News

Medical schools ‘committed to social accountability’

Medical schools ‘committed to social accountability’
Top Stories
MONTREAL — The increasing diversity of McGill University’s medical class may have some worried, but it reflects a trend across North America, and a concerted effort on the part of medical school administrators to ensure students of all ethnic, socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds have the opportunity to become doctors.

“One of our biggest roles is determining who will enter our profession and serve our Canadian population,” said Geneviève Moineau, president and CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). “And our faculties of medicine are very committed to social accountability. Some schools are uniquely focused on marks, but we want people who can serve some underserved populations.”

In fact, the AFMC’s conference last weekend was focused on admissions best practices and how to foster diversity, particularly in view of the fact Canada will be establishing its own accreditation standards for medical schools. That should be approved this summer and would mean universities would have to uphold the new standards by spring 2016.

Until now, accreditation was set by U.S. standards, but Moineau said the idea of having a uniquely Canadian set of standards has been percolating for a long time.

No one is advocating using quotas, she said, and surveys about applicant demographics are completely anonymous.

“But we need to understand who is applying and see where we’re going wrong from a diversity point of view,” she said.

Jesse Kancir, president of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, said students are on board with increasing diversity, particularly socioeconomic diversity.

“As long as we’re ensuring that by the time people get into the pool they’re competent, then I think the onus is on medical schools to be training physicians to serve the population,” he said in an interview. “Perhaps you can’t put in filters when trying to select candidates, but you have to ensure that pool of candidates is wide enough to begin with.”

He said with only about eight per cent of applicants getting into medical school, it’s not a question of lowering standards to increase diversity.

“The pool of candidates is there and that pool is going to be competent and competitive,” he said.
Read more on Montreal Gazette
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Canada
Medical school graduate Robert Chu took his own life last fall after being passed over twice for medical residency programs.   Courtesy of the Chu family    Quebec Bureau Sat., June 17, 2017...
Canada
As a biomedical sciences freshman in Ottawa, she saw a photo of a class at a prestigious graduate program she dreamed of attending. In the sea of smiling faces, only...
Top Stories
McGill University will intensify its efforts to keep Indigenous and lower income high school and university students in science and math classes after a national accreditation body said the universitys medical school...
Sports
As a biomedical sciences freshman in Ottawa, she saw a photo of a class at a prestigious graduate program she dreamed of attending. In the sea of smiling faces, only...
Top Stories
MONTREAL — The top brass of McGill University’s medical school had a very pointed message about its admissions procedure at a town hall meeting Tuesday afternoon This is the way it...