A total of 64 future doctors have begun their first year at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine — and almost all of them have been raised in northern Ontario.

The Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine said 95 per cent of the class is made up of people raised in the region, as there is a bias towards accepting northerners.

mi-roger-strasser-300

Roger Strasser, dean of the Northern Ontario Medical School. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

But Roger Strasser noted that 70 per cent of the class is made up of women  - a demographic also found in other medical schools.

"Our selection [and] admissions process favours certain types of applications, such as those from northern Ontario," he said. "But [it] is gender blind."

Strasser also noted 20 per cent of the students are francophone.

About nine per cent of the class this year consists of aboriginal people, which is an increase over last year. However, Strasser noted there's more work to be done to recruit aboriginal students.

"We're very pleased to see that trend is going upwards," he said. "We're aiming for 10 or 12 per cent of our students as aboriginal, so there's still some work to encourage more applicants of an aboriginal background to our school."

Strasser said all of the new students are academically gifted and have a mean grade point average of 3.8 on a four point scale.