A rampaging moose, a miner turned thief with an appetite for diamonds and a woman attempting to induce labour by riding an ATV – just an average day for the students in Hard Rock Medical. The TVO-commissioned drama series provides a fresh and entertaining look at the unique challenges of delivering healthcare in Northern Ontario. Hard Rock Medical follows the lives of eight medical students, their struggles to succeed, and the obstacles they face in adapting to practising rural medicine and living in the North. The series premieres with two 30-minute episodes on Sunday June 9 at 8 pm ET. Thirty-minute episodes air on Sundays at 8 pm ET (repeats Fridays at 8:30 pm and 10 pm) and will also be online.
Loosely inspired by the world-renowned Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Hard Rock U’s unconventional teaching methods have students learning hunting techniques, visiting coal mines, and taking trips in the bush, all while getting a medical degree. Questioning whether they have what it takes to succeed, the students cope with their emotional and personal trials along the way. Directed by Canadian Derek Diorio and shot in Northern Ontario, the 13-episode series features an ensemble of familiar Canadian faces: Angela Asher, Danielle Bourgon, Rachelle Casseus, Tamara Duarte, Kyra Harper, Christian Laurin, Patrick McKenna, Andrea Menard, Stéphane Paquette, Melissa Jane Shaw, Jamie Spilchuk, and Australian Mark Coles Smith.
“Hard Rock Medical does a fantastic job of highlighting a proudly Ontario story while engaging audiences in some of the real-life challenges of practising medicine in the North,” said Nancy Chapelle, TVO’s Managing Director of Content and Programming. “The series showcases Northern Ontario, with the region becoming a pivotal character in the narrative as the program unfolds.”
Hard Rock Medical is a Canadian-Australian co-production from Hard Rock Medical Productions Inc. and Moody Street Productions. Hard Rock Medical Productions is a joint venture of Ottawa’s Title Entertainment Inc., Distinct Features Inc., and Carte Blanche Films Inc. Hard Rock Medical received funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to support the regional production of the series.
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has also partnered in the production of Hard Rock Medical and the series is scheduled to air in 2014. Other Canadian sources of funding include the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.