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First survey of Canadian medical student health coming this fall

Completion of the first national survey of medical student health and wellbeing was one of the main priorities identified by Bryce Durafourt during his presidential address at the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students.

Noting that the survey, being completed under a grant from the Canadian Physician Health Institute, was proving to be “a bigger job than anticipated”, Durafourt said he anticipated it will be circulated this fall with results being presented at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education next spring. The survey is a joint project of the CFMS and the Quebec Federation of Medical Students (FMEQ).

Another priority identified by Durafourt is implementation of the first year of the federation’s 2014-2017 strategic plan endorsed at the meeting held in Kingston, ON.

“Tomorrow’s physicians, leading for health today,” is the new vision statement for the federation included in the plan.

Strengthening bilingualism within the CFMS was another priority identified by Durafourt as was gaining more individual members from Quebec. Quebec delegates from McGill – the only Quebec medical school to belong to the CFMS - as well as representatives from the FMEQ were active participants at the annual meeting.

Durafourt also touched on the strengthening of partnerships with other organizations and singled out the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) as an example of this and the recent ambassador program where the CMA sponsored 10 Ontario medical students to attend its General Council meeting. He also talked about the recent agreement to make CMA online leadership courses available to medical students at no cost.

He talked about becoming personally involved on the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada matching task force because of ongoing concerns from CFMS about the increasing rate of unmatched Canadian medical students. “This should be a priority for us,” he said.

Increasing and improving member engagement was another theme touched on by Durafourt and referenced repeatedly over the course of the three-day meeting. Leaders of the federation talked of the importance of the CFMS website in serving as a central hub for communications with members.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.