Canadian Federation of
Medical Students

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2020

  • DOA 2020 Water Fluoridation
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was the Municipal Government of Kingston.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 3 months in which a committee of 10 students worked together with the local public health office. We used our finances from the CFMS GAAC Funding.
    Results of the Action were pending given that COVID19 delayed the vote that was to be held in April by the city council.
    Advice to schools: Be cognizant of lobbying efforts (in person and on social media) against water fluoridation, and be prepared to address those questions/concerns.

    Contact Person(s)

  • AP 2020 Medical Students Against Interpersonal Violence; University of Calgary
  • Summary

    Project Summary: The purpose of this new student organization is to promote and examine the role of medical students in addressing interpersonal violence as a medical and health issue through advocacy, education, and research. To date we have organized one local conference and created a short video to raise awareness about why interpersonal violence issues matter to medical students. We are looking to recruit medical students nationwide. Please refer to msaiv.org for more information.

    Contact Person(s)

  • AP 2020 Safe Sex and Birth Control Counselling; University of Manitoba
  • Summary

    Project Summary: This program will teach medical students safe sex and birth control counselling skills in a curriculum created in conjunction with Winnipeg’s Women’s Health Clinic. There will be 10 hours of training on various topics pertaining to safe sex and birth control, taught by trained staff from the clinic, over weekends and evenings in February and March. In June, students will take their skills into the community and run counselling sessions with local schools.

    Contact Person(s)

  • AP 2020 Students 4 Seniors; University of Alberta
  • Summary

    Project Summary: Created by Alberta Health Services in partnership with the Department of Family Medicine, Students 4 Seniors is a student initiative created to address social isolation amongst seniors in long term care. The initiative aims to connect seniors in long term care facilities with their families through modern technology.

    Contact Person(s)

  • 2020 Medical Students for Choice: Pro-Choice Demonstration; University of British Columbia- Okanagan
  • Summary

    Project Summary: The MSFC Chapter at UBCO was made aware of a Kelowna Pro-Life demonstration that was going to happen on campus. We wanted to have a Pro-Choice booth set up on campus at the same so that we could provide information and resources to the student body at UBCO. We contacted MSFC who sent us posters, stickers, and a manual vacuum aspiration device used for first trimester surgical abortions. We spent the morning talking with students and discussing different procedures and options available in the Okanagan. We did not engage with the Pro-Life demonstrators as our goal was to simply provide a presence and answer any questions students had about abortions in Canada.

    Contact Person(s)

  • AP Longitudinal Advocacy Training Series; University of Toronto
  • Summary

    Project Summary: This workshop series hopes to build tangible advocacy skills within University of Toronto medical students on micro (individual), meso (organizational), and macro (government/institutional) levels. By completing this series, students should have a greater understanding of what it means to advocate as a healthcare provider and the different venues to take, as well as different topical health issues currently being faced by the community at large. Moreover, in the spirit of learning by doing, participants will have the opportunity to engage in actual advocacy activities, such as participating in a letter writing campaign, joining community groups and events, employing social media advocacy or lobbying.

    Contact Person(s)

2019

  • DOA ‘2019’ Health & Human Resource Planning
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was Federal Government.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 10 hours.
    Results of the Action were that this is an ongoing area of advocacy.
    Advice to schools: Work with other medical student groups, either schools or organizations such as OMSA.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2019’ Seniors Care and Aging
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Federal Government.
    Action lasted a single day, but with multiple meetings throughout the week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 50-100 hours of collective work.
    Results of the Action included that the Minister of Seniors and the Federal Government have taken seriously the importance of a National Seniors Strategy.
    Advice to schools: Build upon the work that others have created. In this situation, it included building on the work of the National Institute on Aging.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2019’ Increasing Supportive Housing Units in Toronto (ON)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was the Municipal Government of Toronto.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 1 month. Consultations were made via various City of Toronto publications on supportive housing and research articles as well as case studies regarding housing and homelessness in other countries. We were also able to find two examples of successful housing efforts in other countries.
    Results of the Action included that although the ask was to recommit to the target of 180,000 supportive housing units built within 10 years, and there was no specific action from our ask, we added to the gathering momentum surrounding supportive housing in Toronto.
    Advice to schools: Generate specific asks! These asks can include asking members of council to write letters in support of an issue, to ask for support for a motion, or even to ask a councillor to propose the motion themselves.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2019’ Universal Coverage of Mifegymiso (SK)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of Saskatchewan.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was spent mostly on community consultation, review of the literature, and meetings with local groups and organizations.
    Results of the Action included the implementation of the Ask in the summer of 2019.

