A statement on racism and an update on spring exams

June 5, 2020 | Author: Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce

Dear Fellows,

Over the past week, we have seen yet again the devastating impact of anti-Black racism. Still, in 2020, too many people in both the United States and in Canada continue to experience racism and injustice. While we are disturbed over the images we have seen during this past week, our colleagues, family and friends who are persons of colour or Indigenous Peoples, live this reality every day of their lives.

The human rights and dignity of every person must be protected, always. This can only be done when we act to disrupt and dismantle the systems and behaviours that perpetuate racism and oppression. This is both our individual and collective responsibility.

On Wednesday, the Royal College issued a public statement denouncing racism. Change requires being publicly accountable to you – our members, and to our staff, volunteers, stakeholders and each other. I invite you to reach out to me directly if you have any comments or suggestions for how we can make a positive impact.

During this difficult week, I would like to share some inspiring stories from our Perspectives and COVID-19 Research series. I also have important updates to provide on the special meeting of the members and spring exams.


  • COVID-19 Research Series: Read about Professor Timothy Caulfield’s research on the misinformation about the virus and strategies to debunk those distortions and what his team has dubbed an “infodemic.”
  • Webinar Reminder: Please join us for the Intersection of Medicine and AI, a virtual research forum on June 9 from 12-1 pm EDT. Registration is required. Note this is an English event only.


Since April, we have enjoyed reading your stories about teamwork, resilience, ingenuity, hope and triumph during these uncertain times. We are pleased to share another inspiring submission.

  • “Mindfulness has been shown to support well-being by helping to alleviate stress, enhance emotional regulation and bolster resilience. But would it be helpful in a drop-in group format, delivered virtually during the challenges of a pandemic?” Read more in Dr. Jennifer Hirsch’s submission: Creating a pause.

Perspectives are still being collected. If you’d like to contribute, please email newsroom@royalcollege.ca.

 2020 Special Meeting of the Members & Spring Exams Update

Last week’s Special Meeting of the Members resulted in Fellows voting against a threefold motion that asked Council to consider an alternative one-time path to certification for spring 2020 candidates. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, we at the Royal College and at Council heard loudly and clearly that candidates are concerned about the exams and how their postponement has been handled. In response, we are creating a Resident Roundtable made up of exam candidates from across the country. I will meet with this group biweekly over the next three months. This will be an important platform for me to hear directly from candidates.

Here are the updates on spring exams:

  • Spring 2020 exams will take place between August 26 and September 30.
  • Test sites have been expanded with 12 new locations added across Canada, the US and internationally – for a total of 25 sites.
  • We have accelerated the move to online exams for late August/September and will share the details of a phased introduction of computer-based exams for spring 2020 cohorts by June 19.
  • We are planning, with the best information available, to work through many different scenarios to ensure that we are able to deliver the spring 2020 exams safely in late August/September.

We remain committed to delivering the exams in the safest and most responsible way possible for residents and the patients they serve.

For responses to the most frequently asked questions at the Special Meeting – see our spring 2020 exams FAQs.

I wanted to thank all Fellows as we evolve in these uncertain times. I truly appreciate your dedication, commitment and unwavering support for providing the very highest level of care to patients.

Until my next update, please take care.


Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, FRCSC
Chief Executive Officer


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