Update for PGME trainees, training programs and learning institutions

To: Residents, Fellows, Program Directors, Program Assistants, Fellowship Directors and Administrators, Family Medicine Site Directors, VP Education, Vice Chairs Education, HUEC, Clinical Department Chairs, Department Business Managers, Hospital Medical Education Staff

cc: PARO, COU, Post MD Staff

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, numerous guidelines and directives have been put in place at the Faculty of Medicine to guide learner clinical placements and activities. The purpose of this note is to update you with regards to current guidelines and principles for PGME trainees and training programs.

U of T Trainees

Trainees with recent travel: The Faculty’s communication dated March 4 (Subject: Procedure changes: International travel for medical learners) still stands. All UofT learners returning from international travel with no symptoms need to submit a questionnaire to PGME and consult with their local Occupational Health Department for guidance about returning to clinical duties and educational activities. Programs are asked to continue informing PGME of any of their trainees who self-isolate or self-quarantine (adpgme@utoronto.ca). We are aware that hospitals have subtle variations in how they respond and often provide advice that is contrary to that of public health agencies. We defer to hospitals.

Scheduled electives outside U of T training sites: All electives by U of T trainees scheduled outside of U of T training sites have been suspended until further notice.

Scheduled rotations within U of T training sites: All rotations (core and elective) scheduled within U of T training sites/affiliated hospitals should continue as planned. Trainees should direct any questions to their programs. A list of U of T Affiliated Hospitals can be found at https://medicine.utoronto.ca/about-faculty-medicine/university-affiliated-hospitals

Regarding scheduled vacation: We encourage residents to defer vacation and other leaves if possible and respect hospital’s rights to mandate rescheduling of vacation if there will be a demonstrable negative effect on patient care.

Modified work arrangements: We encourage programs to explore modified work hours or work from home arrangements if there are no clinical imperatives for residents to be in the hospital or other clinical settings. Residents who are pregnant or immunocompromised should follow advice of their treating physician. If your treating physician feels you should be deployed in a manner that minimizes your risk of exposure to COVID-19, please inform your Program Director to discuss possible solutions which may include moving you to a service with a low risk of exposure of placing you on paid leave of absence.

Redeployment: Residents may be redeployed from non-clinical work at any time based on hospital need. See document: Principles for Redeployment of Residents and Fellows in Times of Exceptional Health System Need, circulated March 16th from Associate Dean PGME (Dr. Glen Bandiera).

Extension of training program: Residents and fellows who undergo mandated isolation or are redeployed to non-core activities may need to extend a rotation to achieve or demonstrate required competencies only available on that rotation. Every effort will be made by programs to avoid any overall prolongation of training or delays to promotion or exam eligibility.

Childcare: UofT medical and nursing students have implemented a student-run volunteer program to assist healthcare providers in the GTA with childcare, pet care, grocery runs, errands etc. Interested healthcare providers, including residents, should contact: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1AM3QGME29z5HBXnGzKxjETyNe-c37uCywPR0oLmL-ac/viewform?edit_requested=true

Non-UofT Elective Trainees

Electives for visiting residents and fellows are suspended until further notice. (See document CANCELLATION OF ALL VISITING ELECTIVES - all visiting electives from Canadian and international schools). Exception: Those visiting to do a CORE rotation from another school under an Inter-University Agreement (IUA) will be accommodated at the request of the sending Postgraduate Dean. Please ensure resident and program communicate this information to PGME for processing (postgrad.med@utoronto.ca).

New UofT Fellowship & Resident Trainees

Residents & Fellows coming to UofT to join a residency or fellowship program are encouraged to come early as a 14-day self-quarantine will be in effect for all international trainees prior to starting their training.

PGME Office

In context of a global pandemic and strong public health social distancing advisories in effect, most Faculty of Medicine staff are working remotely, including PGME staff. Please continue to direct questions to PGME at postgrad.med@utoronto.ca

Should you have any questions about any of the above or about other matters, do not hesitate to get in contact with us at:





Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education