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NOSM home to a new social accountability steering committee

Medical school says social awareness and accountability is part of the NOSM culture

Social accountability is more than just a buzzword at NOSM University (Northern Ontario School of Medicine).

NOSM has announced that it will be home to a new international steering committee — the International Social Accountability and Accreditation Steering Committee (ISAASC). 

The committee is created to promote the integration of social accountability into medical school accreditation standards on a global scale.

The concept of social accountability has been part of the NOSM culture since the school opened in 2005. 

NOSM said it was created with an explicit mandate to respond to the cultural diversity of the North; to address the health needs of all Northern Ontarians and improve access to quality care through education and research.  

This includes recognizing the differences in communities and groups in different parts of Northern Ontario. 

In Wednesday's announcement, NOSM said the idea of the new committee is to encourage social accountability everywhere.

“The steering committee is about working on getting social accountability embedded in medical school accreditation standards around the world, and to explore opportunities for expanding social accountability into other health professional schools,” said Dr. David Marsh, Associate Dean, Research, Innovation and International Relations at NOSM and co-chair of the steering committee. 

"The Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) has done this in Canada and we will draw on this Canadian expertise, along with others with relevant experience around the world.”

Dr. Erin Cameron, co-chair of the Steering Committee and Director of the Centre for Social Accountability at NOSM, said social accountability has become a standard for accreditation at medical schools in Canada and it is something other countries are seeking to learn about and build upon.

Earlier this year, NOSM was named one of 10 participating schools in a global pilot of a new tool to assess social accountability.