SGM 2023-2024 Board Elections
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CFMS Board Elections
Your candidates for 2023-2024 board elections
Note: VP and Portfolio Director candidates who are not successful in their nomination and have submitted a secondary nomination for a Regional Director Position will be shared with delegations after the morning elections on Sunday May 7th, 2023
Note: Candidates are listed in alphabetical order
- Western University
I’m Helen (she/her) and I’m running to be your next CFMS President.
CFMS is at a key moment in our history. Having just emerged from the pandemic and currently undergoing major organizational shifts, now is the time for us students to critically evaluate CFMS’s values.
Leveraging my unique CFMS background as ORD, Education-Dyad, Board Vice Chair, and Governance Committee Chair, I envision a targeted 3-pronged approach to addressing some critical deficits existing within our organization.
Increasing CFMS accessibility and engagement
Almost all schools have struggled with CFMS engagement this year. But without adequate student buy-in, CFMS cannot advocate effectively for its members. A focused plan to better connect with general membership is therefore paramount.
1. Alternating meeting times
Having chaired several roundtables/committees this year, meeting times can be a major obstacle for coastal schools. Simple solutions include setting meeting schedules collectively and alternating dates/times to ensure no one region is consistently disadvantaged.
2. Normalizing informal communication
CFMS is often perceived as unapproachable due to its size. Drawing from my experiences with other organizations, using social media/WhatsApp/text as accepted communication channels reduces the “formality” barrier of approaching CFMS. This encourages more lower-stakes conversations and enhances relationship-building.
3. School-specific promotional strategies
The priorities of each school are unique, and CFMS should capitalize on the expertise of MedSoc leaders to collaboratively create targeted communication/promotional strategies that work for their students.
4. Increasing CFMS presence at schools
As ORD, I felt how underutilized RDs and VP Externals are. By giving RDs/VPXs more authority to host local CFMS events (eg. town halls, meet&greets), we can increase CFMS’s campus presence and therefore improve general student awareness.
Streamlining CFMS’s organizational structure
As CFMS has evolved and expanded, updates to its operational procedures haven’t kept up. As Governance Committee Chair, I saw firsthand the inefficiencies this caused. Re-organizing CFMS’s internal affairs will provide a solid foundation for future generations.
1. Following through with current projects
Several big organizational changes were proposed this year (eg. review of VP Communications). As Board Vice Chair, I was intimately involved in all discussions and planning of these projects and can therefore provide the institutional memory for their continued development.
2. Terms of Reference Review
Many CFMS positions have evolved to become unwieldy for busy medical students, making sacrificing one’s wellness the norm. Leveraging my experiences on the Executive team and Governance Committee, I want to work with Board members past and present to critically review the manageability of each position’s scope.
3. Developing a new 5-year strategic plan
With the previous strategic plan having expired last year, I want the new plan to represent key issues meaningful to membership; CFMS’s future direction should be developed collaboratively through thorough consultation via roundtables and town halls.
4. Improving onboarding
Poor onboarding is a consistent concern raised by the Board, at roundtables, and from external representatives. A formalized process is needed, with redundancy, contingency plans, and support systems built in. Personal development goals should be discussed and incorporated from the beginning.
Expanding personal development opportunities
Being a part of CFMS should be about more than politics and discounts. CFMS is uniquely positioned to offer students large-scale learning opportunities, a value-add for membership that was very well-received this year.
1. Empowering MedSocs/local leaders
While creating the Advocacy Primer for local student leaders, it became apparent that CFMS can do more to bolster MedSocs’ negotiating power with UGMEs. Examples include increasing MedSocs’ access to CFMS resources/information and organizing regional UGME leadership meetings.
2. Anti-oppression and leadership training during onboarding
These are skills critical to CFMS’s success and safety. Drawing from the example of several MedSocs, such training should be provided by default to CFMS leaders (Board members, National Officers, committee leads).
3. French language learning opportunities
Francophone students have expressed feeling overlooked within CFMS. Bolstering anglophone students’ French through external partnerships and CFMS communication tools would not only help bridge the gap across CFMS membership, but also help students in their future careers.
4. Establishing mentorship networks
CFMS has an opportunity to leverage its many connections to pair its committees with community experts, such as UGME leadership, AFMC staff, and CFMS alumni. Mentorship would improve student learning, enhance CFMS’s relationships, and strengthen the impact of CFMS projects.
- University of Calgary
Hello everyone! My name is Sam Alatorre. I am a second-year medical student at the University of Calgary writing to you from the beautiful city of Mohkinstsis, a mosaic of land belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of Treaty 7 and the Métis Nation of Alberta Region III, which we now refer to as Calgary. I am beyond excited to be running to be your CFMS President. Over the past 8 months, I have served as VP of (National) External Affairs at UofC, a position where I quickly discovered my passion for the CFMS. I strongly believe that the CFMS is uniquely positioned to be more and do more to better connect, support, and represent our diverse community of medical students and I hope to convince you that I am the perfect candidate to take on this role!
