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Photo of a young maple tree with green leaves growing in dark soil. To the right of the tree are the words Rooted in the North.


The majority of learners at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine come from the North, and many stay in the North upon completion of their studies. For most learners, the decision to study with NOSM is an easy one, because Northern Ontario is home. Like many Northern Ontarians, they are passionate about their roots in the region, and are dedicated to ensuring that all people—no matter where they live—have access to quality health care.

Throughout their time at NOSM, learners become intertwined in the communities that participate in their education. For those learners who come from outside Northern Ontario, these relationships are key to developing their own roots in the region.

Whether they already have roots here, or their roots grow over time, our learners do not just come and go. Thanks to their education in the North, and the communities that embrace them, more Northern Ontarians are inspired to become learners, and more learners are inspired to stay in the region following completion of their studies.

NOSM is rooted in the North. We owe our progress in making Northern Ontario a healthier place for the many people and communities who have supported NOSM and advocated for improved health services in our region. If you would like to join the effort to continue to change the health-care landscape of the North for the better, please consider making NOSM your charity of choice.

Learn about Dr. Kayla Berst’s story of becoming a family physician in Northern Ontario…

Photo of Dr. Kayla Burst in a doctor's office. Dr. Berst has a stethoscope around her neck.My name is Kayla and I’m a graduate of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and a family physician in Northern Ontario. As a medical student, I experienced what it would be like to work in the North and most importantly learned about the specific health issues that may affect my patients here.

NOSM is more than just a medical school; it exists because people like you, in communities like yours, believe that everyone—no matter where they live—deserve access to quality health care.

Because of NOSM, my patients don’t have to travel to see a doctor. They have access to me—a homegrown health-care provider—in their own community who knows their history and how to help them. We work together to prevent and manage their health issues and to help them live healthier lives.

The dream of improved access to essential health-care services in Northern Ontario is becoming a reality. Our roots are strong, but there are still communities who need doctors and other health-care professionals. Join me in investing in NOSM and improving the health of our region.

Here’s a short video about what I do in my practice every day.

Thank you, merci, miigwetch,

Dr. Kayla Berst
Family physician and NOSM alumna

Hear how donors from Sault Ste. Marie have supported Dr. Brandon Entwistle…

Photo of Dr. Brandon Entwistle.My name is Brandon Entwistle, I am a proud graduate of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and an honoured recipient of the Bring a Doctor Home Bursary. I want to thank the Sault Ste. Marie community for your support of this bursary—it provided the financial support I needed, when I needed it most.

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, it’s always been very important for me to be educated and to practice in Northern Ontario. A dream that, thanks to you, became a reality. Because of your support I was not stressed about the cost of a medical education, and I was able to concentrate on becoming one of the best doctors in order to return to, and serve my community.

It is no secret that the Sault Ste. Marie area has a doctor shortage. It is also no secret that we have seen a big improvement since the creation of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Having your financial support for medical students from Sault Ste. Marie through the Bring a Doctor Home Bursary and the Sault Ste. Marie Community Bursary makes it easier for us to come home to our city and provide quality health care to you.

I am reminded everyday of the struggles that still exist within the health-care system. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that everyone has access to those services right here in Northern Ontario.

Just like my dream to become doctor, I dream of the day when everyone in Sault Ste. Marie has a family doctor and can receive specialty care at home instead of traveling to larger centres elsewhere.

As the end of the year approaches, I am asking you to invest in NOSM and the continued health of Sault Ste. Marie. Please support the medical students of Sault Ste. Marie by donating to the bursary program. The success of NOSM and its mission to improve access to health care in Northern Ontario depends on you.

I am forever grateful and humbled by your support,

Dr. Brandon Entwistle
Radiologist and NOSM alumnus

Dr. Roger Strasser shares some of NOSM’s successes in this story…

Photo of Dr. Roger sitting in his office, at a desk. Dr. Strasser is wearing a light blue shirt with a NOSM logo embroidered on the left chest. It is hard to believe that when we began this journey together in 2002, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine would evolve to where it is today. People, communities and organizations across the North had a dream that everyone in the region—no matter where they live—deserves access to quality health care. Because of you, NOSM has taken root in the North.

The majority of NOSM learners come from the North, and many stay in the North once they graduate. Since 2011, 194 NOSM-educated family physicians are now practising in our region, resulting in better access to care for approximately 228,000 people.

Real progress has been made, and the dream of improved access to essential health-care services for everyone in Northern Ontario is becoming a reality. You trusted us to deliver a medical school that would transform access to health care in our region. You are helping students from Northern Ontario realize their dreams. You are helping fund the tools necessary for a world-class education in a rural setting. And you are making a difference.

Your belief in our work helped make Sandi Adamson’s dream a reality. Dr. Adamson is now a physician in her hometown of Bracebridge, Ontario where she cares for the people of her community.

Today, more than ever, we need to keep the vision alive and moving forward. Our roots are strong, but there are still communities who need doctors and other health-care professionals. For this reason, I ask for your support once again.

There’s never been a better time to give and support a healthier Ontario! Thank you, merci, miigwetch for believing in the dream of a medical school in Northern Ontario and for sharing this journey with us.

Dr. Roger Strasser
Founding Dean & CEO
Northern Ontario School of Medicine

This is Gail Brescia’s story…

Photo of Gail Brescia

My name is Gail and I have worked at NOSM since 2007. This is my story.

I’ve been very fortunate… I’ve had a family doctor for most of my life. She was the one who delivered my son 28 years ago; who confirmed my breast cancer diagnosis in 2015 and who has cared for my health for the past 30 years. Soon, she will retire, and I am so thankful that we have a medical school, here in the North, that is preparing future doctors to take care of my family, me… and others like us.

When my dad underwent chemotherapy for lymphoma, he was seen by a NOSM graduate. A NOSM faculty member helped us make the difficult decisions facing our family when my dad was dying.

When my mother-in-law’s family doctor retired, a NOSM alumna took her on as a patient and ultimately diagnosed her with lupus. When my father-in-law was dealing with emergency heart failure, it was a NOSM graduate, and childhood friend of my son, who attended in the ER.

NOSM graduates are not just doctors; they are part of our Northern Ontario family.

Every day, my colleagues and I see our medical students working toward their dream of practicing medicine in Northern Ontario. They will be the ones caring for you and your family’s health for many years to come. You can help them fulfill their dream!

Will you join me and chip in $35…$50…$100 or more… to help a family get access to the health-care services they’ll need?

Today I’m asking you to give the gift of family health by supporting the NOSM Visionary Fund – the fund that helps provide all the tools that strengthen the experiences needed to educate world-class doctors right here in our communities.

Your donation, sent today… will help everyone in the North have access to the health care they deserve.

For this, I can’t thank you enough!

Learn more about our areas of support and how to invest in leading health-care research and education in Northern Ontario.


There are many aspects of NOSM where your support can help us provide the tools, equipment and funding needed by learners to obtain a world-class education.

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