Transcript: The Doctor Can See You Now | Sep 30, 2015

An opening slate pans down from a blue sky to a pine forest in the background.
A caption reads "Title Entertainment."
(Gentle twanging music plays)

Looking through a car windshield from the back seat, a snowy evening
landscape passes by. A caption reads "Executive Producer, Frank Taylor.
Executive Producer, TVO, Jane Jankovic." The unseen woman driver speaks
to us.

Doris says I think generally I'm
a kind-hearted person;
um, I'm a little shy.
Not shy when it
comes to my job,
I'm pretty confident
in what I do
and try to do my job to
the best of my ability.

A road sign reads "Chapleau 11, Timmins 205." A caption reads "Producers,
Steve Martin and Dave Clement." Another road sign reads "Chapleau Ojibwe
Reserve 74A."

Doris continues I grew up here, I started
grade school here,
went to high school here.
I reside here with my
husband and one of my children.
Being able to return and
provide service to the people
that you grew up with is
extremely rewarding personally.

She stops the car, gets out and walks to a gabled house. A caption reads
"Directed by Michelle Derosier."

Doris, in her thirties with long blond hair, continues
My name is Doris Mitchell
and I'm from Chapleau, Ontario
which is a small community in
northern Ontario.

She enters the building and goes through a narrow corridor.

A voice says "Thanks."

Doris continues I live here and work here as a
physician in this community.

A view of the small community shows a number of similar middle-class
houses.

Doris continues This community
is home for me.
There is no other place in
the world that feels like this.
When I walk down the street and
I recognize people who are here
and they know who I am, it's a
very heartwarming feeling
to know that you are
where you belong.

Over what appears to be a cemetery, a title caption reads "The Doctor Can See
You Now."

The main street features a supermarket and a Health Centre with a sign
in English and Ojibwe and a hanging round shield with a red hand and feather
ornaments.

Doris continues Northern Ontario isn't
usually the first place
most medical school graduates
think to start their practice.
The realities of long, cold
winters and isolation
keep most doctors away.
The people of Chapleau know
these challenges well
and for years struggled to find
a way to bring consistent
medical care to
their community.

A woman in her forties with dark hair in a bob speaks. A caption reads
"Janet Broomhead, Executive Director, Chapleau and District Family Health Team."

Janet says When I was growing
up in my hometown,
my cousin Frank
was my doctor.
And at the time there were only
two doctors practicing
in the town and I recall
that anytime I was sick,
Doctor Frank made me better.

A man in his seventies with receding gray hair and glasses speaks. A caption reads
"Doctor Frank Broomhead, Retired Physician, Chapleau, ON."

Frank says I was a physician in Chapleau
for about 37 years
and during that period of time,
we were certainly understaffed,
there was often only two of us
here and on occasion only one.
Certainly time off was
something we didn't get.
It was very, very hard to
attract other people here
to do medicine.

A woman in her forties dressed in black with shoulder-length hair speaks.
A caption reads "Gail Bignucolo, CEO Chapleau Health Service."
(Soft music plays)

Gail says They had their private practices
worked fee for service
and they basically,
the two of them split
all the on-call and
hospital requirements
between the two of them
and that was probably our
biggest challenge
in trying to attract a
physician to come here.
Please come to Chapleau,
you're responsible for
half the community
and you're going to be on-call
half the time you're here.
Doesn't that sound
like your dream job?

Frank says People would come for
short periods of time
with the northern incentive grants
but it seemed like it was...
would just be long enough to
make some money and then move on to
better things for them.

Gail says Doctor Broomhead was the
chief of staff
when I started here and
then in 2005, he retired
after more than 30 years of
practice, and then of course
the remaining physician couldn't
handle the workload
and the responsibility
because it was too much on him
and he ended up leaving.
So it left us
with no physician.

A female Narrator says Chapleau's story
is not unique.
Towns, First Nations, and even
larger centres across the north
have been experiencing
similar problems for some time.
The consequences are very real.
The health status of northerners
is significantly poorer
than the rest of those
living in Ontario.

Two seniors greet in the street.

One says How's it goin'?

The other says Fantastic,
how are you?

The first says Not bad.
Awesome, beautiful day, eh?

The other says Yeah!

