Founded in 1943, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) represents Canada's 17 faculties of medicine and is the voice of academic medicine in this country. Our member faculties graduate over 2300 MDs a year; have 10,148 undergraduate medical students in training and 12,453 postgraduate trainees; and employ 21,687 full and part-time faculty members.
AFMC has 3 standing committees which provide guidance on continuing, postgraduate, and undergraduate medical education. Our fourth standing committee, which focuses on research and graduate studies, reflects the critical importance of research in our faculties, which undertook $2.6 billion ($2,607,386,000) of funded health research in 2007-08. Our 11 resource groups provide national engagement on a wide range of issues relating to our social accountability mandate such as diversity in our medical schools, global health, professionalism, and student affairs. This focus on social accountability reflects AFMC's firm commitment to the World Health Organization's statement that “[Medical schools have] the obligation to direct their education, research and service activities towards addressing the priority health concerns of the community, region, and/or nation they have a mandate to serve. The priority health concerns are to be identified jointly by governments, health care organizations, health professionals and the public".
AFMC works to represent and support the mandates of our medical faculties – research, medical education, clinical care with social accountability. Our advocacy initiatives are tailored to keeping these issues high on the federal government's agenda and ensure that Canada's faculties of medicine serve as important resources to decision-makers in this country.
Representatives from the AFMC and CMA, along with students and public representatives are members of the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) which accredit the MD program in all 17 faculties of medicine in Canada. The accreditation is undertaken jointly between CACMS in Canada and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the U.S. Additionally, AFMC, through the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education, also participates in the accreditation of the offices of Continuing Medical Education at all Canadian faculties of medicine.
The Canadian Post-M.D. Education Registry (CAPER) and the Office of Research and Information Services (ORIS) are the data-gathering and research arms of AFMC and house the nation's largest collection of data on medical education. CAPER and ORIS support Canada's faculties of medicine, academic researchers and policy-makers by publishing timely annual statistics on medical education which include information on medical school applicants and students, residents and fellows, international medical graduates, faculty members, graduate students as well as biomedical and healthcare research revenues. Often collaborating with regulatory authorities, certification and licensing bodies, governments and other health human resources stakeholders, CAPER and ORIS support numerous research initiatives by contributing expertise and customized data requests.
Since 2005, AFMC has also served as the secretariat for the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, delivered through a partnership between the AFMC, the Canadian Association for Medical Education, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Medical Council of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This conference is the largest annual gathering of medical educators in the country, and is an exceptional venue for our faculties and stakeholders to share experiences and plan new ways to better meet the needs of Canadians through our respective mandates.