My decision to run for CFMS President was influenced by several factors. As an aspiring generalist, conversations with current and previous BOD members made me realize my interest in wanting to engage with and support all portfolios.
I also recognize that this upcoming term marks the beginning of a new Strategic Plan for the CFMS. I see this as a unique “window of opportunity” as they say in the policy world, to bring fresh ideas and use my experience in governance, stakeholder consultation, policy, and advocacy to strengthen CFMS relationships and set strategic goals that better serve our increasingly diverse student community.
Before starting medical school, I completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health Policy where I developed skills in governance and worked for the federal government and Heart & Stroke Foundation as a policy analyst, advocacy specialist, and stakeholder engagement liaison. During my professional career, I learned to appreciate the importance of building strong relationships, empowering my team and their ideas, proper consultation, and collaboration with stakeholders, including with equity-deserving groups and people with lived experience, and cultivating a transparent, supportive, and inclusive organization. I consider these values foundational to my leadership style and I look forward to carrying these values forward during my term. If elected to represent you as President, my goal will be to collaborate with the BOD to:
- 1. Improve CFMS Governance to enhance organizational efficiency, purpose, and accountability.
- Efficiency is rooted in how an organization is structured and in members feeling they are meaningfully contributing!
- With guidance from the Past President, I will support the CFMS Governance Committee through a review of our organizational structure while ensuring proper consultation of executive and general membership.
- 2. Strengthen and expand CFMS relationships.
- Relationship-building is essential for effective advocacy and to properly connect, support, and represent our diverse student community.
- I will look to strengthen CFMS relationships with internal and external stakeholders including:
1. Respective medical school faculties and MedSocs
2. Academic partners like the AFMC,CMA,CaRMS,PRPAC,and RDoC among others
3. Ally medical student groups like the FMEQ, BMSAC, IMSAC, CQMSA, MSDCI, ACCFC, and IFMSA among others
4. Other external partners to fund more discounts,scholarships,and opportunities for medical students
- 3. Prioritize student engagement to make CFMS more accessible and tangible across all schools.
- The value of CFMS is rooted in medical students seeing and experiencing everything it has to offer.
- I hope to engage the incoming/outgoing BOD as well as our communications officers in the planning and development of an effective engagement and communications plan to support the strategic goals of CFMS.
The role of CFMS President is a big responsibility and one I do not take lightly. I am confident in my experience and leadership, as well as that of the outgoing BOD, to achieve a smooth transition and continue improving and growing CFMS initiatives. If given the honor to serve as your CFMS President, I vow to hold myself accountable to the above platform and to continue learning from others to improve myself as a student, representative, colleague, leader, and friend. Thank you for taking the time to read my platform! I hope I have convinced you of my passion for and dedication to the CFMS and hope you vote Sam Alatorre for CFMS President. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Vice-President of Finance
1. Improved Support for Medical Students
1.1 Boost the Number of Financial Discounts
Actively seek out applicable discounts for services including but not limited to preparaptory courses, clothing and apparel and medical equipment for students
1.2 Continuation of the "Pre-Med Mentorship Project"
- Attend upcoming meetings and discussions to sucessfully fulfill the project goal of connecting pre-medical studetns with current medical students
1.3 Complete the "All-inclusive Medical Student Benefit Infographic"
- Provice access to an easy-to-read Infographic on the services CFMS provides to medical students from the aspects of each CFMS portfolia
1.4 Improve awareness of Financial Benefits for Medical Students
- Distribute advertisement materials, regularly push out email reminders and newsletters and actively speak on ways medical students can save money and take advantage of CFMS funding opportunities
2. Promote Greater Financial Transparency
2.1 Publish On-Goin Financial Data on the CFMS Website
Continue to provide up-to-date information on the advancements made in the CFMS financial portfolio
2.2 Delivering Clear Financial Presentations at Gnereal Meetings
Democrats clear, concise and easily digestible presentations on important aspects of CFMS, including but not limited to budget, expenses, revenue and future projects.
Promote Q&A periods to support all medical students about their concerns with proper follow-up and documentation.
