Thunder Bay·Audio

Documentary highlights success of northern Ontario medical school

A documentary film, premiering tonight, checks the pulse of healthcare in northern Ontario — and it's crediting the Northern Ontario School of Medicine for making a difference in at least one community.

Thunder Bay film director says her film shows NOSM is succeeding in its mandate to keep doctors in the north

A new documentary premiering on TVO, will share the story of Dr. Doris Mitchell, who returned home to the neighbouring communities of Chapleau, Ontario and Brunswick House First Nation to set up practice. (The Doctor Can See You Now/Michelle Derosier)
A documentary film, premiering tonight, checks the pulse of healthcare in northern Ontario — and it's crediting the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) for making a difference in at least one community.

"The Doctor Will See You Now," directed by Thunder Bay filmmaker Michelle Derosier, tells the story of one NOSM graduate who sets up practice in her home community, which has been without a family doctor for seven years.

Derosier said the film shows the school is succeeding in its mandate to keep doctors in the north.

"I think it's already actually happening, that we're going to start to see some of the healthcare challenges that we've been facing, starting to turn around," she said.

"I think that NOSM needs to be recognized... it took a lot of years to get the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and I've seen the success."

The documentary follows doctor Doris Mitchell, a former nurse who trained to become a family doctor at NOSM. She then returned to serve her home communities of Brunswick House First Nation and Chapleau, Ont.

Thunder Bay filmmaker Michelle Derosier said she made The Grandfather Drum to highlight the richness and depth of First Nations culture and tradition. (Michelle Derosier)

She, along with two other doctors who are graduates of NOSM, are now serving those communities, which had been relying on locums for years.

"It's making an amazing difference," for patients, said Derosier.

Derosier says the film is also a reminder of the serious healthcare challenges facing many northern towns and First Nations.

The documentary premiers on TVO at 9 p.m.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.