Master of Medical Studies program addresses Northern health issues

Dr. Slade
NOSM’s new Master of Medical Studies (MMS) program is breaking new ground by tackling health-care problems in the North. The program provides foundational research skills for physicians who want to develop a robust academic approach to address pressing health-care questions.

“Our goal is for learners to focus on health-care problems to improve the health of all people in Northern, rural, and remote communities. What physicians gain are the skills to acquire grant funding, obtain ethics approval, develop a research question and appropriate methodology, complete the research study, and finally write and present the results at conferences and in publication,” says Dr. Alain Simard, NOSM Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies and Associate Professor. 

The program is tailored to physicians who are working in the North and able to complete the program remotely with a flexible schedule.

MMS Study: Improving pain management for Northern trauma patients transported by air

In rural and remote areas of the North, when serious accidents happen causing trauma air ambulance is called to transport patients to hospital. For Dr. Sabrina Slade, most critical is the extreme pain many patients must endure during lengthier air transport—an experience she hopes to improve.

Dr. Slade is a second-year orthopedic surgery resident at NOSM and a graduate of the MD Class of 2019 at Queen’s University. She currently works part-time in the emergency department at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Slade is one year into the MMS program, working on her thesis titled “Alleviating pain for trauma patients transported by air in the North.” She recalls her firsthand experiences with emergency trauma patients transported by Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and critical care transport services.

Working under the supervision of emergency physicians and NOSM faculty members Drs. David Savage, Rob Ohle, Sean Moore, Russell McDonald, the study will also cross-reference air transport pain management techniques in the US, Australia and New Zealand where air transport medics have a progressive scope of practice.

Visit the NOSM website to learn more about the Master of Medical Studies program, including a flexible program schedule which allows for full- and part-time options for learners to complete between two to six years. Applications are open until May for a September 2021 start.

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