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Addressing the Gaps

Marathon doctor advises medical students to keep open mind about rural practice

Had she taken another path, Dr. Lily DeMiglio would probably be practising medicine in her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. That’s what she first thought she’d do after graduating from NOSM University’s MD and family medicine residency programs. Little did she know that a community about 400km north of the Soo on the North Shore of mighty Lake Superior would win her heart. Dr. DeMilgio says she always found Marathon to be very charming, but more than that, she fell in love with the broad scope of work she could practise as a rural generalist: from inpatient care to the emergency room, to work in the clinic and with First Nations co...

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‘All in:’ meet Dr. Akila Whiley, family doc who charted her own map and made Red Lake home

“It was minus-40 and it was January,” recalls Dr. Akila Whiley, recounting her arrival in the small community of Red Lake, some 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay. “It was a dark night,” she remembers. “I had no clue where I was. The person who cleans the runway drove me home… I didn't have my luggage.” “It was just crazy!” Dr. Whiley was born and raised in Halifax. Following an undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, she went back to Halifax to attend Dalhousie’s medical school. She then earned a spot at the University of Toronto and was working through a family medicine residency. She says that bec...

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Mentorship and community support inspires rural generalist practice for NOSM alumnus

Dr. Adam Moir (MD 2009, Family Medicine 2011) says one of the things that has helped him as a rural generalist is finding mentors. “If I have one skill, it's recognizing people that I admire and identifying them as a mentor. I reach out to physicians from different fields of medicine with different skill sets than me and I try to emulate their passion for clinical work or teaching.” He recalls how, in his early days of medical school at NOSM, he made connections with mentors that he still values to this day. Some of his earliest placements included the north shore communities of Terrace Bay and Marathon. “I spent the entire thir...

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