Dear students and recent graduates,
I realize it is extremely disappointing news that late yesterday afternoon the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Pharmacist Qualifying Examination Part II Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) had to cancel the exam scheduled to take place on November 8 in Toronto and experienced a significant reduction in capacity in Ottawa, impacting a number of our recent graduates.
This was due to the increasing levels of public health restrictions that have recently been implemented in the respective cities. More specifically, Toronto Public Health deemed that the number of people at the event would exceed the 10 person maximum set out by provincial regulations. The decision would be applied for any location used for the exam in Toronto. The decision by TPH was not provided to PEBC until Friday afternoon.
This is unfortunate and disappointing news and I acknowledge the frustration that many recent graduates and students are feeling.
I’ve worked closely with our partners at PEBC, as well as the Ontario College of Pharmacists, Ontario Pharmacists Association, University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities and University of Toronto leadership, to share with key decision makers (including the Government of Ontario) how important these examinations are to our recent graduates and to our profession of pharmacy to find solutions to host exams in Ontario during the pandemic.
We will continue to work with our partners towards a solution that enables our graduates to take the exams in a safe environment. PEBC worked incredibly hard to develop alternative ways to deliver the exam with strict safety protocols, in consideration of public health measures in place in local jurisdictions, which are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are continuing to work with PEBC leadership to explore the potential to be an OSCE exam host site in early 2021 for those who were unable to take the exam this year to reduce the impact on the 2T1’s ability to take the OSCE in May.
While LDFP hosting may increase the number of Toronto slots in early 2021, the event would continue to be subject to Ontario regulations. I have been in communication with the Ontario Ministry of College and Universities to request consideration for an exemption to the regulations so that licensing exams would be considered differently than other meetings or events while still having strict protocols in place to ensure they can be run safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will also continue to engage with our community pharmacy partners to communicate the value of pharmacy interns and demonstrate how our graduates can build pharmacy practice capacity that supports the health and well-being of people living in communities across Ontario.
Finally, I’m grateful to everyone in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy community for working hard to ensure our recent graduating class could graduate on time during the pandemic. Together we’ve faced a number or challenges, and I’m proud of the resiliency and strength of our community.
I am committed to providing an update to our community as soon as I’m able.
Click here to read the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada statement.
Click here to read the Ontario College of Pharmacists statement.
Professor and Dean
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto