About NOSM Education Research Communities

FAMILY MEDICINE - Remote first nations stream

Program Overview

This residency stream comes with a four (4) year Return of Service (ROS) obligation to Eabametoong First Nation and another Matawa community or communities.

The NOSM Family Medicine Program, Remote First Nations Stream is a two-year residency in Family Medicine. It offers clinical learning placements in community-based Family Medicine leading to certification by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Residents can expect Family Medicine training that will prepare them for eventual practice in any community, and especially in rural, remote and Indigenous northern Ontario communities. 

Residents will have training opportunities in three communities based on the volume and availability of clinical experiences. These communities include Eabametoong First Nation, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay.

Residents who match to the NOSM FM Remote First Nations Stream will be required to home-base out of Thunder Bay, which will be their location of primary residence. Residents will travel to Eabametoong First Nation as their primary remote First Nation community, and will be placed with a Family Medicine preceptor, as well as community members and health professionals for various rotations and learning experiences, which will range from approximately 1-3 weeks in duration. Additional core rotations and training experiences will take place in the community of Sioux Lookout. 

Throughout the program, elective rotations (which can take place outside of these three communities) provide additional flexibility and enable residents to tailor their training to achieve competence in the domains of care and their individual learning objectives not met by immersions in the regular core rotations. Diversity of experience during elective rotations is encouraged and recognized as being extremely valuable.

Program Highlights

  • Community immersion in Eabametoong First Nation which will allow residents to become embedded in Indigenous culture and traditional practices, and experience the rewards and challenges of delivering health care in remote First Nations communities
  • Other diverse opportunities exist to encounter, immerse in and deliver health care to First Nation peoples within northern Indigenous communities in the Matawa Tribal Council Area
  • In addition to core Family Medicine training, opportunity to learn about traditional healing and medicine therapies from Elders and other community members, and to undertake academic curriculum designed around Indigenous health competencies
  • Concentrated training opportunities in cultural competency, addictions and mental health, and interprofessional team care
  • Early integration as a key member of an interdisciplinary health care team dedicated to professionalism, high quality patient care in a community context with excellent medical education
  • A diverse variety of community based primary care, in-patient and outpatient experiences emphasized from the beginning of residency
  • Unparalleled preceptor support from physician faculty and preceptors whose primary focus is patient care and teaching
  • Commitment to resident learning
  • Financial support for resident travel to and from core clinical placements away from the home base and all mandatory educational activities at non-home base locations. 
  • Housing support for core rotations away from home-base/primary residence for up to 6 months per academic year
  • Opportunities to participate in research under expert guidance
  • Funding available for research, professional development and conference participation
  • Access to advanced technology and informatics that allows 24/7 access to electronic search engines, and electronic indexes, as well as an extensive collection of electronic medical/health journals and textbooks
  • Exceptional lifestyle balance with a wide variety of outstanding northern Ontario recreational opportunities

Program Curriculum

The NOSM Family Medicine program is implementing Triple C competency-based curriculum in all training streams. This shift will centre residency training in the discipline of Family Medicine and the achievement of competency in comprehensive Family practice, while providing continuity in the educational and clinical settings.

FM residents in all streams complete and distribute multiple assessment tools to obtain feedback from preceptors. Residents will also regularly review their progress with a designated faculty member to identify and modify their learning plans. Candidates who are self-directed and engage in reflective practice are particularly suited to our residency program.

Remote First Nations Stream Clinical Curriculum
The NOSM Family Medicine Clinical Curriculum incorporates a diversity of experience and proficiency in areas integral to community-based family practice. Each resident will spend significant time in the community practice of family medicine preceptors. Residents participate in all aspects of the practice, including provision of continuous care to their own patients within the community and participation in the care of community patients referred to Thunder Bay whenever possible. Participation in the care of the practice’s patients in multiple environments including the hospital, patient’s home and other scenarios is encouraged. 

Please visit the Family Medicine Program Overview page for full details pertaining to the academic program, scholarly activities, and professionalism competencies.

Domains of Care


Curriculum Objectives

 Across the Life Cycle

  • Care of Children and Adolescents
  • Care of Adults
  • Care of Elderly
  • Maternal and Newborn Care
  • Men's Health
  • Palliative Care
  • Women's Health

Care of Underserved Patients

  • Behavioural Medicine & Mental Health
  • Indigenous Health
  • Learning about Traditional Indigenous Health Practices
 Procedural Skills

  • Procedural and Surgical Skills

Training Sites

Eabametoong First Nation
Residents will be immersed in the community of Eabametoong First Nation for various rotations. Training will include both clinical learning experiences, as well as cultural and traditional learning experiences. 

Eabametoong First Nation (also known as Fort Hope) is located on the shores of Eabamet Lake in the Albany River system, in Northwestern Ontario. The community location is approximately 240 km north of Beardmore and is accessible by airplane, water or winter/ice roads. The nearest road/railway town is Armstrong, 155 km southwest. Eabamet is 362-air km North of Thunder Bay; 347-air km Northeast of Sioux Lookout; & 217-air km northwest of Geraldton.

Travel via air from Thunder Bay to EFN is approximately one hour.

Eabametoong First Nation Community Profile
Eabametoong First Nation Community Website

Sioux Lookout
Residents in Sioux Lookout have great opportunities to be placed with Family Medicine preceptors who provide the full spectrum of scope of practice, including emergency care, obstetrics, and inpatient care.

Sioux Lookout Community Profile
Municipality of Sioux Lookout Website

Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay provides diverse hands-on training for Family Medicine residents in a closely knit medical community. You will have exposure to many different family practice styles, including solo, group, and inter-professional team based practices with many providing in-hospital care, walk-in clinics, palliative care and maternal/newborn care.

Thunder Bay is a regional referral centre for Northwestern Ontario. The high volume tertiary care hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), is a 375-bed tertiary care academic centre offering a comprehensive range of services in state-of-the-art healthcare facilities with a fully integrated Regional Cancer Centre Program. Other medical facilities in the city include the St. Joseph’s Care Group which offers complex care, physical rehabilitation, long term care, mental health and addictions; Norwest CHC; and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

Thunder Bay Community Profile
City of Thunder Bay Website

Contact Information

Dr. Stacy Desilets
Program Director, Family Medicine

Joeseph Michalik
Program Coordinator
NOSM at Lakehead University 
Thunder Bay ON P7B 5E1 
Tel:  (807) 766-7303
Fax:  (807) 766-7483 
Email:  jmichalik@nosm.ca 



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