Family Medicine Resident Association is Creating Connections and Providing a Voice for Residents
The Family Medicine Residents Association of Toronto's (FRAT) latest project makes it easier for the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) residents to find and choose residency electives.
FRAT advocates for the needs of family medicine residents at DFCM and is comprised of two presidents, a first-year resident, and chief residents and committee members from all of DFCM's teaching hospitals. Based on feedback from residents who were concerned that they were missing opportunities to enrol in electives offered at hospitals outside of where they were completing their residency, the organization has developed an online database that allows DFCM residents to see what electives are available at each of DFCM's 14 teaching hospitals.
"Up until now, most teaching hospitals had their own database, but there was no sharing of that information, officially, between each hospital," says Dr. Saahil Vij, one of FRAT's co-presidents. "The goal of the elective database is to make opportunities open to all residents regardless of which teaching hospital they're completing their residency at."
In addition to the database, FRAT also hosts social and wellness events every two months to help decrease burnout and provide an opportunity for residents from various teaching hospitals to meet and network. The activities vary from pub nights to picnics and yoga sessions - all of which are open to DFCM family medicine residents and all Toronto medical residents. FRAT has also organized sessions to talk about topics such as financial security to help residents with their concerns about financial management once they graduate and begin practicing as physicians.
"There's no one perfect social event that will satisfy everyone. You're attracting a different crowd with each one you throw," says Saahil, "So we offer a variety of activities to try to capture the people who enjoy pub nights or people who enjoy picnics or different sporting events."
Over the past year, FRAT representatives were also able to advocate for changes to the College of Family Physicians of Canada Certificate Examination in Family Medicine and the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada Exam, both of which residents must pass to receive their general license to practice medicine in Canada. By raising concerns, FRAT was able to implement changes in the registration process, wait time and exam preparations times.
"It's nice to see that when residents voice their concerns, we were able to actually do something and make some positive changes."
2017 – 2018 FRAT PRESIDENTS: Dr. Yashna Vaidya and Dr. Saahil Vij
2018 – 2019 FRAT PRESIDENTS: Dr. Samantha Avadiev and Dr. Venus Valbuena
- Contact info