Skip to main content

Norma Bélanger is an indisputable leader in teaching and a leading authority in health science education. Throughout her career, she contributed to a number of large projects in the Faculty of Medicine, paving the way for major developments. Her ability to listen, openness, and unwavering commitment made her an inspiration to her peers.

Leading figure in the Faculty of Medicine

Teaching has always been at the heart of her professional work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Université de Montréal and taught nursing at the college level. At the same time, she completed a master’s degree in adult education. She then studied medicine at Université Laval and became a family physician at Hôpital Saint-François d’Assise in 1992. Appointed assistant professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine in 2002, she became a full professor in 2009.

Over the course of her career, she took on the role of educational leader in the Faculty of Medicine. She helped develop the teaching skills of a number of healthcare professionals as faculty development officer in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine from 1996 to 1999, and again later, until 2017. As director of the doctorate in medicine program from 2002 to 2004, she worked with peers and students to conduct a thorough review of this program. Following that work, which began in 2003, she was responsible for implementing the revised program, which involved an action research project.

She was actively involved with the Office of the Vice Dean of Education and Educational Development in the Faculty of Medicine as director of educational development from 2010 to 2015, then as acting vice dean, and lastly, as educational assistant to the vice dean from 2015 to 2019.

During her remarkable career, Norma Bélanger helped establish an Education Leadership Chair (CLE) in the Faculty of Medicine. She was also involved in developing and implementing training programs in university health science education, including a short program and a master’s degree. She was instrumental in creating Devenir un superviseur compétent, an educational training course for clinical teachers.

A symbol of commitment to education

Retired from Université Laval in 2018, Norma Bélanger continues to be involved in education, particularly with colleagues from low- and middle-income countries. She is still working in Haiti to restructure the country’s medical education system. This major project, initiated in 2013, is a partnership between the faculties of medicine at the State University of Haiti, Université de Montréal, and Université Laval.

From 2021 to 2023, she collaborated on the development of an educational development activity on shared decision-making in prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome. This project is overseen by the Canada Research Chair in Shared Decision and Knowledge Translation.

Throughout her career, Norma Bélanger developed and implemented a wide range of educational tools for knowledge transfer. She worked to break down interprofessional silos and foster synergy among healthcare workers. She helped train many family physicians and other professionals, both here and abroad.

All these achievements earned her the Certificate of Merit Award from the Canadian Association for Medical Education in 2010 and the Career in Teaching Award as part of Université Laval’s Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2017.