About NOSM Education Research Communities

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine hosted this major joint world conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario, bringing together the Wonca World Rural Health Conference and The Network: Towards Unity for Health annual conference, as well as the next NOSM/Flinders Conference on Community Engaged Medical Education, the Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula, and the Training for Health Equity Network.

About the Conference Hosts


The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is the first medical school to open in Canada in over 30 years. Since its official opening in 2005, the School has developed and delivered a distinctive model of distributed, community-engaged, and socially accountable medical education and research. NOSM has campuses at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, with teaching and research sites across Northern  Ontario. NOSM is a made-in-the-North solution that is attracting attention from around the world for its innovative model. In just five years, NOSM has become a world leader in community-engaged medical education and research, while staying true to its social accountability mandate of contributing to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.  

The Network: TUFHis a global association of individuals, groups, institutions, and organizations committed to improving and maintaining health in the communities they have a mandate to serve.  The Network: TUFH is a Non-Governmental Organization in official relationships with the World Health Organization (WHO).


Wonca is the World Organisation of Family Doctors. It is comprised of national colleges, academies or organizations concerned with the academic aspects of general family practice; its name was originally an acronym derived from this. Beginning with 18 members in 1972, there are now 120 member organizations in 99 countries. The mission of Wonca is to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world through defining and promoting its values, and by fostering and maintaining high standards of care in general practice/family medicine by promoting personal, comprehensive and continuing care for the individual in the context of the family and the community, encouraging and supporting the development of academic organizations of general practitioners/family physicians, providing a forum for exchange of knowledge and information between member organizations of general practitioners/family physicians, and representing the educational, research and service provision activities of general practitioners/family physicians before other world organizations and forums concerned with health and medical care.The Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice was formed in 1992.  Wonca believes there is an urgent need to implement strategies to improve rural health services around the world. This will require sufficient numbers of skilled rural family doctors to provide the necessary services. The mission of the working party is REACHING TOWARDS RURAL HEALTH, as rural doctors in partnership with like-minded groups, thorough relationship, education, activism, conferencing and communication, and a vision of Health for All Rural People (HARP).The priorities of the Working Party for the current triennium are to:

1. Promote rural medical education, rural medical schools, and rural clinical schools.

2. Be an international voice for rural medicine and health including political activism on issues impacting rural
health, including determinants of rural health.

3. Maintain the HARP vision and move the HARP process forward.

4. Renew the vision and mission of the Working Party, in line with these priorities, and re-position our
relationships with Wonca and other organizations.

5. Continue to organise conferences for educational and communication purposes and to promote rural





The Flinders University School of Medicinehas an international reputation for integration and innovation in patient care, education and research.  As a member of the Global Health Education Network and a founding member of the Towards Health Equity Network, the School is also committed to being accountable to the community it serves, both locally and internationally.  The Flinders University School of Medicine’s main campus is situated in Adelaide, South Australia and co-located within Flinders Medical Centre, an academic medical centre combining a tertiary teaching hospital and medical school.  The School is affiliated with other hospitals in the Southern Region of Adelaide and has a significant and expanding rural and remote presence with clinical training and research activities in regional areas of Australia.  

THEnet is a collaborative of need and outcome-driven medical schools in neglected, rural and remote regions of Africa, Asia, Australia and North and Latin America with a core mission to increase the number, quality, retention and performance of health professionals in under-served communities. THEnet’s socially accountable schools are community-engaged and embedded into the health system. They orient their education, research and service activities towards priority health concerns of the communities in the region they have a mandate to serve. THEnet school programs address the continuum of education – from recruitment strategies and bridge-programs for high school graduates – to post-graduate and in-service training with the ultimate goal of improving priority health outcomes and services and increasing retention of health workers.  

The Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Curricula (CLIC)is a group of faculty from medical schools around the world who have or are considering developing, implementing and studying the longitudinal integrated clerkship model to address core clinical training for undergraduate medical education. Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have the following common core elements:

1.  Medical students participate in the comprehensive care of patients over time.
2.  Medical students have continuing learning relationships with these patients’ clinicians.
3.  Medical students meet, through these experiences, the majority of the year’s core clinical competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.

In August 2006, the new Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), whose entire first class was scheduled to complete a yearlong, integrated clerkship in August 2008, convened a meeting in Thunder Bay, Ontario, aimed at sharing experiences gained from longitudinal integrated clinical clerkships. The purpose of the gathering was to inform NOSM leadership about this educational approach, prior to implementation of longitudinal integrated clerkships as their primary clinical education modality. The Integrated Clerkship Workshop was designed to bring together the directors of programs that were known to the NOSM leadership as sites using longitudinal integrated clerkships. The following schools with longitudinal integrated clerkships sent a total of 11 representatives to the meeting: the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS), the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS), the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM), the SanfordSchool of Medicine of the University of South Dakota, and the University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine.To this day, the above universities continue to work together and convene to discuss the issues and impact of longitudinal integrated clerkships.


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