3. Build Upon the Financial Management Structure
3.1 Provide Quarterly Updates for Each CFMS Portfolio
Collaborate with CFMS board members to review ongoing expenses and revenue made under each portfolio and to make recommendations based on the needs of the board members
3.2 Improve the Efficiency of the Reimbursement
Discuss the possibility of pursuing a digital format for reimbursing students (e.g., e-transfer) with the current financial accountant
Generate simplified documents pertaining to the reimbursement process for better ease for CFMS members
3.3 Continual Revisions of Financial and Government Policy Documents
Routinely assess the status of financial and government policy documents to sustain remain changes in governance
Actively involve CFMS board members in this revision process to improve governance literacy
3.4 Strengthening Current Financial Partnerships and Securing New Sponsors
Actively engage with current CFMS partnerships to evaluate the relationship and understand the potential benefits and opportunities available for both parties
Routinely look for and assess for potential partnerships with local and national businesses, companies, and organizations to obtain more funding and opportunities for CFMS
Dear CFMS Members,
My name’s Mujtaba, I’m a second-year medical student at the University of Saskatchewan. I’m applying to this position as I unwind from my term as VP Finance of the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan (SMSS). My role on the SMSS has been a central piece of my extracurricular involvement throughout medical school. Through this role, I’ve had the opportunity to build the 2022-2023 SMSS budget, to carry out reimbursements and bookkeeping, to guide the strategic direction of the SMSS, and to help any SMSS officers with consultations related to finance. I’ve also served as the VP Finance for the Black Medical Student’s Association (BMSA) of Saskatchewan. This role also came with a diverse set of responsibilities, but the most important one was my capacity to raise funding. In the past year, I created a taskforce within the Usask BMSA, dedicated to raising external funding. Through this effort, we successfully multiplied our funding as an association multiple fold.
It is through these two experiences that I can confidently say, I’m ready to take on the role of CFMS VP Finance. I have managed the finances of my medical society for the past year, and I have demonstrated a capacity to create and build on external partnerships. I’d like to now point out the highest priority, foundational changes I’ll be making to the CFMS as VP Finance.
Standardizing the CFMS Budget
The CFMS does not have a standardized system for tracking budgets across its various portfolios. This has resulted in some portfolios tracking their budgets well, and others doing so sub-optimally. The SMSS has a system to track budgets across its various divisions, and it’s done by the VP Finance. I know the steps I need to take to introduce a similar system to the CFMS. Although it will take a lot of work, it’s incredibly beneficial to ensure organizational consistency, and an adequate budgetary standard.
Increasing Operational Involvement
A gap has opened at the C-suite level of the CFMS. The VP Communications position no longer exists on the board. During the SGM, a discussion was had regarding the unrealistic workload put on the CFMS president. All of this means that to ensure a seamless transition into the new board, the VP Finance must step in to fill that gap. As a nominee with extensive experience, I’m in the perfect position to get on top of my standard roles and responsibilities, then take on operational tasks that will inevitably crop up throughout the term. Zack Chuang, the outgoing VP Finance, has had exceptional engagement on the CFMS board, so I look to consult him in this effort.
Thank you for taking the time to read through my platform, I look forward to the opportunity to execute on this vision!
Director of Education
Let’s cut to the chase here. This isn’t about me, it’s about you. Your educational experience as your traverse this journey throughout your remaining years of medical school. Representing over 8000 students in various committees, particularly with the CaRMS match, is no small feat. It’s serious work and needs a team that will work relentlessly to give you the best experience possible. I want to start off by addressing some of the initiatives that we currently have. Our residency application supports are especially important as it is a stage we will all eventually cross. For instance, the Matchbook is a very high-quality resource outlining the process. I would like to expand this a bit further and talk about some of the nuances of each specialty that aren’t explicitly mentioned on the CaRMS website (e.g. program x may at institution y may prioritize students who do electives at their site). This would involve discussions with current residents throughout the country
Resource availability: I would also want to coordinate with the medical association presidents of each school and ensure that all students throughout the country are aware of the different resources we have. Speaking from my experience at the University of Alberta, many students are actually unaware of the CFMS and some of the great services we provide.
Research: The CFMS provides several quality resources for research, highlighting the research done amongst our medical student peers, and having a database for research studentships. While these are all great, I think we could provide a more comprehensive overview of research opportunities that are available at both a national and provincial level. I currently serve as the Research Representative for my class council and have many additional resources I could share in this regard. Upon interest and approval from the board, I would be interested in hosting a Research 101 session on how to get started. I have also noticed that there is no national research forum specific to Canadian medical schools. This is something I would like to heavily explore in the first few months of my tenure with consultation groups and see if we can get some groundwork established and funding available for a conference of this calibre. I also want to explore the possibility of creating a funding pool where students can apply to obtain grants for presenting their research at conferences.
Discounts: I also want to provide more expansive support for learning resources. There are currently some well-established medical education platforms like Osmosis, Amboss, UWorld, and TorontoNotes. We’ve had discounts with some of these groups in the past. I want to meet with these organizations and alleviate the financial burden on students looking to supplement their education.
