Most graduates from Northern Ontario School of Medicine stay in region : report

Recent numbers from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine suggest northerners now have improved access to a family doctor. Since 2011, more than 160 NOSM-educated physicians have set up their medical practices in northern Ontario.

Doctor shortage in North being addressed by newly-educated docs from NOSM in Sudbury, Thunder Bay

A new report shows since 2011 94 per cent of graduates from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine have set up their medical practices in the north. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

The majority of the doctors who study in the north, stay in the north.

That's according to a new report from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which has campuses in Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

The figures show 94 per cent of NOSM graduates who have completed their doctor of medicine and residency programs are now working in the north.

Dr. David Marsh, deputy dean at the school says doctors stay in the north because they understand the health needs of these communities.
Dr. David Marsh is the Deputy Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. (Barry Mercer/CBC)

"[NOSM graduates] understand the northern Ontario context, who understand Francophone and Indigenous populations and rural communities, and can deliver health care in the way that meets the needs of those communities."

Marsh says although NOSM hasn't fully met the needs of northern Ontario, its graduates are helping to address gaps.

"We still have many communities who are struggling to recruit and retain enough physicians to meet the needs of those communities."

He adds NOSM is helping to contribute to the health human resource needs across the region.

Since 2011, more than 160 NOSM-educated physicians have set up their medical practices in the north part of the province. There are also 90 registered dieticians who are now working in northern rural communities.

"The data from the report that we've released this week shows that we're making a significant contribution to attracting and retaining more health professionals in northern Ontario," Marsh says.

Medical health professionals who comes from the region have a better understanding of what patients need, Marsh adds.

"They have become part of the community and they can understand the health needs of the populations in northern Ontario, and design and deliver health services that meet those needs."

With files from Gabriel Rodrigues