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Can J Rural Med. 2015 Winter;20(1):25-32.

The economic contribution of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to communities participating in distributed medical education.

Author information

1
Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.
2
Department of Economics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.
3
Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ont.
4
Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ont.
5
Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.

Abstract

in English, French

INTRODUCTION:

The economic contribution of medical schools to major urban centres can be substantial, but there is little information on the contribution to the economy of participating communities made by schools that provide education and training away from major cities and academic health science centres. We sought to assess the economic contribution of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) to northern Ontario communities participating in NOSM's distributed medical education programs.

METHODS:

We developed a local economic model and used actual expenditures from 2007/08 to assess the economic contribution of NOSM to communities in northern Ontario. We also estimated the economic contribution of medical students or residents participating in different programs in communities away from the university campuses. To explore broader economic effects, we conducted semistructured interviews with leaders in education, health care and politics in northern Ontario.

RESULTS:

The total economic contribution to northern Ontario was $67.1 million based on $36.3 million in spending by NOSM and $1.0 million spent by students. Economic contributions were greatest in the university campus cities of Thunder Bay ($26.7 million) and Sudbury ($30.4 million), and $0.8-$1.2 million accrued to the next 3 largest population centres. Communities might realize an economic contribution of $7300-$103 900 per pair of medical learners per placement. Several of the 59 interviewees remarked that the dollar amount could be small to moderate but had broader economic implications.

CONCLUSION:

Distributed medical education at the NOSM resulted in a substantial economic contribution to participating communities.

PMID:
25611911
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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