A dark-haired man in his thirties wearing a striped jersey speaks. A caption
reads "Guillaume Tremblay, Nurse Practitioner."

Guillaume says Most chronic health issues that
we see throughout the world are
typically higher percentages
in northern Ontario and most
northern communities I
would assume throughout Canada.
But for me, what I know
of Chapleau... guaranteed.

A bearded man in his fifties drives his light gray car.

The Narrator says Meet Doctor Roger Strasser.
An Australian, he is a leading
expert in meeting the challenges
presented by rural and remote medical care.

Strasser drives up to a round building. A caption reads "Monash University
School of Rural Health, Latrobe, Australia."

He walks along a corridor with a tall gray-haired man and his wife and says Come and see the school's lab.

The man says Alright.

Strasser says It's probably changed a
little since you were here.

The man says Yeah, oh gosh!

Strasser says Go on in.

The man says Thank you.

The lab is airy and well lit. It is full of students practicing bandaging,
etcetera.

The Narrator says Doctor Strasser was instrumental
in establishing the world's
first rural and remote
medical training centre.

Strasser says In Australia I had been involved
in exploring the issues
and understanding and
then addressing those,
the factors that contributed
to the shortage of doctors
and other health professionals,
and the School of Rural Health
really was a beginning
initiative for that.
It's a common experience for
people who live in rural
and remote areas, that
the people in the city
kind of see that what happens
out in the rural areas
is being somehow second
class or substandard.

A series of clips shows rural areas in Australia.

Strasser continues And so that sort of
permeates everything really.
That's part of what the
usually unspoken circle,
hidden curriculum and
sometimes very explicitly said
in the teaching hospitals
in the big cities...
going into rural practices is
the ultimate failure, you know.
And in rural practices,
you know, you're falling off
the edge really.
(Gentle piano music plays)

The Narrator says In response to
widespread doctor shortages,
the broad-based community movement
resulted in the establishment
of the Northern Ontario
School of Medicine in 2005.

A large, square brick and glass building appears. A sign reads "Northern
Ontario School of Medicine."

The Narrator continues Both a pan-northern and
cross-cultural solution,
this "one of a kind" med school
was based in Thunder Bay and
Sudbury, Ontario...
cities that are more than
1000 kilometres apart.

A long, gray building is captioned "Laurentian University."

The Narrator continues At the helm would
be Doctor Strasser.

Strasser says Coming here to
northern Ontario was an opportunity
to develop a whole school of medicine,
a whole program of education
that was very much grounded
in northern Ontario, in the
rural, remote Aboriginal,
Francophone sort of setting.

Frank says Very few people out of the
north became doctors,
and it was because it was
difficult for them
to get into schools and
not only difficult
because of the distances and
the financial parts of it
but also just to gain admittance.

Strasser continues And from the beginning,
recruiting students
who come from northern
Ontario or similar rural,
remote Aboriginal, Francophone
sort of backgrounds
and provide them with
their education in
the northern Ontario setting
and with really most
of the clinical learning
in a whole range of different
community and clinical settings,
not just in the big acute hospitals.

Guillaume says So there's a
need out there
and to think that you can only
be educated in the south
I think is a bit of a sort
of limited perspective.
NOSM I think recognized the need
and they went for it and
successfully so.

As Doctor Strasser speaks, a clip shows the activities he mentions.

Strasser says So we developed a
model of undergraduate
medical education which really
is preparing the students
to practice in the northern
Ontario setting and then
after they graduate, we have
residency programs that provide
the training that prepares our
graduates to practice again,
in the kind of clinical and
community settings we have in
northern Ontario.

A red pickup truck approaches a low brick building. A sign on the building
reads "Chapleau General hospital."

Emergency Room Physician, long, dark-haired Doctor Doris Mitchell, speaks.

Doris says My idea about going into
medicine actually began
before NOSM ever existed.
It was just quite timely
that people were talking about
opening up a northern Ontario
school of medicine around the
time that I was working toward that goal.

A male Patient says How many practices
did you qualify for?

Doris says What do you mean?

The Patient says Well, minor surgery and...

Doris says Um, every family doctor gets
trained in this stuff.

The Patient says Really?