Lastly, I am interested in an educational advocacy focus this year on evidence-based methods of efficient studying for content-heavy medical education. I would also leave myself open to discussion from any student at any point whether that be by email or a virtual meeting, pending availability.
Thank you for reading!
As your Director of Education, I am committed to promoting excellence and inclusivity in medical education for all Canadian students. Here are the key points of my platform:
collaboration and Advocacy:
Work with individual CFMS representatives and medical school organizations to gather feedback on the specific needs of their students and use this feedback to guide our advocacy efforts.
Engage in ongoing dialogue with national medical organizations to promote the interests of Canadian medical students.
Collaborate with other national and international medical student organizations to share best practices and promote innovation in medical education.
Inclusivity and Cultural Competence:
Develop and promote resources that support cultural competence and diversity in medical education, including workshops, training sessions, and online resources.
Foster collaboration between medical students from diverse backgrounds and create opportunities for cross-cultural learning and exchange.
Advocate for policies that promote diversity and inclusion in medical education, including increasing representation of underrepresented groups in medical schools and promoting equity in the residency matching process.
Incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into medical education.
Resources and Support
Develop and promote resources that support medical students throughout their education journey, including easy to access OSCE preparation guides, a dedicated OSCE video series, residency match guides, and resources for unmatched medical students.
Ensure that the resources are accessible and user-friendly for all medical students on our website.
Identify and address gaps in medical education resources and support through collaboration with medical school organizations and other national medical organizations.
As your Director of Education, I am committed to working tirelessly to support our diverse community of learners, advocate for their needs at the national level, and foster collaboration and innovation in medical education. With your support, we can create a medical education system that reflects our shared values of equity, inclusion, and excellence, and meets the needs of all Canadian medical students.
Director of Global Health
Across the Country
Our medical schools are spread across a very large geographic area and time zones which can make sharing ideas, projects, and resources difficult. Building upon the work of past Global Health Portfolio (GHP) teams, I hope to further facilitate information sharing and promotion of the work of students across the country are doing in global health to the national community.
Global to Local
The GHP connects the CFMS with the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) which has member organizations around the world and a wealth of opportunities and knowledge that would enrich the learning of Canadian students. I will aim to increase knowledge of IFMSA, its programs, and work with the Global Health National Officers (NOs) to open opportunities for international collaboration and solidarity beyond our borders.
Local to Global
Students across the country are passionate about global health and do incredible work on projects, resource development, and advocacy. As Director of Global Health, I would want to extend the invitation to international partners via IFMSA for participation and engagement in events and projects by put on by the national or local global health teams.
I strongly believe in the value of collaborative work and a non-hierarchical model of leadership. I want to draw on the strength of the NOs to pursue projects, partnerships, and collaborations and further the aim of promoting opportunities to students at their universities. My goal would be to connect with NOs to determine their goals and, in my capacity as Director, aid them in meeting the targets of their roles.
- As a portfolio, global health touches upon issues that affect many populations, often including equity-seeking groups. As Director I would work to consult external partners representing medical students who hold these identities to ensure the work that they have done can be communicated to CFMS members and to work collaboratively in the future to further the CFMS aims of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Global health is a broad term and with that comes many opportunities to work with other portfolios within CFMS. Through discussion with other portfolio directors, I will strive to find where a global health perspective would add to projects and where the scope of their portfolios would align with the goals of global health.
Accessibility is an issue I believe should be at the core of the role of Director of Global Health. As Director, I would ensure that material produced by myself follows web accessibility standards and that events will offer accessible means of participation as much as possible, including hybrid participation. I will also advocate for this for the broader CFMS. I plan to integrate the concept of universal access to the delivery of events in and content within the GHP. Global health is intimately tied to the goals of inclusion and equity for diverse populations and ensuring medical students with disabilities can access information and events is a core goal of mine.
My name is Merry Ghebretatios. I am a second-year medical student with immense passion for Global Health. The day I decided I wanted to be a physician; I was reading an article about the work of Doctors Without Borders. Deeply saddened by the experiences of many vulnerable people facing disaster and injustice, I found hope in the ability of organizations to unite teams with the goal of saving lives, alleviating suffering, and restoring dignity.
I have a personal connection to global issues as my father fought in the Eritrean War of Independence that devastated many lives. Life seemed simple for me as an 8-year-old, but for my parents it involved indefinite conscription, censorship, forced labor, and suppression of many universal human rights including the freedom of expression and religious belief. We were lucky to have escaped the oppressive regime, arriving in Canada as refugees in 2008, however many Eritreans die every year in this process. Coming from this, I want to unite the CFMS Global Health Portfolio towards fighting for those facing injustice both in Canada and globally.
