Medical Council of Canada now allows menstrual products in exams
In this June 22, 2016 file photo, Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 1:11PM EDT
The Medical Council of Canada has expanded the list of items that can be taken into its qualifying examination without advance permission to include menstrual products, among other belongings.
Last fall, the MCC faced criticism for prohibiting women from bringing tampons or menstrual pads into exam rooms while writing multi-hour tests.
Dr. Michelle Cohen, advocacy chairwoman with Canadian Women in Medicine, launched a petition to end the practice in October.
She told The Canadian Press it was "sexist and unfair" to confiscate feminine hygiene products from exam takers, or to require them to ask exam supervisors for access to them in the middle of a test.
At the time, the MCC said it didn't have a policy specifically on the use of, and access to, menstrual products during exams. But personal items such as purses, bags and backpacks were not permitted in the test area.
After forming a group to review such practices, the MCC recently announced it has expanded the list of items that can be taken into Part 2 of its qualifying exam without advance permission.
Those items include menstrual products, medication, the EpiPen, Nitro spray, and an inhaler.
Certain items still require advance written permission, and some aren't permitted at all.
The list of items that can and cannot be taken into the exam is available on the council's website.
The council says all items being taken into the exam must be disclosed at the registration desk or a more private, secondary location.
The new practices for accessing personal items during the exam took effect with the spring 2019 session.