About the CFMSThe CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
Recent incidents of anti-Black racism, discrimination and violence internationally and within Canada have further highlighted the unjust persecution of Black people in North America. While these events have placed a greater spotlight on discrimination in our systems, we cannot pretend that this behaviour is new or an outlier. Unfortunately, racism and oppression are systemic in our institutions and we must act to change this. Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity are important values that the Canadian Federation of Medical Students is striving to promote in medical education and amongst the healthcare community in Canada. As Tomorrow’s Physicians, Leading for Health Today, medical students are calling for action to address racism and discrimination in our healthcare and educational institutions.
Medical students have made a pledge to improve the health and wellbeing of all people. We must recognize how social determinants of health affect our patients. Racism remains a determinant of health that causes inequities in individual health, access to services, and economic outcomes. It is our duty to ensure we eliminate these racial and ethnic disparities. We cannot continue to tolerate these injustices and as the future of the medical profession, we play a key role in eliminating these disparities. As individuals, we can start by educating ourselves and unpacking our own privileges and biases. This self-reflective practice is critical to ensure that we are not reinforcing and upholding these inequities. We encourage all medical students to be strong allies for our racialized peers, and speak up when witnessing discrimination within the medical system and beyond.
We recognize that this is a painful period for our membership, in particular for our Black medical students. The CFMS stands with you during this time and is committed to learning how best to be the best allies in our journey to creating a more just society. The CFMS wishes to express solidarity to all trainees who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of colour (BIPOC) in the context of the broader fight against systemic racism in society and our institutions.
We recognize that we must use our platform to do more than identify the problem, and have linked some resources you may find helpful. Thank you all of those who are sharing and promoting important anti-racism resources and ways to support Black communities. The CFMS is also committing to these initial concrete actions:
- Organizing a formal anti-racism “book club”/“summer reading course” that can be accessible to medical students across the country. Please fill out the following google form if you are interested. Anti-Racism Book Club. We will have more details to follow.
- Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity taskforce will continue actively working to address these injustices as we develop a strategic vision for further promoting EDI in medicine and society.
- Continue to promote inclusivity and diversity in medical school admissions, medical education and in healthcare settings, including the creation and adoption of race-inclusive medical curriculums.
- Partnering with and supporting organizations that develop anti-racism resources.
We will continue assessing ways to take concrete meaningful actions.
- Anti-Racism Resources from the Government of Canada
- Black Medical Students’ Association of Canada (BMSAC) Facebook page and Twitter page
- Canadian Anti-Racism Resources (author unknown)
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- Anti-Racism reading list
For further information, please contact: Adel Arezki, CFMS Vice President Communications, Email: [email protected]