Doris says Yep. Being from northern
Ontario, being First Nation,
being female I think I was a
really great fit for the program,
and the values that they have
at the school matched quite well
with my own personal values, so I applied.

Her mother, Nellie, in her fifties, says So she was getting
her Masters and her nursing degree
and this was when the northern
medical school first started.
So she applied the first
year, and she didn't get in,
she was kind of broken-hearted about it
but I said 'Don't give up, don't give up.
If you want to become a
doctor, you'll become a doctor'.

Doris says I'm really thankful that I got
in because in my second interview
I couldn't have done any better,
it was the best I could have put out there on
that particular day,
and so I thought if I didn't
get in with that interview,
I'll never get in.
'Cause I was "on" that day, it was good.
So at the time that I
started medical school,
my younger son was 8
and my older son was 10.

The sons appear at that age in a photo.

Doris continues I had been going to school
for years in preparation for
med school with them being young, young boys,
so they were quite used
to me studying at night.

The older Son, Jerret Paquette, wearing a padlock beard,
says My mom was usually very busy so
I kind of missed her for a lot of my teen years.
She went to medical school for four years,
then was in residency for two,
and now she's a doctor
so her whole life has been
lots and lots of work,
especially raising two kids.
There was years we lived in townhouses
and trailer parks when she was a nurse
and then while she was in
medical school, the only income
we were having was my
stepfather's mechanic job.

Doris says I grew up very poor...
we didn't have a lot.
I grew up in a trailer park and
my parents didn't have...
we didn't have extra, and the one
thing that made a difference
for me was getting an education,
so I want them to be able to
pursue higher learning,
whatever field that may be in, so
that they can have the freedom
to enjoy life to its fullest.

A photo shows her dark-haired husband with a padlock beard.

Doris says I got married just before
I started medical school.
He was a godsend when it comes
to managing our life
and our schedule and
our career... he made sure
our laundry was done and
we had food in the house,
and the kids made
it to the dentist
and he did all of that
for us, thankfully.
Without him, I'm not sure
I would have accomplished
completing medical school with
the success that I did
and with a family
fairly intact.
I'm not saying all
the pets lived though,
we had a couple die.
(laughs)
Chapleau is a very
interesting community.
What I mean by that is that it is
comprised of an Anglophone,
a Francophone and an
indigenous population
of both Ojibwe
and Cree people.

Frank says We have three highways
and the main line
of the railway going
through but of course
there's no more
passenger service.
Main industries are lumber and
the railway, and there is a large
M and R, Ministry and
Natural Resources base here,
with a large firefighting division.

Doris says The community is isolated
in that there's about
200 kilometres between here and
the nearest large centre, and
because of that, we've learned
to be very self-sufficient.

Strasser says And so in some ways,
it kind of mirrors
the wider northern Ontario
reality I suppose.

Gail says It's a very
close-knit community,
everybody here knows everybody,
you're constantly waving
at everybody when you're driving
in your vehicles in Chapleau.
It's an interesting place to work...
it's an interesting place
for a physician to practice.
Good for you if you like outdoor
activities, because there's not
a lot of options other
than outdoor activities.

Doris says This community was in a
unique situation
where they had no primary care
services for 7 years.
They had been trying and trying
to recruit physicians
that would be able to work in
the emergency department
at the hospital and
provide primary care.
And they weren't
able to find anybody.

Strasser says And there were two other
individuals in her class
who also came from Chapleau
and they were approached
by the community.

Doris says Myself, Doctor Kendra Saari
and Doctor Steven Saari,
we understood the community;
we understood what it would
be like to practice here.
Doctor Kendra Saari's father was
the last full-time physician
who did all of that from the
community, and she grew up here
so we thought where else
better to work than back home
where the need is...
there is no greater need
in any other community.
And so we made the
decision to come together
and to practice together.

Strasser says It's so exciting, so
fantastic, wonderful really.
I mean I would have to say
that Chapleau stands out as the
headline story really
of the success of the Northern Ontario
School of Medicine,
I think all of the communities,
all of the people
of northern Ontario were hoping
for this kind of scenario
to occur, and it has happened in
other communities, but to have this
story like 7 years without a permanent
physician and since July 2012,
three homegrown physicians.
And it's truly satisfying,
it's so exciting.
(Dramatic music plays)

To Guillaume, Doris says About a week and a
half ago he was grinding,
using a grinding wheel and
cutting cast iron and uh...
a cast iron pipe and
he felt like a spray
of foreign body to both eyes.
If he still feels the foreign
body sensation today
and we still can't find anything
then I'm gonna x-ray his eyes. Okay?

