The following information pertains to year 4 of the MD2021 program.
Overview of Fourth Year
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the 4th year program for the academic year 2020-2021 has been modified and is now as follows:
4 weeks of mandatory selectives (2 weeks of Internal Medicine and 2 weeks of Surgery) done at The Ottawa Hospital and the subspecialties are pre-assigned and will be given to you through a lottery. So this means that it will be organized for you.
14 weeks of electives - You are responsible to organize your electives. The Electives Team will be available to guide you with the process.
Medical Council of Canada (MCC): MCQ and CDM practice test
Portfolio on core competencies: 2 meetings (one post for each meeting), and a final ePortfolio
Transition to Residency (Back to basics sessions): Three sessions are mandatory.
During year 4, students will also have 2 weeks of vacation for the winter break and 3 weeks reserved for residency interviews.
The 4th year schedule is divided into 6 groups and you will be assigned to one of these groups via a lottery.
The difference between the six groups is the period of dates for the mandatory selective.
Each group will have the same pathway from October 26th to December 4th (6 weeks of electives), then the pathway will change depending on the groups.
There will be two (2) lotteries for the organization of the 4th year program and they will be done through one45. These lotteries are very similar to the ones done for 3rd year.
The first lottery will be to match you to one of the six (6) groups in the schedule.
The second lottery will be to match you to a subspecialty for your mandatory selectives.
Note that there are no distinctions between both streams anymore for the 4th year program. This means that both streams will be part of the same lotteries.
Your participation to both lotteries is important and must be made within the specified dates. If you don’t, one45 will assign you to an empty spot once the lottery is activated at the closure date. There won’t be any possibilities for you to do if after the closure date.
To ensure you won’t miss the deadline, one45 will send you a reminder.
But if it does not matter for you to be assigned to any of these groups, please do not participate in the lottery. By not participating, this will increase the chances of other students to be assigned to their first or second choice.
The instructions on how to proceed for the lotteries will be sent to you via you uOttawa e-mail address.
First lottery – July 21-28, 2020
Through that first lottery, you will rank the 6 groups you wish to be assigned to by order of preference. There will be a maximum of 28 students per group.
You will receive the result by e-mail a week or two after the closing date. If ever you are not satisfied with the result at that point, we will give you a period of one week to find a colleague (from both streams) that will accept to do a switch with you. Both will have to notify Christiane Raymond at email@example.com.
After that period, your assignment to a group will be final and we will send you the new result.
Second lottery – Date to be confirmed soon
Through that second lottery, you will rank all the subspecialties you wish to be assigned to by order of preference.
The process will be the same as for the first lottery.
Students in 4th year are required to do a 2-week rotation in a medicine subspecialty and a 2-week rotation in a surgery subspecialty at The Ottawa Hospital.
After finalizing the 4th year groups and schedule, each student will be asked, through a lottery, to pick their choices of internal medicine and of surgery subspecialties, within a certain time frame.
After the 2nd lottery, once these have been assigned and the internal medicine rotation schedule has been finalized, any spots that have not been filled will be made available for elective placements.
For further information, please contact the hospital coordinator, see: https://med.uottawa.ca/undergraduate/about/hospital-coordinators
Students must send an evaluation to their preceptor (not a resident) at the beginning of each selective placement through their one45 account.
Please note that your evaluations will validate successful completion of your selectives.
Medicine Mandatory Selectives
Once you are assigned to a group, the second lottery will allow you to rank the following subspecialties (to be confirmed) for the mandatory Selective in Medicine:
Endocrinology & Metabolism
Physical Medicine & Rehab (TBC)
Mélanie McCallum & Matthew Armour
Clerkship Program Coordinator (Francophone and Anglophone)
Once you are assigned to a group, the second lottery will allow you to rank the following subspecialties (to be confirmed) for the mandatory Selective in Surgery:
Oncology, Radiation (1week)
Oncology, Gynecology (1week)
Oncology, ENT (1week)
Oncology, Thoracic (1week)
Paediatric General Surgery
Pediatric Plastic Surgery
* Plastic (Only eligible student can select plastic)
The duration of your surgery selective is of 2 weeks for the majority except for oncology.
ONCOLOGY: Some oncology unit offer you to do one week in one of their subspecialties and a second week in another subspecialty. Therefore, if you choose an oncology subspecialty, you must automatically choose another subspecialty for one week.
* PLASTIC: You cannot choose this subspecialty if you have done it during your 3rd year or if you are planning or have booked a 4th year elective at TOH. A student is allowed to have only one (1) placement in Plastic (TOH) during their clerkship. If you select plastic, but are not eligible, you will be placed in another specialty without consultation.
