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Medical Student Spotlight

Medical Student Spotlight

Discover your peers' incredible initiatives - and share your own!

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Latest News

PRESS RELEASE: CFMS Supports Comprehensive Sexual Education in Ontario


Future Physicians Support Comprehensive

Sexual Education in Ontario

Ottawa, May 22nd, 2015 – The Government of Ontario has released a new sexual education curriculum which will be taking effect in September 2015 that will update it to a similar level as other Canadian provinces.  While the changes are facing some opposition, it is supported by various healthcare advocates and politicians including Mayor of Toronto John Tory, and organizations including the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education, the Ontario Public Health Association, and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS).

The CFMS is the national body that represents over 8000 medical students at 14 medical student societies across Canada. The goal of the CFMS is to represent the voice of medical students among groups that direct or influence medicine in Canada including the government, the public and national/international organizations.

In 2013, the CFMS passed a policy in support of the rights of youth through adopting and promoting the International Planned Parenthood concept of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).  CSE is defined as “seeking to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality -- physically and emotionally, individually and in relationships. It views ‘sexuality’ holistically and within the context of emotional and social development. It recognizes that information alone is not enough. Young people need to be given the opportunity to acquire essential life skills and develop positive attitudes and values.”1

The proposed updates to the CSE curriculum - the first updates since 1998 - are a major step forward in supporting and providing youth with the opportunity to protect themselves from potential adverse sexual, reproductive and mental health outcomes.  It also follows the UN convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children and young people have the right to the highest attainable level of health and access to information that will allow them to make decisions about their health (Article 17) including family planning (Article 24).2

The CFMS is excited about many aspects of the new curriculum.  It will continue to include discussions about prevention of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI) as evidence shows equipping students with this knowledge, as opposed to only discussing abstinence, leads to decreased rates of unplanned pregnancy and STIs, and delays the timing of first sex.3

In addition to discussions about sexual practices, promoting healthy body image will become a key aspect of this curriculum. Other changes include teaching students to identify all body parts, including genitalia, in grade 1. Education about puberty will move from grade 5 to grade 4, in keeping with the rising rate of early puberty.  This will ensure students are aware of and prepared for the changes happening to their bodies before they occur.  With regards to discussions of sexual activity, the topic of consent has been added to the curriculum. Students will now be taught how to ask for consent, what is considered inappropriate touching, and how to ensure safety.

Given youths’ increased involvement in internet activities, emphasis will be placed on online safety, cyberbullying, and risky behaviours in the context of sexual health.  This will cover important topics such as sexting and how to protect themselves and their peers online.

Gender and sexual diversity issues (including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues) are incorporated into the curriculum early on. Students will be taught about various family structures, including same-sex relationships, families from different ethnic backgrounds and cultural practices. Children will be taught from a young age to respect differences, promoting a safer school environment and helping fight bullying.

The CFMS recognizes that comprehensive sexuality education leaves young people better prepared to make positive decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health, and empowered to enact these choices.  This is why we support the changes to the Ontario sexual education curriculum in order to give youth a solid foundation on which to build upon a lifelong learning process of self-identity, relationships and healthy development.

For Media Inquiries:

Anthea Girdwood, Vice President Communications
Canadian Federation of Medical Students
Cell: (613) 915-1141 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For More Information:

Dr. Joshua Dias, former CFMS National Officer of Reproductive and Sexual Health
PGY1, Psychiatry, University of Toronto
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  1. IPPF Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education. 2010. International Planned Parenthood Federation. Retrieved from
  2. A Summary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. 2012. Unicef. Retrieved from
  3. From evidence to action: Advocating for comprehensive sexuality education. 2009. International Planned Parenthood Federation. Retrieved from

CMA GC Medical Student Ambassador Program (DUE May 27th)

CMA expands Ambassador Program for annual meeting

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is excited to announce an expansion of its Ambassador Program – to better engage and involve younger physicians. Working in collaboration with Provincial and Territorial Medical Associations (PTMAs) and other CMA partners, the program provides opportunities for members to become actively involved with the CMA beginning with the CMA’s annual General Council (GC) meeting in Halifax, NS. As a result, in 2015, this opportunity is only available to CMA members in the Atlantic provinces.

Following the success of last year’s Student Ambassador Pilot Program, the program is being expanded this year to include 10 medical students, 10 residents and 10 early career physicians (approximately less than 5 years in practice).

The program will help to build strong, enduring connections between the CMA and medical students, residents, and early career physicians to ensure we are meeting the needs of Canada’s new and future physicians. 

Participants will have their travel and accommodations covered, and will be given unique opportunities to engage with the CMA and its leadership. Successful candidates will be expected to:

-       At GC:  Attend and actively participate in 4 volunteer days at the CMA’s  Annual Meeting (held Aug. 23-26, 2015 in Halifax);

-       At GC and Beyond: Connect and network with peers, colleagues and mentors on issues of importance to them and to the medical profession; and,

-       Beyond GC: Share their experience as a champion, provide feedback and advocate for the CMA and the profession.

Ambassadors will be selected randomly from applicants who:

  1. Are a medical student, resident or early-career physician (approximately less than 5 years in practice;
  2. Are a resident of the Atlantic provinces;
  3. Are a member of the CMA;
  4. Are a member of an Atlantic provincial medical association; and
  5. Demonstrate how they can benefit from engaging with CMA as an ambassador at General Council.

