AFMC – I have a dream
This week is an opportunity to think about what it means to be Canadian as we prepare for our 150th birthday. There are so many reasons to be proud such as our country's reputation for diversity and inclusion, global engagement, peace keeping efforts and a forward facing innovation agenda. Particularly to live in a truly free country where for the most part, human rights are upheld and basic necessities are available to most. As a physician I'm also very proud of our healthcare systems. The majority of Canadians have access to healthcare and can, generally speaking, receive the care they need. For some, such as our indigenous population, we know that we still have a long way to go, but we are now in environment that is willing to move towards a better future.
It's hard to believe that next year the AFMC will be turning 75. This will be a great opportunity for us to reflect on our past accomplishments, take stock of the present, and plan for the future. The AFMC was created in 1943 to help establish a national voice for academic medicine during World War II. We developed an early affiliation with our American counterparts and aligned efforts to ensure quality medical education through the accreditation of medical schools, a relationship that continues to grow to this day. The AFMC had an important leadership role in the transformation of the Medical Research Council into the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We led the charge, supported by Health Canada, in emphasising the importance of the social accountability mandate of medical schools, which led to the transformative Future of Medical Education in Canada MD and PG reports. I am extremely privileged to be part of this association.
When I look to the future of AFMC I dream of an organization that will meet the needs of its faculties, faculty members, staff, residents and students, such that we support and counsel our learners on their journey through medical school, residency and into practice as well as our graduate students as they launch their careers as researchers. Our academic health science networks are ensuring that the care that we provide is patient-centered. CAN we prepare all our future researchers for the entire array of possible career options before them, not just in academia? CAN we transform our medical education culture to one that is truly learner-centered with a focus on wellness and resiliency? CAN we adapt our system such that all the competent new physicians we train enter a residency that will enable them to promote health and provide care to Canadians? CAN faculties support their clinicians and scientists as they support our learners? This is CANada, yes we CAN!