    Contact Person(s)

  • ‘2019’ Bill 21 - Practitioner ID Restrictions (AB)
  • Summary

    Topic was selectedby popular vote.
    Target audiencewas the Provincial Government of Alberta.
    Action lasteda single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was over 50 hours.
    Results of the Action were unfortunately not what was asked for. The Ask included to implement a committee that included a medical student to discuss the implementation of practitioner ID restrictions in Alberta. There was a recommendation by the health minister to follow up with their deputy to discuss the implementation as there was no plan on how to implement the bill and it’s changes with follow-up schedule.
    Advice to schools: Make your ask simple and achievable and understand the timeline of respective bills (if that is what you are targeting). There was a recognition that Bill 21 would pass prior to or shortly after the advocacy day so there was a greater focus on the creation of a committee for the implementation of the bill rather than opposition of the bill itself.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA 2019 Unmatched Canadian Medical Graduate Crisis (ON)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of Ontario.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was 3-4 months of consultations, however the backgrounder had been made for the year prior and so minor updates needed to be made.
    Results of the Action were that there was facilitated discussions with the government and follow-up from the year prior. Given the improvement in CaRMS match results in 2019, there was less political impetus to rush to another intervention as there had been the year prior. In 2018, the government added spots outside of CaRMS to Ontario.
    Advice to schools: Get a sense of the political climate and how to get out the most from a possible day of action. Reach out to stakeholders and start conversations.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA 2019 Physician Recruitment and Retention (NB)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of New Brunswick.
    Action lasted over multiple days in a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 2-3 weeks looking over journal articles, local media, data from the provincial medical society, and consultations with stakeholders.
    Results of the Action were that one of the asks (ending the billing number system) was implemented by the Provincial Government in Dec 2019.
    Advice to schools is that this can be a very broad topic and quite challenging to develop specific asks. In choosing this topic, make sure to identify discrete aspects of the recruitment/retention process to focus on. Here, we focused on billing number which was something that could be changed relatively easily through a single change in legislation.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA 2019 Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment (ON)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision along with input from community organizations and experts in the field.
    Target audience was the Hamilton Municipal Government.
    Action lasted multiple days over multiple weeks.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 4-6 weeks as our ask evolved given input from Public Health and stakeholder groups.
    Results of the Action included that the Hamilton Board of Health and Municipal Council voted in favour of our ask to send a letter from the Municipal Government to the Provincial government in support of injectable opioid agonist treatment, managed opioid programs, and the inclusion of diacetylmorphine for use as an injectable opioid.
    Advice to schools: Focus on community consultation early on in the process as well as consultations with the local Public Health Officer or Medical Officer of Health.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA 2019 Elimination of the age restriction (<25yo) on the Province's Insulin Pump Program - MUN (NL)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by stakeholder/community outreach.
    Target audience was the Provincial government.
    Action lasted multiple days over the span of a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 15-20 hours.
    Results of the Action included that the Liberal, PC, and NDP parties all agreed to lift the age restriction on the insulin pump program as part of their election platform. However, the Liberal government has lifted the age restriction for individuals who will age in the program, but coverage will not be provided for those who were already in the program and are now over the age of 25.
    Advice to schools: Make sure to reach out to the community, and to network as much as possible. Diabetes Canada was an excellent group to liaise with.

    Contact Person(s)

  • 2019 Promotion of Family Medicine and Environmental Health (QC)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by Quebec’s four student association’s executive council.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was six months.
    Results of the Action included a press conference with the three opposition parties on environmental health and the increase of funding for a program promoting rural medicine.
    Advice to schools: Be pragmatic in what you ask.

