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Why Give to NOSM?

A Northern Solution

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is evidence that when our communities pull together, Northern solutions to Northern issues can materialize.  Comparing NOSM to other medical schools would be like comparing apples and oranges.  NOSM is the first of many: first to serve as the Faculty of Medicine for two Universities (Laurentian and Lakehead); first to be created with an explicit social accountability mandate to address the health needs of people and communities it serves.

The Medical School’s vision is excellence in health sciences and medical education, research and service in, of, and for Northern Ontario.  The mission is to improve the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario by advancing the highest quality of medical practice, learning, teaching, research and professionalism. The School values, among many qualities, a passion for living in, working in, and serving Northern and rural communities. More than 90 communities participate in the education of NOSM learners.

For the Health of Our Communities

Shared knowledge, expertise and perspectives work together to create healthy communitiessocially, medically, economically and environmentally. Community participation is considered essential to the success of NOSM. With students distributed across the region, communities have a vital role in welcoming and supporting students to ensure they feel included and develop a particular affinity for living and working in a rural community.

NOSM is committed to meeting the needs of the people of Northern Ontario. NOSM faculty, staff, and students do not function in a traditional medical school building. Rather, the School’s boundaries are that of Northern Ontario and at any given time an individual may be working at one of the School’s two campuses or in a remote, rural, or urban community.

Physician Recruitment and Retention

Students who come from rural areas and who undertake their undergraduate and postgraduate education in rural areas, are most likely to become rural physicians. Medical school admissions research also demonstrates that enrolment of Northern Ontario students in existing medical schools is at a ten year low. With a medical school to call our own, Northerners have more opportunity to pursue medical education similar to those from other regions. 94% of NOSM graduates who have completed their MD and residency programs at NOSM are now practicing in Northern Ontario.

The application process is such that academic qualifications are balanced by an interview process that seeks out qualities of ingenuity, openness to different cultures, and independence. Preference is given to a well rounded pre-medical education including courses in humanities and social sciences in addition to the pure sciences.  Students of Aboriginal ancestry are actively recruited to the school, with a minimum of two seats reserved in each class.  In addition, NOSM strives to reflect the Francophone demographics of the region in its class profiles.

Economic and Research Benefits

Economic synergies with hospital partners, host communities, and researchers are evolving and furthering Northern Ontario as a vibrant centre for rural and Northern health-care innovation. Scientists from around the globe have relocated to Thunder Bay and Sudbury to teach at the School and to engage in areas of inquiry critical to the health of Northern residents. Over 600 clinicians across the North are committing to finding the time, energy, and resources to become involved in teaching our students.

In collaboration with local researchers from the host universities and other field sites, NOSM faculty develop research focused on Northern population health issues, cancer care, healthy aging and many other areas. For example, rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer are much higher here than in the rest of the country, and have provided a focus for research, discovery and investment.

Bursaries and Scholarships to Support the Future of Northern Medicine

Several individual community groups, organizations and businesses across the North have come together to donate funds for student bursaries. Financial aid allows medical students to focus on their studies, research and clinical education. Gifts to the bursary fund for students of NOSM are truly gifts of a lifetime and an investment in the dream of a healthier Northern Ontario.

Gifts made now will benefit classes for years to come. Support of student aid will further the goals of NOSM students and the communities served by the School.

Donations can be made towards the bursary fund endowment at either Campus. This endowment will be used to fund bursaries distributed to students in financial need through an annual application process. In addition, named bursaries and awards established in honour of individuals or groups create a meaningful legacy tied to the School.