Submission ID 78142

Code OB-2-5
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Category Medical Education
Type Oral
Will the presenter be a: Student
Title Almost Halfway There: A Continuous Quality Improvement Journey Towards A National Medical School Application Fee Waiver Program
Background/Purpose Financial support for medical school matriculants without similar support for applicants undermines efforts to increase socioeconomic diversity in medical schools. In 2021, the Price of a Dream (POD) collaborated with Canadian medical school stakeholders to implement the Ontario Medical School Application Fee Waiver Program (MSAFWP), which subsidized applications to all six Ontario medical schools for eligible low socioeconomic status (SES) applicants. POD's long term goal is to expand this program to medical schools across Canada.
Methods POD presented Ontario program outcomes at the 2021 Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada Admissions Network Meeting and advertised program expansion. POD engaged in a continuous quality improvement process to identify facilitators and barriers to program expansion.
Results Eight out of 17 Canadian medical schools now participate in POD's MSAFWP. In addition to the Ontario medical schools, two other medical schools implemented an MSAFWP for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. Program expansion was facilitated by administrative staff support, collaboration with a locally recruited learner representative, and effective communication between all stakeholders. Challenges to expansion include pre-existing financial assistance programs for applicants and variations in eligibility criteria. Additionally, the lack of existing networks of local low-SES premed students in non-Ontario provinces impacted recruitment efforts.
Discussion A national MSAFWP will not only decrease barriers to low SES applicants, but will also result in more equitable admissions through inter-faculty collaboration. Continuing with a trainee-centred approach and improving existing student networks is critical for further outreach and expansion efforts.
Keyword 1 Admissions
Keyword 2 Socioeconomic status
Keyword 3 Equity
Abstract content most relevant to: (check all that apply) Undergraduate Medical Education
Abstract Track - First Choice Admissions
Authors Justin Lam
Mark Hanson
Chantal Phillips
Amira Abdalla
Maisoon Yousif
Tobi Olaiya
Farhan Mahmood
Ike Okafor
Claudine Henoud

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