In 4th year of medical school, you will have more freedom to adapt your clinical placements to meet your specific needs with regards to career choices.
The 14 weeks of electives in 4th year is placement time that should be used to learn more about the discipline that may be selected for residency or to enhance competencies in a clinical field which was not sufficiently explored in the 3rd year. A majority of students use their elective time to explore possible residency programs or to make themselves known to the programs they are interested in.
One of the key elements to admission in a residency program is to have completed electives in the selected discipline. It is very unlikely that a student will be admitted to a residency program in a discipline for which they have not demonstrated an interest and commitment by doing 1 or 2 electives in the given specialty. However, it is not necessary to complete an elective in every residency program in the country to be matched in that discipline. You can refer to the description of the programs on the CaRMS website for more information on what programs are looking for in their candidates. Electives in other areas including research are encouraged.
Each elective duration must be of 2 weeks and every student has the responsibility to organize their own placements.
While it is important to use this elective time to explore residency training programs, every effort should be made to diversify the electives and balance clinical strengths.
See the following resources to help in planning your career:
It is expected that an elective will be comprised of 35 hours per week.
You are required to complete a total of 14 weeks of electives before the end of 4th year. The only electives that will be counted toward the 14-week requirement are those that have been approved and entered in your Clinical Placement account and for which evaluations confirming successful completion have been received.
These electives can be either clinical or non-clinical in nature.
Your supervisor must be a practicing physician, not a resident.
Conflict of interest in clinical placements
Students cannot be supervised in any clinical placements (i.e., core rotation, selective or elective) by a member of their immediate family, extended family including in-laws treating physician or others close to them who could compromise the objectivity of the student's assessment.
In addition, students are not permitted to do clinical placements in the clinic of his or her treating physician. Students must immediately notify the Medical Education Office or Rotation Coordinators to request reassignment if their assigned placement is in violation of this policy. If a physician has treated a student in the past, they should make efforts to avoid any future situation that would put them in a position of evaluating that student.
Students are not permitted to participate in clinical placements at the University of Ottawa Health Services if they have been treated at that Service in the past.
Please select your elective carefully as switching or cancelling electives once they are booked is discouraged. If it is absolutely necessary to cancel an elective, you must notify the school's Electives Coordinator, department coordinator and/or preceptor in writing at least 6 to 8 weeks (depending on the policy) before the start of the elective. Failure to adhere to this national policy will be considered a breach of professionalism and will be reported to the Director of Electives and the Assistant Dean - Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Medical Education.
8-week notification policy
It is your responsibility to keep track of the status of your submitted applications. Just as you are required to provide a cancellation notice at least 6 to 8 weeks before an elective start date
When planning your electives, make sure to follow the appropriate process for the service you are applying to as these can vary by location. It is best practice to communicate with all contacts via your uOttawa student email so that they can clearly identify you as a uOttawa student.
Electives in Ottawa
You can browse the Elective Opportunities section of the Electives website to find all the opportunities offered to uOttawa students by the departments in Ottawa. It provides a description of the elective as well as information on how to request an elective. Make sure to get a written confirmation of the elective. There are no fees related to these requests and they are made directly with the coordinators.
Other elective resources
There are numerous options available to you when planning your electives. Other great resources can include:
You are not limited to clinical electives in 4th year. There are a variety of non-clinical electives offered during the year, including research electives which are a great way to get additional exposure to a specialty. We however strongly recommend that you use your 14 weeks of electives by doing clinical electives:
In order to meet the accreditation requirements, all electives must be pre-approved by the Faculty of Medicine, Undergraduate Medical Education Office (Liaison Officer, Year 4) in order to be eligible and credited.
You must request an approval for all your electives through your Clinical Placement account. All requests must be made at least one month prior the start of any elective. This will be monitored regularly.
If you do not have a pre-approved elective in your Clinical Placement account prior to the start of your elective, it will be brought to the attention of the Clerkship Director.
Any changes to your registered approved electives must be done through your Clinical Placement account by entering a new request. Then you must delete the entry that is no longer valid.
IMPORTANT: An elective cannot be started if it has not been pre-approved and will not be credited if you do not comply with this procedure. If you complete an elective without having it pre-approved, it will potentially be considered a professionalism issue and will be brought to the attention of the Clerkship Director.
How to request approval for your electives
To request approval for your electives, please follow these steps:
Enter your username and password (the same as the ones used to access your ONE45 account).
