Its Official NOSM University – New Medical Solutions for the North

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THUNDER BAY – NEWS – It is a historic day in Thunder Bay. The city now has a new stand-alone medical school.

NOSM was established in 2002 as a purpose-built solution to tackle the ongoing doctor shortage in Northern Ontario. With more than 780 MD graduates and 692 residents having completed NOSM programs, it is estimated that 300 physicians are still needed in Northern Ontario to meet the immediate demand.

“Health care and health education and research have never been more important,” says Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor and Dean of NOSM University. “We all know how complex and fragile the health-care system is across Northern Ontario. NOSM University will transform the system for the North and reach into underserved communities like never before.”

With the Ontario Government’s recent announcement of medical education expansion, NOSM University will increase its medical degree enrolment by 47% and residency positions by 68% over the next five years.

“Becoming an independent medical university and through expansion, we have renewed momentum—and we’re going to use it,” says Dr. Verma, adding that NOSM University will:

  • define what it means to be an independent medical university in Canada leading the way in fiscal accountability and transparency;
  • advance the national conversation around effective, affordable rural and Northern health care: what it looks like and how to provide it;
  • strengthen existing partnerships and grow new ones, while reaffirming and deepening its commitment to the North;
  • educate more physicians and other health-care providers for the North and help them develop as leaders in their communities while expanding education and training programs to meet societal need;
  • continue advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion, fighting racism, and seeking truth and reconciliation;
  • make scientific discovery a priority, lead collaborative research in the North and look for new partnerships for cutting-edge opportunities in primary care, educational technology and population health;
  • ensure that NOSM University’s next generation of physicians, registered dietitians, physician assistants, medical physicists, and others have access to the finest high-quality fully-accredited educational programs; and,
  • raise funds to support our learners by providing financial aid through bursaries and scholarships.
“As NOSM University, we are going to do all that and more,” says Dr. Verma.

Since its establishment, NOSM has blazed trails in its short history. The unique, distributed, community-engaged learning model has grown into something extraordinary. This model requires strong ties and engagement with remote, rural, Indigenous and Francophone communities. NOSM University has partnerships and collaborations with more than 500 organizations, in 90+ communities, and more than 1,800 faculty dispersed across all of Northern Ontario.