AFMC Student Electives Diversification Policy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – March 25, 2019 The purpose of medical school is to produce competent graduates who are ready to enter any entry-level residency program. The purpose of electives is to enable students to seek clinical experiences in a wide variety of disciplines to broaden their knowledge in all fields of medicine.

Undergraduate programs recognize their dual responsibility to ensure students undertake a full educational experience that prepares them for any potential career choice, while also optimizing their ability to engage the increasingly competitive match process.

The AFMC Student Elective Diversification Policy, which will be implemented at all Faculties of Medicine in Canada, will ensure that student elective opportunities do not exceed eight weeks in any single entry-level discipline.  This will enable students to undertake a full educational experience that prepares them for a greater variety of potential career choices.

The policy, which was approved by the AFMC Board of Directors in January 2019 will be implemented beginning with the Class of 2021.

AFMC Student Electives Diversification Policy: 

“Undergraduate programs recognize their dual responsibility to ensure students undertake a full educational experience that prepares them for any potential career choice, while also optimizing their ability to engage in the increasingly competitive postgraduate match process. Undertaking elective experiences exclusively in a single discipline is pedagogically unsound and fails to provide students with a full exposure to potential career options. Consequently, we commit that, beginning with the Class of 2021, student elective opportunities cannot exceed a maximum of eight weeks in any single entry-level discipline. An entry-level discipline is an Entry Route in the PGY-1 (R1) match. Each of these entry-level disciplines leads to specialty certification with either the RCPSC or the CCFP. Electives in subspecialties that are part of a PGY-3 (R3) match (such as the subspecialties in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics) are counted as separate disciplines. As such, electives in these subspecialties do not count towards the 8-week maximum in the general specialty”. 

 

Questions and Answers

Q. Why are you making this change?

A. This change will ensure that all Canadian medical graduates are trained and able to enter any entry-level residency program. The purpose of electives is to enable students to seek clinical experiences in a wide variety of disciplines to broaden their knowledge.

Q. What is an entry-level discipline?

A. An entry-level discipline is an Entry Route in the PGY-1 (R1) match.

Q. Will this policy hinder my chances of matching?

A. No, because the policy has been approved by all Deans and it will be implemented by all faculties of medicine.

Q. How will this affect electives in subspecialties?

A. Electives in subspecialties that are part of a PGY-3 (R3) match (such as the subspecialties in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics) are counted as separate disciplines. As such, electives in these subspecialties, as well as all other subspecialties, do not count towards the 8-week maximum in the general specialty.

Q. Who will be ensuring that the policy is followed?

A. The undergraduate medical education office of each faculty will be responsible for implementing this change in policy. AFMC will also be following up with each faculty to ensure successful implementation.