Through my role as a delegate in the Provincial Day of Action, I had the opportunity to speak with a politician about the opioid crisis and push for policies that reflect the needs of our most vulnerable populations. As the current President of the Black Medical Students Association (BMSA), I have also learned many skills in leadership, advocacy, and communication. As Director of Global Health, I would serve in the following ways:
Develop the Global Health Portfolio (GHP) towards impactful advocacy
Identify the unique talents, passions, and experiences of our ~300 leaders.
Generate annual themes of advocacy through a nomination and voting process.
Ensure that all progress made towards a theme is targeted, measurable, and sustainable (Ex: Creating social media accounts for each theme of advocacy that stays active).
Culminate all advocacy efforts in the form of a national event/campaign week deemed to have the greatest potential for impact.
Maintain the freedom of National Officer portfolios to take on advocacy projects beyond the chosen theme.
Ensure the national advocacy theme addresses both domestic global health issues and international ones.
Work with groups to reduce barriers for medical students entering underrepresented fields of medicine.
Advocate for changes to CFMS elections and structure
Determine areas of disadvantage for certain schools and individuals running for CFMS.
Propose ways to address areas of weakness and ensure fair representation.
Advocate for the option to add more individuals to each CFMS role, particularly Directors.
Advocate for EDI to be embedded in the CFMS governance structure, not just in Global Health.
Follow through the work of the previous Global Health Director
Speak with each NOs and Liaisons under my portfolio to determine their needs and priorities and address them together.
Promote a culture of humility, anti-oppression, and anti-racism within the CFMS.
Endorse statements that reflect EDI values and speak on human rights issues (Ex. In the past the Afghanistan Medical Students Association was faced with a ban on female education).
Ensure success of the first International Exchanges Program as there has not been one since the pandemic.
Thank you for taking the time to read
Director of Government Affairs
Hello Everyone !
My name is Chaten Jessel and I am a second-year medical student at the University of Calgary who is deeply passionate about advocacy. It is a privilege to be applying for the CFMS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy role, which I believe represents a unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of medical learners across Canada. If elected to this role, I pledge to represent students through political advocacy initiatives at local and national levels, working towards positive health systems change and addressing issues that are important to the student experience of Canadian medical learners.
Here are five platform points that I will prioritize if elected:
1. Lengthening Promotion/Application Timelines for NDoA and MeDoA spots. By allowing students a longer application window for each position and further promoting these initiatives, we can give more medical students the chance to take part in advocacy efforts that can bring about positive change for healthcare in Canada.
2. Encouraging Students to Submit Policy Papers. By improving promotion of the opportunity and providing policy paper writing workshops for students across Canada, we can encourage more medical students to get involved in advocacy and provide them with the resources they need to make meaningful contributions.
3. Improving Transparency by Submitting Monthly Reports. By providing CFMS member organizations with reports detailing the work that the Government Affairs and Advocacy Portfolio has accomplished each month, we can improve transparency and accountability, while also giving medical students a clear sense of the progress we are making towards our goals.
4. Establishing National/Provincial “Get Out The Vote” Campaigns. By establishing strong "Get Out The Vote" campaigns across medical schools and offering prizes to those students who register to vote for their local/federal elections, we can help ensure that the voices of medical students are heard at all levels of government.
5. Collaborating with External Organizations that Share Our Goals. By building upon the CFMS Collaborative Summit, we can improve collaboration with external organizations such as OMSA, FMEQ, and RDOC to create a united voice when advocating for common priorities, such as an improved AFMC portal.
Director of Student Affairs
My name is Breanna Fang and I am running to be your Director of Student Affairs. To ensure that our committee functions smoothly I believe in providing continuous support to every member. I am committed to being available to address any concerns or feedback that arise. As part of this, I will offer anonymous feedback mechanisms for committee members to share their thoughts and ideas with me. I value the input of every member and will strive to use their feedback to grow and improve as a leader.
1. Increase Awareness of the Student Affairs Committee
I appreciate the hard work put in by all members of the student affairs committee. One critical aspect of this effort is ensuring that medical students are well-informed about our initiatives. The student affairs committee has made great strides towards promoting student wellness, and I am committed to collaborating closely with medical student associations and the communications team to raise awareness about our projects.
Increase the number of members in the CFMS Connects group by 20%
Increase participation in the National Week of Wellness by 20%
Increase participation in Safe Spaces sessions by 50%
2. Increase Wellness Discounts
Wellness is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses various aspects of our lives. There is currently only one wellness discount; I want to broaden the scope of these discounts to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of medical students. I believe that everyone has their own unique approach to wellness, and I aim to make the discounts reflect this.