Guillaume says Okay.

Doris says to the patient Have you met
Guillaume before?

The patient says Who?

Doris says Guillaume.

The patient says Guillaume who?
(laughing)

Doris says Gillaume Tremblay.

The patient says More than likely.
Yeah I feel like we've met before.
Oh, where, here?

Doris says Uh, Guillaume is the nurse
practitioner that works at our
clinic and he spends Thursday
mornings with me learning
a little bit more about
emergency medicine.

Guillaume says Oh, okay. I can still tell
there's something there.

Pointing to his left eye, the patient says Now this one was really, really
sore yesterday when I got home. Okay.

Pointing to the right one, he says This one is better, uh
but I can still tell
there's something there.

Guillaume says But you don't put any just
tetracaine first before like...

Doris says So put the tetracaine in...
Yeah and then use the...

Guillaume says --and then use the forceps.
Gotcha.

With a dropper, he says One.
It burns a little at first but
I'm gonna put a second one in.
(laughs)
It won't be long
that your eyes...
you won't feel a
thing in your eyes,
that feeling's
gonna go away.

To the camera, Guillaume says I would say she's a
passionate woman...
she cares very much
about her profession.
When she comes here, like
she's 100 percent here
and she's you know, works with
every patient and sometimes,
you know, I look at the list of
patients she's going through
and there's quite a few
patients to get through
that day on her schedule.
But you can tell she's giving
her time with every patient,
she's very meticulous
about making sure
that everything's in order.

Working, Doris says So for this you're gonna
be back in this position
and we have to turn the
light off again.
(laughing)
You can relax if you like.
You're pretty comfy there?

A blue light shines in the patient's eye,
and Doris looks through the viewer.

The patient says Not bad.
Okay. Not bad.

Doris says Well, while we're
waiting for Chris,
I'll just have
another look around.

Guillaume continues But I think her passion for
the profession will elevate my game too, like you
can't be too lax around here
'cause Doris is going 100 percent.

Back with the patient, Doris says So I can't see anything, so we
will get the x-ray to see if
they can see anything on x-ray.
We do them all the time before MRIs.
You know if there's any chance
you have metal fragments
in your eyes,
they'll do a...

Guillaume says Orbital x-ray.

Doris says Yeah, bi-lateral
eye x-rays for...

Guillaume continues I had been here
officially for less than
I think 5, 6 days, I was at the
hospital studying for my exams
'cause I hadn't finished school
at the time, and Doris just
grabbed me and brought me to
the E.R. and put me to stitching
people up, 'cause she had three
people come in at the same time
that had pretty big lacerations
and she just threw me in there
and I left that morning on
quite a high of having done
really cool sort of medical
procedures that I hadn't really
been exposed to, and Doris taught me,
made me feel safe, but also
challenged me quite a bit.
And since then, we kind of
made an agreement that she would
continue to teach me emergency medicine.
You wouldn't refer at this point to opthalmal?
No I think that because I
think things are improving
and the sensation that he's
having is moving around,
I would reassess him on Monday
and if he's still having
symptoms on Monday, then I would
consider getting him to see
an optician, 'cause it's easy
to get him to an optician.

The patient sits and talks for the camera. A caption reads "Richard Epp,
Emergency Room Patient."

Richard says My experience with Doctor
Mitchell has been really good,
the shall we say 'bedside
manner' has been unbelievably good, she's
pleasant to talk to,
she answers questions, she takes
time to explain things
to you and that is
where with most doctors,
she's just all-in-all just super!
We couldn't ask for better in this town.

On a gurney, Richard says Coming here tomorrow?

Doris says So I'm here tomorrow at 8-30.

Richard says So you want me here at
11 says30 is that what you mean?

Doris says No, 8-30, you can come tomorrow
at 8-30 and then I'll look again,
and if we can't see anything and
you still have that sensation
then we'll get the eye x-rays, okay?

