James Dickinson

Dr. James Arthur Dickinson

Pronouns: he, him



Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine


Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute


Community Health Sciences

Contact information

Web presence

Preferred method of communication

Admin Assistant

Nicole McCauley

Email: nicole.mcauley1@ucalgary.ca



Educational Background

Bach of Med and Surgery Medicine, University of Queensland, 1973

Doctor of Philosophy Medicine, University of Newcastle, 1989


Dr. Dickinson is a Family Physician, with training in Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine. After medical training from Queensland University, he did Family Medicine training at McMaster University, then a Kellogg Fellowship at McGill. He returned to Australia and wrote his PhD on Preventive Activities in General Practice, while working in General Practice and as a Fellow at Newcastle University. Subsequently he was the first advisor in General Practice to the Australian Department of Health in Canberra, then held chairs in the University of Western Australia and Chinese University of Hong Kong. He returned to Canada in 2002, and has worked in the teaching practice of the Department of Family Medicine since then. He has had a long-term interest in prevention and screening, and has published research on screening effectiveness for: cervical, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer. He participates on provincial and national screening program committees, and was appointed to the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care from 2009 to 2016. He runs the Alberta sentinel practice program for surveillance of respiratory virus disease in the Alberta community, the TARRANT pogram. That program is a part of the Sentinel Practice Surveillance Network that involves 4 provinces, to enable yearly estimates of viral vaccine effectiveness. He also researches antibiotic use in community practice and writes about health care policy. 


Areas of Research

Area of Focus
  • Infection
  • Population Health
  • Vaccination
Summary of Research

The Tarrant program of Community Sentinels involves community physicians who take samples from all patients attending with Influenza-like-illness, and complete a short questionnaire about the illness and vaccination status. This information contributes to understanding how Influenza epidemics are moving through the Alberta community, and together with that from three other provinces, allows assessment of influenza vaccine effectiveness each year. This information contributes to choices for the next year's vaccine by WHO, and provides much new knowledge about influenza virology. The community Gastroenteritis study is starting to obtain similar information for gastroenteritis.

Participation in university strategic initiatives