About NOSM Education Research Communities

Non-Academic Considerations

Competitive applicants will demonstrate a high level of self-motivation, be self-directed and thrive in a small group, case-based, distributed learning environment.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is seeking applicants who have a genuine interest in helping us to fulfill our mandate and to uphold our values. Criteria that will be examined include, but are not limited to:

  • growing up in a community in Northern Ontario;
  • demonstrated interest in living and working in Northern Ontario;
  • demonstrated interest in working with under serviced populations (no matter where they are);
  • ability to identify community needs and willingness to play a part in fulfilling these needs;
  • ability to demonstrate compassionate care;
  • cross-cultural experiences;
  • volunteer work;
  • extra-curricular activities

Autobiographical Sketch/Supplementary Questions

The Autobiographical Sketch is a detailed and comprehensive list of your activities since age 16, within any of the following categories:

  • F: Formal Education (name of institution, dates, program, degree)
  • E: Employment
  • V: Volunteer Activities
  • X: Extracurricular Activities
  • A: Awards and Accomplishments
  • R: Research
  • O: Other

List all activities that will give the admissions committee insight into who you are. Include structured and non-structured experiences that demonstrate an ability to determine needs in your community and a willingness to play a part in filling those needs.

For instance, volunteer work is often perceived as only those activities that are coordinated by an organization. However, there are many forms of volunteer work. For example, if you were raised in a farming community and helped to run a a neighbour's farm, (e.g., when the neighbour was sick), this would be considered volunteer activity, Ensure you have a contact for each of the activities listed.

To ensure that full information is provided in the Autobiographical Sketch, OMSAS recommends the following actions:

  • Consider and record (separate from the application) all activities since age 16
  • Complete the application by arranging these activities into their appropriate categories
  • Provide the information in point form
  • Do not forward supplementary pages, letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, etc.

OMSAS collects this information on behalf of NOSM. OMSAS will arrange the Autobiographical Sketch in the order required by NOSM.

You will need to provide more specific details for the Employment, Volunteer Activities, Extracurricular Activities, Awards and Accomplishments, and Research categories. 

Applicants must decide for themselves which information to include in the autobiographical sketch, the individual school submissions, and the versifiers list.

Verifiers/Contacts for Activities in Autobiographical Sketch/Supplementary Questions

Fore each activity mentioned in the Autobiographical Sketch, provide the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of contacts who can verity your involvement in that activity (i.e., verifiers)  Activities that do not have a verifier are not included in scoring the Autobiographical Sketch and school submission questions.

Important: To associate a verifier with an activity, enter a number in brackets beside each activity. This number should correspond to the number on your verifiers list. Where appropriate, you may use the same verifier for multiple activities.

NOSM reserves the right to confirm the information provided in these sections by consulting the individuals your listed as verifiers. NOTE: Please ensure that the verifier phone number you provide is current and accurate.

Any activities that can be substantiated by academic transcripts (e.g., scholarships, special commendations) do not require verifiers. For these items, enter a zero in the "Verifier" field to save your information.

Context Scores

NOSM’s admission mandate is to admit a class whose profile reflects the demographics of the population of Northern Ontario.

It is NOSM’s intention to maximize the recruitment of Northern Ontario students and/or students who have a strong interest in, and aptitude for, practicing medicine in northern urban, rural and remote communities.

NOSM is also committed to recruiting Indigenous/Aboriginal,Francophone and Franco‑Ontarian students. NOSM employs a context scoring process to assess applicants based on where they have lived in Canada throughout their lives.


You are required to ask 3 different individuals to provide a reference on your behalf. You should select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and are in a position to make statements concerning your character, personal qualities, academic capabilities, and special circumstances if applicable. Referees may not be in a position to evaluate all of the characteristics requested; however, in choosing your 3 referees, ensure that the subject areas are covered.

It is strongly recommended that one of the reference letters comes from a member of the community or from a community organization, and at least one academic reference. References written in French will be accepted.
At least 1 referee should be a non-academic/character referee.

Once you add a referee, click "Send Email" to notify them about completing their online reference in a secure environment. If you provide and email address for your referee, they are required to complete the reference online.

Ensure that your referee is prepared to use the online form before entering an email address. They must be familiar with PDF documents and/or scanners.

If the referee does not have an email address, download the form and forward it to them. They must mail it, with their accompanying letter, to OMSAS when complete. NOTE: Only 1 version of the reference (online or paper) can be submitted.

You will not be able to make changes to your referees once they are emailed or the forms are downloaded.

Requests for references should be sent to your referees by September 15 to allow enough time for them to submit their reference by the deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all references are received by the application deadline.


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