About the CFMSThe CFMS is an 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.
The CFMS is very excited to launch the National Wellness Program (NWP); our comprehensive approach to supporting student wellness and working with programs to promote wellness. This will be an evidenced-based approach, informed by wellness survey data. The national wellness program has 4 major threads: Advocacy, Programming, Awareness and Resiliency and Personal Development
Advocacy: We support Health Promoting Learning Environments. In order to thrive, medical students need supportive and inclusive learning environments which not only support them in times of crises but promotes an overall healthy lifestyle. Toxic situations contribute significantly to student burnout. We have launched new student mistreatment and students with disabilities portfolios. We support efforts for bold Culture Change. Healthcare and learning environments as a whole must lead the values we preach. Medicine must confront issues of #MeToo, racial discrimination, inter and intra-professional bullying.
Programming: Every January, the CFMS starts the year off with our wellness challenge, a month long, fun kick-off event. We have 4 weekly themes and a balance of group and individual techniques. We have now launched the Longitudinal Wellness Challenge (LWI), which has 5 major themes (nutrition, mental, financial, physical and social/relationships). We focus on each theme for 2 months where we have mini-challenges, highlight school innovations, promote fellow student gems and more.
Awareness: All learners face significant challenges during their medical journeys. We need to continue to raise awareness about the significant health challenges. Our student wellness spotlights highlight the journeys of students in different areas of wellness. We also will be undertaking a host of themed campaigns to further educate and most importantly inspire students and faculties.
Resiliency and Personal Development: Pursuing a career in medicine is a challenging endeavour. The fourth arm of the NWP acknowledges the need to support student development. We prioritize working with UG and SA offices in the development and implementation of longitudinal wellness curriculums. Resilience and coping skills are crucial to a long-term positive student experience which prepares trainees for success in their medical careers. We are also promoting the novel Simulated Training for Resilience in Various Environments (STRIVE) program, which will simulate difficult situations as an opportunity for students to develop applicable skills.
Underlying all of this work will be a strong commitment to evaluation and metrics for continuing quality improvement.
The CFMS is committed to supporting our members and working with MedSocs to ensure a collaborative, coordinated process in making significant advancements in health-promoting learning environments.We look forward to working with medical education and health professional stakeholders to chart a better course for medical trainees in the future.
Victor Do, National Wellness Program File Lead
Stephanie Smith, Vice President Student Affairs