Coronavirus: January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

As more information develops with regards to the coronavirus outbreak in China and its impact internationally, I would like to reassure you that we will support you and ensure as best possible your continuing educational program and most importantly your safety. Emergency and crisis situations are an integral part of your training and you should be involved as much as possible.

For Learners:

Participation in any educational endeavour will be allocated according to the competence of the trainee and the assessment of risk of the situation by the clinical faculty or supervising clinician.

  1. Entry-level students may need to be restricted from clinical situations but could be mobilized for ancillary functions, e.g. preclerkship students could be utilized for public health calls or assisting with screening.
  2. Advanced level students/trainees should, as much as possible, participate in clinical settings similar to the roles they perform during non-emergency situations, e.g. clerkship students could assist with clinical duties.
  3. Graduate research students should be allowed to continue their laboratory or hospital-based research as appropriate to the crisis situation.

For Teachers and Educational Leaders:

As much as feasible, the teaching faculty will continue to fulfill the goals and objectives of their programs and teach around case opportunities that appear.

  1. Wherever possible, educational leaders should ensure that new opportunities and new modalities be incorporated into the curriculum around the identified crisis or natural disaster. Teachers will address important educational principles as appropriate eg; public health approaches to outbreaks of infectious diseases of known or unknown etiology, triage in the face of natural disasters with massive casualties, the epidemiology of massive infection, etc.
  2. Teachers and educational leaders should develop effective, expeditious, and efficient mechanisms to support learners through the crisis by ensuring adequate two-way communication, e.g. through email, rounds or other means.
  3. When alternate locations for teaching and clinical care are necessary, communication should be facilitated among departments and hospitals to centrally manage and triage need. Opportunities to optimize the use of existing facilities, including the partially affiliated institutions, should be developed. Opportunities for alternate means of curriculum delivery should be pursued, such as the use of distance technologies such as video conferencing

Supports Available to Learners:

Students can connect with personal counsellors at OHPSA (Office of Health Professions Student Affairs) at St. George or MAM by calling or booking an appointment online (please note that after hours appointments are available). There is also the U of T Health and Wellness Centre on the St. George campus and Health & Counselling Centre at UTM. We also want to remind you of the services that are available to you after hours:

Please reach out to your faculty supervisors and the education leaders in your program should you have any questions or concerns.