Increase the variety wellness discounts to include things such as gym membership, fitness classes, outdoor sports, meditation subscriptions, or healthy food delivery services
Have a platform for students to suggest venues they would like to have discounts to
3. Increase Diversity in the Student Affair Projects
Medical students have different backgrounds and lived experiences, it is important that our projects are inclusive and reflect this diversity. I am committed to seeking input and feedback from students to develop initiatives that are effective in serving the needs of students. As a part of this, I propose to increase the celebration of cultural diversity within our community to create opportunities for students to share their experiences, learn from each other, and build meaningful connections. I believe that promoting cultural diversity is essential to building a strong and inclusive community where everyone feels respected, valued, and supported.
Increase wellness resources that reflects the diverse needs of medical students such as those from minority backgrounds or those with children
Increase the celebration of cultural events within our projects
If elected, I am committed to fulfilling these responsibilities and working diligently to support the well-being of medical students. I am open to feedback and suggestions and will always prioritize the needs of medical students in my decision-making. My goal is to create a supportive medical community that prioritizes the well-being and success of everyone.
MD Student, Class of 2025
University of Calgary
Advocacy for Increased Resource Allocation to the Wellness of Medical Students
Wellness Mentors/Coaches University hired and designated preceptors or counsellors to assist students in career choices and to help adapt to medical school, manage transitions to clerkship as well as transitions into residency. Will also advocate on behalf of the student’s wellness if needed 2. Discounted Prices on Student Wellness Resources To my knowledge CFMS members receive discounted prices on UpToDate, Wolters-Kluwer Lipincott Textbooks and Automobile and accomodation, however, I believe we can secure discounts on aspects of wellbeing (physical, emotional, nutritional) through partnerships and sponsorships with external organisations.
Building Cross-Canada and Cross-Regional Support Systems
National Wellness Conference An annual national wellness conference will include speakers and panelists from different aspects of wellness and conference themes will be focused on how to realistically sustain wellness in medicine but also how to establish longitudinal changes in our curricula that prioritise student wellness. 2.Regional Retreats and Provincial Socials Together with the regional directors, we will plan regular socials and retreats that focus on developing wellness strategies within our provinces and regions.
Prioritising Wellness and Equity Diversity and Inclusion
Increased support for underrepresented student safe spaces Establishing dedicated spaces to connect on school grounds and increasing the representation of underrepresented populations in both the student body the faculty body 2. Collaboration with EDI student groups such as the BMSAC Identify major gaps in EDI wellness strategies, potential solutions and develop recommendations to present to medical school administration and faculty 3. Developing and establishing anti-racist policies across Canadian Medical Schools Using these policies we can create a standard to which to hold all Canadian medical school administrators accountable for the wellness of underrepresented populations in medicine
Sustaining the longevity of Wellness-Focused culture in Medicine
Fully representative National Wellness Roundtables Ensure that while making decisions regarding student wellness in Canadian medical school that voices of all medical schools are included/ 2. Wellness Curriculum Progress and Transparency . I, along with the WCTF, will ensure that we continue to hold medical school admin accountable through the development of strategies to effectively track the progress of the development of this programming such as surveys and have this information publicly available to all CFMS members. 3. Follow Up on Updates on Mistreatment Policies Maintaining anonymity is a key concern when submitting mistreatment concerns. This has already been brought up as a point of concern and I together with the mistreatment committee will continue to provide updates on each school’s progress.
As someone who firmly believes in the quote, “Strong communities are born out of individuals being their best selves”, I hope to strengthen CFMS in acting as a central hub for wellness related initiatives for all Canadian medical students. My goal is to cultivate resiliency, mental health and community in the nation-wide student body. I aim to consolidate efforts to bring wellness into more effective campaigns for our medical students. Over the last two years, I served within the UBC Wellness Initiative Network and CFMS National Wellness Challenge (NWC). I aspire to continue developing more areas the CFMS can focus on with the example of how I newly incorporated environmental well-being in the NWC last year. I hope to bring my previous experiences in carrying out my goals listed below.
1. Increasing student engagement
In the upcoming year I would like to build stronger relations and work alongside the Student Affairs portfolio to help improve our meaningful impact on students.
Improved incorporation of currently existing CFMS wellness resources (eg. Culture Changers campaign, National Wellness Challenge, CFMS Connects, etc.) throughout campuses with increased communication with CFMS representatives at each school
Increased social media engagement by incorporating it directly within initiatives and working with Communications portfolio
Improved transition into position for portfolio members with orientation to carry out their roles
2. CFMS Wellness Recommendations
CFMS Committee for Student Health and Wellbeing passed its Recommendations for Student Health and Wellbeing in the 2021 AGM.
Follow-up on how medical schools are meeting these recommendations by working with each school’s CFMS representatives
Support the completion of further research by position papers with the National Officer of Wellness
3. Promoting dialogue
For CFMS to fulfill its goal of being a central resource for students, I believe there needs to be two-way communication.
