Eighty years ago, the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges (ACMC) was founded by the deans of Canadian faculties of medicine. Originally established in 1943 as a forum to discuss the Canadian government’s request to double the number of medical graduates to meet wartime needs, the ACMC has since evolved into an essential voice for medical education advocacy in Canada. Today, the organization, renamed the AFMC in 2005, continues to work with the Canadian government to ensure the training of the physician workforce Canadians need.
From its inception, the AFMC recognized the importance of maintaining a collegium where Deans could come together to share ideas and support one another. This ethos remains a key component of the AFMC’s mission, particularly during moments of crisis such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years, the AFMC has become a driving force for social accountability in medical education, responding to issues such as the opioid crisis and becoming an independent accreditation system with social accountability standards.
In recent decades, the healthcare landscape has undergone significant transformation, with advances in digital technology and the emergence of new philosophies of care. As a result, the AFMC has increasingly focused on interprofessional education, recognizing that providing the best care requires physicians to partner with patients and other healthcare professionals.
However, the AFMC acknowledges that there is much work to be done to address equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism in Canadian medical education. This work is ongoing, but the organization remains committed to making progress.
Looking to the future, the AFMC is focused on promoting health and protecting the planet, with the faculties of medicine in Canada becoming part of health-promoting universities.
Finally, the AFMC believes that collaboration among national organizations that work to advance the health of Canadians, conduct health research, and educate the health workforce is critical to the future of healthcare in Canada. By working together, these organizations can ensure that all Canadians receive the best possible care, regardless of their background or circumstances.
While the AFMC’s origins lie in meeting the wartime needs of Canada, the organization has evolved to become a vital advocate for medical education and healthcare in Canada. By focusing on social accountability, interprofessional education, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, the AFMC is working towards a future where all Canadians have access to the best possible care.
We had the pleasure of hosting delegates for a commemorative 80th anniversary reception at ICAM.