Since its establishment in 1987 the Canadian Medical Foundation has supported a wide range of programs to improve physician well-being, including the co-creation of the Canadian Physician Health Institute (CPHI) and providing assistance to physicians-in-training in Canada. Over the last 35 years we have also partnered with individuals and groups in Canada and outside of Canada to improve global health.
While our projects may have changed with shifting national and global priorities over the last 35 years, our vision of helping Canadian health professionals help others, and our commitment, have not.
Together, with our donors, we have worked to identify gaps that we can fill to support healthcare workers and healthcare systems both in Canada and outside.
In response to the global pandemic, we worked alongside partner organizations to stop the spread of infectious diseases by addressing gaps in hygiene efforts through our Stop the Gaps campaign. Along with our donors and partners, we provided essential products to healthcare workers and community members, we built sanitation facilities in hospitals, we funded necessary research for the testing of decontamination kits for reusable face shields, and more.
In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Report and to inequities that have affected the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada for over 150 years, in 2021 we partnered with Indspire, an Indigenous national charity, to establish Indspire’s only bursary for Indigenous medical students no matter which medical school they are attending.
In Canada, where more than 200 languages are reported as the mother tongue, the importance of cultural competence and cultural safety and their impact on health and managing illness cannot be overstated. Simply put, Canada needs more Indigenous physicians, we need more Black physicians, as well as physicians from other underrepresented communities. However, students from many communities often face barriers that make it more difficult for them to not just get into medical school but to complete it. While in high school or undergrad, they may not have the mentors to guide them, or they may not have the funds to complete medical school, and international medical graduates and other foreign-trained health professionals who wish to practice in Canada may need both mentors and financial support to help them negotiate the system and succeed. CMF’s new partnerships and initiatives will be addressing some of those gaps.
Canada needs more healthcare professionals, and we need more diversity and equity in the health workforce. While governments and other bodies can work on addressing larger and longer-term systematic changes, such as increasing enrollment, streamlining licensing, increased funding for hospitals, we will be doing our part to increase support for underrepresented and under-resourced communities starting one physician at a time, with a vision to expand to programs supporting the nursing community as well.
Please consider donating towards our efforts to support students from under-resourced communities and bring equity and diversity to our health workforce.
You can read more about our programs below.
- Bursaries for Indigenous Medical Students - Indigenous peoples face significant barriers to postsecondary education. Achieving a medical degree is an even steeper climb.
- Supporting Applications to Medical School - While financial aid is frequently the largest obstacle facing students who aspire to attend medical school, many students from underrepresented groups also lack a mentor to help guide them and provide support throughout their journey to medical school.
- Bursaries for Black Medical Students - Universities across Canada have recently made changes to their admission process to help increase the number of Black medical students.
- Bursaries for Medical Students in Africa - The cost of University education in Malawi is too much of a financial burden for students from under-resourced, often rural communities.
- Sharing Strategies for Integration into the Canadian Healthcare System - Canada is home to thousands of experienced International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and other foreign-trained professionals, many of whom are refugees, who are unable to use their many skills and assets here in Canada
- Supporting Rural Medicine and Leadership in Alberta - Alberta, like the rest of the provinces in Canada, is facing a shortage of physicians that is affecting the healthcare needs of Albertans across the province.
- Recently Completed Projects - The Canadian Medical Foundation worked alongside organizations in Canada and outside of Canada to stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19