Northern Ontario School of Medicine

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (French: École de médecine du Nord de l'Ontario) is a medical school in the Canadian province of Ontario, created through a partnership between Laurentian University in Sudbury and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Mandated both to educate doctors and to contribute to care in Northern Ontario's urban, rural and remote communities, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has campuses in both Sudbury and Thunder Bay.[1]

Northern Ontario School of Medicine
École de médecine du Nord de l'Ontario
TypeMedical school
Established2005; 15 years ago (2005)
DeanSarita Verma
Academic staff
Location, ,

The school is known for its small class size, its distributed model of education, heavy emphasis on enabling technologies, problem-based and self-directed learning, and early exposure to clinical skills. The school describes its campus as "Northern Ontario". This is evidenced by the close relationship between the school and various communities and First Nations throughout the region. All students complete a month-long placement in an Aboriginal or Métis community in May of their first year. In second year, they travel to smaller communities for two, month-long placements (one in the fall and the other in the winter). The third year is clerkship and is spent living in one of the medium-sized communities for the entire year. The fourth year of studies is completed in Sudbury or Thunder Bay.


Before the creation of NOSM, Northern Ontario had for several years been designated as "underserviced", meaning that the region's ratio of medical professionals to the general population was not meeting the standards set by the Ministry of Health. As a result, a multifaceted plan was adopted by the province, including the creation of NOSM and the adoption of special recruitment strategies. A study of medical services in Ontario, released in August 2005, found that for the first time in many years, the region's level of medical services had improved over the previous year.

Construction on both campuses began in mid-2004, and the buildings were completed in August 2005. NOSM accepted its charter class of 56 students in September of that same year and the school was officially opened by Premier Dalton McGuinty on 13 September 2005. The school received full accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in February 2009.

The fictional Boréal Medical School, the setting of the Canadian medical drama television series Hard Rock Medical, is based on the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.[2]


The Northern Ontario School of Medicine's East Campus in Sudbury, Ontario

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is one of only two medical schools in Canada outside of Quebec (along with University of Ottawa) that does not require an MCAT score to be considered for admission. Furthermore, the only academic prerequisite is a university undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 (the mean GPA of the 2013/2014 entering class was 3.83[3]). To help further its social accountability mandate, NOSM does take into account where candidates are from and whether they have studied or worked in Northern Ontario or other rural or remote places. For each entering class since the schools inception in 2005, approximately 90-95% were from Northern Ontario.[3] Each year, approximately 2000 applicants compete for the 64 spots in each class (36 at the Sudbury campus and 28 at the Thunder Bay campus). Applicants request their preferred campus at the time of their interview.


Fully affiliated teaching hospitals:

Larger community teaching hospitals:

Sensenbrenner Hospital- Kapuskasing The students also go to communities in the north such as Hearst, Smooth Rock Falls, Cochrane.

Health Sciences LibraryEdit

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine also operates the Health Sciences Library (HSL), formerly known as the Northern Ontario Virtual Library (NOVL) to northern health-care professionals, and the Health Information Resource Centre (HIRC) to faculty, students and residents. The HSL aims to meet the traditional and expanding information needs of NOSM's learners and faculty, as well as registered health professionals throughout the region of Northern Ontario. It sponsors in-person and technologically mediated instruction on the latest health sciences resources and information technology, among other topics. The explicit aim is to further the practice of evidence-based medicine in the North, with special focus on the physicians, residents, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and other health care professionals in northern and/or rural communities.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Northern Ontario School of Medicine delivers more doctors to the north". CBC News, Thunder Bay. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Canadian Drama 'Hard Rock Medical' Gets Full-Season Order". The Hollywood Reporter, December 9, 2011.
  3. ^ a b

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°27′50″N 80°57′56″W / 46.46388°N 80.96546°W / 46.46388; -80.96546