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Rural Generalist Pathway

“Innovation must drive NOSM’s next generation of physicians, registered dietitians, physician assistants, medical physicists, other health professionals and scientists.”

Dr. Catherine Cervin, Vice Dean, Academic


The overarching goal of the Rural Generalist Pathway is to align medical training with community need and create a career for physicians that is appealing in the short and long term. Moreover, to build and support a robust Rural Generalist workforce for our Northern Ontario communities as part of the overall physician workforce strategy for Northern Ontario.

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NOSM’s first Strategic Priority is Transforming Health Human Resource Planning.  NOSM’s aspiration in this strategic priority is to include “a transformative approach to the planning and delivery of workforce supply which eliminates the gaps in Northern Ontario Health Human Resources.”

And we do have gaps. Currently, across Northern Ontario we need over 115 family physicians, mainly in our rural communities. See the data.

Despite NOSM’s presence and success, we need to continue to innovate in education to support communities in reaching the physician resources that they need. NOSM’s third Strategic Priority is Innovate Health Professions Education. We hope to be recognized across Northern Ontario for developing innovative models of education in Northern, Indigenous, Francophone, rural and remote medicine that lead to well trained health-care practitioners who stay in the communities of the North.

Although the full-pathway from high school to practice as a rural generalist is aspirational, work has been initiated to ensure that by 2025, a fulsome pathway will be realized through incremental changes in each portfolio; a pathway that will allow learners to imagine for themselves a successful career with a rural generalist start.

Rural Generalist Pathway Progress Report – June 2021

Building on work in Australia, and outlined in the original Rural Generalist Pathway proposal document (January 2020), NOSM has embarked on the development of the Rural Generalist Pathway. The “Rural Generalist Progress Report” has been updated June 2021 to reflect the work that has been completed, the ongoing work, and future work.

Read more.

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