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Media Release


Canada’s Newest Medical School to Welcome Over 850 Delegates from 45 Countries to Northern Ontario for Rendez-Vous 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2013

Next week, beginning Tuesday, October 9, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) will host a major six-day world conference-Rendez-Vous 2012-in Thunder Bay and in communities across Northern Ontario. Over 850 delegates are expected to attend from 45 different countries, including 150 health professional schools, to share experiences, opportunities, and challenges of community participation in education, service, and research.

Among many topics, conference delegates will explore issues related to rural, remote and underserviced health care, social accountability as it relates to health professional education, and the engagement of communities in the processes of educating future physicians and health professionals. The conference provides the opportunity for delegates to visit community partners across the City of Thunder Bay and surrounding area, and travel to Nipigon, Cochrane, Hearst, Manitoulin Island, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Sudbury, and Wawa to experience first-hand NOSM's distributed model in action.

Rendez-Vous 2012 is not like any other meeting before it, as it brings several world health and medical education organizations and annual conferences together for the first time. Rendez-Vous 2012 will bring together the Wonca World Rural Health and The Network: Towards Unity for Health annual conferences, as well as the next NOSM/Flinders conference on Community Engaged Medical Education, the Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula, and the Training for Health Equity Network.*

"The Northern Ontario Schools of Medicine is absolutely thrilled to be welcoming the world of innovation in health professional education to Northern Ontario," said Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean. "Many of the delegates participating in Rendez-Vous 2012 share NOSM's commitment to the socially accountable education of high quality physicians and health professionals with an affinity to practise in underserved rural and remote regions, for which NOSM is recognized globally as a leader."

The NOSM model of distributed, community-engaged learning and research has many lessons to share with underserviced areas around the world. When it opened its doors in 2005, NOSM became the first and only medical school in Canada to have a social accountability mandate, which guides the School to be accountable to the needs of the people and communities of Northern Ontario. Seven years later, NOSM's distinct model of distributed, community-engaged model of learning and research is working as intended. NOSM-trained physicians are opening practices, joining family health teams, and providing locum support for communities across Northern Ontario.

* See Backgrounder on Rendez-Vous 2012 Conference Organizations for more information.

** See Backgrounder on Northern Ontario School of Medicine for more information.

* Backgrounder on Rendez-Vous 2012 Conference Organizations

Rendez-Vous 2012 is a joint world conference with over 850 delegates attending from almost 50 countries. The event has been over a year in the planning, with many organizations and individuals involved during that time.

Rendez-Vous 2012 brings together the following organizations, all of which have contributed greatly to the development of the conference program (available at www.rendez-vous2012.ca):

Northern Ontario School of Medicine The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is the first medical school to open in Canada in over 30 years. Since its official opening in 2005, the School has developed and delivered a distinctive model of distributed, community engaged, and socially accountable medical education and research. NOSM has campuses at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, with over 70 teaching and research sites across Northern Ontario. NOSM is a made-in-the-North solution that is attracting attention from around the world for its innovative model. In a very short time, NOSM has become a world leader in community-engaged medical education and research, while staying true to its social accountability mandate of contributing to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.
http://www.nosm.ca/

The Network: Towards Unity for Health (The Network: TUFH) The Network: Towards Unity for Health (The Network: TUFH) is a global network of individuals, institutions and organizations committed to improving the health of the people and their communities. With its longstanding history of over thirty years, The Network: TUFH has played an important role in fostering community-oriented innovations, leading to curriculum reforms in education institutions around the globe. In recent years it became apparent that to improve community health, innovations in health professions education would have to be linked with complementary innovations in health services delivery and health policy development. To do so, The Network: TUFH promotes collaboration between different health and community stakeholders, such as health professionals, health managers, policy makers, the communities themselves, but also with other sectors of society such as business, education, government and grassroots organizations. The Network: TUFH is a Non- Governmental Organization, in official relationship with the World Health Organization.
http://www.the-networktufh.org/


Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice Wonca is the World Organization of Family Doctors. It is comprised of national colleges, academies or organizations concerned with the academic aspects of general family practice; its name was originally an acronym derived from this. Beginning with 18 members in 1972, there are now 120 member organizations in 99 countries. The mission of Wonca is to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world through defining and promoting its values, including respect for universal human rights and including gender equity, and by fostering high standards of care in general practice/family medicine. The Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice was formed in 1992. Wonca believes there is an urgent need to implement strategies to improve rural health services around the world. This will require sufficient numbers of skilled rural family doctors to provide the necessary services. The mission of the working party is Reaching Towards Rural Health as rural doctors in partnership with like-minded groups, through relationships, education, activism, conferencing and communication, and a vision of Health for All Rural People (HARP).
http://www.globalfamilydoctor.com/

