Just wanted to keep everyone well informed about how covid has affected QE2

Just wanted to keep everyone well informed about how covid has affected QE2. Basically the exam has been delayed a few times, and there’s a huge backlog and frustration by residents. The exam was cancelled lastminute (i.e 2 days before the exam), and many people already travelled to where their exams were held already. There has been talks/riots about even why the QE2 exists.

Anyhow, there I don’t know how the OSCE exams will change in the upcoming year (rumours that nac and qe2 will both be online etc). But this is the most recent email I received from the MCC about QE2:

Dear candidate,

On October 22, 2020, due to recommendations by Public Health and late decisions by some exam sites, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) cancelled all sites for the October 2020 session of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II. On behalf of the MCC, we sincerely regret the short notice of the cancellation and the impact and inconvenience to you, the candidates. We, as physicians, remember the anxiety of exams and sincerely apologize for our part in the frustration and disruption that you are experiencing. We also recognize the disadvantages you are facing, as many of you have now been displaced twice.

It is clear from the feedback received in the past months that candidates expect us to move to online delivery for all our assessments.

Given the high stakes nature of the MCCQE Part II as a non-computer-based clinical performance exam and our commitment to delivering psychometrically defensible exams, we had determined in March that, unlike our quick move to remote proctoring for the MCCQE Part I, we could not rapidly switch to deliver Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in an online format in 2020, and still maintain the quality of these assessments. Our desire to move candidates along the continuum in a timely way to meet regulatory requirements became our focus, through implementation of an adapted exam and delaying our progress on alternate delivery options. In this, we missed an early opportunity to change more swiftly.

All options to successfully deliver future sessions are currently under detailed review. Our team is in the process of pivoting to the option of virtual delivery of the OSCEs, including the MCCQE Part II. We have monitored development of other virtual OSCEs, including those at the General Medical Council and other Royal Colleges in the UK and work being done by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and are currently working with like organizations and potential suppliers to build on their learnings of the past eight months. We are also considering other aspects of our exams including test accommodations.

If COVID-19 has shown us anything it is that the same way of doing things is no longer applicable and we must move quickly to change. At the MCC, we continue to strive for excellence in the assessment of physicians and we take our commitment to all in Canada who expect that robust standards of care continue to be met seriously. We are looking forward with a very keen focus on further adaptation, and innovation for 2021 and beyond.

In a time of public health crisis, the need for competent physicians, like you, is even greater. Thank you for your dedication, your passion and your hard work.


Jay Rosenfield, MD, MEd, FRCPC

President — feeling fed up.