When you think of paramedics, many will imagine 911 calls, flashing red and white lights and emergency medical support. But in recent years, the field of paramedicine has changed dramatically. In addition to urgent stabilization and transport of patients, paramedics are increasingly providing much-needed non-emergency community-based health and social services.
In response to this evolution, the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto has created the Paramedicine Collaborative at DFCM, Canada’s first academic home for research, innovation, scholarship and graduate education in paramedicine.
“Over the last few years, the role of paramedicine in the health system has grown to include a focus on integrated community-based, and interprofessional primary health care, in addition to its core emergency and urgent care functions,” explains Dr. Walter Tavares, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and Paramedic and Scientist with York Region Paramedic Services. “As mobile care providers, paramedics are flexible enough to go where we are most needed, whether that’s to a home-bound patient, under-serviced rural areas, or parts of the healthcare system that need support.”