Flinders University The Flinders University School of Medicine has an international reputation for integration and innovation in patient care, education and research. As a member of the Global Health Education Network and a founding member of The Training for Health Equity Network: THEnet, the School is also committed to being accountable to the community it serves, both locally and internationally. The Flinders University School of Medicine's main campus is situated in Adelaide, South Australia and co-located within Flinders Medical Centre, an academic medical centre combining a tertiary teaching hospital and medical school. The School is affiliated with other hospitals in the Southern Region of Adelaide and has a significant and expanding rural and remote presence with clinical training and research activities in regional areas of Australia.
http://www.flinders.edu.au/medicine/

Training for Health Equity Network: THEnet
The Training for Health Equity Network: THEnet is composed of 12 schools which are located in underserved and rural regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia and share pioneering innovative approaches to increase access and quality of care in their regions. THEnet schools define social accountability as the institutional responsibility to orient teaching, research and service activities to address priority health needs with a particular focus on the underserved. The schools are committed to measuring their success by how well they meet the needs of people they serve, and aim to turn academic institutions into more vocal actors in health and development policy debates, making the case for better health for all. THEnet is a consortium of health professional education institutions that are committed to achieving health equity through medical education, research and service that is responsive to the priority needs of communities. Together as a community of practice, and partnering with others, THEnet seeks to transform medical education, build institutional capacity and shape
http://www.thenetcommunity.org/

Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula The Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula (CLIC) is a group of faculty from medical schools around the world who have or are considering developing, implementing and studying the longitudinal integrated clerkship model to address core clinical training for undergraduate medical education.

Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LICs) have the following common core elements:

1. Medical students participate in the comprehensive care of patients over time.
2. Medical students have continuing learning relationships with these patients' clinicians.
3. Medical students meet, through these experiences, the majority of the year's core clinical competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.

** Backgrounder on the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is the first medical school to open in Canada in over 30 years. NOSM has campuses at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, with over 70 teaching and research sites across Northern Ontario.


NOSM:

Is a made-in-the-North solution that is attracting attention from around the world for its innovative model. In a very short time, NOSM has become a world leader in community-engaged medical education and research, while staying true to its social accountability mandate of contributing to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.

Has achieved full accreditation for its MD program, multiple residency programs, Continuing Education Professional Development (CEPD), and the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship (NODIP) program.

Has adopted an innovative research program that attracts graduate students, medical learners, health-care professionals, and scientists from around the world to investigate questions that have a direct relevance to the populations of Northern Ontario.

Has graduated emergency physicians, family physicians, a public health physician and dietitians from its programs; and seen our MD graduates move on to residencies in a range of specialties, predominantly rural family medicine, with a growing number now practising family physicians in Northern Ontario.


Consistent with its social accountability mandate, NOSM seeks to reflect the population distribution of Northern Ontario in each class:

Between 2005 and 2010, NOSM received 12,000 applications for 346 places.

The selection and admissions process resulted in 91% of all students from Northern Ontario with the remaining 9% coming from rural and remote parts of the rest of Canada.

There is substantial inclusion of Aboriginal (7%) and Francophone (22%) students.

This has been achieved without sacrificing academic excellence; the mean grade point average (GPA) each year has been 3.7 (out of 4) comparable with that of other Canadian medical schools.

Clinical education takes place in over 70 communities and many different health service settings, so that the students experience the diversity of communities and cultures in Northern Ontario.

Third year is a community based longitudinal integrated clerkship, the Comprehensive Community Clerkship. NOSM was the first medical school in the world in which all students undertake a longitudinal integrated clerkship.


Since 2009, there have been 220 MD graduates from NOSM.

135 (61%) have chosen family medicine (predominantly rural) training.

Almost all the other MD graduates are training in general specialties such as general internal medicine, general surgery and pediatrics, with a small number training in subspecialties like dermatology, plastic surgery and radiation oncology.

Thirty-three percent of NOSM graduates are training in Northern Ontario and many of the others have indicated their intention to return to Northern Ontario in the future.

In the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Part I examination, NOSM students have performed consistently above the national average, with very high scores in the section on clinical decision making.

Three of NOSM's graduating MD classes successfully matched to Canadian residency programs on their first attempt. NOSM is the only Canadian medical school in more than ten years to have all students matched in the first round of matches of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).


NOSM offers residency training in family medicine through the Family Medicine Residents of the Canadian Shield (FM RoCS) program, plus enhanced skills third year postgraduate positions, and residency programs in eight other major general specialties.


In 2008 and 2010, NOSM residents' total scores in the MCC Part II examination placed NOSM number one of 17 medical schools.

65% of NOSM residents stay in Northern Ontario after completing their training.

NOSM's distinct model of distributed, community-engaged learning and research is working as intended.

Already, there are early signs that NOSM is effective in enhancing the supply of generalist physicians who are responsive to diverse community needs and are collaborative members of health teams.

NOSM-trained health professionals are becoming leaders, researchers, and clinical teachers who are changing the future of health care in the communities of Northern Ontario.

A study of the Socio-Economic Impact of NOSM has shown that NOSM is contributing $67 - $82 million per year of new economic activity.

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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-centered, community-engaged education and research. 

Kimberley Larkin
Communications Officer
Phone: 705-662-7243
Email: klarkin@nosm.ca 

 

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