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Latest News

MEDIA ALERT: CFMS Addresses the Residency Match in the Media

MEDIA ALERT – June 5th, 2015

Recent media reports have drawn attention to the integrity of candidates participating in the residency matching process in Canada.  The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) supports its student members in upholding the highest standards of professionalism.  To further themselves as medical professionals, medical students must ensure that their behaviour, at all times, justifies the trust that the patient and the public place in medical practitioners and the medical profession.  In accordance with the CFMS Guide to Medical Professionalism, the CFMS expects that all medical students will be honest, trustworthy and punctual when recording clinical activities and procedures and in their CVs and applications, including residency applications.

We recognize the increasingly competitive nature of the residency matching process. It is important to ensure Canadian medical graduates are able to apply their training to serve the Canadian population. Thorough career counselling and detailed predictions on the type and number of physicians needed in the future will help medical students to make evidence-based career decisions that meet society's health needs.

The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) is the organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 14 medical student societies from coast to coast.

For more information:
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.

CFMS President Co-Hosts Seniors Town Hall with the CMA

Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener-Conestoga, together with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) hosted a town hall meeting to consult with local seniors, health care professionals, and service providers on preparing for Canada’s aging population.

As the first wave of the baby boom generation is turning 68 this year, seniors will account for about 25% of the population by the year 2031. This nearly doubles the proportion they represent today. With that in sight, the Government of Canada recognizes the necessity of being prepared to properly care for and provide services to our more experienced generations.

Joining Mr. Albrecht on the panel for discussion was Dr. Veronique Boscart, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) & Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care, and Bryce Durafourt, President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), and CMA Board Member. 

Approximately 20 participants heard presentations from the panel and posed questions or suggestions regarding addressing the needs of Canada’s aging population.

MP Harold Albrecht noted, “The presentations by Dr. Boscart and Mr. Bryce Durafourt created an environment for lively dialogue and many great suggestions for improvement in our planning for the present and future care of Canadian seniors. It was encouraging to see so many community leaders in Kitchener-Conestoga take an active interest in addressing the challenges relating to the availability of health services across the continuum of care.”

Said Mr. Durafourt, “Canadians need and deserve access to high-quality health care.  This is why the Canadian Medical Association is pleased to work with members of Parliament in their communities to hear directly about the growing and evolving needs of our aging population.” He continued, “Hearing from the citizens of Kitchener-Conestoga is a great opportunity for physicians, politicians and constituents to work together toward a strategy that is built around the needs of individuals and their families and a system that puts the patient at the centre.”

Dr. Boscart emphasized the importance of integrated geriatric knowledge in the curriculum of current heath care students and discussed the great work that is being done at Conestoga College. As well, she talked about the necessity of implementing evidence-informed practices and team work in all settings when caring for seniors. “It’s never acceptable to provide suboptimal care because one is older or has a memory problem. Poor practice and dysfunctional team communication can no longer be tolerated. It’s time to clean up, get organized and provide the best care we possibly can to our seniors who deserve nothing less than excellence in our health care system.”

CFMS Spring Update

The CFMS is hard at work throughout the school year to advocate for medical student interests and to bring our membership high quality services and initiatives.

The Canadian Federation of Medical Students is the organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 14 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations. This update highlights key activities of the organization from the past year as well as priorities for the year ahead. Should you have any questions for the CFMS, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Learn about our activities, including:

  • CFMS Strategic Plan 2014-2017
  • CFMS Spring General Meeting 2015 Updates
  • CFMS Annual General Meeting 2015: Windsor, ON
  • Lobby Day 2014
  • CFMS Education Portfolio
  • Transition to Residency
  • Website Bilingualism
  • CFMS-FMEQ National Medical Student Wellness Survey

PRESS RELEASE: CFMS Supports Comprehensive Sexual Education in Ontario

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

References:

  1. IPPF Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education. 2010. International Planned Parenthood Federation. Retrieved from http://ippf.org/resources/publications/ippf-framework-comprehensive-sexuality-education
  2. A Summary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. 2012. Unicef. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/betterlifeleaflet2012_press.pdf
  3. From evidence to action: Advocating for comprehensive sexuality education. 2009. International Planned Parenthood Federation. Retrieved from http://ippf.org/resource/Evidence-Action-Advocating-comprehensive-sexuality-education

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.

 

Kirkham & Jack

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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.