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Canadian Dental Schools Issues & People Professional Issues Research

The McGill Qualitative Health Research Group: Advocating for the Qualitative Approach

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Mary Ellen Macdonald, Associate Professor in the Division of Oral Health and Society Research in the Faculty of dentistry at McGill University and the founder of the McGill Qualitative Health Research Group (MQHRG). 

The qualitative approach to biomedical and oral health research has for a long time been stigmatized as a soft or less rigorous research approach. However, today, researchers are realizing the inability of many quantitative methods to answer complex research questions, in particular if used as stand-alone methods. 

Dr. Mary Ellen Macdonald founded the McGill Qualitative Health Research Group as a safe space where researchers can talk about and advance less conventional types of research. 

We always hope that you benefit from our interviews and our content. You are welcome to share your thoughts, questions, and suggestions through oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

Until next time!

Chiraz Guessaier
CDA Oasis Manager


MQHRG was founded in January 2003 by a group of qualitative researchers from McGill University with the intention of providing an informal yet rigorous learning environment for Qualitative Health Researchers at McGill. The group has grown to over 250 Listserv members from Canadian universities and hospitals, and have developed national and international affiliations with researchers from Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, Norway and the International Institute for Qualitative Inquiry.

In 2007, we organized McGill’s first qualitative health conference, Ensuring Quality in Qualitative Health Research. and in 2012, MQHRG Graduate students were invited to form an organizing committee to contribute to the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM’s) 18th Qualitative Health Research Conference. In 2017, the group teamed up with DIPEx International and Trillium Health Partners-Institute for Better Health to host an Advanced Seminar in Critical Qualitative Health Inquiry.

The group meets regularly in McGill’s Division of Oral Health and Society. These meetings provide a forum for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to obtain informal peer review, and for faculty to present projects and findings as well as to mentor junior scholars.

The group is always looking for new members to keep the group diverse and dynamic. If you are interested in joining, please visit the MQHRG website or contact them directly at this email address: crystal.noronha@mcgill.ca

Full Interview (15.03″)



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