About NOSM Education Research Communities

Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program

Become part of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program in Canada with an explicit focus on building skills to improve northern, rural and Aboriginal health and to practice the full breadth and depth of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.  The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada officially approved a change in the specialty from Community Medicine to Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM).  The new specialty and residency program title reflects the residency's primary training mandates centered on development of competencies in assessing and influencing the determinants of health.

The NOSM Public Health and Preventive Medicine program is designed with flexibility to ensure residents meet the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeon’s training requirements while allowing tailored learning environments and areas of focus to meet residents’ career goals.

The majority of NOSM residency rotations are scheduled within northern Ontario. There are opportunities to pursue placements in other accredited Public Health and Preventative Medicine residency program sites across Canada (e.g. in Montréal, Vancouver, Manitoba) as well as elective placements in a variety of settings within Canada and across the world.  

With training slots available for two residents in each cohort, you may have a colleague in your year. The program expects to grow to capacity to ten residents.

NOSM offers: 


  • Approximately 60 core field and university-based faculty are associated with the program and connections to others are growing.
  • Faculty with expertise in Aboriginal Culture and Spirituality, Francophone Culture, Mines and Mills/Occupational Health, the Social Determinants of Health, and Wilderness Medicine.
  • The best of both worlds – placements in the North combined with learning experiences in larger urban centers.
  • Exceptional work-life balance and recreational opportunities.



Program Curriculum

The NOSM Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program aims to foster the ability of residents to flourish as independent practitioners of the discipline, who improve the health of populations. Five years of post-MD training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine are required by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). Your five years must include:


  • 1 to 2 years of clinical training
  • A minimum of 1 academic year of course work in Public Health and Preventative Medicine (previous graduate work may be credited), and
  • A minimum of 1 year of Public Health and Preventative Medicine field placements.



 The usual "path" of a Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident is likely to be:


  • Clinical training is completed within the NOSM Family Medicine Residency Program. This prepares trainees for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, Part II (MCCQE II) in the first year. Residents who pursue a second clinical year are eligible to write the Certification Examination in Family Medicine in their second year. The first year includes a one-month Orientation to Public Health and Preventative Medicine. A clinical elective in the second year may be focused on: Aboriginal and Rural/Remote Health, Infectious Diseases, Sexual Health, and/or Travel Medicine.
    • Academic exposure to Public Health and Preventative Medicine during the clinical years is provided through academic half days in connection with the University of Toronto. These rounds are followed by NOSM-specific PHPM rounds.  Academic half days occur weekly during the Orientation to Public Health and Preventative Medicine rotations. First and second year residents are expected to participate in Public Health and Preventive Medicine academic half days once a month during other rotations in their clinical years. Opportunity for a research project is available during the two clinical years.
  • Academic coursework to meet the requirements of a graduate degree, such as through distance courses offered for the Masters in Public Health at Laurentian University, Lakehead University, the University of Waterloo or other accredited institutions.  The Graduate Departments of Public Health Sciences and Health Policy, Management & Evaluation at the University of Toronto also offer relevant courses. Course topics related to building skills to assess and improve population health include: epidemiology and biostatistics, program evaluation, needs assessment, Canada's health system and policy, field investigation, health promotion, global health and others.
  • Field training placements in various placements sites, from local to international levels, including a focus on the following subject areas: three months for Aboriginal and rural/remote health; two months for environmental health; four months for communicable disease control; four months for health policy and planning; three months for health promotion and chronic disease prevention; and six months for senior management and administration; as well as selectives and six months of electives.


Your options include:


  • A second clinical year of training to meet the requirements for licensing with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), with the approval of the Family Medicine program, or to focus on an area of Public Health and Preventive Medicine practice, such as sexual health or infectious diseases.  If the second clinical year of training is not pursued, a resident may use the second year to extend the time for graduate study electives.
  • A research thesis-based Master’s degree.
  • A focus in a specific area for your academic work and/or field placements, in addition to Aboriginal and rural/remote health, such as on: francophone health; occupational health; surveillance and health informatics; emergency preparedness; cancer prevention and screening; or global health.
  • A PhD pursued within the residency program.
    • Pursuit of a PhD may require an educational leave from the residency program or completion of the PhD following the Public Health and Preventive Medicine FRCPC certification examination.



 Potential Path 1:




Potential Path 2:




Application Information 


To apply to this program, visit www.carms.ca and select the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s Public Health and Preventative Medicine specialty program.



Some additional reading to spark your Public Health interest: 

Pioneering Graduate from NOSM PHPM Residency Program: http://www.nosm.ca/about_us/media_room/media_releases/media_release.aspx?id=15639 

Public Health Physicians of Canada (PHPC) website: 

Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) website: 

 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) Objectives of Training in Public Health and Preventative Medicine: 

Rural and Northern Health Care Framework Report http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ruralnorthern/report.aspx 

PHAC population health page

AFMC Primer on public health


What is Public Health? 







Contact Information 

Dr. Kimberley Barker 
Program Director, Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Jennifer Bognar
Postgraduate Coordinator
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Tel: (807) 766-7506
Fax: (807) 766-7483
Email: jbognar@nosm.ca





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