    Contact Person(s)

2018

  • DOA ‘2018’ Health & Human Resource Planning and Unmatched Medical Graduates
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was the Federal Government.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 10 hours.
    Results of the Action included the collaboration with other groups as this continues to be an ongoing area of advocacy.
    Advice to schools: Work with other student groups, such as OMSA.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2018’ Indigenous Mental Wellness
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was Federal Government.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 75-100 hours of work with various team members. Required collaboration with the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation as well as a comprehensive consultation and engagement strategy.
    Results of the Action included a reaffirmation of the importance of an effective and appropriate approach to mental wellness in Indigenous communities. This being an important topic being discussed between the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Federal Government and Indigenous leaders and national organizations. As well the CFMS received an invitation to be a stakeholder in a Nunavut suicide prevention strategy roundtable.
    Advice to schools: Engage with other Indigenous leaders and organizations that are doing work in this critical area for their guidance and expertise.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2018’ Safe Consumption Sites (NS)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of Nova Scotia.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 20 hours.
    Results of the Action included a one-year exemption for the HaliFIX Overdose Prevention Society (HaliFIX) to operate an OPS in Halifax based on an “Urgent Public Health Need”. This site opened in September of 2019, and talks are continuous to secure approval/funding following the one-year exemption period.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2018’ Safe Consumption and Overdose Prevention (ON)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by decision of those organizing the day of action, after input from the medical students through a survey to understand priorities of the students.
    Target audiencewas the Municipal Government of Hamilton.
    Action lasted multiple days over a week.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately a couple of months, approximately 20-30 hours of work which included a literature search as well as meeting with various stakeholder groups and experts in the field.
    Results of the Action included increased media attention that allowed us to increase public awareness through a television interview as well as multiple articles. The students presented to the Municipal Government which passed a motion allowing a letter signed by the City Council to be sent to the Provincial Government in support of Safe Consumption Sites. We were also asked to sit on a local harm reduction committee that was composed of policy makers to be a part of the conversation regarding safe consumption sites.
    Advice to schools: Ensure you have a significant amount of time to work on the backgrounder to make it comprehensive. You should meet with various stakeholder groups and experts.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA 2018 Mental Health of New Brunswickers; Prevention, Education, Support, and Advocacy (NB)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of New Brunswick.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Effort spent on the backgrounder included resources such as academic literature, government reports and websites.
    Results of the Action included a successful week of advocacy, but unsure if the asks will be acted upon. The Asks included prevention of mental illness, increasing access to information about mental health services, and supporting those with severe mental illness living in the community. Regardless, there has been increased attention and funding for mental health, which we believe we helped to contribute to.
    Advice to schools: Ensure your Asks are specific and actionable. For this lobby day, we went too broad and think that having more specific asks would be more effective.

    Contact Person(s)

2017

  • DOA ‘2017’ Opioid Crisis
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by popular vote.
    Target audience was the Federal Government.
    Action lasted a single day.
    Time effort spent on the backgrounder was approximately 25-50 hours.
    Results of the Action included continued engagement from the Minister of Health and Federal government, who worked with the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addictions (CCSA) on a "#StigmaEndsWithMe" campaign. The CFMS was a signatory on the CCSA/Health Canada Joint Statements of Action of national organizations tackling the opioid crisis collectively and collaboratively. The CFMS also committed to having medical students leaders across the country hold opioid awareness and naloxone kit training sessions.
    Advice to schools: would be to work with organizations like CCSA and community-based organizations in the community engaging in harm reduction.

    Contact Person(s)

  • DOA ‘2017’ Family Physician Retention (NS)
  • Summary

    Topic was selected by organizer decision.
    Target audience was the Provincial Government of Nova Scotia.
    Action lasted multiple days in a week.
    Results of the Action included an agreement that the government, in collaboration with Doctors Nova Scotia, agreed to invest funding to pilot a new blended capitation payment model for family doctors. It is a model that supports team-based and virtual care delivery, to support family doctors to provide the care their patients need. The project is being developed and will begin to roll out April 1, 2021.

    Contact Person(s)