The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. AFMC will be updating this page with information related to medical education as it becomes available.
AFMC principles and guidelines in the era of COVID-19
CCME moving to a virtual format
On March 13, CCME partners approved moving to a virtual CCME for 2020 as a result of COVID-19. We will be leveraging state of the art virtual technology for all accredited plenary sessions which will be held on April 19 and April 20.
AFMC will be holding the following virtual events:
- the AFMC Board of Directors meeting
- the Learner Forum, Humanism in the Learning Environment: Current State and Future Directions
- A Healthy Response to Climate Change: A Hot Topic for Medical Education.
Visit mededconference.ca to learn more.
AFMC cancelled or postponed events at CCME
The following events are cancelled:
- AFMC / AMS Forum on Medical Education & Practice Take on Technology
- FMEC2020 Board Invitational event
- AFMC President’s Dinner
- AFMC Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony
- Networking for AFMC Networks event
- AFMC-Gold Humanism Address
The following events are postponed and will be rescheduled:
- AFMC International Social Accountability and Accreditation Summit
- AFMC Student Affairs Committee Meeting
- AFMC UGME Committee Meeting
- AFMC CPD Committee Meeting
- AFMC PGME Committee Meeting
- AFMC Vice-Deans of Research Committee Meeting
- Sneak peak: Addressing the Opioid Crisis through new national curriculum
- AFMC Faculty Development Network Meeting
- AFMC Clerkship Network Meeting
- AFMC Faculty Affairs Network Meeting
- AFMC Francophone Minority Network Meeting
- AFMC Social Accountability Network Meeting
- AFMC FUAL Network Meeting
- AFMC Postgraduate Affairs Network Meeting
- AFMC Equity, Diversity, and Gender Network Meeting
- AFMC EPA Working Group Meeting
- AFMC Student Portal Application Fees and Refunds Working Group
- AFMC Student Portal Steering Committee Meeting
- Visiting Electives: Best Practiices in Request Management Session
- AFMC Student Questionnaire Committee Meeting
- AFMC Data Stewardship Committee Meeting
Visiting electives for undergraduate medical students
- July 3, 2020
Portal Fee Refund Statement At the meeting on June 16, 2020, the AFMC Board of Directors, comprised of the Deans of the 17 Canadian medical schools, determined that visiting electives will no longer be available for the Class of 2021 for the duration of the 2020-21 academic year.
The AFMC Student Portal registration fee is a one-time non-refundable fee to students who create an account in the Portal. Due to these exceptional and difficult times, the AFMC Board of Directors has approved a partial refund of $175 CAD to both Canadian and international students who were unable to complete any of their scheduled visiting electives due to COVID-19 and have no future opportunity to apply. Refund requests should be submitted to the Portal Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- June 18, 2020
At the AFMC Board meeting June 16, 2020, the Board approved that that there will be no visiting electives for the Class of 2021 for the duration of the 20-21 academic year.
a) Any exceptions (where there is no ability to provide a particular clinical experience in the home school) will be considered by the AFMC Committee on Undergraduate Education on a case by case basis.
b) This policy does not apply to core rotations which are completed outside of the home schools.
Extensive discussions and consultations were held and multiple factors were considered in the process of making the decision to stop visiting electives for the Class of 2021. Factors that were considered include the ongoing uncertainty as to the evolution of the pandemic; public health measures that vary greatly by province, region and hospital; and the limited (or non-existent) capacity of schools to welcome visiting students. This decision was not taken lightly and the education leadership is aware and acknowledges the impact it may have on some students. Some further points:
- There will be no change to the electives diversification policy which states that a student may do a maximum of 8 weeks of electives in any one PGY 1 entry discipline.
- Exceptions will be considered for visiting electives when a home school cannot provide any clinical experience in a specific discipline. For example, school X is in a region that does not have any plastic surgeons. All patients with plastic surgery issues have to be transferred to a different region for management. Student A is interested in plastic surgery as a career. Consideration would be given for student A to do a visiting elective in plastic surgery at a different centre.
- There are students in the class of 2021 who have already completed either one or more visiting electives due to the structure of the curriculum at their school. The AFMC resident Match Committee Subcommittee on Applications and File Review is considering that reference letters from visiting electives cannot be a requirement for residency application.
