Canadian Federation of
Medical Students
About the CFMS
The CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 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.
Member Memo #2: Further Updates on CFMS SGM and effects of COVID-19 on Medical Education
March 15, 2020

Dear Members,

The CFMS remains committed to providing you regular updates on the evolving situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many effects on organizational operations and our medical education. 

New information, questions and developments are constantly arising and we will do our very best to advocate on your behalf, communicate information and support you during this uncertain period.

CFMS SGM Updates:

We will have further information by Friday March. 20th on an updated agenda and how we intend to hold virtual sessions in conjunction with the virtual CCME program.

All CFMS members who previously registered and paid will have their SGM registration fees reimbursed. Further details will follow by Monday March. 16th  

Once we have further details on our virtual SGM sessions we will provide more information on opportunities for students who had not yet registered, to do so, and virtually attend our sessions.

We are assessing how best to move forward with the Board of Director elections that are scheduled for SGM. In addition, we will likely need to make modifications to our resolutions session at SGM. More details will follow by Monday March 16th  

Effects on Medical Education:

MCCQE Part I Exam: As has been communicated to our final year students, the MCCQE Part I exam scheduled to be administered from April 15th to May 15th has been postponed at this time. The announcement was made by the MCC (Medical Council of Canada) who administers the exam and all students who had intended to write the exam should have received direct communication from them. We are in discussions to advocate for our final year students in this regard. We understand the uncertainty around when this may be re-scheduled can be disruptive and the MCC has noted that they will inform applicants of new dates as soon as possible. We appreciate their ongoing communication with us.

Effects on Daily Learning/Clinical Rotations: With the help of each of our member schools we have been collecting information on the adjustments being made to pre-clerkship classes, clerkship clinical rotations, domestic and international travel policies as well as visiting electives. We will assist schools in local representation and advocacy as needed and have been in contact with the AFMC to overview the situation nationally. It is in the jurisdiction of each medical school faculty, in consultation with their overarching academic institution and provincial health authorities to make decisions in regards to whether in-person classes, clinical rotations and Canadian visiting electives will continue for students. The situation remains fluid and we are aware faculties are constantly re-assessing. Universally, international travel and electives has been suspended indefinitely. Many pre-clerkship classes have been moved to an online format. There is more variability with clinical clerkship learning at this time. Our priority is that medical students are safe, that those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 be told and supported to self-isolate, that students with medical conditions that may make them more susceptible to illness be fully accommodated, that students are not expected/relied upon to provide clinical service in place of licensed physicians and that should clinical clerkship be temporary suspended for public health and safety, the longer term graduation impacts to students be minimized. 

We are continually trying to ensure that students are updated as quickly as possible and will work with each MedSoc to support your advocacy. As this is a fluid situation we know information has sometimes not come out as quickly as students would like and we know faculties are working hard to make safe decisions.

As always, medical students are stepping up and showing innovative leadership in trying times. On Saturday we saw students from Western University start rallying medical students to help all of our healthcare colleagues as we know they are putting in extra time providing patient care. Soon after, other schools have begun following suit. The CFMS Reps have received information from Western about how to facilitate student volunteering. We want to emphasize that students participating in these activities should take precautionary measures to stay safe.

Lastly, a special shout out to all the local student MedSoc leaders who are working very hard to represent medical students. We are here to support all of our members and are wishing everyone good health.

As always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Victor Do

CFMS President, 2019-2020

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