CFMS Post-AGM Student Report:
On September 21-24, 8 student delegates from the University of Alberta represented our schools at the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. It was a dynamic weekend and we wanted to provide everyone with some information on what happened.
The meeting began with round table specific meetings for CFMS representatives, Medical Student Association Presidents and Global Health Liaisons. These were dynamic discussions where all of us were able to connect with and learn from other schools as well as promote the amazing work we are doing at the U of A.
Unmatched Canadian Medical Graduates (CMGs) and Entry Routes Panels:
A hot topic of discussion across Canada and a stressor to medical students has been the record number of unmatched CMGs and along with the upcoming challenges in health human resource planning and discussions on medicine entry routes. The panel discussion which included AFMC president Dr. Genevieve Moineau, highlighted the need for strong student leadership and advocacy on the issue. Students pressed on the need for unmatched students to receive feedback from AFMC and the need for a multi-stakeholder discussion and solution involving provincial governments, medical faculties and the AFMC. Our president effectively advocated for all of us on this topic, asking a very well received question. A report from the AFMC on unmatched CMGs will be released in the near future. Your MSA commits to continuing advocating on your behalf on this important topic.
Student Health and Wellness:
I focused much of my energies during the weekend on learning more about student health and wellness from other schools. I made my central topic of discussion during the CFMS representatives roundtable and also led a small group discussion on the topic. We are in early stages of launching a wellness strategy process for the U of A MD program which will include the MSA, UGME, LAW office and other stakeholders and it was interesting to hear different insights.
Position Papers/Strategic Plan:
An important part of any organization general meeting is position paper time. The CFMS general assembly had lively discussions and passed papers on:
Support for Unmatched CMGs, supporting parents in undergraduate medical education, adopting a paper on personal day policies and also passed unanimously a new 2017-2022 strategic plan for the organization. The U of A delegation made strong contributions to the discussion, especially in raising key points on other papers which are “tabled” so that there could be more time for review and editing. We will be reviewing all papers to see how we can further the central points of the positions passed. It is important to note that the U of A MSA is not bound by any of the papers passed and a paper may have passed without support from the U of A. All CFMS positions will soon be posted on the CFMS website under their new “Advocacy Tracker” tool so you can see all of our positions and action items you can take to further them. Likewise if you have concerns with certain policies please raise them with your MSA executive. In our federated model we do have the autonomy to craft our own policies and make modifications to our positions based on our local situation.
The new CFMS national board was selected on Saturday Sept 23rd. I was honoured to be elected as one of the Western Representatives on the 2017-2018 executive board with the CFMS. I hope to be able focus on creating a national student wellness strategy for the CFMS and help it re-form during a time of restructuring to ensure it is more effectively advocating for and serving students. This role gives me an opportunity to raise the profile of the U of A within the CFMS. I commit to promoting the amazing initiatives and innovations all of you are promoting and working hard on.
As a student representative for the University of Alberta Medical school at the CFMS I want to end this report by saying each and every one of you should be very proud of our school. Of course there is always much to continue to improve on, but our students, our faculty, our curriculum and our spirit stands out! We are often leading the way in many important initiatives such as student health and I am confident we will continue to grow as a program.
Thank you to the rest of the U of A delegation for your hard work during the weekend and your strong contributions. I encourage everyone to apply to attend the CFMS Spring General Meeting at the end of April which will be held in Halifax!
Thanks everyone for tuning in to the report. If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, especially with respect to the CFMS please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
MSA VP External (2017-2018), CFMS Rep Jr.
CFMS Western Representative Board Member
MD Candidate Class 2020