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Canadian Federation of
Medical Students
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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 #4: COVID-19 Effects on Medical Education and CFMS Operations CFMS Announces up to $10 000 for the CFMS COVID-19 Community Care Initiative Grants
March 29, 2020

Dear Students,

We hope you and your families are keeping well. Physical distancing can be hard, but as we know so important!! Please read below for our latest updates!

CFMS COVID-19 Community Care Initiative Grants:

The CFMS is excited to announce that we have up to $10 000 available for our MedSocs to apply to in order to support your community care initiatives to support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic response. We have been so impressed and inspired by your work and leadership during this time. Initiatives can request up to $1000 in funding support. The deadline to submit these will be Friday April 3rd and decisions will be communicated by April 6th. Ideally each MedSoc will submit an overarching application for their work. The application form is attached here

We remind everyone the importance of physical distancing measures and also want to spotlight the importance of donating blood.


Some of you may have seen the information from FMRAC (Federation of Medical Regulatory

Authorities of Canada) which noted that final year medical students who do not complete the MCCQE I before July 1 can still obtain an educational license to start residency.

The stipulations are that you must have a residency position offer, have been confirmed as a graduating student by your medical school and you must still take the MCCQE I.

Many of you will have heard about the changes to Royal College and College of Family Physicians of Canada licensing exams for our residency colleagues and the exams being delayed until the Fall. We have been in close contact with the MCC and continued to represent the perspective that the exams should be re-scheduled as soon as it is safe to do so. As I noted last time, the MCC relies on Prometric writing centers which continue to be closed for the time being. We understand that the thought of writing these exams in residency is very stressful and we have heard a number of your concerns. We have relayed all of these concerns to the MCC including that the exam being delayed could result in higher failure rates, that students will have taken their medical schools “review course” many months prior to writing the exam, that financially this will increase the burden on students who had purchased different study subscriptions and certainly has potential to negatively affect your overall health and wellbeing.

We continue to work collaboratively with the MCC on ways to ensure students are supported through the exam writing period. We are committed to ensuring the exam is written as soon as possible. Some students have asked about wanting to know a firmer date to help them with study planning. The MCC has committed to giving at least 4 weeks notice prior to the exam writing period starting.

Second Iteration R1 2020 Match:

All interviews for the second iteration R1 Match have been moved to an online/virtual format. The timelines for the second iteration remain the same. Rank lists for the second iteration are due April 2nd at

15:00 EST. We continue to have a number of supports for students who are entering the second iteration of the 2020 R1 match which are listed here.



We have heard from your MedSoc Presidents that in general students want to know that Canadian medical schools will return to clerkship at around the same time. The COVID-19 pandemic situation continued to evolve very rapidly and it may be difficult to predict when it will be appropriate for medical students to return to clinical duties.

A number of your schools have begun communicating potential dates for students to return to clinical rotations. A common date that continues to be communicated at many schools is the start of July. At the time of writing, there is NO national consensus on a date of return to clinical duties for clerks in the class of 2021. The UGME deans continue to work with the understanding that they will try to have all clerks return at a uniform date, however, this may not be possible as the pandemic effects provinces differently.

Early discussions have started on the potential adjustment of 2021 R1 match timelines. We will be representing students on all relevant committee discussions related to this and once timelines are finalized they will be announced through your schools. We do not have any specifics yet but are cognizant of the importance of ensuring equity for all students. A decision on a return to clerkship date will significantly impact how we address the R1 match timelines. It is possible adjustments to expectations for applications will need to be made and the faculties are taking this into consideration. Potential changes to graduation dates and the LMCC exam dates for 2021 will also be addressed in these discussions.

Ultimately the goal is that we consider safety, the quality of supervision and learning, students’ ability to contribute and the overall capacity of the healthcare settings to accommodate learners in evaluating when clerks should return to clinical learning.

Visiting Electives/AFMC electives portal:

As of March 20th, the visiting electives applications through the AFMC portal for all Canadian medical schools have been suspended until further notice. We will continue to advocate to ensure the portal will be re-opened at a uniform time across all schools and we will keep you up to date on these discussions. When the portal is re-opened we want to ensure there is adequate time for students to plan and submit applications and that faculty response is timely given that there will likely be a shorter window for electives prior to the R1 match application due dates depending on how clerkship schedules are adjusted. Those who have a previously confirmed visiting elective will be receiving information from the visiting elective school in regards to cancellation and refunds. To our knowledge all schools intend to refund fees associated with previously confirmed electives that have been cancelled. The dates of cancellation vary for each school at this time which reflects the uncertainty of when clerkship will return. (i.e. some schools have cancelled to June 30th, others August 30th etc).


We continue to hear the transition to pre-clerkship curricula being delivered online is going relatively well, We have begun collecting information on best practices from each school with the goal of advocacy work to continue ensuring every medical student in pre-clerkship has the best online/virtual curriculum to finish the academic year.

CFMS Spring General Meeting and Elections:

We have confirmed that the CFMS SGM will take place virtually on April 18th and 19th. A new preliminary agenda and details on the elections have been uploaded to our website here.

We are excited to be having our President and VP/Director elections as well. President elections will be conducted on April 18th and the VP/Director elections will be conducted on April 19th. Details about this will be posted on the website.

We look forward to having our first ever virtual general meeting. We will have a few exciting surprises as well. Registration is re-opened and there will not be a fee for attending the meeting, however, due to some limitations with capacity of our virtual platform you still must be a member of your schools “delegation” to receive a link to attend. You will get more details from your schools CFMS representative. We will also be recording some sessions and posting them for general viewing after themeeting.


This is a stressful time for many of us. In collaboration with our member schools we have this spreadsheet of wellness resources. We want to remind everyone to stay connected socially during this period of critical physical distancing. Check out our social media @CFMSFEMC for contests to keep you engaged.

Thank you’s and highlighting great work!

I want to thank the entire CFMS board for their efforts during these last few weeks. Your work supporting members, advocating and ensuring the important work of your portfolios continue have been amazing!

I want to reiterate my thanks to all students who have taken time to write to me with your concerns. During this period of uncertainty, it can be very frustrating to not have specific answers, but all of your thoughts and feedback are very helpful and they are forming the foundation of our advocacy.

Let’s also make sure to remember to thank and celebrate all the healthcare providers doing amazing work. We have a new campaign to recognize the amazing physician leaders and preceptors that have helped us as medical students. Please nominate your favourites here

The CMA has launched a website: which highlights amazing work by medical students and others across the country during these trying times. Check it out to uplift your day!

We will continue to have these member memos at least once a week. We endeavour to keep you informed of our work and supplement information you should be receiving from your faculties.

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


Victor Do

CFMS President, 2019-2020

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