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NOSM University’s Momentum— a thrilling series of events!

Posted on April 1, 2022

You might recognize this formula: p=mv, or momentum (p) is equal to mass (m) times velocity (v).

So: a moving thing picks up speed (v) when something is added to it (m), and the more that happens, the stronger that thing’s momentum (p).

Our medical school was already moving forward. And then… On March 4, 2022 the province made NOSM University Canada’s first independent medical university, effective April 1, 2022. Then, just eleven days later, we were told that NOSM University will expand to add 30 medical degree seats and 41 residency spots over the next five years. That’s a big jump: NOSM currently enrolls 64 MD students and 60 first-year residents a year. This is a journey that is once-in-a-lifetime.

Talk about momentum: we’re at that thrilling moment on the rollercoaster when we’ve done the initial climb, and we’ve reached that anxious, knowing pause at the top. A look out onto the horizon, and then whoosh! We dive forward into the loops and bends of what’s next.

Thriving in this changing world requires innovative thinking, and new ways to use knowledge and ideas. In this regard, health care and health research and education have never been more important. We are responding to emerging challenges and taking full advantage of new opportunities. That’s especially true given the nature of what we do and where we live and work. We all know how complex and fragile the health-care system is across Northern Ontario. We all know the consequences of chronic health-care gaps for people. We are trying to transform the system for the North so that we can reach into underserved communities like never before.

We will tackle the seemingly impossible: deliver true and sustainable health equity to the 800,000 people who call this region home. At NOSM University we will provide the tools, knowledge, and insights into the human condition required to ensure the well-being of Canadians and of societies around the world.

With these two announcements, NOSM University, now some-20 years in the making, has renewed momentum—and we’re going to use it.
  • We’re going to define what it means to be an independent medical university in Canada – leading the way in fiscal accountability and transparency.
  • We’re going to advance the national conversation around effective, affordable rural and Northern health care: what it looks like and how to provide it.
  • We’re going to strengthen our existing partnerships and grow new ones, and we’re going to reaffirm and deepen our commitment to the North.
  • We’re going to educate more physicians and other health care providers for the North and help them develop as leaders in their communities. We will expand our education and training programs to meet societal need.
  • We’re going to keep advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion. And we will keep fighting racism, and seek truth and reconciliation.
  • We’re going to make scientific discovery a priority and lead collaborative research in the North and look for new partnerships for cutting-edge opportunities in primary care, educational technology and population health.
  • We’re going to 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.
  • We’re going to raise funds to support our learners to provide financial aid through bursaries and scholarships like the Slaight scholarships for BIPOC women.

As NOSM University, Canada’s first independent medical university, we are going to do all that and more.

We’ve got the momentum—enjoy the journey, get on board, and watch us go.

Miigwetch, thank you, marsi, merci,

Dr. Sarita Verma
President, Vice Chancellor, Dean and CEO
NOSM University

If you have any feedback or comments, please reach out at and follow me on Twitter @ddsv3.

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