"I respect the difference."
Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean and CEO


All Canadian medical schools undergo an extensive peer review and evaluation of our compliance with accepted standards for educational quality– accreditation. Accreditation is essentially an ongoing exercise in institutional quality improvement involving self-study and report. 

It is a school’s chance to take its pulse and in doing so we recognized the need to prioritize wellness. Wellness, however, goes beyond taking care of ourselves as individuals (though that matters), the bigger picture is about making fundamental changes for the collective. It is about the culture and environment of an organization, how we work together.

NOSM University is committed to creating a climate where learners, faculty, staff, and patients can expect the highest standards of respect, kindness and professional collegiality and civility. 

The possibility of wellness is embedded in the culture of the School and the profession; in the language we use, the values we aspire to, the curriculum we create, the way we express ourselves, the way we make decisions—not only who is at the table, but who feels safe to speak truthfully and see themselves reflected in the decisions being made at that table.

If we can embrace and learn from our differences—race, gender, abilities, backgrounds, beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and our infinite number of inherent and acquired traits—this is the future we can create.


The Respect the Difference movement was developed by NOSM University to bring awareness to a culture of kindness and respect in the learning and work environment.

We hope that together, we can ignite a positive cultural change that is grounded in respect and reaches beyond the NOSM U community. We encourage all Canadian medical schools and the medical sector to join our movement.

We all have the potential to be changemakers, and we have the mutual responsibility to take action toward a culture of kindness, respect and compassion.

It starts here at NOSM University. It starts with you.


Join the Movement


The study of genetics has given us a whole new understanding of ourselves and why we are who we are.  ​

Did you know that 99% of human DNA is the same?

With so much in common genetically, how we respond to what makes us different is our individual choice. ​

NOSM University is coming together to create a culture of diversity, inclusion, respect, social accountability and wellness. Let’s work and learn in a culture of kindness. Read more about NOSM University’s Mission, Vision, and Values.

By appreciating our differences, we can nurture a learning and work environment where everyone can express their identity, contribute to innovation and role model positive change in the health-care profession.  

Partner with Us.

We invite all Canadian medical schools, the medical sector as a whole, all levels of education, and organizations across Canada to join us in our movement and Respect the DifferenceTM

Together, we can ignite a positive cultural change that is grounded in respect and reaches beyond our individual organizations and into our communities. 

Institutions and organizations interested in partnering with NOSM University in support of the Respect the DifferenceTM movement may contact us at

Partner Toolkit

Be a Changemaker.

We all have the potential to be changemakers, and we have the mutual responsibility to create a culture of kindness, respect and compassion. 

  • Reach as many people as possible to help build momentum for this movement.
  • Take action to make that change happen.

It all starts here. And it all starts with you.

Changemaker Toolkit

The Okanagan Charter 

NOSM University’s focus on wellbeing is guided by the Okanagan Charter, which calls upon the post-secondary sector to “transform the health and sustainability of our current and future societies, strengthen communities and contribute to the wellbeing of people, places, and the planet.”  


The Logo

The Respect the DifferenceTM logo consists of two elements: the graphic and the text. The graphic is a visual representation of the motivation behind the movement. 

The graphic is made up of three eye shapes layered upon each other with primary colours that, when blended together, form an infinite amount of colour possibilities.

The structure of a human eye is complex, but will not reveal one’s ethnicity, colour, sex, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

A kaleidoscope of colour is used, representing the full spectrum of individuality.

The text is the name and tagline for the movement. It is a call to action that asks us to see ourselves and each other and to Respect the DifferenceTM.

By bringing attention to what unites us all as people, including our many differences, Respect the DifferenceTM hopes to spark a positive shift in our learning and work cultures. 

Please read the Respect the Difference Use of Logo Guidelines for more information.