OMSA Position Papers

The Ontario Medical Students Association's OPAC (Ontario Political Advocacy Committee), led by the Director of Representation, serve as a working group for the creation and direction of our OMSA Advocacy, Lobby Day efforts, and position papers. These position papers are designed to educate and to help direct our policy towards future lobbying efforts. 

Past Position Papers

Socioeconomic status is a measure of an individual’s economic and social position in relation to others. The comparison is typically based on a combination of income, education and occupation. A lack of socioeconomic diversity among medical students produces physicians who are not representative of their patients and serves to exacerbate inequities in access to care. In striving to train doctors who meet the varied needs of Ontarians, medical schools must improve admissions policies to increasingly admit students with low socioeconomic status. The Ontario Medical Students’ Association (OMSA) asserts that lack of socioeconomic diversity in medical schools is an important issue which impacts applicants, students, and patients, and requires changes to the status quo.

Recommendation 1: Make demonstration of efforts to increase socioeconomic diversity through admissions policies part of Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools criteria.
Recommendation 2: Implement a Fee Assistance Program to reduce costs associated with writing the MCAT and application fees to Ontario Medical Schools and make clear statements on the availability of financial aid.
Recommendation 3: Utilize the Association of American Medical College’s Socioeconomic Status Education Occupation indicator to collect data from applicants to Ontario Medical Schools through the Ontario Medical School Application Service.
Recommendation 4: Support research of mentorship programs that target underrepresented populations and evaluate their efficacy in increasing socioeconomic diversity among students at Ontario Medical Schools.

Ontario medical student mental health and wellness is a significant factor to the development of Ontario’s future physicians. There are a number of barriers that medical students must overcome in order to access the available wellness resources offered at their schools. The purpose of this paper is to advocate for a more accessible and sustainable approach to managing medical student mental health and wellness. 

Recommendation 1: That the Ontario Medical Students Association and the Ontario Faculties of Medicine work to destigmatize mental illness among medical learners.
Recommendation 2: Ontario Faculties of Medicine should ensure mental health and wellness resources are accessible to all medical learners in Ontario.

Evidenced based benchmarks for medically acceptable wait times have helped contribute to reducing wait times for cancer treatment, diagnostic imaging procedures, and joint replacements. Unfortunately psychiatry still does not have provincial reporting standards or benchmarks.

Recommendation: Creation of mandatory, standardized, wait time reporting and benchmarks for psychiatric services.

Causes of childhood obesity are complex and multifactorial, and have been associated with behavioural, social, environmental and genetic risk factors at the individual, family, community and societal levels. Schools have been identified by many international organizations as a pivotal environment for promoting healthy weights and cultivating healthy habits. This paper evaluates the current Ontario Student Nutrition Program and provides some recommendations to help improve on the service is provides.

Recommendation 1: SNPs should be expanded by 10% ($3.2 million) in order to include all publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario
Recommendation 2: Health professionals provide health promotion and nutrition training to teachers
Recommendation 3: Monitoring and assessment on the progress of SNP

Position Paper Writing Help and Submissions

OMSA welcomes any of their members to submit ideas for creating a position paper. Please see the following primer and protocol statement on how we will accept these submissions. Any submissions or inquiries can be sent to the Director of Representation.

- OMSA Position Paper Primer (primer about OMSA position papers)
- OMSA Position Paper Endorsement (process for OMSA endorsement of a position)
- OMSA Position Paper Guiding Document (process for ensuring high quality)