Focus on CACMS, NCIME, Opioid curriculum, Fee Assistance & more.





01 |Q&A with Dr. Marianne Xhignesse, CACMS Secretary

1. What does it mean for Canadian MD programs to be solely accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools?
This is a major advancement in the evolution of CACMS accreditation. As the sole agency for the accreditation of Canadian MD programs going forward, the CACMS is now free to adapt its processes, documents, and requirements to Canadian values and contexts. This new flexibility offers opportunities to innovate and simplify processes all the while maintaining/enhancing a rigorous approach to accreditation.


2. What changes to CACMS have been made over the years to better meet the social accountability mandate of Canadian medical schools?
In 2013, the CACMS adopted the Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) recommendations to guide its future approach to medical school accreditation. The flagship achievement of this strategy was the implementation of the uniquely Canadian element (Element 1.1.1) on social accountability.  Element 1.1.1 requires that each medical school’s social accountability be articulated in its mission statement, evidenced by specific outcome measures and fulfilled in its educational program through admissions, curricular content, and types and locations of educational experiences.

Between 2016 and 2019, three other elements were added that bolster social accountability.  Element 6.4.1 ensures exposure and experience in generalist care and requires clinical learning in a range of environments from small rural or underserved communities to tertiary care centres; Element 7.10 requires educational activities to develop a student’s professionalism and leadership skills; and Element 9.10 introduced patient safety requirements.  Other elements were modified, such as Element 7.6, to require consideration of the Indigenous peoples of Canada as medical schools prepare students to learn, recognize and address unique needs of people of diverse cultures.

3. What advances or changes are being planned for the coming years?

In 2020-2021 a broad stakeholder consultation process culminated in an action plan (AP) consisting of 10 proposals, several of which aim to improve documents and streamline processes, including accreditation visits. The CACMS Secretariat is currently engaged in a stepwise modification of CACMS documents, including the data collection instrument (DCI), the medical school self-study (MSS) and the independent student analysis (ISA). As an initial step, in addition to reformatting changes, the requirements of the MSS and the DCI are being aligned to agree with the language found in the existing elements. Accreditation indicators of the DCI (narrative responses, tables and document requests), are being directly linked with the requirement statements. Gender-neutral language is also being incorporated. Stakeholder feedback collection on these proposals is ongoing. Pending CACMS approval, a first iteration of the new DCI, MSS and ISA is planned for posting on the CACMS website in early 2022 for use by schools with visits in academic year 2023-2024.


Once these initial structural changes have been completed, modifications to standards/elements can be considered and implemented according to due process. Results of the Element Survey carried out as part of the AP as well as stakeholder feedback collected on documents will inform these changes triggering further modifications to the corresponding documents in forthcoming years. Future projects also include enhanced bilingualism processes and exploration of progressive accreditation alignment across the continuum of medical education. Implementation of an electronic accreditation management system is also on the horizon.

4. This is an exciting time for CACMS. What are you looking forward to?
There are many things to be excited about! I am looking forward to the implementation of changes that streamline documents and processes and increase the emphasis on continuous quality improvement (CQI). The possibility of Innovating, evaluating changes and developing a scholarly approach to accreditation is particularly exciting and opens the door for CACMS to become recognized as a world leader in medical school accreditation.


02 |AFMC Introduces New Public Board Member: Dr. Kaylynn Purdy

AFMC is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kaylynn Purdy as a learner public member of its Board of Directors. Her voice as a dedicated student leader will be an asset to the Board’s work and deliberations. Dr. Purdy is a current Adult Neurology Resident at the University of Alberta and Master of Health Policy Student at Stanford University. She is originally from the rural town of Sparwood, British Columbia and completed her medical degree at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in 2018 which served as a foundation for her passion for health equity and social accountability in medicine. Kaylynn is a former board member of the Canadian Residency Matching Service, Professional Association of Residents of Alberta, and Canadian Federation of Medical Students. From these experiences she has gained a wealth of knowledge in medical education policy, and she is looking forward to continuing to improve medical education in Canada through the work of the AFMC.


The AFMC board of directors is comprised of the Deans of the 17 Faculties of Medicine and up to 4 public members. To learn more about our Board members, visit the AFMC website.


03 |Introducing the Ontario Fee Assistance Program


The socioeconomic gap between medical student bodies and the general population continues to grow, hindering the socioeconomic diversity of medical students.


The Ontario Medical School Application Fee Waiver Pilot Program recognizes this barrier and seeks to aid lower income medical school students with the $220 OMSAS processing fee and free applications for up to three Ontario medical schools of their choice for the 2021-2022 application cycle.


This program was collaboratively developed by the Price of a Dream (POD), the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM) and the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC). POD, AFMC and COFM are committed to providing support to Canadian students who would either be unable to afford to apply to medical school or would undergo significant financial strain by attempting to apply to medical school without financial assistance.


05 |What's up with the Portal

Due to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting electives remain suspended until further notice. Students will not be able to submit applications for visiting electives through the AFMC Student Portal. This decision was the culmination of extensive discussions and careful consideration. 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 inability of schools at this time and in the foreseeable future to provide reliable estimates of their capacity to offer Visiting Electives. Further updates are posted on the AFMC Student Portal website as information becomes available.


04 |CANPREPP Webtool

With the 2021-22 R1-match cycle fast approaching, we are delighted to announce that the development of the second version of the CANPREPP webtool is nearing completion with a public launch in Fall 2021.

Building on the success of last year, CANPREPP will continue to foster interaction and meaningful engagement between learners and Canadian residency programs by providing a space for learners to have a direct look into the culture of the programs they are interested in as well as useful information on program locations and pages dedicated to Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine.


Further to this, CANPREPP is excited to introduce both program and learner accounts featuring customized functions to enhance the user experience. Finally, and because you never change a winning team, we will provide learners and programs with a functionally enhanced and integrated National Calendar of Events to continue connecting learners and programs.  

On the topic of the calendar, it is noteworthy that we have opened up the National Calendar of Events to sub-specialty programs to promote their events during their match cycle over the summer. It is refreshing to see such buy-in and involvement from various medical education actors and we are excited to continue supporting all stakeholders for the advancement of medical education in Canada.

The entire CANPREPP team is grateful for the overwhelming support and is unwaveringly focused on continual improvement. Thus, we would love to hear from you should you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions.

Stay tuned…


06 |NCIME, Supporting Indigenous Medical Learners and Physicians

The National Consortium for Indigenous Medical Education (NCIME) is a partnership between the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Medical Council of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


As the NCIME continues to provide leadership and support to partners, six Working Groups have been established to address areas of common priority as they fulfil their collective responsibilities. The Working Groups will guide the transformation of Indigenous medical education and contribute to the delivery of culturally safe health care. Each Working Group is led by an NCIME Executive Committee member, aligning areas of expertise with the six priority areas:

  • Assessment of Indigenous studies, cultural safety, and anti-racism
  • Anti-racism, policies, processes, and implementation support
  • Indigenous student admissions and transitions
  • Indigenous faculty recruitment and retention
  • Improving cultural safety in curriculum
  • Indigenous physician wellness and joy in work

The NCIME is proud to work in partnership with leading organizations to support learners and create positive change in the Canadian health care system. We look forward to continuing our work with all partners to advance initiatives that support Indigenous medical learners and physicians, leading to higher quality, culturally safe care for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples in Canada.

Visit the NCIME website for more information and updates:


07 |AFMC Opioid Curriculum - Patient Testimonials

The AFMC Opioid Curriculum is a national, bilingual, comprehensive, and competency-based curriculum for undergraduate medical students in pain management and substance use.

Supported with a financial contribution from Health Canada, the new curriculum was created by a multidisciplinary team of subject-matter experts and stakeholders. Four patients share their involvement in the curriculum's creation. 


Rona Fleming


Annie-Danielle Grenier


Ghislaine Rouilly


Catherine Lemyze


08 |AFMC Awards Nominations now Open

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada is pleased to announce that the AFMC awards nomination period is now open! The AFMC Awards recognize and celebrate leadership, excellence, and achievements in academic medicine. You can find out more information by visiting the AFMC Awards page.


09 |New CPD Programs

Don’t miss out on two upcoming programs starting in October for professionals involved in development and leadership of health care CPD, offered by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine CPD office at the University of Toronto. Participants who successfully complete both programs can apply via the certificate route for the CPC (HC) Credential from Canada’s CPD Coalition.

Certificate Program in CPD Foundations

The Certificate Program in CPD Foundations emphasizes fundamental theory and skill training needed to create effective and successful continuing professional development activities. Participants will learn about program design, planning models and how to achieve results with their CPD programs. The 10 interactive webinar modules run from October 12, 2021, to June 7, 2022.


See the full schedule for dates and topics and register here.



Leading and Influencing Change in CPD Certificate Program

The Leading and Influencing Change in CPD Certificate Program aims to build leadership capacity, providing participants with the knowledge and tools to lead continuing education initiatives for health professionals in the complex health care environment. Back-to-back boot camps on October 26 & 27, 2021, followed by 11 three-hour modules culminating June 22, 2022, cover a range of relevant topics including Best Practices in CPD Design and Delivery, Partnerships and Collaborations across Sectors and Patient Engagement.


See the full schedule for more details and apply here.



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