Eligible applicants can apply by clicking on the following link Entry Form.

Any CMA member is welcome to attend General Council as a member observer with no registration costs.

Apply to be a CFMS Delegate to IFMSA (DUE May 8th)

IFMSA Summer 2015

Are you passionate about health equity and global health?
Do you want to meet and work with colleagues from around the world?

CFMS-GHP Vision: Recognizing that its members, as future physicians, are uniquely and strategically placed to promote the values of health equity and social responsibility, the CFMS-GHP will strive to empower students with all the tools they may need to grow as global health leaders and global citizens.

Mission: In the spirit of responsible and sensitive global collaboration, we will facilitate ethical global health education, advocacy, action and experiences through coordinated national programming.

Medical students with a strong commitment to global health and social justice are encouraged to apply regardless of their year of medical school. For more information regarding this exciting position, please continue reading. Refer to the last page for how to apply. Applications are dueFriday 8 May 2015 at 23:59 EST. This role is an excellent opportunity to get more involved in global health leadership.  We look forward to hearing from you!

More information can be found on the conference website.

Application details available here.

Scott Hodgson
IFMSA-CFMS Point Person, Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS)

Christopher Charles
Vice President – Global Health, Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS)

CFMS and MD Financial Management Announce Strategic Partnership

CMFS-Partner-graphic LI2

MD Financial Management Inc. (MD), a Canadian Medical Association (CMA)-owned financial management organization, and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) today announced a collaborative partnership that makes MD the exclusive financial services’ partner of the CFMS.


“We are pleased to be working together with the CFMS to provide even better support to Canadian medical students,” said Mike Gassewitz, MD’s Executive Vice-President of Member Solutions. “As a CMA company, we are dedicated to meeting physicians’ financial needs throughout their lives and careers, and this starts in medical school. This partnership will enable us to help more medical students take the worry out of their finances and start their careers on the best possible financial footing, leaving them able to focus on their studies.”


MD’s sole focus is to help Canadian physicians and their families achieve greater financial security and peace of mind. That focussed commitment starts with supporting medical students and helping ensure they succeed as they begin their careers, whether it is providing advice on debt management, paying for medical school or preparing for residency and practice.


“We’re very excited to be entering into this partnership with MD,” said Bryce Durafourt, CFMS President. “Students will benefit from an improved level of support from CFMS and MD through a wide range of information, events and services that have been specifically created with them in mind.”


Medical students can benefit from MD's specialized network of advisors who are dedicated to addressing the financial needs and goals of medical students, including advice about how to finance medical education while minimizing debt.


For more information about the MD/CFMS partnership, please email Alison Forestell at MD (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Franco Rizzuti (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) at the CFMS.

Please click here for the full press release.


CFMS members SAVE on UpToDate®

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Graduating students can take advantage of the special CFMS rate up to the date of your graduation! Don’t let this great special offer slip away. Make sure you subscribe before you graduate and lock in the two year student rate while you still qualify!

With an individual subscription to UpToDate, you can:

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Take advantage of this special offer and subscribe today!


*Applicable taxes may apply. Prices are subject to change.


DEADLINE EXTENDED (May 15) Employment Opportunity: CMA Medical Student Intern

Interested in professionalism in medicine?  Looking for an engaging way to spend the summer?  Consider the NEW CMA Medical Student Internship!

In addition to engaging with leaders at the CMA and learning more about the organization, the successful student will:


  • Be assigned a major project, aligned with the CMA’s strategic priorities, for completion during the internship which could include such activities as:
    • conducting literature reviews on professional issues and summarizing key findings
    • writing summaries, articles, letters intended for internal and external audiences
    • developing issues and options paper for policy consideration
    • participate in and present at internal and external meetings
    • make formal presentations at the end of the term outlining a summary of their internship experience
  • Help staff develop an educational curriculum to support Canadian physicians who elect to participate in assisted dying activities.



  • Must be currently a 1st or 2nd year medical student in Canada and a member in good standing of CFMS.

Application Process:

Please submit a résumé and a brief description (max 500 words) indicating why you are interested in this opportunity, and indicate your level of proficiency in French.  Applications are to be submitted by May 15th, 2015.


Apply in confidence to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Learn more at


CFMS and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Create Partnership

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

It is with great excitement that the CFMS is announcing a new partnership with the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) is a national registered charity located in London, Ontario that recognizes and celebrates Canadian heroes, whose work has advanced health in Canada and around the world. The CMHF inspires the pursuit of careers in the health sciences through national outreach programs and the promotion of the stories of their Laureates.

The CFMS has worked with members of the CMHF to secure membership of a Canadian Medical Student on the CMHF Board of Directors. This is an exciting new position, that will be filled by a candidate interested in Canada’s rich medical history, one who is passionate about excellence in leadership in health and who is eager to bring the voice of Canada’s emerging health leaders to a strong board of tenured professionals from across the country!

The CFMS is delighted to be a part of this new relationship with the CMHF. If you are interested in becoming the CFMS Representative to the CMHF, stay tuned for information coming in April on how to apply!

For more information about the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, please visit their website at:

Kirkham & Jack

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Contact Us

Canadian Federation of Medical Students
267 O'Connor Street, Suite 401
Ottawa, ON  K2P 1V3
Phone: 613-565-7740
Fax: 613-565-7742

Media: Anthea Girdwood  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Student Affairs: Brandon Maser  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Global Health: Christopher Charles  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Information Technology: Franco Dattilo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.