Survey Canadian medical students for feedback on the work of the Student Affairs portfolio and other possible wellness initiatives they would prefer from CFMS in beginning of the year
Creation of a speaker series on the topics of interest from the survey for students to engage in
It is my hope that by focusing on the well-being of medical students, they will become thriving residents and physicians, which will ultimately translate into better medical care for our future patients.
Atlantic Regional Director
Prior to starting medical school, I served as the Regional Director for La Société des Jeux de l’Acadie, a non-profit organization that supports the development of Francophone youth in the Atlantic provinces through sports and cultural activities. As a leader in this role, I managed a team and oversaw the planning and execution of events, developing skills that are transferable to the role of Atlantic Regional Director for the CFMS.
I currently serve as the Student Affairs & Wellness Liaison for Dalhousie Medicine’s class of 2026. In this role, I work to support the wellness of medical students by providing guidance and organizing events. This experience has honed my communication skills and strengthened my ability to work within institutional structures, both of which are crucial for the Atlantic Regional Director position.
I have also held several public relations roles, including coordinating for United Way, serving as a marketing assistant for The Elizabeth Fry Society, and working as a language teacher for the Government of Canada. These roles required public speaking and event planning skills that would serve me well in facilitating teleconferences and organizing events as the Atlantic Regional Director.
My experience working with a non-profit organization and Francophone youth in the Atlantic provinces has given me a unique perspective on the cultural and linguistic landscape of the region, which will be valuable in my role as the Atlantic Regional Director. Additionally, my experience working for a non-profit organization demonstrates a commitment to community development and a passion for making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Ultimately, as the representative for Atlantic medical students to the CFMS, I will be committed to promoting the well-being and development of medical students in the region. I would be honoured to have your vote and look forward to discussing my platform further in person!
I am excited to be running for the ARD position. Based on my discussions with the previous ARDs, VP externals, and Med Soc presidents for two consecutive years, the greatest challenge to Atlantic Canadian medical schools has been and continues to be student representation. I recognize that the ARD will most likely be the only Atlantic Canadian voice on the CFMS board and thus an important one that I intend to take very seriously. My goals for this position are therefore focused on unique Atlantic Canadian needs:
1. CaRMS match resources to overcome the difficulty accompanying smaller schools with fewer residency specialty options and overall match positions.
Develop a CARMS match/residency help book containing information on each residency specialty in Atlantic Canada to be distributed to each Atlantic medical student (during the ARD tour, orientation, before clerkship). Each specialty will be further broken down by school, including the previous year’s number of positions versus applications, sites, admission criteria, interview process, what is valued in an application and future employment perspectives – information on demand and locations.
2. Remove the sense of disconnect between Atlantic medical schools with a “back-to-school weekend bash”
Organize a “back-to-school weekend bash” at the end of August, a stress-free time when students prepare to return to school. The weekend would include social activities for all interests: paint night, dodgeball competitions, pottery, scavenger hunt, tug of war, karaoke, chess, etc.
Improve the general lack of resources with transport, academic and wellness discounts
Acquire discounts for all Atlantic medical students. Themes of interest: transport (Pal and Porter airlines, maritime bus, VIA rail), wellness (Parks Canada pass, Goodlife membership) and academic (U world, Osmosis, UpToDate).
I look forward to seeing you all at elections!
Quebec Regional Director
1. Increasing awareness of CFMS opportunities:
To avoid cluttering our inboxes with excessive emails, I will update QC members on CFMS opportunities using existing platforms such the McGill Medicine Facebook group, the MSS Murmur, and the MSS Instagram.
Whenever possible, I will directly consult Quebec medical students to determine topics I should discuss and how I should vote at the CFMS Board of Directors meetings. I will use a variety of consultation methods including anonymous polls, feedback forms, and open communication with medical student societies in Quebec.
3. Accessibility and Transparency:
I will host Zoom office hours every 2 weeks to answer questions, listen to concerns, and receive feedback regarding the CFMS and my performance.
1. Accroître la sensibilisation aux possibilités offertes par le CFMS :
Pour éviter d'encombrer nos boîtes de réception avec des courriels excessifs, je mettrai les membres du CQ au courant des opportunités du CFMS en utilisant les plateformes existantes telles que le groupe Facebook de McGill Médicine, le MSS Murmur, et le MSS Instagram.
2. Défense des intérêts :
Dans la mesure du possible, je consulterai directement les étudiants en médecine du Québec pour déterminer les sujets que je devrais aborder et la manière dont je devrais voter lors des réunions du conseil d'administration du CFMS. J'utiliserai diverses méthodes de consultation, notamment des sondages anonymes, des formulaires de commentaires et une communication ouverte avec les sociétés d'étudiants en médecine du Québec.
