2020 Exams Update
On October 8, Toronto Public Health informed the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada that one exam candidate who wrote the Internal Medicine certification exam on September 29 and 30, 2020 at a Toronto hotel recently tested positive for COVID-19. All candidates and staff were screened for symptoms before entering the exam site. It is unknown whether the candidate was infected with COVID-19 when they wrote their exam or acquired it afterwards.
We worked closely with Toronto Public Health officials whose request was to only trace candidates who wrote their exam in the same room as the affected individual. All seven candidates have now been contacted by Toronto Public Health. All hotels where exams are held have no more than nine examinees and one proctor per room. Exam tables are set up to ensure a minimum of six feet between each person. Although adherence to public health guidelines was deemed appropriate by Toronto Public Health, given the recent surges in COVID-19 in Toronto, public health officials decided the safest course of action would be to contact the individuals who wrote their exam in the same room. At this time, Toronto Public Health is not asking any other candidates to complete a COVID-19 test or self-isolate, having designated all others as low risk. We will update affected candidates if the situation changes.
The Royal College organized its exams to adhere to COVID-19 screening and physical distancing guidelines set out by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Candidates were required to wear masks until they get to their desks. Masks could be removed once the exam commenced, and candidates and staff were seated. While writing, candidates were not required to wear one, as they were spaced more than six feet apart.
At each of our 29 exam centres based in hotels, all candidates were pre-screened using a questionnaire. Onsite, hotel staff sanitized meeting rooms in between exam sessions in accordance with public health guidelines.
The Internal Medicine examination was available in-person or online.
Certification exams are now complete for 2020. The Surgical Foundations examination will take place as planned October 13-14 with all appropriate precautions as per evolving public health guidelines.
All 2021 exams will be available online: https://newsroom.royalcollege.ca/all-royal-college-exams-will-have-a-virtual-option-in-2021/
About Royal College exams
Candidates in specialty medicine must pass the Royal College exams to become fully certified as specialists. With the cancellation of the spring exams due to COVID-19, there are 29 primary specialty and 39 sub-specialty exams being written in 29 different locations around the world from August 26 to October 14.
For exam inquiries, please contact examsCOVID@royalcollege.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact Melissa Nisbett, communications advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.