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NOSM Facts

Ever wonder what makes NOSM so unique? Here are some of the many ways that Canada’s newest medical school is pushing the boundaries of health professional education—here in Canada and around the world.

Facts about NOSM

  1. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) opened its doors in 2005, making it Canada’s newest medical school.
  2. It is the first Canadian medical school hosted by two universities, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, which are more than 1,000 kilometres apart.
  3. NOSM was the first medical school in Canada established with an explicit social accountability mandate. This means that NOSM is dedicated to contributing to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.
  4. NOSM was the first medical school in the world in which all students undertake a longitudinal integrated clerkship—wherein NOSM students spend their entire third year of medical school (eight months) in a midsized community in Northern Ontario.
  5. More than 90 communities across Northern Ontario contribute to educating NOSM learners.
  6. The entire geography of Northern Ontario (800,000 km2) is considered NOSM’s campus.
  7. NOSM has developed a distinctive model of distributed, community-engaged medical education.
  8. NOSM inspired a television series, Hard Rock Medical, which provides insight into the unique features and challenges of delivering health care in Northern Ontario.
  9. Two documentaries were made about NOSM: one by Dr. Hoi Cheu titled “The Rural Challenge,” and the other made by TVO called “The Doctor Can See You Now.”
  10. NOSM is a founding member of the Training for Health Equity network (THEnet), a group of socially accountable medical schools from around the world.
  11. NOSM relies heavily on innovative technology that allows faculty and students to connect to education from across Northern Ontario.
  12. Among many other accolades, NOSM has received three Global Best Awards by the International Partnership Network (IPN), which celebrate outstanding and effective business, education, and community organization partnerships that have a significant impact on the communities in which they operate.
  13. NOSM regularly hosts conferences and gatherings to seek input from Indigenous and Francophone peoples in Northern Ontario to ensure that the School tailors its initiatives to meet the needs of these communities.
  14. NOSM MD students complete more than 40% of his or her training in Indigenous, small rural, and larger urban Northern Ontario communities.
  15. Many community members in Thunder Bay and Sudbury act as Standardized Patients (SP) for the NOSM MD Program. SPs are healthy community volunteers who are trained to provide the medical history of real patients to assist students with the development of examination and communication skills.
  16. NOSM third-year students spend eight months living and learning in one of 15 mid-sized communities across Northern Ontario.
  17. NOSM MD students consistently attain particularly high scores in the clinical decision making section of the national competency examinations.
  18. Each year since NOSM’s inception, employees, retirees, and community members face off on the ice to raise money for NOSM students who hail from Sault Ste. Marie.
  19. Every July, NOSM hosts CampMed, annual, week-long day camps that inspire rural, remote, Indigenous, Francophone, and Northern youth to consider careers in the health professions.
  20. Each year during Orientation Week, NOSM medical students wear red clown noses to remind them of the importance of humility in their newly chosen profession.
  21. In 2007, NOSM accepted its first cohort of interns into the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program (NODIP), which educates dietitians in more than 75 sites across Northern Ontario.
  22. In 2014, NODIP received full accreditation status from the Dietitians of Canada (DC) until 2022.
  23. Research at NOSM addresses the questions of importance to improving the health of people and communities in the North.
  24. Since 2006, NOSM has hosted annual Northern Health Research Conferences that promote networking and collaboration in health research in Northern Ontario.
  25. NOSM provides high-quality rural, remote and small urban clinical elective placements throughout Northern Ontario to students and residents from across the country and around the world.
  26. NOSM partners with schools in southern Ontario to provide challenging clinical experiences for learners in audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech language pathology.
  27. In 2014, NOSM established a collaboration agreement with the University of Waterloo to educate Doctor of Pharmacy learners in Northern Ontario.
  28. NOSM provides hundreds of hours of continuing education each year across the North. Thanks to NOSM, physicians and health professionals don’t have to leave the North in order to maintain their license to practice.
  29. NOSM employs more than 1,700 faculty members located across Northern Ontario.
  30. Many NOSM graduates are now becoming faculty, teaching the next generation of NOSM learners in Northern Ontario.
  31. In recent years, NOSM faculty have received “Family Doctor of the Year” awards offered by the College of Family Physicians of Canada—a highly competitive, provincial award.
  32. A narwhal tusk was donated to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is now located in Dr. Serafina Penny Petrone Health Sciences Library at NOSM at Lakehead University.