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Statement from the College of Family Physicians of Canada regarding the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II


The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) acknowledges the impact of cancellations of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II, due to the pandemic, on the 2020 and 2021 cohorts of new family physicians. As graduates of the shortest residency program in Canada, they are significantly impacted given the timing of the MCCQE Part II and its cancellation relative to the end of residency.

Those who obtained their Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) designation last year and have been working for almost a year must now prepare for an examination at a more generic level of competency than the CFPC exam. They also have had variable limitations on their practice, as determined by the provincial/territorial medical regulatory authority (MRA) where they practice. Those who are finishing their residency this year will be faced with preparing for this examination after completing the CFPC certification examination but, hopefully, before the end of 2021. Many will face limitations related to their licensure until the MCCQE Part II is completed. While we realize the unforeseeable nature of these adjustments, we also acknowledge the stress, anxiety, and disruption this creates for these residents and new family physicians.

The CFPC welcomes the efforts of the MCC to allow physicians to complete the MCCQE Part II virtually in one day, by the end of 2021 should they so choose. As efforts to deal with the backlog of candidates are under way, we hope that family medicine graduates will be prioritized as they are most impacted in acquiring an unrestricted licence to practice. We also hope that MRAs will continue to be flexible in their requirements for licensure for family physicians who have not yet been able to take the MCCQE Part II and have successfully obtained their CCFP.

The CFPC is pleased to participate in the MCC’s Assessment Innovation Task Force, and hopes that discussions include administering the MCCQE parts I and II (or an integrated form) at the end of medical school, continuing to invite medical students and residents to have input throughout the process, and continuing to use the CanMEDS framework to provide scaffolding between learning and assessment.

The CFPC will be creating a new blueprint for its certification examinations. We will welcome input from MRAs, our collaborative partners in assessment (MCC and Royal College) and learners, through the Sections of Medical Students and Residents, and others, as this process unfolds.

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