and build connections that translate into meaningful knowledge mobilization. I am grateful for PSI’s support and thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute to the health of Ontarians through research.”
Fellowship Funds to be Used to Improve Access to Primary Care in Ontario
Primary care is the foundation of Canada’s healthcare system. A recent national survey found that 97% of Canadians view access to a regular source of primary care as a basic right, and a large body of local and international evidence demonstrates that strong, accessible primary care systems result in improved health equity, improved health outcomes, and reduced health system costs. Concerningly, Canada’s primary care sector is experiencing capacity challenges that threaten access to primary care. More than 6.5 million Canadians and 2.3 million Ontarians are now without a regular source of primary care, and this is predicted to worsen due to factors such as health workforce retirements, declining interest in family medicine among medical students, shifts away from comprehensive, longitudinal family practice among family physicians, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health workforce burnout. Previous research has also found the pandemic has exacerbated health inequities, widening social disparities in access to primary care. With the PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship, Dr. Premji will produce and disseminate equity-oriented research guiding decisionmakers’ and policymakers’ understanding of and responses to the challenges accessing primary care in Ontario.