Open your file by choosing "Clinical Placement".
Choose: "Request approval for an elective".
Make sure to complete all sections of the form and then choose "Submit".
Once the Medical Education Office has approved your elective (in a delay of 48-72 hours), your Clinical Placement account will automatically be updated.
NOTE: When you request approval for an elective, please make sure to enter the name of your supervisor. If no supervisor has been assigned to you at the moment you receive a confirmation, you must enter the name of the coordinator who confirmed the elective. You will be able to modify this entry at the end of your elective. Requests with TBD, TBA, Multiple preceptors, do not know, etc., will not be approved.
If the preceptor’s name does not appear in the drop down menu, select “Preceptor does not appear in list” and write his or her name, surname, and email address in the comment box below.
Clinical Electives and Diversification
NEW Diversification Policy for Year 4 Electives for the MD2021 Class
«Following extensive discussion over the prior 2 years, in April 2018 at CCME, the Association of Faculties of Medicine Canada’s (AFMC) Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Committee (which is a Committee of the 17 Canadian UG Deans) reached a consensus, agreeing to the following proposal:»
«Undergraduate programs recognize their dual responsibility to ensure students undertake a full educational experience that prepares them for any potential career choice, while also optimizing their ability to engage in the increasingly competitive postgraduate match process. Undertaking elective experiences exclusively in a single discipline is pedagogically unsound and fails to provide students with a full exposure to potential career options. Consequently, we commit that, beginning with the Class of 2021, student elective opportunities cannot exceed a maximum of eight weeks in any single entry-level discipline.»
«The AFMC PGME Committee (the 17 Canadian PG Deans) expressed unanimously in support of this proposal when it was discussed with them at CCME.»
«The AFMC UGME Committee undertook consultation with the CFMS as well as through each school’s curriculum committee and/or local student leadership. This feedback, including a written report submitted to the UG Deans by the CFMS was discussed at the October 26, 2018 UG Deans’ meeting at the AFMC.»
Therefore, in accordance with the AFMC National Elective Diversification Policy, all clinical electives have been categorized according to the CaRMS list of «Entry-level disciplines». An entry-level discipline is an Entry Route in the PGY-1 (R1) match.
When registering your electives in your Clinical Placement account, you will need to tag your elective to the appropriate discipline.
In 4th year, you must cover a minimum of three (3) disciplines in the PGY1 Entry-level, by doing at least two (2) weeks in each discipline. A maximum of eight (8) weeks of clinical electives is allowed in the same discipline.
PGY1 Entry-level disciplines:
D1 Anatomical Pathology
D3 Cardiac Surgery
D5 Diagnostic Radiology
D6 Emergency Medicine
D7 Family Medicine
D8 General Pathology
D9 General Surgery
D10 Hematological Pathology
D11 Internal Medicine (General) – CTU and CT
D12 Medical Genetics and Genomics
D13 Medical Microbiology
D15 Neurology - Pediatric
D18 Nuclear Medicine
D19 Obstetrics and Gynecology
D21 Orthopedic Surgery
D22 Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
D23 Pediatrics (General)
D24 Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
D25 Plastic Surgery
D27 Public Health and Preventive Medicine
D28 Radiation Oncology
D30 Vascular Surgery
Non-clinical electives do not count towards a discipline. However, for tracking purposes you will be asked to tag them as follows: D31 Non-Clinical.
Electives in subspecialties that are part of a PGY-3 match, such as the subspecialties in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, are counted separately, i.e. weeks in these subspecialties do not count as weeks in the disciplines.
However, for tracking purposes you will be asked to tag them as follows:
D32 PGY3 Pediatrics Subspecialties
D33 PGY3 Internal Medicine Subspecialties
In general, a discipline is determined by the main specialty of a preceptor. However, there might be exceptions. For example:
If a student is following a Family Medicine physician doing only Emergency Medicine, it will count as the Emergency Medicine discipline.
If a student is following a Family Medicine physician doing both Emergency Medicine and seeing patients at the clinic, then it will count as the Family Medicine discipline.
«While the majority of medical students studying in Canada apply only to the Canadian residency match (through CaRMS), some students also apply (or apply exclusively) to the U.S. residency match (through ERAS). As this Canadian policy applies to all Canadian UGME programs, all students enrolled in these programs are subject to the same policies. The 8-week maximum applies irrespective of the student’s decision about residency applications.»
Please note that the mandatory Selective are not taken into account in the diversification policy.
Each placement (selective & elective) must be validated with an evaluation.
We must receive one evaluation per placement.
