Physicians at any stage of their careers can benefit from volunteering. In accordance with our mission to encourage volunteerism and promote philanthropy among health professionals. It has been proven that health professionals that volunteer, even to a cause unrelated to their occupation, can help them from becoming burnt-out.

Medical volunteering encompasses a broad range of work and activities, with experiences varying based on location, the needs of the local population, the specific mission of the host organization, and the skills that you bring to the table. The scope of volunteer work you can participate in may depend on your specific experience and qualification level.

We are providing you with information on how to choose the type of volunteer work you’d enjoy, things to consider before you volunteer and how to ethically volunteer.

Volunteering as a physician gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals throughout the world, while engaging in cross-cultural exchanges and gaining invaluable experience abroad to support you in your career and in your life journey. Volunteering can revive your passion for medicine.


Round Two Grants – Stop the Hygiene Gaps in Syria

As part of a special initiative to help prevent, limit, and stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, the Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) has opened round two of our small grants program for eligible Canadian organizations working in Syria.
Syria is a country now in its 10th year of conflict, battling sanctions, economic turmoil, widespread instability, and a broken down healthcare system. According to the UNHCR more than 5.5 million refugees have sought shelter in neighbouring countries, while another 6 million internally displaced Syrians and other vulnerable groups remain in Syria. Most of them live in overcrowded camps with limited access to water and proper sanitation, making maintaining good hygiene impossible for most.
If you are a qualified Canadian donnee with a community driven initiative that will help bridge identified gaps that are currently impeding Syrian communities from strengthening their public health and healthcare response to COVID-19 (i.e. hygiene practices), go to our Grant page for more information on how to apply.
Let’s Stop the Gaps! We’re all in this together as a global community.
To learn more or apply click here: Grants

Global Handwashing Day


Tippy Tap Training, Haiti

Global Handwashing Day is October 15th. The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, and the message about the importance of hand hygiene has never been more important than in 2020.

Handwashing is one of the most important ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 but it requires both knowledge and resources. Especially in times of pandemics, new cracks and holes in systems are magnified and more easily identified as gaps or barriers to infection prevention. Haiti, already the poorest country of the Western hemisphere, was chronically unprepared to deal with the arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) is working with partners in Haiti to help bridge identified gaps that are currently impeding communities from strengthening their public health and healthcare to adapt to COVID-19.

Designated as a COVID-19 treatment site by the Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP), the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in the Artibonite Valley activated its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, which includes providing sanitary solutions to offset the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the local community.

These solutions include teaching households in local communities how to build “tippy taps”, which are hand-washing devices made up of a container that is filled with water and tipped with a stick and rope tied to the container, enabling contact-free handwashing. CMF is supporting HAS with the installation of Tippy Tap stations as well as community handwashing stations which will impact and service over 20,000 people in the local region.

Working together, supporting each other, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Karen Breeck, the recipient of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada’s 2020 May Cohen Award!


Congratulations to CMF Trustee, Dr. Karen Breeck, the recipient of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada’s 2020 May Cohen Award!

The May Cohen Award is presented annually to the Federation of Medical Women in Canada (FMWC) member that best personifies the legacy of Dr. May Cohen and her unique ability to transfer the FMWC vision into living action in support of women physicians and women’s health.

A past President of the FMWC and member for almost 35 years, retired military physician Dr. Breeck credits the FMWC with teaching her the importance of mentoring and networking, political advocacy, the importance of civilian Canadian medical professions and sex and gender specific medicine.

“My advocacy work that continues focusing on military women’s unmet health care needs really is a culmination of all these various experiences from the FMWC. So although I never worked directly with or for May Cohen, she has had a major impact on my life. So to be given an award named in her honour is something deeply personal fulfilling to me.” ~ Dr. Karen Breeck

Learn more about Dr. Breeck’s distinguished career here: https://medicalfoundation.ca/en/our-board/

Learn more about women’s rights trailblazer Dr. May Cohen here: Women’s Health Trailblazer: Dr. May Cohen, MD’55

Read Dr. Breeck’s acceptance speech from the October 3, 2020 FMWC AGM. Dr. Breeck’s speech.

Help stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19


Whoever you are and wherever you live, correct hygiene is a foundational step required to help stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. However, even in Canada there are those who can’t purchase hand hygiene essentials for themselves.

At the mental health unit of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), where staff offers innovative services for treatment and support for those impacted by mental health and substance use issues, hygiene is a constant concern and nurses have been purchasing hygiene products for patients with their own funds. Every new case of COVID-19 is enough to reignite an outbreak, and that is why CMF is working with partners in Canada to help address gaps and barriers to infection prevention that are identified by communities.

At the VIHA Mental Health Unit, one of the nurses heard about the work of one of our partners, Soap for Hope, and reached out for help. With the support of a small grant from the Canadian Medical Foundation, our partner was able to provide jugs of products for them to have on the ward. Once patients were released, they were given Hygiene Kits (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and soap) plus we were able to provide combs, chapstick and deodorant.

Working together so that we can all be safe!

The Canadian Medical Foundation is pleased to welcome Tom Magyarody to its Board of Trustees.


With particular expertise in the health-care sector, Tom has been CEO of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Dental Association; an independent director of Centric Health Corporation; Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Administration with OMA; Managing Director of Community Telephone Health Management Co.; a Senior Vice President with Commercial Union Assurance; and Director of HR with McDonnell Douglas.

Tom joins a 10-member Board of distinguished individuals who are responsible for the governance of the CMF. To learn more about Tom and our other Trustees, please click here Board of Trustees.