O'Brien Institute for Public Health

CHS and O'Brien Institute Seminar Series

Overdiagnosis: Creating harm in the pursuit of health

Date: April 16, 2021
Time: 12 - 1 p.m.
Place: Online via Zoom

The Department of Community Health Sciences and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health presents:

Overdiagnosis: Creating harm in the pursuit of health


A global transformation in healthcare is urgently needed to reduce the harms and costs of unnecessary diagnoses and the related overuse of tests and treatments. “Overdiagnosis” is a newly recognized and complex global problem requiring innovative multi-layered interdisciplinary solutions. This presentation will highlight the burden of overdiagnosis and explore potential solutions to this vexing and wicked problem.


  • Understand overdiagnosis and its relationship to the concepts of over-detection, disease mongering, shifting disease definition thresholds, low-value care and diagnostic test accuracy.
  • Appreciate the myriad of complex drivers of overdiagnosis and consider feasible, researchable and measurable mitigating strategies.
  • Highlight academic and participation opportunities for the upcoming overdiagnosis conference in Calgary.


Dr. Eddy Lang
Professor and Department Head for Emergency Medicine
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone
http://cumming.ucalgary.ca/ermedicine/Scientific Director Emergency Strategic Clinical Network
https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/scns/Page9682.aspxCo-chair www.preventingoverdiagnosis.net Calgary, September 19-21, 2021 #PODC2021

Dr. Daniel Niven
Assistant Professor, Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Community Health Sciences
O’Brien Institute for Public Health

Dr. James Dickinson MBBS PhD CCFP FRACGP
Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary
Previously Member of Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care

Keltie Hamilton
Assistant to Scientific Office, Emergency SCN
MPH Epidemiology Candidate
BHSc Public Health

Arnav Agarwal, BHSc, MD(c)
Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Research Assistant, Clinical Urology and Epidemiology (CLUE)
Working Group Research Assistant, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University

This event is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact iph@ucalgary.ca