Elective evaluations must be completed by a practicing physician, not a resident.
At the end of the 4th year program (April 9th), a student’s file will be considered as complete only if all evaluations have been received and are successfully passed.
Each student must succeed all their placements to be eligible to the M.D. degree.
You must always keep a copy of your evaluations for your personal records.
If ever a student fails a placement, remediation will be mandated after meeting with the clerkship director.
A few days before the end of each elective, you must return to your clinical placement account to indicate that your elective has been completed.
Then you must complete these 3 mandatory forms:
Evaluation of preceptor by student;
Evaluation of elective experience by student;
Evaluation of student by preceptor – Please confirm details*
*The 3rd step consists of confirming the details of the elective before forwarding by email to the preceptor the Evaluation of student by preceptor.
Each student must comply with the deadlines provided.
Please note that your evaluations will validate successful completion of your electives.
For any problems with elective placements, please inform the Liaison Officer, Year 4 at 613-562-5800 ext. 3808 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Electives Coordinator at 613-562-5800, ext. 8552 or in writing at email@example.com.
Evaluation of mandatory selectives will be done through one45.
The selective coordinators will send the evaluation forms in the student one45 To Do page.
The students will select their preceptor and send the evaluation. Only one preceptor is responsible to complete the student evaluation even if he has worked with multiple ones.
Students must evaluate each preceptor and resident they have worked with even if worked only for a half day.
Registered students at the University of Ottawa are covered by the University’s Commercial General Liability Insurance with a limit per occurrence in excess of C$5.000,000 inclusive for medical malpractice, bodily injury, personal injury and property damage as described in detail in the policy while on clinical placements during the academic year, whether in Canada or abroad.
Note that the University of Ottawa’s Commercial General Liability insurance policy only applies to placements when students are receiving academic credit. Therefore, students are only covered by our insurance when they are successfully completing the required 14 weeks of Electives and 4 weeks of Selectives. If you voluntarily undertake additional placements, you will not be covered by the University’s insurance for these additional weeks and will place yourself, the receiving institution and the physician you are working with at risk. You will also not be receiving academic credit for those weeks.
Mandatory MCC Practice Test
You will have to complete the Medical Council of Canada practice test during your 4th year which will be held in December 2020. The test has two parts: multiple choice questions (MCQ) and clinical decision-making questions (PDCQ). Details will be sent to you later.
Attendance Policy in Clerkship
Please read carefully the attendance policy in Clerkship which applies to the 3rd and 4th year:
Please note that to be eligible for academic credit, excused absences cannot exceed 20% of a rotation.
If you are participating in Medical School Admissions in your fourth year, you will not be permitted to take Personal Days during the same rotation. You cannot be absent more than 20%.
Transition to Residency (Back to Basics)
This will be a transition period to residency which will also include three mandatory sessions. The details will be provided later.
ePortfolio on Core Competencies Part 4
This course will be the last part of the electronic Portfolio (ePortfolio) program. This is mandatory and consist of two meetings, two posts, and one final ePortfolio.
Due to the complexity of the 4th year program, it could be challenging to find mutually convenient times for the meetings, as many students will be in various elections/selectives in different dates and location. However, students can also meet through teleconference, Skype, or any other media.
Kelsea Anstey, the Academic Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org), will send you all the information before the beginning of your 4th year.
If there are any problems with your elective, please inform the Liaison Officer, Year 4 at 613-562-5800 ext. 3808 or in writing at email@example.com or the Electives Coordinator at 613-562-5800 ext. 8552 or in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you experience difficulties such as personal well-being or stress related issues during an elective, please do not hesitate to contact the Electives Coordinator at email@example.com or by phone at 613-562-5800 x8552 or toll free at 1-877-868-8292, press # and the extension 8552.
The Office of Student Affairs also offers a confidential counseling and referral service to undergraduate medical students. Students who are experiencing difficulty with stress related to personal and academic demands are encouraged to consult with a professional counselor in Student Affairs. You may find their contact information following this link: http://www.med.uottawa.ca/Students/StudentAffairs/eng/
It is your responsibility, as a medical student, to ensure your immunization record, your CPR certification, and N95 mask fitting are up-to-date for the upcoming academic year or before they expire. You also have to submit, on a yearly basis, a current copy of your police record check.
Students who do not meet these requirements will not be eligible to participate in their clinical placement.
4th year is based on your individual needs. Learn to recognize them and take advantage of the various options available to you. If there is a major problem with your schedule, we are available to help you out. Some requests for changes may be approved, depending on availability.