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Global Health Initiatives


  • NOSM is a member of theNET, an organization of medical schools from around the globe focus on social accountability. Check out the webpage at
  • While faculty led thus far, theNET is developing a student network.

Book Release! (“12 Stories. Narratives from New Canadians”)

  • An excerpt: “One of the roles medical students are supposed to fulfill once they finish medical school in Canada is that of a health advocate. The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) understands that as future physicians, our role in health does not exist only within the medical system, but within society. Attempting to take on our role as advocates, we, the authors of  “12 Stories. Narratives from New Canadians”, have focused on a population within Canada that traditionally has been underserved. We do not profess to be experts in advocacy and have merely looked for a tool to help promote changes that may improve the health of Canadians. The best way we felt we could do this was to let those who have encountered much in their lifetime – immigrants and refugees – tell us their stories about their experiences prior to coming to Canada and then within the Canadian society and health care system in particular. After all, it is their voices which speak much louder than our own.”

  • This book is now available in the NOSM East library, and will be available in the West library in late February!

Global Service Learning: Immigrant and Refugee Health

This project is aimed at increasing access to healthcare for immigrant and refugee patients in Northern Ontario and includes two ongoing initiatives:

  1. Health Promotion sessions to the Karen-Burmese community in Thunder Bay: focused on areas of interest identified by the community. We are currently working on two sessions, one focusing on Nutrition and the other on Orientation to Canadian Health Care.
  2. Health History Passports: medical students will record the past medical history of immigrants and refugees and put this information in a concise Health Passport. Individuals can bring this to medical appointments as it will provide background information for the healthcare provider

It is undertaken by students fulfilling the requirements of a Service Learning project.

What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Learners engaged in service learning provide community service in response to community identified concerns while learning about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens.

When do NOSM medical learners participate in Service Learning?

Currently NOSM medical learners have opportunities to participate in Service Learning as part of their undergraduate medical education in Years 2 and 3, however, learners in other years may also be involved.

How do I start a project?

  • Community organizations, or networks of related organizations with a common interest, can submit their ideas for service learning projects.  NOSM is developing a repository of potential project ideas to share with interested learners.
  • We are also exploring global service learning opportunities, either internationally or within our communities.
  • Learners with specific ideas can complete application based on an interest or current volunteer work.

What are some examples of types Service Learning projects?

  • Education in schools
  • Research
  • Needs assessments
  • Clinics for marginalized groups
  • Public health/education sessions
  • Developing education materials/resources
  • Web page development
  • Training

Who do I contact with questions?

Please contact Sheila Renton at 705-662-7153 (