Updates regarding COVID-19

Current updates – UGME program activities
March 25, 2020

Dear Learners, UGME Leaders, UGME Teachers, Hospital Coordinators:

Below is the current update on UGME program activities. *New* We will continue to send weekly updates and more frequently as needed as the situation evolves. The most recent version of this document will be available on the UGME website under Coronavirus (COVID-19) UGME Information.

Please note that all official communications regarding UGME curricular activities, cancellations, status reports, and updates will be sent by the UGME Office only.

Please note that due to rapid evolution of the situation and for efficiency purposes, communications may not always be translated.

All classes are online, students must not attend in person.

Please note cancelled items will not be rescheduled and postponed items will be reviewed at a later date or rescheduled.

During this time of uncertainty in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are worried or scared. This is a stressful time for everyone. Please take the necessary health precautions but also take care of your mental health. Reach out to friends and family and look after yourself and others. Social distancing is not equal to isolation. If you feel anxious, scared or have any other mental health concerns, please contact the Student Affairs Office by email at medsao@uottawa.ca to book an appointment with a counsellor. You can also book an appointment online at https://med.uottawa.ca/undergraduate/students/student-affairs. All appointments will be provided by telephone in order to keep everyone safe.

The Student Affairs Office will be offering a weekly virtual group support session with Dr Kay-Anne Haykal and the SAO counsellors for all medical students. This is an optional drop-in session to discuss any general concerns during this pandemic with the SAO. Counselling and psychotherapy will not be provided during those sessions although students can continue to book their individual counselling sessions with the counsellors. The link to those sessions will be provided shortly on the SAO Facebook page as well as through the SAO student advisors and the Aesculapian society. 


uOttawa medical students find a new way to support front-line health care workers



Details of status of individual learning activities are in Elentra

Last year’s recordings will be provided
Teaching material will be provided if recording is not available
Any updated material will be provided

Will be via Microsoft Teams
The Tutor Guide to be released to student groups in real time if tutor is absent
Successful deployment of the first CBL session via Teams on March 24, 2020 *New*

All experiential learning involving patient contact is cancelled
Cliniques simulées: cancelled
Community preceptor program: cancelled
Year 1 summative OSCE, April 23, 2020: will be postponed or modified as required
Year 2 summative OSCE, May 13, 2020: will be postponed or modified as required

Mindfulness sessions: cancelled

Year 1 Community Week: cancelled

Year 2 Mandatory Clinical Week: cancelled
Students must inform their preceptor

Year 1 and Year 2 Electives:
Cancelled until the end of June (status review end of April)
Students must send email out to preceptors to cancel their electives

Community Service Learning: cancelled

uOSSC procedural skills elective: postponed

uOSSC, U2 SIM Harvey Sessions - April 16–20th: cancelled

Ottawa Psychiatry Enrichment Program (OPEP): cancelled

Exams: Will proceed remotely via Questionmark (details to follow)
Unit I mid-term exam of April 6, 2020 to take place via Questionmark (details to follow) *New*

The 2020 Summer studentships program may be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process is open until April 6, 2020. We will keep you informed of the developments in the coming weeks *New*


Leaving Ottawa

Students leaving Ottawa are expected to remain in full contact with the Faculty, checking email communications regularly as they are still in academic session, *New* revisions and additions to the curriculum are ongoing and they may need to be mobilized to help with COVID-19 patient care



Year 3
All year 3 clinical duties cancelled as of Monday March 16, 2020

Year 3 compressed rotations to be organized when clinical rotations are able to resume
Schools in Ontario committed to July 6, 2020 as tentative date to resume clinical rotations *New*

All year 3 didactic, small group and bedside teaching are cancelled as of Monday March 16, 2020 through July 5, 2020 *New*

Ongoing learning resources for students to be made available through the class presidents *New*

Boot camps: cancelled

Pediatrics OSCE: will be postponed or modified as required

uOSSC Harvey Session Y3 MD program: cancelled 

Core rotations in rural settings: cancelled

Exams: will proceed remotely via Questionmark (details to follow)

Impact of COVID-19 on future matches:  Message from CaRMS
As we are still in the early days of an ever-evolving situation, we do not yet have a clear picture of any potential impacts the COVID-19 pandemic could have on future match cycles. We are working closely with our partners in the Canadian medical education community and will use our website carms.ca as the primary vehicle for communicating any developments as they occur 

A great many decisions are being made on an ongoing basis by governments across the country and around the world, and these decisions may have an impact on some applicants and faculties for future matches. We are staying connected to these conversations and decisions to ensure the application and match system continues to operate in a way that meets the needs of our clients, stakeholders and the wider medical education community 

Year 4 Electives for MD2021
All MD2021 students are asked to postpone all Year 4 electives planning until further notice, including electives here in Ottawa.

Year 4
Back to Basics lectures:  
Recordings of last year lectures are provided
Updated presentations will also be posted on one45 when available

MCC practice tests (CDMQs and MCQs) were purchased for each student in year 4. Practice tests will be made available to year 4 students once the date of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 has been determined. The goal is to release the practice tests closer to the date of the exam

Ongoing learning resources for students to be made available through the class presidents

Changes to MD2020 Convocation Ceremony *New*

Visiting Electives
Visiting electives: cancelled for medical students until September 2020 *New*
The portal was closed to all students on Friday, March 20 at 3 p.m. *New*

All international electives: cancelled

Interest groups
All interest group activities are cancelled (SEAD, OPEP, REACT and IMED that will be reviewed at the end of April)

Work-related travel is cancelled
The Faculty of Medicine has cancelled all work-related travel (e.g. academic conferences, presentations, etc.), both within and outside of Canada, for all personnel, including physicians, residents, medical students, and other learners. This decision was made in consultation with the Ottawa Hospital, and follows the same decision made at Sunnybrook and University Health Network, due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission at mass gatherings as outlined by the Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/mass-gatherings-risk-assesment.html

Personal travel 

Students considering personal travel are recommended to make a careful decision as travel may be disrupted, and/or you may be required to be in quarantine upon your return.

A reminder that it is now mandatory for students and staff to register for any travel outside of Canada for official studies, research or work through the uOttawa International Travel Registry. Registration is strongly recommended for faculty members.

Taking a few moments to register your travel details will allow the University to provide you with access to alerts and travel advice from International SOS and enable us to contact you directly in the event of an emergency.

If you have questions regarding your travel insurance, please check with your insurance provider.

Clerkship students returning from travel, must notify occupational health and wellness at their receiving hospital.

Preclerkship follow instructions

Public Health:


A student exposed must self-isolate and follow the procedure on the Health & Safety website

A student exposed must self-isolate and contact occupational health at the hospital where they are placed.

If you are quarantined: a plan will be formulated for reintegration which may include but is not limited to: plan(s) of assessment, accommodation(s), remediation, repetition of curriculum elements, repetition of clinical rotations, mandated health programs and examinations.

New Emergency Fund to Students Available

The University understands that the measures that are being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 may result in unexpected financial pressures on students. A Special Emergency Fund has been set aside that students can access for grants to assist with unexpected housing, transportation and moving costs. Students who are facing significant financial difficulties due to the pandemic are encouraged to contact loansandawards@uottawa.ca to make a request for funding.


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