Doris is seen taking a break and having a snack.
(dishes clattering)

Doris says I think the biggest
challenge is that I've
moved back to my hometown and I
have personal relationships with
so many people in the
community... who, you know,
I've babysat their children or
they're best friends with my
parents, or they might be-might
have been my gym teacher or my
geography teacher... they were
"the neighbour down the street."
And then, to return as a
physician and to have
a relationship with them
now that's different
has been challenging.

To Richard, she says No bleeding through? No?

Richard says I even checked it.

Doris says Okay.

To the camera, she continues You are a
physician first
and... I don't always see myself
that way, I'm just Doris.

On the phone, she says Okay.
I'm just out for lunch so
I'll be there, hopefully there
at 1 says30 and nothing
happens in the emerg so...

Doris continues You know, "small town girl
goes and gets an education
and comes home and makes good,"
that I would come home
and the title of physician is a
coveted title in many cultures.
It was extremely
romanticized in my mind.

On the phone Doris says (laughs) Hi.

Doris continues The reality of that is
a little less romantic,
a little more harsh.

She sits with a patient having a meal.

He says There's uh... You guys deserve
time off.

Doris says Yeah, well, there's no way
you could work for two days,
no sleep and do a good job so
they re-scheduled his patients...

Guillaume says But people do kinda look at
you and they notice if you
got a new car, or they notice if
you've maybe staggering out of
the legion or anything
like that so you gotta,
you know there's a
little bit more...
there's a lens on you quite
a bit, quite often.
So that's kinda new,
whereas you drive
around Toronto and nobody...
you're totally anonymous,
no one cares, no one besides
your closest friends, who kinda
know what's going on with
you, nobody else...
Not even your neighbours, they
don't really care you know so...
So that's a bit of an adjustment.

To the camera, Doris says If you're new to this community,
you're definitely noticed.
People know who is new,
and who belongs here.
My husband definitely felt that
when we first moved here because
he'd walk down the street and
he got stared at constantly.
'Who's this guy, who's
that guy?' but because he's a
Francophone man, he
was accepted very, very quickly into
the community.

Jerret says My stepdad loves it in Chapleau,
he likes everything he's got
and he's got a business
now, he just opened up
his own auto repair garage.

Doris says I think my husband likes being
married to the town doctor.
He would often joke... he
would say 'I am so good'.
When we first moved here he
would say 'I'm married to the
town doctor, and the priest is
my cousin' so he's good,
and he speaks French, so he's quite happy
and he feels like he fits in really well.
(hydraulic machinery buzzing)
In his business, he's a mechanic and so he
fixes cars and I help out.
On Friday afternoons I
go and actually wash cars.
And some of my patients have
come in and seen me washing
their car and they think it's
quite funny and they want to
take pictures of me
because it's not too often,
I guess, their doctor
washes their car for them.
I've actually had patients come
and see me cleaning
the toilets and washing the
bathrooms in his garage as well,
and they're a bit surprised
to see me doing that.

In the garage, Doris says So she'll just call a
taxi to bring the part?

Her husband says Yep.

Doris says I mean, you do what needs to be
done and I'm his wife
and his partner and want him to
be as successful as he can be
and if I can help out in small
ways - I can't fix cars,
but I can certainly wash one.

She swabs the garage floor.
A brick building appears with a sign that reads "Chapleau Medical-Dental
Centre."

Doris continues Prior to our arrival, health
care was delivered and organized
by both the hospital and the
family health team
and locums that would come in
were generally emergency room physicians.
These physicians are amazing
physicians and are absolutely
excellent at what they do, but I
think that the continuity was
lost because a physician would
only come every 7 to 10 days,
and then they would leave, and
another physician would come in
and take over for 7 to
10 days and then leave.
(Gentle music plays)

A short clip shows Doris working at the Centre.

Doris continues I knew that practicing
in my home community,
there would be times where it
would be family that was in the
emergency department, or very close friends.
But it became extremely real on
our second day here, taking over
the care of the emergency
department when one of our
family's closest friends came in
without vital signs.
And CPR had been started and he
had been waiting for me
to arrive, so that I could be
his family doctor for 7 years
and my only experience ever
providing care for him was doing CPR and
trying to revive him.
(heart rate monitor beeping)

She shows signs of strong emotion.

