COVID-19 and exams

The following memo was sent to all RDoC members regarding the COVID-19 situation.


As more cases of COVID-19 are detected in Canada, there is the potential for the outbreak to affect the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the Medical Council of Canada exams.

As your national body representing resident physicians across Canada, we are actively monitoring the situation. We are in regular contact with the CFPC, RCPSC and the MCC. All three of these organizations are working together to coordinate their responses.

Your safety is our top priority.

At this time, all examinations are proceeding as scheduled.

All three examining bodies have committed to the following principles:

  1. The safety of candidates, examiners, exam staff, and volunteers is paramount.
  2. Best hygiene practices should be available and operationalized in any scenario.
  3. Regular dialogue and communications with all stakeholders.
  4. Candidates and examiners should consider avoiding high risk exposure to the virus where possible, particularly in the period leading up to their exams.
  5. Inability to sit the examinations for public or personal safety concerns should not negatively impact the candidate.
  6. The validity and integrity of the exam process should be maintained as best possible.

The Medical Council of Canada confirmed with us yesterday that they have reached out to the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) to advocate that, should MCC’s Qualifying Exam Part II, scheduled for May 2 and 3, 2020 have to be cancelled in specific locations or nationally, and rescheduled to a later time, there will be no unnecessary delay in either providing provisional registration or extending educational licenses for impacted candidates.

Both the RCPSC and the CFPC have confirmed that in the event a candidate needs to cancel their enrolment in the Spring examination due to quarantine, self-quarantine, or leave restrictions at the hospital where they work as a result of COVID-19 protocols, the candidate will be able to defer their exam without losing an examination attempt or without impacting exam eligibility for future attempts. In the case of the CFPC, any exam fees that have been paid will be applied to the next sitting and in the case of the RCPSC, the candidate will receive a full refund of the exam fee.

This is an evolving situation. RDoC is a participant in a weekly conference call of all of the national medical education CEO’s to discuss and coordinate COVID-19 responses. We will keep you informed if anything changes. We encourage you to initiate discussions with your Program Director or Post Graduate Medical Education Office, so that individualized plans can be made for your training program. As always, you should feel free to reach out to your Provincial Housestaff Organization to understand your employment rights and obligations.

If you have any questions to bring forward to the CFPC, RCPSC or the MCC, email

Emily Stewart, MD                                                                  Jordyn Lerner, MD, CCFP
PGY-4, Emergency Medicine                                                PGY-4, Public Health & Preventive Medicine
President, Resident Doctors of Canada                              Treasurer, Resident Doctors of Canada

For other updates from RDoC on COVID-19 and exams, please see:

Update #2 on March 12, 2020

Update #3 on March 14, 2020

Update #4 on March 18, 2020

Update #5 on March 24, 2020

Update #6 on April 3, 2020