Prof Roger Strasser

Prof Roger Strasser

Professor of Rural Health
Interim Dean
Simon Fraser University Medical School
Burnaby, CANADA
Founding Dean Emeritus – NOSM University

“How Socially Accountable Medical Training Addresses Inequities in Rural and Underserviced Communities”

Professor Strasser will share stories and present research evidence that explore the practicalities, challenges and opportunities of socially accountable undergraduate medical education and postgraduate training. Specifically, he will describe how Immersive Community Engaged Education and the facilitated Generalist Career Pathway combine to improve the supply of the fit-for-purpose health workforce that meets the needs of rural and underserviced communities.”


Professor Roger Strasser is a leader in the global reform of health professional education. Recognizing the importance of context and community in medical education and research, Professor Strasser has gained an international reputation for developing and refining novel strategies to educate health professionals in and for rural communities. As a result of his formative work in this field, Professor Strasser has become one of the world’s foremost authorities in rural, socially accountable medical education, as well as a sought-after speaker and advisor.

In September 2002, Professor Strasser was selected to lead the creation of the first medical school in Canada in 35 years—the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), now NOSM University. NOSM U is the first Canadian medical school established with an explicit social accountability mandate to improve the health of the people and communities of the region it serves. Thanks to its unique model of distributed community engaged learning, NOSM U is supporting recruitment, retention, and socio-economic development in historically underserved communities across the geographically vast region of Northern Ontario. NOSM U has grown from a little-known school in rural Canada to a leader that other medical schools across the world look to emulate.

Professor Strasser is one of the few Professors of Rural Health in the world. He is leading a growing body of research relating to socially accountable health professional education, recruitment and retention of health professionals, and rural health service delivery models. After 17 years as NOSM Founding Dean, Roger relocated to New Zealand in 2020 where he was Professor of Rural Health at the University of Waikato until 2022. Currently, Professor Strasser servs as Interim Dean for the Simon Fraser University School of Medicine in Canada.
Prior to moving to Northern Ontario in 2002 with his wife, Professor Sarah Strasser, and their five children, Roger Strasser was the Head of the Monash University School of Rural Health in Australia and had an international role with the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) as inaugural Chair of the Working Party on Rural Practice from 1992-2004.

Among his many accomplishments, Professor Strasser has been honoured with the following accolades throughout his career:

  • Global Fellowship, University of St Andrews, Scotland (2022). This prestigious award brings world leading scholars to St Andrews to undertake research, explore potential collaborations, and develop new research interests.
  • Honorary Fellowship, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (2020) For his far- reaching impact as a leader in medical education to meet the needs of rural and remote communities in Canada and around the world.
  • Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa), Umea University, Sweden. (2019), Honorary Doctors are appointed by the annual Faculty Board after nominations from faculty members.
  • AFMC-Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award. (2019), This award celebrates people or organizations whose accomplishments are an example of the principles of Social Accountability.
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) (2017), CAHS’s highest honour.
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), Thomson Rivers University (TRU) (2017), TRU’s highest form of recognition.
  • Special Prince Mahidol Award for Outstanding Health Professional Educators (2014) for work in education that has had a strong impact on the improvement of health care.
  • Member of the Order of Australia (2011) for service to medicine, through improving the health care of people living in rural and remote communities.
  • Monash University Fellowship (2011) in recognition of his professional distinction and outstanding service.
  • Ontario Hospital Association Small, Rural and Northern Award of Excellence (2006).
  • Life Fellowship Award, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (2006) for outstanding and meritorious service to rural and remote medicine in Australia.
  • Monash University’s Roger Strasser Auditorium (named in 2005) pays tribute to his contribution to the development of rural medical education programs in Australia and around the world.
  • Fellow, World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) (2004) in recognition of outstanding service to WONCA and family medicine around the world.
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