THUNDER BAY – Healthbeat – On September 5-7, 2012, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) welcomed 9 delegates from the China Medical Board Study to the School’s East Campus at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Comprised of medical leaders from various medical universities in Western China, the delegation has come to learn about rural health in Canada and how NOSM collaborates with local communities and health services to recruit local students, provide education programs grounded in the Northern/rural context, and graduates health professionals with the skills and the desire to practice in rural and underserved areas.
“There are so many things we have learned since our arrival,” said Roman Xu, China Medical Board Office Director. “The curriculum and how it is delivered at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine is so vastly different to curriculums used at medical universities in China”.
Technology at the School was a particular highlight for the group. One example of the technology used is each class is connected by videoconferencing equipment. The lecture can be performed by a professor at either of the School’s campuses with students connected from sites across Northern Ontario. “The use of this technology would be of great benefit to the rural and remote areas we are trying to reach,” said Xu.
“What an exciting opportunity it is for us to showcase the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to leaders from medical Universities in rural China,” explained Dr. Roger Strasser. “Although there are differences between our School and the universities they represent, we have commonalities that link us and we can most certainly learn from each other.”
With many areas of rural China suffering from doctor shortages, the China Medical Board is touring one group of medical delegates through NOSM and another is visiting a medical program in Thailand. The NOSM delegation is touring the medical school at Laurentian and meeting with many of NOSM’s staff and faculty members, visiting Health Sciences North, and travelling to Parry Sound, one of NOSM’s host communities for the Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC).
The China Medical Board tour is in advance of an exciting joint world conference that will be hosted by NOSM on October 9-14, 2012, in Thunder Bay and across Northern Ontario. More than 800 delegates from around the world will converge in the North with visits to Sioux Lookout, Marathon, and Sudbury, and communities in between. This conference will bring together the Wonca World Rural Health Conference and The Network: Towards Unity for Health annual conference, as well as the NOSM/Flinders Conference on Community Engaged Medical Education, the Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula, and the Training for Health Equity Network.
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centred, community-engaged education and research.