VA Quality Scholars (VAQS)

The VAQS program began in the late 1990's and has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive and established Quality Improvement (QI) training programs. The program runs for two years and is designed to nurture fellows and junior faculty and allow them to develop a career in research, in QI and health services, or in QI within the framework of a position in medical administration, education, or clinical practice. The VAQS program is intended for health care professionals in advanced stages of training or junior faculty who would like to pursue careers in quality improvement.

The VAQS program is designed using a 'hub and spoke' model. The program centre now exists at Baylor University Medical School where faculty run the program and work in direct partnership with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, which oversees all Special Fellowship Programs in VA. There are eight other sites (spokes) in different geographic locations across the United States.

Toronto is the ninth site and the only non-American site for the VAQS program. Sites function independently.

The two-year VAQS fellowship is comprised of six components:

  1. Weekly two-way interactive videoconference (TWIV) sessions –These sessions will occur at the downtown location of the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (Hospital for Sick Children) for the University of Toronto site. Each site will have fellows and occasionally other academic clinicians participate with required readings and presentations. These typically occur on every second Friday afternoon from 2pm-3pm EST.
  2. Weekly half-day meetings on Friday afternoons – Group meetings to discuss QI projects will be held every Friday afternoon from 1pm-2pm. Therefore we meet from 1pm-3pm every Friday afternoon.
  3. Face to face meetings will occur at the VAQS Summer Institute. For 2017/2018, it will occur Monday, August 14th – Friday, August 18, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
  4. The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Forum held on October 23, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
  5. Project design and development. Fellows should build a portfolio of knowledge, skills and attitudes during their fellowship experience. The outcome of this work should be the development of competencies needed to promote the scholarship, research and practice of quality improvement.
  6. Teaching of the improvement of health care. This would ideally be in the fellow’s area of clinical interest and be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Applications are now available. Please click to download -- VAQS application 2017-2019

Are you interested in learning more about the VAQS in Toronto?

Please contact Dr. Rory McQuillan for more details. | 416-340-4800 ext. 2065 | Cell: 647-282-2448


Important Info.

Course Co-Directors:
Dr. Rory McQuillan
Dr. Chaim Bell

Method of Course Delivery:
In-person & videoconferencing

Fri 1:00PM-3:00PM
July 2017 to May 2019

Summer Institute:
Aug 14-18, 2017 in Houston, TX

Course Location:
UofT C-QuIPS - SickKids Site, Suite 630, 525 University Ave., Toronto

Tuition Fees:
$1500 (each year)