Graduates of northern Ontario family medicine residency programs practise where they train

Can J Rural Med. 2007 Summer;12(3):146-52.


Objective: To examine where graduates of the Northeastern Ontario Family Medicine (NOFM) residency program in Sudbury and the Family Medicine North (FMN) program in Thunder Bay practise after graduation, using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses.

Methods: Data from the Scott's Medical Database were examined. All physicians who graduated from NOFM and FMN between 1993 and 2002 were included in this analysis. Differences in the location of first practice between NOFM and FMN graduates were tested using chi-squared tests. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the impact of the training program on a physician's first, as well as continuing, practice location.

Results: Between 1993 and 2002, FMN graduates were 4.56 times more likely (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.34-8.90) to practise in rural areas, compared with NOFM graduates, but NOFM graduates were 2.50 times more likely than FMN graduates (95% CI 1.35-4.76) to practise in northern Ontario. There was no statistically significant difference between the graduates of the 2 programs in the likelihood of working in either northern Ontario or a rural area. About two-thirds (67.5%) of all person-years of medical practice provided by NOFM and FMN graduates took place in northern Ontario or rural areas outside the north.

Conclusion: NOFM and FMN have been successful in producing family physicians to work in northern Ontario and rural areas. Results from this study add to the growing evidence from Canada and abroad that rural or northern medical education and training increases the likelihood that the graduates will practise in rural or northern communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Workforce