Doris continues There have been times
where I'm the physician
on call in the emergency
department, and on a
Saturday afternoon, I've had my
uncle dying, my aunt and
a cousin, all in, and I'm the
person to provide care for them
because there isn't anybody else.
There is no code team to
call, you are the code team.
There is no respirologist or
cardiologist or intensivist
that's gonna come in and
save the day or... that's,
you know, there's no R.T. that
you're gonna call that's gonna
come in and put the tube in to
help that person to breathe...
you are that person.
There are times, at least once a
week, where we are trying to get
people out to cardiologists to
go to the cath lab so that
we can unblock their blocked arteries.
We're trying to move patients
for emergency CT scans...
we're trying to get people
urgently to surgeons.
We've had patients in the
hospital waiting sometimes 2
and 3 days for the proper
transportation to be arranged.
We definitely lose
patients, um we have um,
people that need more
specialized care extremely
urgently, where we needed the
specialist within minutes
and we're 7 hours away from that
nearest surgeon or the person
that has the lifesaving skills
that we don't have here, and uh...
It is... It is hard to... uh, to
accept that reality sometimes
and it's things that stay with you forever,
they never leave you.

She breaks down and pauses.
(Sniffs)

Doris continues Sorry. You try your best,
you do what you can,
we don't have C.T. scans
here, we don't have MRIs here,
we don't have.surgeons here, and...
Sometimes that's what you
need and you just don't have it.

The view from the back of the car shows it moving
along a road on a snowy day.

The Narrator says In addition to
setting up practice in Chapleau,
Doris also wanted to work
directly out of the surrounding
indigenous communities
including her own reserve
of Brunswick House First Nation.

The Health Centre sign appears.

A man in his forties with a small blond beard and moustache speaks. A
caption reads "Chief Kevin Tangie, Brunswick House First Nation."

Kevin says All the years that
Chapleau didn't have a doctor
did impact us here.
We had struggled to have
our people taken care of
and attended to.
We've had to send
people out of town,
towns like Timmins,
Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie even.
I think we even had a
couple situations that it got so
extreme that we had to get a
couple people into Toronto
to see some specialists.
And so now I guess it's nice
now to have one of our own
band members come back and
become a doctor-practitioner
and come and service the community
in our new health building
here so, it's good.

Janet Broomhead says Already what we're seeing
is nursing students from the
reserves as well doing their
placements up at the hospital
and we're seeing that the health
centres at the First Nations
are now having people from
their own communities
working at those
health centres.
And I think that Doris pushed
it along in this direction.

Doris says I think that being First Nations
gives me an advantage in that a
lot of the teachings I learned
growing up around holism
and using the medicine wheel and
looking at a person
in terms of balance is
incorporated into my practice.
I look at not just the physical
aspects of a person but also
the mental, emotional and
spiritual aspects of a person.

A blue road sign reads "Brunswick House Reserve."

Kevin says We have people that are
struggling with diabetes;
we have people that are-
some are on disability.
social health problems...
drug and alcohol abuse
being number one.
I'd say we're also dealing with
a little bit of child welfare
issues, and that's typical
of a lot of our communities,
you know, stemming from the
residential school system where
we didn't have family to
come home to for a long time.
There's a lot of issues with
social problems and detriments
to your health socially
around the community.
Because of a displacement,
a lot of our people
lost their way in taking
care of their families
and also lost a lot of
culture along the way.
We're trying to rebuild
that through a lot of
programming, we're trying to
support people to get back
into mainstream
initiatives and ideals,
as well as our own and
to find that right mix.

The Narrator says Amazingly, the other
physicians in Chapleau are also
practicing once a week in
the First Nations communities.
This is making a tangible
difference in people's lives
and setting a new standard in
the accessibility of care.
However, what Doris brings
that is special is a deep
and personal understanding of
the complex factors influencing
the health status of
Aboriginal communities.

Doris says My grandparents,
my mom's parents
attended residential school.
They attended a residential
school here in Chapleau,
just over the river.
The building is gone now and
all of my mom's siblings
attended residential
school as well.

Old black and white photos show Doris's mom with her schoolmates.

