Update #11: COVID-19 and Exams

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout the pandemic, RDoC has only communicated with you when we have information that we think is helpful and information that you can trust. At times, we have been criticized for not engaging in social media. However, our approach has been to focus all of our energy and efforts on listening to and understanding our members’ concerns and then advocating strategically on finding solutions that provide you with as much choice as possible. We have consistently chosen to communicate with you, in partnership with your PHO, by email and through our website and to only send you messages when we had useful information that you can trust.

Since my message last week, we have had multiple conversations with FMRAC (the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada), the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Medical Council of Canada. In addition, the RDoC Board met throughout this past weekend and had a robust discussion on exams.

Deadline Update

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the MCC has responded to our request to provide more time to make a decision for those of you who received the MCC letter last week asking you to select one of three choices: confirm that you are sitting the exam in May/June; defer your exam until the fall; or withdraw from registration and receive a refund. The MCC has confirmed to us in writing that they will extend the deadline to make a choice until Wednesday, March 17th. They have also confirmed that anyone who chooses to defer sitting the exam until the fall will be given priority. We have been told that the MCC will be sending out a communication to registered candidates confirming this development.

Licensing Update

We have had confirmation from FMRAC that the Medical Regulatory Authorities will extend a ‘low-supervision provisional license’ to anyone who has not been able to register to sit the QE2 prior to graduation this year. This is in keeping with how last year’s graduates were treated. The expectation is that if you receive this provisional license, you will sit the QE2 at the earliest possible time.

However, if you are currently registered to sit the QE2 in May/June and have received a letter asking you to select from one of the three choices mentioned above, we have NOT yet had confirmation that you can choose to defer your exam and still be eligible to receive a ‘low-level supervision’ provisional license. The CFPC has joined with us in advocating for flexibility and have partnered with us in our conversations with FMRAC on this specific scenario. This particular issue will be discussed at an FMRAC meeting early next week. The MCC deadline extension that we sought will provide enough time for this meeting to happen and for RDoC to provide you with an update on the outcome so that you can make an informed decision.

Many of you are aware that New Brunswick has never required the QE2 exam and that in both Nova Scotia and Ontario, their Medical Regulatory Authorities have passed motions with special exemption policies regarding the QE2. These policies only apply to residents who are training in Ontario and Nova Scotia and any updates with specific details for residents training in these provinces will be provided by your PHO when details become available.

As soon as we have more information, we will provide it you so that you can make informed decisions. For now, we have been able to get an extension on when you need to make your decision by. We will continue to work on your behalf to ensure that the regulatory authorities understand and appreciate the reality of training, providing service and preparing for exams during this pandemic. We want to ensure that FMRAC and their partners have the accurate information they need to make the best decisions possible.

Warm regards,

Dr. Esther Kim
RDoC President