Data request procedures

Before a request for data can be fulfilled, the researcher needs to mail or courier a letter to the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Director of Research and Development explaining the request. The letter should outline exactly what information is requested, the reasons for requesting the data, how the information will be used and steps that will be taken to ensure the privacy of MCC candidates. The letter should also (if relevant) include the outcome of a review by an ethics or a research review board.

Processing requests may take several weeks to complete. However, the more thorough the letter, the faster the process will proceed.

Once the MCC has processed the request, the following steps will be taken:

    1. The outcome of the decision will be sent to the researcher. Note the researcher may be asked to clarify aspects of the proposal before proceeding.
    2. If the researcher has completed a consent form that specifically asks participants to release MCC scores to the researcher: The researcher should send the MCC a file with as much identifying information as possible.
        • Possible fields include MCC Candidate Code, names, gender, birth date, medical school, grad year, etc.
        • The MCC will attach the information requested by the researcher with identifying information removed and send the file back.
        • The MCC will also request that the researcher complete a data release agreement.
    3. If the researcher does not have a consent form then:
        • The researcher should send the MCC a file with as much identifying information as possible. Possible fields include MCC Candidate Code, names, gender, birth date, medical school, grad year, etc..
        • Each person should be identified with a unique code assigned by the researcher.
        • The MCC will attach the information requested by the researcher with identifying information removed other than the unique code and send the file to a neutral third agent.
        • The researcher should send the third party agent a file with the data he or she wishes to analyze but with no identifying information other than the unique code assigned by the researcher.
        • The third party agent will merge the files, remove the unique identifier and assign a new number that only he or she will be able to access.
        • The file is then sent to the researcher.