The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is an economic driver in our region.
Since its opening in 2005, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has impacted the economic, cultural, educational, and health-care sectors of Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario.
NOSM’s West Campus at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and East Campus at Laurentian University in Sudbury both employ staff and faculty members. Over 700 physicians in communities across the North assist in the clinical training of NOSM learners – future physicians and healthcare workers grounded in the practical realities of Northern health challenges.
Currently, NOSM funds 232.5 full-time equivalent positions located principally in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, and issues stipends to its physician teachers, according to a report authored by the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, which measured the socio-economic impact of the School on Northern Ontario.
At any given time, NOSM learners can be found taking instruction under the direction of physicians and health professionals in hospitals, health centres, clinics, and family practices in culturally diverse settings. These clinical placements generate local economic benefits of up to $1.4 million annually as students secure accommodations and purchases at local outlets. The Report also states that NOSM’s educational programs and research activities support between 420 and 510 full-time equivalent positions in Northern Ontario through direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits.
Spending by the School is estimated at $37 million per year. By taking into account the re-spending of much of this sum, NOSM actually generates between $67 and $82 million of economic activity in Northern Ontario.
In addition to fiscal achievements, the School’s presence in the North yields other benefits. NOSM functions as a uniting force by bringing together disparate communities that share the goal of educating health professionals with a passion for medical practice in the North. Also of note, community hospitals have transitioned to teaching hospital status, and both universities have benefited by NOSM’s ability to recruit additional faculty and open possibilities for further program development.