NOSM Answering HealthCare Shortages : Chapleau’s Solution


TVO’s documentary “The doctor will see you now” is a message of hope to Northern Ontario residents; an encouraging and informative film that will hopefully inspire others from our region, from our communities and reserves, to pursue medicine.

After 7 years without primary care physicians, Chapleau residents are now in the capable and committed hands of 3 NOSM graduates, 2 of whom call Chapleau their hometown.  The documentary focuses on former nurse Doris Mitchell, from Brunswick House First Nation, who entered NOSM in midlife as the mother of two teenaged boys. She and two other NOSM graduates now serve as family doctors in Chapleau and the neighbouring First Nation communities.  

“The doctor can see you now” provides insight on the challenges faced by communities trying to recruit doctors, why many doctors turn away from setting up practice in our Northern towns – including negative messages discouraging med students from considering practices in the North long before they ever have the opportunity to explore whether working here could be a good fit for them.  The documentary briefly touches on the social issues which factor into Northern health care and the need for those practicing in Northern Ontario to have knowledge of, and respect for, the ongoing challenges of First Nations people living the consequences of residential schools and assaults on their culture.  

Finally, it can be hoped, that the film will also provide a taste of some of the benefits of stepping up to embrace the demands and challenges of practicing medicine as a Northern Ontario physician to entice post-secondary students from the North considering the health care sector.

As many [read most] Northern Ontario communities continue to face the very real challenges of quality health care delivery the documentary can help push the conversation forward and spread awareness of how the NOSM is working towards homegrown solutions.

Watch “The doctor will see you now” free on TVO at: 

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