About the CFMSThe 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.
Due to the public health risk that continues to be posed by COVID-19, recently declared a pandemic by the WHO, the in-person events of the CFMS Spring General Meeting scheduled for April 17-18th 2020, will be cancelled.
Earlier today, the organizers of the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) made the decision in consultation with public health officials in BC to cancel all in-person events at CCME and move to a virtual meeting. The CFMS SGM is a component of CCME and thus we have been in contact with the AFMC and other conference organizers over the last week to stay up to date and communicate a decision to you as soon as we could.
To all of our members who were planning to attend the meeting, we will have details on refunds of registration fees very shortly and will be communicating directly with our MedSocs. Please note that both Air Canada and Westjet have announced modified change/cancellation policies. Members who have booked flights with the anticipation to attend the meeting should refer to these to help with re-bookings/cancellations.
We will have further updates in the coming days with respect to how we may hold certain components of SGM virtually. An updated agenda, instructions for attending and other details will follow as soon as we are able to confirm details. SGM and CCME are very important parts of our yearly medical education advocacy work and we will continue to ensure that we are able to make advancements in improving medical education.
As we know, the effects of COVID-19 are not limited to cancellations of large gatherings. There are a number of additional considerations of how this affects medical students in Canada, which we are actively monitoring and working with partner organizations to address. These include but are not limited to:
- Delivery of course content and potential cancellation of in-person classes at universities.
- Policies that outline modifications to clinical duties for clerkship students at their local hospitals
- Effects on students participating in domestic and international electives. We are aware that some Canadian electives are being cancelled at certain universities with short notice to students. We are monitoring and will provide information as we have more details
- Policies restricting general domestic and international travel and self-quarantine policies.
- Effects on upcoming exam sittings, including the MCCQE Part I
The jurisdiction for addressing these and other concerns mostly fall within our academic institutions, regulatory bodies and local and provincial governments, however, the CFMS is actively gathering information on decisions being made in order to ensure medical students are protected and that everyone’s health is prioritized. One of our main goals is to effectively communicate to our members policy decisions being made across the country and we are working closely with medical education partners nationally to do this.
Specifically for the CFMS, all of our members volunteers have been told that all CFMS business-related travel is suspended until further notice. In addition, our staff will be given the option to work from home.
We encourage all medical students who are experiencing symptoms should yield the advice of local public health officials. We all play an important role in ensuring social distancing measures are being taken seriously.
The CFMS is committed to ensuring you are all well-informed on developments that affect you and we will be advocating to ensure our education is as minimally disrupted as possible given the circumstances. We will be providing regular updates.
You can find additional information about COVID-19 on this webpage from the CMA.
As always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]
CFMS President, 2019-2020