Just got forwarded this email that the residents received yesterday from the Royal College of Canada for those about to take their board exams in two weeks, and I have to say I’m extremely unimpressed:
“With the spring exam season quickly approaching, we wanted to share an update regarding COVID-19 and any potential impact on exams. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada, and at this point in time, all spring exams are scheduled to go ahead as planned. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to keep you updated.
If you are unable to sit your spring exam (due to quarantine, self-quarantine, or leave restrictions at your hospital as a result of COVID-19 protocols), the following option is available to you:
Ø Defer your 2020 exam until the next sitting of the exam and receive a full refund of your exam fee, without losing an examination attempt, and without impacting your exam eligibility for subsequent attempts.”
That’s it. No other options.
For those not Canadian, this exam determines your eligibility to practice independently. It is only able to be taken once a year, which means if someone misses it due to self-quarantine or hospital protocol, they’re unable to work after graduating for the entire year until mid 2021.
As a result, this seems like a disaster waiting to happen—there is a perverse incentive to put others at risk because the stakes are too high to be conservative. You can be sure that people already at high risk of exposure (senior residents) who develop respiratory symptoms are going to do everything in their power not to miss this exam.
Any opinions on this?
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