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Seth Whitley

“Earlier in my career, I saw patients with significant complications of diabetes and other chronic illnesses because their health was not well-managed due to not having a family doctor.”

As a former physical therapist, Seth Whitley saw firsthand the harmful consequences that members of his northern community near Sault Ste. Marie experienced due to the region’s limited access to primary care. It inspired him to become a family doctor.  

Recently returning to raise his own family on St. Joseph’s Island, a 45-minute drive east of the Sault, motivated him to create better access to primary care for his community. 

And that’s just what he’s doing.  

He and four other students from Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) University will begin their two-year residency in Sault Ste. Marie in July. 

As part of their residency, Seth and his peers will complete clinical rotations at various clinics and facilities in Sault Ste. Marie, including the Group Health Centre, a clinic that was recently forced to de-roster 10,000 patients.  

Seth and his peers represent the hope that the Sault community needs as residents struggle to access much-needed primary care and have nowhere else to turn – one of many Ontario communities who are working to recruit family doctors amidst the crisis that has left 2.3 million Ontarians without a family doctor.   

Seth and the four new residents that will provide care in Sault Ste. Marie and the vicinity are the future of family medicine and with them they bring enthusiasm and optimism to the profession.  

“I’m looking forward to being a small part addressing the need for family doctors in my community. I know it will be a fulfilling career.”