A donor who made a difference

Dr. Hugh Robertson explains what sparked the largest individual donation in NOSM’s history


“In terms of residency training, you develop to be progressively more skilled at local community hospitals. You understand the challenges and learn the value of providing the most decisive care in emergencies. I know from practising in Cochrane, we had to send patients 70 miles away to the closest referral centre where there were only a few specialists which was a real challenge but it’s improving. That stayed with me.”

Dr. Hugh Robertson

Dr. Hugh Robertson is a force in the field of radiology. He is Emeritus Professor of Radiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Centre and Clinical Professor of Radiology at Tulane University Medical Centre in New Orleans.

And yet, some of his earliest experiences practising in Northern Ontario have remained dearest to him, inspiring his $1.2 million gift to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. It is the largest individual donation in the history of the School. 

He recognized the need and the opportunity for a Centre for Social Accountability at NOSM. He says the timing of the gift had much to do with his intimate understanding of the challenges of remote medicine, now coupled with the pandemic. 

The value of rural, remote Residency

“I think for the students at NOSM who are interested in providing family medicine that this is a real opportunity to advance knowledge in that area. I’ve met several physicians over the years, and many of the most notable were those I met in rural practices.”

He describes the value of being a medical resident in Northern Ontario for his opportunities to explore the specialties and expand his career into radiology.

“When I think of rural medicine, I think ‘large scope of practice’ you’re talking about everything from high-risk obstetrics to dealing with rare disease. When covering for family physicians as a locum it’s such a unique experience. I learned very quickly that I had to be as knowledgeable as possible on all aspects of medicine.”

“I have great respect for the people of the North. They have less access to health care than other parts of Canada and yet, I noticed that people had a great fondness for life in the North.”

To learn more visit NOSM News. If you are interested in contributing to the future of medicine in Northern Ontario, contact NOSM’s Advancement Team or visit nosm.ca.

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