Residents and Med Students

What do Residents need to know?

Residents of The Canadian Shield (RoCS)

Residents of the Canadian Shield (RoCS) provides two years of family practice training leading to certification in family medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The goal of the program is to prepare family physicians with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for practice in Northern remote, and rural communities.

Family Medicine PGY3
For those Family Medicine Residents who wish to further their knowledge and training in specific specialty areas NOSM PGY3 programs include Emergency, Anaesthesia, Enhanced Skills Maternity Care and Self Directed Enhanced Skills.

For further information on the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's Residents of the Canadian Shield program

What do Medical Students need to know?

Clinical rotation opportunities in Northwestern Ontario allow students to spend time with family physicians servicing small communities with 1000 – 15,000 population. Thunder Bay has a population of 117,000 and is the urban centre of the region.

Northern Ontario Electives Program (NEP) is administered by NOSM. Medical trainees from all Ontario Faculties of Medicine can gain access to northern community-based clinical learning opportunities by registering in the electives program. The duration of the elective must be a minimum of 4 weeks.

For more information on Northern Ontario Electives

Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative

The Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention (NRRR) Initiative offers taxable financial incentives to each eligible physician who establishes a full-time practice in an eligible community of the province. The amount of the grant for Thunder Bay is $80,000 and is paid over a four-year period. The grants will be awarded based on eligibility criteria and considerations related to total NRRR Initiative budget allocations


In order for an applicant to be eligible for the NRRR Initiative grant the applicant must be approved by the Northern Health Programs (NHP) office, Primary Health Care Branch, a minimum of 2 months before the applicant establishes his/her practice in the eligible community. The applicant may apply once he/she has completed residency training, and must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Has committed to establishing a full-time practice (full-time is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week spent in patient care exclusive of on-call services) in a community whose RIO score is 40 or greater, or in the five Northern Ontario Urban Referral Centre census metropolitan areas (North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins)
  2. Holds a valid certificate of registration for practice from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), authorizing the holder to engage in medical practice.
  3. If a family physician, holds a valid certificate from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) OR if the applicant does not hold a valid CFPC certificate, proof that the applicant is fully recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario(CPSO) in family or general practice.
  4. Holds a valid Canadian Medical Protective Association membership number.
  5. Holds Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
  6. Holds active or associate hospital privileges in the community, or if there is no hospital in the community, in an adjacent community (as required by the community and approved by the NHP).
  7. Agrees to provide ER coverage, unless an exemption is provided by the community or hospital and approved by the NHP.
  8. If a family physician, has joined a primary care model and is committed to participating fully in comprehensive physician services. Refer to Appendix B for a description of comprehensive physician services.
  9. Has not previously received the NRRR Initiative grant through this program, or Free Tuition Program funding and/or an incentive grant through the Northern Health Programs for a full four-year duration.

Grants are paid out quarterly over a period of four years - 40% in year-one, 15% in year-two, 15% in year-three and 30% in year-four.