Doris continues My mom was taken really young,
most were taken a little older
but because she was a
ward of Children's Aid
they put her in at age 4.
It was definitely a time of
struggle for First Nations
people, and my mom is a
part of that history.

Nellie says I was born at Toffet, which is
about 30 miles from Chapleau
on the Indian reserve.
I was taken from my
mother when I was 2,
placed in Children's Aid
Society and then I was sent to
residential school when
I was 4 in Sault Ste. Marie,
Shingwauk Residential School
and I stayed there 'till I
was 14, for 10 years.

Doris says She met her siblings in
residential school so she didn't
know she had siblings until
she arrived and really didn't
establish relationships with
them until they were adults
because of the structure and
the way the schools were made.
They knew who each other
were, but they just didn't
form relationships
until they were older.

Nellie says They told me I didn't have
parents so I wasn't allowed to go home.
You weren't allowed to
speak your native tongue,
you had to speak English.
I felt afraid, I felt alone
'till I realized that I had
brothers and sisters there...
they didn't know I existed.
So my mother had lost all of
her children before I was born.
And I ran away 'cause I
had found out that
I did have parents, and
I tried running.
This was my third
time running away. And my
young brother was sent away
to another school where he...
where he died.
And I never got to see him
again once he left the school.

The Interviewer says What happened
to your brother?

Nellie says He committed suicide.
He was 13 years old.

She wipes away a tear.

Doris says My mom is one of the most giving
and generous people that I've
ever met and when I say generous,
I don't mean that she gives...
gives money, I mean she gives of
her time... when there's a
family member in need then
she's the person who steps up
and does what needs to be done.

Nellie says To this day, like I'm still
afraid to disclose a lot of it to my
own children;
my husband has no idea what
happened to me at school.

Family and school photos appear in a clip.

Doris says Every one of her siblings that
have passed away she was there for.
My aunt and uncle on my
dad's side passed away,
she was there through all of
their illness everyday
taking care of them.

Nellie says But I just know now in my
heart that it wasn't my fault.
You know, like I see a lot of
my friends that went to school,
a lot of them did turn to alcohol,
a lot of them turned to drugs.

Doris says I mean sure, she had struggles
when I was younger
but a lot of it came
from our experiences
with extended families.
So watching an aunt with
addiction or an uncle with
addiction and watching them
completely destroy their lives...
I have you know, aunts and
uncles that have passed away
because of drug overdose and
suicide, and others that are
slowly killing themselves with
addictions today, and seeing them
continually struggle today and
seeing them in the hospital,
and providing care for
them as a physician,
it certainly impacts you and
there's a saying in Aboriginal
culture where you "take your
torment and your sorrow
and you make that your medicine."
And so understanding and
experiencing human suffering
can make you a better person,
can make you have a greater
appreciation for life and
living, and kindness,
and so that's the way I've
chosen to try and live my life,
is to take those
experiences of my family
and help use those experiences
to learn to live a better life
and to treat other
humans with kindness.
(Gentle dramatic music plays)

On the windscreen of the moving car a caption reads "150,000 first Nations
children were taken from their families and forced into residential schools
run by Christian churches and the Canadian state. the last residential
school closed in 1996."

To a patient, Doris says I honestly don't think
that a pill's gonna fix
the sorrow that you feel.

The woman in her sixties says No?

Doris says I think that, you know the
anti-depressants... that's fine,
but anything that's just gonna
numb you with pain medication,
medication... it really doesn't
solve the problem and I think
we have to look inside here
into our core to kind
of find a better, healthier solution
for you.

The woman says Hmm.

Doris says You've been through
a lot in your life.

The woman says Yes, I have.
Yeah.

Doris says Yeah, I mean you
lost your daughter
when she was
very young.

The woman says Yeah.

Doris says Um, I know,
I was there.
Yeah.

The woman says Yeah, um...
I often think about
all the abuse I went through,
I was raped.

Doris says Mhm.
And sometimes I
dream about it,
Like it's really
happening.

Doris says Does that
happen a lot?

The woman nods and with a breaking voice says Even though I'm 67, I still-
it's still in my mind
and it won't go away.

Doris says Yeah.

The woman says Don't like to
cry about it;
don't like talking
about it sometimes.

