COVID-19 Update (March 13)
With the World Health Organization’s declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly evolving situation in Canada, the Royal College Crisis Management Team has been meeting daily and coordinating with partners to make thoughtful and timely business decisions.
We have been communicating these decisions directly with those impacted. I also want to share the latest updates with you.
Postponement of Royal College written exams
The Royal College has had to postpone all exams, including the written exams for March and April, which will have an impact on oral exams this spring. We regret having to make this decision, and are working with local university partners and resident groups (RDoCS and FMRQ) to deliver the exams as soon as feasible and at no additional cost to candidates. We are also communicating with the provincial licensing colleges to notify them of this change. The provincial colleges have processes to license individuals that have completed training and have yet to take the exams. We will continue to work with them so to assist our candidates.
In making this decision, we worked collaboratively with the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Medical Council of Canada to ensure this decision considered both the risks as well as the impact on candidates of postponing our respective exams. The decision was made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, in keeping with other national organizations.
We will update candidates and our PGME partners of our progress no later than April 1st, 2020.
Royal College meetings, travel and business operations
As of March 12, the decision has been made to refrain from hosting in-person meetings until April 30, 2020. All meetings will either be held virtually or they will be postponed. Decisions for meetings beyond this date will be made as the situation evolves.
As of today, the Royal College has suspended all business travel outside of Canada.
We are also recommending staff work virtually, whenever possible, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. All Royal College buildings will remain open at this time and we will maintain a minimal presence. This will be put in place as of March 16 until end-of-day Friday, April 3, although this could change. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.
I will keep in touch throughout this crisis. Our Royal College Services Centre also remains open to take any Fellowship-related calls or emails.
In the meantime, you can track our latest COVID-19 business updates by visiting our webpage www.royalcollege.ca
I know many of you are personally and professionally impacted by this crisis. Please accept my admiration and thanks for all the work you are doing — today and every day — on the frontlines of health care.
Please take care of yourselves.
Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, FRCSC
Chief Executive Officer