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Sudbury Stream

Sudbury Site Director: Dr. Megan Messenger
Assistant Site Director: Dr. Shane Szalai

There are a variety of family practice models in Sudbury, lending to diversity and providing an opportunity for learners to assess what their practice styles might be when they complete their training. This allows for a well-balanced educational experience.  For example, there are family physicians with focused practices in women’s health, palliative care, mental health counselling, sexual health, care of the elderly, hospitalist, undergraduate medical school teaching, to name a few.  Residents have the ability to choose their preferences and we make it our top priority to accommodate these learning goals.  Residents are “paired” with a preceptor after we determine what their preferences are.  They may be in an office with multiple preceptors that will expose them to a variety of practice styles and populations. In addition, these offices may provide opportunities for residents to work alongside other residents and/or medical students to help develop strong interpersonal relationships. In most cases, residents will work one-on-one with their preceptor which ensures that there is never a shortage of volume so exposure is maximized.

All of the family medicine preceptors teach because they want to, not because they are mandated.  They are enthusiastic and welcoming both with respect to medicine and to exposure to life in Northern Ontario.  Many learners here find themselves working alongside their preceptor in clinic, hospital or elsewhere and then may later be learning informally while floating on a boat on any one of our many lakes within the city limits or hiking in the trails directly behind the hospital.  Informal teaching one-on-one or in a group setting with preceptors and other residents is commonplace.  There are also several non-mandatory ‘journal clubs’ that residents can attend with their preceptors.  This often involves an evening of food, drink, and learning, typically within our LEGs (local education groups).  This provides an opportunity to network with other residents and family physicians in a social setting.

The Sudbury Stream is the community home-base to the Undergraduate Medical Program and other NOSM U Postgraduate Residency Programs, including General Surgery, Anesthesia, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. The presence of these programs allow opportunities for teaching, increased collaboration and connectivity between disciplines and levels of training. Other NOSM U learners (dietetic interns, physician assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists) are also scheduled for clinical rotations in Sudbury.

Health Sciences North (HSN) is a one-site acute care hospital, which boasts state-of-the-art equipment. As a large tertiary provider for Northern Ontario, HSN is the regional referral centre serving over 600,000 people in Northeastern Ontario. HSN’s 454-bed facility employs over 3,900 people and has a medical staff of over 300. Programs and services offered at HSN are: Medical Imaging, Medicine and Rehabilitation, Critical Care, Emergency and Ambulatory Care, Family and Child, Mental Health and Addictions, The Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre, Surgical Services, Corporate Services, and Research. In 2021, the 28,000 square foot Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre opened featuring a brand-new Simulation Lab, three simulation suites, three debriefing rooms, multiple classrooms, quiet study spaces and modern sleep rooms.

Other resources include: Sudbury and District Health Unit, Universities and Colleges (Laurentian
University, Cambrian College, Collège Boréal), Aboriginal and Francophone Health Centres, Underprivileged health sites (Corner Clinic), Mental Health Facilities (Kirkwood Site, Cedar St. Mental Health Services), Nurse Practitioner clinics, Long Term Care facilities (Extendicare, St. Gabriel’s villa etc.). Support Services (Optometry, physiotherapy, chiropractic, etc.), specialist services and clinics (Cardiac clinics, Vascular clinics, Orthopedic Referral Centre, Cancer Clinic, etc.).

Outside of medicine, our community offers much for the outdoor and indoor enthusiast.  There are several hiking trails, clean lakes, and beaches where one can swim, sail, kayak or do watersports all within the city limits. These are all accessible within the acceptable time frame of “responding while being on call”! There are numerous hockey leagues that you can join, some involving the doctors and residents. We have the Sudbury Wolves (OHL team), Sudbury Five (NBL), curling, golf courses, ice skating paths and several walking, running and cross country skiing trails.  We have a downhill ski hill (Adanac) that is only 10 minutes from the hospital which is perfect for a quick evening of night skiing or a day of learning to snowboard.  There are many eclectic restaurants, breweries, live music, a distillery and a theatre of the arts.  Many movies are filmed here and the film companies are always looking for extras.

One really needs to come experience life in Sudbury – a short visit simply is not enough to gain a full appreciation for the population and land diversity. The learning in our family medicine program is robust and is not service based. We pride ourselves on building a connection to the hospital and community which leads to a high retention rate because Sudbury is a really fantastic place to live and work!