Doris says Yeah.
The trauma that you experience
is saved in our body, right?
The memory of that is here,
it's also in our
physical being as well.
Why don't you...
Every time I'm here,
why don't you come and
see me just so we can chat?

The woman nods and says Alright.

Doris says Do you feel better
when you talk about it?

The woman says Yeah, I cry at home
alone sometimes
just so I can
feel better.

Doris says Mhm.

The woman says Sometimes I ask
someone for another pill.
(sniffling)

For the camera, Doris says I have some patients
that I think about every day
and sometimes the thoughts
of those patients
keeps me from sleeping at
night or it feels very heavy.
And when I'm painting, they
don't go away, but it just flows
nicer through me and I, I focus
on what the bird looks like
that I'm painting and it
sort of distracts me from
some of the other heavier
thoughts and I find that
I'm in a nicer place when I'm done.

Jerret says Sometimes I worry that
she works too hard.
She works very long
hours and she has,
I'm sure some of her patients
can be a little bit difficult
and so she can come home
very frustrated at times, and I,
I just hope it doesn't
wear her down too early.
And I hope that she doesn't get
old and tired before her time.

The Narrator says The hard work and
struggles of Doris and her
colleagues has been a unique
case study into the challenges
of providing rural and remote
healthcare in Ontario and across Canada.
In an effort to help other communities,
they are now all teaching new
doctors as instructors with the
Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
And Chapleau has become a key
teaching site in the school's
distributed clinical learning network.

In a learning class, Doris says So this is our
case, so this is Peter,
he's a 14-year-old male.
He presents to the emergency, he
was running while playing soccer
and struck his body
against the goaltender pole.
He had a brief loss of
consciousness that lasted
a minute; he walked into the department.
He was holding his chest... (voice fades out)
(Soft, tinkling music plays)

Janet says She could have
gone anywhere... she didn't have to
come back here.
But here she is, and she's up at
the long-term care, looking after
our elders, and here she is when
she's on call at nighttime,yup all
night when there's an
emergency and needs her care
or is a life and death situation
and she's here at the clinic
every day with her smile, and her
way of making you feel that you
truly matter to her... I
think every patient does.
Doris is special.

Doris sits with a patient and says I'll get those results the same
day that you go for the test.

The man says So when do I start...

Doris says So I want you to go this week.

The man says Eh?

Doris says This week.
So we'll give it to Amy and
she'll set it up and the van
will bring you into town to
get blood work this week.

Guillaume says In terms of this town, I don't
think we've ever been so
caught up on every
preventative health measure,
and charts are up to date,
and screenings are up to date.
And that took time you know, the
three physicians they've been
here for almost 3 years,
I've been here for 1 year.

On the phone, Doris says Okay, who's the
next patient?

To the camera, Doris says I think the Northern Ontario
School of Medicine has impacts
far beyond even its own
knowledge of how it's shaping
and changing the landscape of
medical care and its delivery
in northern Ontario, and
rural areas all over Canada.
It would be unheard of to have
three doctors training and then
coming back and working in a small...
Like nobody would have picked
this place, but we're from here.

Janet says If NOSM hadn't
been in the north,
for the north, and had
been available to them,
they most likely would never have
gone down the road of
becoming a doctor and
returning to their community.
The key here is that having NOSM
has allowed the recruitment
to actually work.

Doris says And that's happening in
communities all over northern
Ontario, there are people in...
you know, more people practicing
in Timmins and Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie
and Garden River and Manitoulin Island,
you know, that are graduates of this
program, that have really
committed and dedicated their
lives to providing care here.
So I think they've done it right,
they've picked people from here
hoping that they would return
and they have. And we have.

(music plays)

Jerret says My mother is
definitely my hero.
She has done...
she has done everything
that she's ever done for me
and my family, and I don't know,
everything after med school
has been well worth those
sacrifices that I've had to make
and my life now is pretty awesome.

(theme music plays)

A caption reads "Jerret has decided to follow his mother's footsteps
and is working towards becoming a physician trained at the Northern
Ontario School of Medicine."

The end credits roll.

Narrator, Michelle Derosier.

Editor, Dwye Clement.

Production Manager, Sarah Furlotte.

Thunderstone and Title Entertainment logos.

Canada Media Fund.

TVO logo. 2015.

Watch: The Doctor Can See You Now