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NOSM Physician Workforce Strategy

“We must eliminate the gaps in Northern Ontario health human resources in order to achieve equitable and sustainable access to quality health care.”

Dr. Sarah Newbery
Assistant Dean, Physician Workforce Strategy
physicianworkforce@nosm.ca

The health and wellbeing of Northern Ontarians depends on having timely access to physicians and other healthcare providers, to meet the diverse needs of the people.

In November of 2020, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine launched The NOSM Challenge 2025, its third strategic plan. The plan’s first Strategic Direction is to Transform Health Human Resource Planning.

Goal

To link health human resources (HHR) to Northern Ontario’s needs (Francophone, Indigenous, rural, and urban) with a focus on specialist and subspecialist physician training.

Aspiration

NOSM’s transformative approach to the planning and delivery of workforce supply eliminates the gaps in Northern Ontario health human resources.


What do we know about where our grads have gone?

As we continue to move forward with NOSM’s physician workforce strategy it is important for us to know where NOSM’s learners have gone.  We will embark on a process that will see this data update in the autumn of each year.  The data below reflects data as of October 2020.

In broad strokes, the data to date shows that:

Of those learners who did both their undergraduate and their postgraduate training at NOSM, 89% have stayed in Northern Ontario. Of those who have done their undergraduate MD training at NOSM (some of whom will have done their postgraduate training here, some will have done it at another institution), approximately 52% have stayed in Northern Ontario.
Of those who have done their postgraduate (specialty) training at NOSM 60% have stayed in Northern Ontario. Of the 831 unique medical learners completing a program at NOSM (either undergraduate or postgraduate), approximately 50% have stayed in Northern Ontario.

 

What do we know about our current needs?

As of January 2021, based on data gathered from community and hospital level recruiters, we know that we need at least 313 physicians across Northern Ontario.

This data is imperfect as there are challenges about whether current funding allocations meaningfully reflect the need of the population, so we need to understand that these are minimum numbers, and they are current need.  The data does not include any forecasting information like anticipated retirements, nor the likely need to replace some experienced physicians with large practices with more than one new physician in order to safely and effectively manage the practice population.

Importantly the current need also reflects only clinical service requirements and do not include the expectations of participation in teaching or other scholarly work.

So, understanding the caveats above, we know that, as of January 2021, we currently need a minimum of 313 full-time equivalent physicians across Northern Ontario.

Of those, we need:

  • 126 family physicians, 86 of those in rural communities.
  • 8.6 enhanced skill FPs in care of the elderly, FPA, palliative care
  • 159 Specialists, in a variety or domains, are needed today
  • 20.5 hospitalists and emergency medicine physicians who may be either FP or specialists
The specialists we need in highest numbers are:

  • Pediatricians
  • General Internists
  • Anesthetists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Anesthetists
  • Emergency physicians (again either CCFP EM or FRCPC)

Smaller numbers in key subspecialties like rheumatology, respirology, physiatry,  sleep medicine, interventional cardiology, dermatology, and several others are also needed.

History and Past Work

Summit North and NPRTF

Summit North and NPRTF

Physician Resources Action Plan for Northern Ontario

Physician Resources Action Plan for Northern Ontario

Ontario/Queensland Knowledge Transfer Project

Ontario/Queensland Knowledge Transfer Project

Presentation: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce

Presentation: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce

Tools & Resources

Strategic Plan 2025: The NOSM Challenge

Strategic Plan 2025: The NOSM Challenge

HFO's Recruitment Essentials Toolkit

HFO's Recruitment Essentials Toolkit

HFO Jobs

HFO Jobs

NOSM Rural Generalist Pathway

NOSM Rural Generalist Pathway

NOSM's Centre for Social Accountability

NOSM's Centre for Social Accountability

Respect the Difference

Respect the Difference

Doctors WANTED

Doctors WANTED

Society for Rural Physicians of Canada

Society for Rural Physicians of Canada