Thunder Bay • Orillia

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program (TB)


The Northern Ontario School of Medicine contributes to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario.

The guiding values of the medical school are:
- a passion for living in, working in and serving northern urban, rural and remote communities
- sensitivity to diversity
- excellence in medical practice, teaching, learning and professionalism

General Objectives

The objectives of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine are to provide a comprehensive undergraduate program based in Northern Ontario and reflective of the people and communities of Northern Ontario. Students will develop the core knowledge base necessary to embark on their postgraduate training and will be competitive with all other undergraduate medical students.

The Curriculum

Phase 1
Phase 1, the first of three curriculum phases in the Undergraduate Medical Education program at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, encompasses the first two years of the four-year program. The entire undergraduate medical curriculum is delivered through the following five courses: Northern and Rural Health, Personal and Professional Aspects of Medical Practice, Social and Population Health, Foundations of Medicine, and Clinical Skills in Health Care.

Phase 2
The Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC) is an eight month integrated clinical education experience that occurs in one of ten communities of Northern Ontario exclusive of Thunder Bay and Sudbury. The aim of the Phase 2 curriculum is to provide an academic and professionally relevant learning opportunity that, through academic course work and clinical practice, exemplifies reflective learning and comprehensive interprofessional care. Throughout the CCC, students will be provided with an opportunity to care for patients in a safe and efficient manner. The eight month duration of the CCC allows the students ample opportunities to experience the continuity of care. Moreover, students will provide medical care through clinical encounters in the socio-cultural context in which the patient and their family cope and adapt to their presenting health care needs. The social and intellectual learning process that students will experience will be facilitated by continuous interactions with community preceptors in clinical interprofessional contexts.

The CCC experience is designed to enhance the NOSM student's personal and professional development. The nature of the academic and clinical course work and the student-centered environment will promote the development of critical thinking and life-long learning skills. Through the CCC experience, students will gain knowledge, skills and attitudes conducive to enhancing their perspective regarding medical practice in remote, rural and/or underserved communities as it contrasts with medical practice in an urban setting. The observation of the skills and attributes demonstrated by health professionals in underserved clinical practices is designed to promote the student's consideration of career opportunities in the North, including clinical practice and research.

Phase 3
Phase 3 (Year 4) is the last year of the undergraduate medical doctor program. A progression of the Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC) of Phase 2 (Year 3), students are provided with an in-depth experiential learning in the various specialties and sub-specialties of the practice of medicine. Through seven broad specialty core courses and 12 weeks of elective sub-specialty experiences, students will gain practical experience in women's health, internal medicine, surgery, children's health, mental health, emergency medicine and family medicine. In addition to learning within the NOSM teaching catchment area, electives offer students the opportunity to experience medicine in settings that might be further afield: within Ontario, the rest of Canada or the world.

The focus of Phase 3 is on chronic and complicated in-patient medicine in the medical specialties and provides students with exposure to secondary and tertiary care of patients primarily in the larger communities of Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Other larger tertiary care centres in the North may also be learning sites. Students will observe, participate and care for patients requiring the attention of medical specialists in various disciplines and experience the delivery of a continuum of care which seriously ill patients receive in the North.

The combination of core course rotations and electives will also provide students with important background knowledge which will help them choose a medical practitioner career path and successfully transition to the Postgraduate Medical Education Residency program.

Required Remote Experiences
In order to be eligible to graduate from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine with the MD degree, students must successfully complete, as part of the program requirements noted above, education experiences remote from the Lakehead University and Laurentian University campuses. These required experiences include:

1. Case Based Module - Integrated Community Experience 106
2. Case Based Module - Integrated Community Experience 108
3. Case Based Module - Integrated Community Experience 110
4. The Comprehensive Community Clerkship and Electives in Year 3 (Phase 2)
5. The required Clerkships and Electives in Year 4 (Phase 3)
6. All other required electives in Year 1 & 2 (Phase 1) or Year 3 (Phase 2).

Additional information may be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and via the NOSM website

Knowledge Acquisition

Throughout the four years of the curriculum students will be expected to develop their knowledge building from basic concepts in each of the five themes in the first two years. At the end of the first two years students will make the transition to their clerkship years in order to be able to develop their clinical reasoning skills further. During the clerkship years, they will be able to work their way through challenging clinical presentations, accessing appropriate information resources to address their clinical questions, and apply their knowledge in direct, supervised patient care.

Skills Acquisition

The focus of the skills development in the context of the NOSM undergraduate program in the first two years is on clinical examination and communication skills. Students will be expected while on their community placements to develop some simple clinically relevant skills, such as intramuscular injections, intravenous starts, and cast applications, as the opportunities arise. These skills will be expanded through the clerkship years to provide each student with a base of skills comparable to any graduating medical student.

Professional Behaviour Statement

Medical students are developing professionals. For NOSM, professionalism is defined as conduct of professionals that includes: commitment to the purposes and principles of the profession, adherence to professional standards of competency, behaviour, and accountability, and participation in professional organizations and continuing education. NOSM students will recognize that their development as professionals will be supported and assessed throughout the four year program.

Learning Methods

In years 1 and 2 there are four distinct types of learning opportunities at the Medical School: large group sessions, small group facilitated sessions, structured clinical skills sessions, and learner directed clinical opportunities.

Financial Information

The Board of Directors of NOSM is committed to providing funds in bursaries and awards to support the financial needs of medical students throughout the Medical Program. Medical students are also eligible for provincial and federal student loans. Information regarding financial aid is available through the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs of NOSM as well as on the website.

Tuition information is available on the website: