Canadian Medical Schools Address the Opioid Crisis


OTTAWA, November 24, 2017 – The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) is pleased to announce it has confirmed its commitment to Health Canada’s November 2016 Joint Statement of Action to address the Opioid Crisis.

AFMC has identified best practices of teaching and evaluating in opioid prescribing and/or pain management and developed a robust repository, which is being disseminated across all medical schools, and shared on the AFMC website. Through this process, AFMC reviewed the accreditation standards for undergraduate medical education; conducted an environmental scan of offerings from across Canadian medical schools; and convened three expert panel meetings, in order to review the curricula in undergraduate medical education, postgraduate medical education and continuing professional development.

Our expert panel recommended that the Canadian Faculties of Medicine develop competency-based graduated curricula informed by the best practices and evaluate that curriculum to assess learning outcomes in medical schools, residency programs and professional development. The panel also supported advancing research especially on the impact of new curricula in physician knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviours and competencies in the diagnosis, management and treatment of pain, opioid prescribing patterns, addictions and substance abuse.

The Final Report on the AFMC Response to the Canadian Opioid Crisis was approved by the AFMC Board of Directors at its October 16-17, 2017 meeting and subsequently submitted to Health Canada.

“Moving forward, AFMC will continue to work with Canada’s Faculties of Medicine in ensuring future and practising physicians are equipped with the best practices to safely prescribe opioids and treat Canadians in pain with compassion and excellent care,” explains Dr. Geneviève Moineau, President and CEO, AFMC.

“This project, driven by the imperative to address a serious public health crisis afforded the 17 medical schools to collaborate in a remarkable way and to share the best ideas on how to educate physicians about opioids.  A pan-Canadian collaboration can surmount complex issues such as the opioid crisis and help find solutions to serious problems in a timely way,” continues Dr. Sarita Verma, Vice President, Education at AFMC.

Further details on this work can be found on the AFMC website.




About AFMC

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) represents the country’s 17 faculties of medicine and is the national voice for academic medicine. Our organization was founded in 1943 and functions to support individually and collectively Canada’s medical schools through promotion of medical education, research, and clinical care.


Marie-Hélène Urro, Communications Coordinator, Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada | | 613-730-0443


November 24, 2017