3. Accessibilité et transparence :
J'organiserai des heures de bureau Zoom toutes les deux semaines pour répondre aux questions, écouter les préoccupations et recevoir des commentaires concernant le CFMS et mes performances.
As the Quebec Regional Director, I am excited to leverage my experiences to make a meaningful contribution in this role. My past work as VP of Communications for the medical education organization IgNITE equipped me with valuable skills in advocacy and effective communication with diverse stakeholders. I am eager to apply these skills to the different responsibilities of the Quebec RD including chair of the bilingualism taskforce. Additionally, as a delegate for the upcoming CFMS's Medical Education National Day of Action, I will gain personal insights on the next steps for improving medical education. This will help me better serve the needs of the medical community in Quebec and Canada. Overall, I am confident that my experiences and dedication will enable me to make a positive impact in this position.
Ideas for the role:
Exposure of CFMS: I will ensure that the Quebec parties I interact with are aware of the progress being made by the CFMS in advocating for students and increase the exposure of the CFMS. I plan on collaborating with the appropriate parties to improve the representation of Quebec medical students at the General Assembly by increasing awareness of these events and facilitating the barriers to participations such as transportation.
Collaboration amongst the different medical societies: I will foster a collaborative environment amongst the different medical societies and create networking opportunities to build a stronger sense of community. I plan on utilizing a communication platform to promote knowledge sharing between the Quebec medical societies and class representatives.
Work towards the incorporation of other Quebec schools as member schools of the CFMS: I plan to bridge the gap between the Quebec francophone schools and CFMS to develop and execute solutions that will enable the francophone schools to become members of the CFMS.
Ontario Regional Director
I am excited to run for CFMS’ Ontario Regional Director (ORDs) for the 2023-24 term and continue the great work done by Aiden Goertzen and Helen Jin as the previous ORDs. As one of the goals described by the previous ORDs in the board report is improving the bi-directional communication between CFMS and the Ontario medical students, my platform is built on different ways I plan on achieving this objective. As such, I present my platform which is a 3- pronged approach that includes:
1. Improving CFMS engagement with the Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA)
a. By attending OMSA meetings, serve as the liaison between OMSA and CFMS regarding any concerns and questions
b. Encourage OMSA collaboration within CFMS events and CFMS collaboration within OMSA events
2. Improving CFMS engagement with Ontario medical school Societies
a. Continue ad-hoc Ontario Presidents’ Round Table meetings to allow for relevant and timely concerns to be discussed between different Ontario medical school presidents, OMSA, and CFMS
b. Attend MedSoc meetings as time allows to build a more frequent and intimate connection between CFMS and Ontario medical school societies
3. Improving CFMS engagement with Ontario medical students
a. Provide more appropriate and targeted onboarding for Ontario medical students who step into different leadership roles within CFMS
b. Provide and effectively advertise different opportunities for Ontario medical students to get involved with CFMS
c. Provide easily-understood snapshots of different CFMS initiatives in a timely manner to allow for increased and effective engagement from different member schools
Thank you for considering me for this position and if elected, it would be my utmost priority to represent both CFMS and the medical students of Ontario effectively through my term.
Western Regional Director
Hello All! My name is Cindy Kalenga and I running to be elected for a second term as the Western Regional Director. I’m a currently an MD/PhD student at the University of Calgary (C2024) with extensive experience advocating for students as part of national programs. With 14 publications, 2 manuscripts under review, more than 25 awards and grants, I have demonstrated the ability to manage multiple competing objectives. I am a productive student who can achieve results. Through my doctoral research on women's cardiovascular health, co-investigator role in several national grants, and effective policy changes in EDI, I have developed a deep understanding of health disparities and how to advocate for students. I am confident that if elected to this position, together we can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for all medical students, regardless of their background or circumstances. My platform will focus on the following outputs:
1. Create structure of collaboration amongst western medical students: Provide opportunities for mentorship on effective advocacy for student concerns at a provincial and national level.
2. Western Dean’s Meeting: Hold UME administration accountable for the promises made at previous Western Dean's meetings and work to ensure that the needs of medical students are being met.
3. Visiting Electives: I will also address the issues with the Visiting Elective Portal and work with AFMC to optimize the portal for timely responses regarding electives, as well as appropriate refunds and subsidies when possible.
4. Advance Calls to Action and establish an anti-racist culture within CFMS and medical students at large. Foster a safe and respectful culture to facilitate the success of an EDI Network.
In summary, I’m committed to representing the diverse needs of students across Canada and the unique needs and challenges of those within the Western region. I aim to promote unity and cohesiveness and foster lasting trust in the CFMS. Thank you for your consideration!