- Unsanctioned electives (weekend site visits, observer-ships, virtual electives) will not be allowed.
- The Virtual Interview and Program Recruitment Subcommittee will make recommendations how programs can showcase themselves to students. All programs are being encouraged to find innovative ways to meet applicants virtually and showcase themselves.
Student Affairs office at each university will support students in their career planning process.
- April 15, 2020
Visiting electives are suspended until September 26,2020. Currently, students are unable to submit applications on the AFMC Student Portal. No decision has been made on when the portal will re-open. It will reopen 16 weeks before visiting electives are offered by the faculties. We understand the concern these disruptions may cause, and we ask that students regularly check the AFMC Student Portal for updates as they become available.
- March 20, 2020
On March 20, the undergraduate medical education deans across Canada decided to suspend new visiting elective applications until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will not be able to submit applications on the AFMC Student Portal.
We understand the concern these disruptions may cause, and we ask that students regularly check the AFMC Student Portal for updates as they become available. The decision to reopen the Portal will also be made collaboratively, nationally and students will receive communication through the Portal and from their home school regarding the plans and timelines for reopening.
Please visit the AFMC Student Portal for more detailed information.
- March 18, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian faculties of medicine are not offering visiting electives at this time. AFMC will be refunding the Portal registration fee for international students unable to complete all of their visiting electives in Canada as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an international student that has been affected, please contact email@example.com.
Canadian students will not receive a refund for their Portal registration fee as they have used the Portal for a visiting elective in the past or will use the Portal for future visiting electives.
Please visit the AFMC Student Portal for more detailed information.
- March 13, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic a number of Canadian faculties of medicine are not accepting international students of affected countries/regions for visiting electives at this time. AFMC will be refunding the Portal registration fee for international students unable to complete their visiting elective in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an international student that has been affected, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit the AFMC Student Portal website for more detailed information.
AFMC Partner COVID-19 Updates
Canadian Medical Forum
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada released its four-point plan for the Royal College spring 2020 cohort.
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has had to postpone all exams, including the written exams for March and April, which will have an impact on oral/OSCE exams this spring. For the full details visit: www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/home-e.
Medical Council of Canada
The Medical Council of Canada will postpone the MCC Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I session scheduled from April 15 to May 15, 2020 and the MCCQE Part II scheduled for May 2 and 3, 2020. For the full details visit: mcc.ca/
MCC offers the MCCQE Part I via remote proctoring. More information is available here.
College of Family Physicians of Canada
After careful consideration, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) has decided to postpone the spring 2020 Certification Examination in Family Medicine. This postponement applies to both the written (SAMPs) and performance (SOOs) components of our certification examination at all locations. For the full details visit: www.cfpc.ca
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
The IRCC has updated its exceptions for COVID-19 travel restriction measures. Providers of emergency services and students at medical teaching institutions will be allowed to enter Canada.
Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®)
For information regarding MCAT exams, please visit the MCAT Coronavirus page.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Please consult this page for all COVID-19 information related to CIHR: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51917.html.
Canadian Resident Matching Service
For information on impacts to future match cycles visit: https://www.carms.ca/
Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
- March 24, 2020 - Licensing the 2020 graduating cohorts
The shared position of the medical regulatory authorities of Canada is the following:
Final year medical students who have completed their undergraduate training but not yet taken the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part One will still be able to obtain an educational license to enter residency training in Canada on 1 July 2020, provided that:
a. they have an offer of a residency position in Canada;
b. the medical regulatory authority has received confirmation of graduation from the Dean’s Office of a Canadian medical school; and
c. they understand that they must take the MCC QE Part One at the earliest opportunity.
Graduating residents will be eligible for a provisional / temporary / restricted license in a Canadian province, provided that:
a. they have confirmation that they completed their postgraduate training program in Canada;
b. they have received notice of eligibility to take the certification exam (from the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada); and
c. they understand that they must take the certification exam at the earliest opportunity.
For specific information on any other requirements or conditions, all trainees are invited to consult the website of the relevant medical regulatory authority or contact the MRA: fmrac.ca/members.
Canadian Faculty of Medicine COVID-19 Updates
Please visit each of the following university or faculty of medicine links to learn more about specific information at each school:
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
University of Manitoba
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
University of Ottawa
University of Saskatchewan
University of Toronto
Université de Montréal
Université de Sherbrooke