Education Program & Research changes

The following are updates about Education and Research programs from December 18, 2020 to date.

Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) and Neuroscience Programs

  • Visit Western’s Student Resources Hub to help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with the University community at this challenging time while we are dealing with COVID-19 and experiencing remote learning and services.

Dentistry

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Programs

  • An update regarding Schulich Dentistry clinical, administrative and academic operations between January 13 and February 22nd, 2021.

    Class of 2023 & 2024
    Didactic learning is continuing virtually as planned. We anticipate that Pre-Clinical Simulation sessions may be able to resume on February 22nd, 2022.

    Class of 2022
    Didactic learning is continuing virtually as planned. The Class of 2022 will return to clinics on February 22nd, 2022. The clinical schedule will be available to students in mid-February. A virtual orientation session will be hosted prior tothe start of clinicsand details will be shared in the coming weeks.

    Class of 2021
    The Class of 2021 will return to clinics and patient care on January 25, 2021. The clinical schedule is being adjusted this week and we ask that you refrain from scheduling patients until notified that your clinical schedule has been finalized. A virtual orientation session will be hosted on January 22. Details will be shared next week.

    Examinations
    Examinations scheduled for January and February will proceed as planned.
  • Health and Safety Expectations
    When on CampusAll faculty, staff and learners are reminded to follow safety measuresat all times. Details are available online, and include:
    • Successfully completionthe COVID-19 Return to Campus questionnaire before each visit;
    • Wearing a mask at all times in the presence of others and when in common and shared spaces;
    • Respectingphysical distancing requirements.
  • In light of the evolving public health situation in Ontario, the start date for Undergraduate Clinics has been postponed and clinics are anticipated to resume on January 25, subject toguidance from public health, the University and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.Urgent Care and the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic will continue to operatenext week as plannedwith patient care being provided by faculty, residents and staff.
  • All Schulich Dentistry clinics are closed December 22 at 7 p.m. - January 4 at 8 a.m. This includes the Urgent Care Clinic, DSCU, Graduate Orthodontic Clinic, Paediatric Clinic, Hygiene Clinics, DOCS program, the Main Adult Clinic and the Simulation Laboratory.
  • DDS Class of 2023 & Class of 2024
    • Didactic courses will resume virtually, as originally scheduled, on January 4th.
    • Hands-on sessionsin the Pre-Clinical Simulation Laboratory are expected to resume on January 25th. Further details, including scheduling information, will be provided in mid-January.
  • DDS Class of 2022 & 2021
    • Didactic courses will resume virtually, as originally scheduled, on January 4th.
    • In order to allow for the completion of enhancements to our physical spaces, patient care will resume on January 11th. Students will receive their clinical schedules by January 4th.
    • During the week of January 4th–8th, students will be required to participate in a series of mandatory in-person and virtual sessions to prepare for the return to clinics and patient care under enhanced public health and regulatory requirements. A detailed schedule of programming will be communicated on January 2nd.

Postgraduate Dentistry Programs (Graduate Orthodontics and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)

  • Patient care and didactic programming is continuing as planned.
  • Residency programs are continuing normal operations. Further details and specific direction regarding didactic and clinical learning will be provided by your Program Director.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs

  • Visit Western’s Student Resources Hub to help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with the University community at this challenging time while we are dealing with COVID-19 and experiencing remote learning and services.
  • Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is providing regular updates.
  • Class for all non-thesis based graduate programs have moved online.
  • Graduate and postdoctoral research continues.

Physician Assistant (PA) Program

  • PA clinical placements will be paused until April 6, 2020. Placements beginning April 6 and later will be reassessed, and any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.

Medicine

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

  • Changes and plans in the MD Program for curriculum across Years 1-4 in response to the directions from the January 12, 2020 Province of Ontario restrictions and Western University.

    You may hear additional details from your Courses and Course Chairs

    Meds 2023 and Meds 2024
    For Principles of Medicine I and II and Transition to Clerkship:
    All virtual learning and assessments will continue as scheduled
    Meds 2024 Anatomy on-campus session in February will be deferred until later in the academic year.
    Clinical Skills in person sessions will continue as scheduled.
    Students who are out of province must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.
    On-campus clinical assessment/learning will require strict adherence to: Passing Western Pre-screening; Social distancing; Washing; At all times wearing mask and visors to keep all safe.
    Students who are not in attendance and have had their absence approved according to the Attendance and Absenteeism Policy for these sessions, will complete them following the end of the Academic year, at time to be determined by the program.

    Meds 2022
    Clerkship will continue as scheduled.
    There will be no on campus sessions for instruction in any rotation.
    End of Rotation assessments will be delivered in a virtual format.

    Meds 2021
    Clinical Electives will be completed as scheduled.
    Year 4 OSCE will occur in February with six virtual stations on February 9-11. The on-campus OSCE assessments planned for February 16-18 will proceed if guidelines of the Pandemic allow

  • On December 18, as you are preparing for the winter break, we wanted to highlight guidelines recommended by the Middlesex-London and Windsor Essex Health Units. Undergraduate Medical Education Update
  • The AFMC released a plan, process and timeline for the 2021 residency match.

Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Program

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Research

  • Visit the Research Resources webpage for communication from Western Research, FAQs and information from granting agencies.
  • Western Research is providing regular updates regarding processes and maintenance of lab duties. This information is posted online. An update was provided today regarding suggested actions for currently approved research involving humans.

The following are updates about Education and Research programs from March 23, 2020 to December 18. 

Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) and Neuroscience Programs

  • Visit Western’s Student Resources Hub to help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with the University community at this challenging time while we are dealing with COVID-19 and experiencing remote learning and services.
  • All courses moved online effective March 18, 2020. The term will end as planned on April 3, 2020. All changes to course content and delivery and assessments have been posted to OWL course sites (as of 5:00 p.m. on March 17).
  • Fourth-year research projects will come to a conclusion and arrangements are being made to ensure everything can be completed. Faculty are currently reviewing various approaches for presentations.
  • Exams will not be given on campus but will be offered in various formats (take home exams, reweighting of assignments, cancelling final exams where appropriate). All changes to exams have been approved by the departmental Undergraduate Chairs and the Associate Dean, BMSUE.
  • All students on exchange outside of Canada have been encouraged to return to Canada.
  • All outgoing exchanges have been cancelled until further notice.

Dentistry

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Programs

  • June 1, 2020 has now been tentatively identified as the earliest date that classes and simulation (pre-clinical) training will resume.
  • July 1, 2020 has now been tentatively identified as the earliest date that clinical training could resume. With this newly established tentative date, our normal summer shut down will take place during the months of May and June.
  • All clinical electives continue to be on hold.
  • General Practice and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery residents will be provided with specific direction from their respective Program Director regarding didactic and clinical learning.
  • For the Graduate Orthodontics program, all course work will progress as scheduled in an online format. Didactic learning is being supplemented with online seminars in areas of foundational knowledge to help in board exam preparation. Clinical education will continue to be replaced with daily online seminars on various clinical topics until clinics are re-opened and hands-on clinical learning can resume.
  • It is expected that virtual learning will continue to be part of the new normal. All universities in Canada and around the world are now making decisions about what the new academic year will bring and beginning to plan and prepare for those realities.
  • Effective March 24, the closure of all Schulich Dentistry clinics has been extended until at least May 4. This includes the Urgent Care Clinic, DSCU, Graduate Orthodontic Clinic, Paediatric Clinic, Hygiene Clinics, Multi-Function Clinic, DOCS program, the Main Adult Clinic and the Simulation Laboratory.
  • Arrangements have been made to provide access to care for dental emergencies at practices in the London community.
  • Card access to the Schulich Dentistry clinics has been deactivated and students will not be able to access these spaces during the closure. Online lectures will continue as planned.
  • Schulich Dentistry is engaging in ongoing discussions with the University and the Middlesex-London Health Unit to evaluate our operations. Communication will continue to be provided as more information becomes available.
  • All lecture-based courses will be moved online where feasible. Students can expect to hear from Dentistry leadership about this.
  • All simulation and lab-based classes, such as impression taking and clinical practice, have been cancelled until April 6. Access to the Simulation Laboratory will be reassessed at that time.
  • All elective placements have been cancelled (Moose Factory and Sioux Lookout).
  • The Dental Community Outreach Service (DOCS) clinics taking place in April have been cancelled.
  • All Dental Clinics (DSCU, main adult clinic, paediatric, hygiene, graduate orthodontic and multi-function) have been closed with the exception of the Urgent Care Clinic, which is now being staffed by faculty only. Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Urgent Care Clinic will be closed. Arrangements have been made to provide access to care for dental emergencies at practices in the London community.
  • Every effort and opportunity is being identified to ensure fourth-year students will complete all their requirements prior to graduation. Dentistry leadership will be reaching out to students individually about this.
  • Card access to the Dental Clinics and Simulation Laboratory has been deactivated and students will not be able to access these spaces during the closure.
  • Students are advised not to make travel plans to return to campus at this time.
  • Planning for final exams is currently underway and details will be provided as soon as possible.

Postgraduate Dentistry Programs (Graduate Orthodontics and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)

  • The Graduate Orthodontics Clinic has been closed. While Graduate Orthodontics learners don’t take their exams until June, the National Dentistry Examining Board of Canada has stated that they will accommodate COVID-19 related licensing delays for students if necessary.
  • The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program is unaffected as it operates in the hospital.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs

  • Visit Western’s Student Resources Hub to help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with the University community at this challenging time while we are dealing with COVID-19 and experiencing remote learning and services.
  • Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is providing regular updates.
  • SGPS released a document: What Does Tuition Pay For Summer Term 2020?
  • Class for all non-thesis based graduate programs have moved online.
  • Graduate and postdoctoral research continues.
  • Thesis exams that were scheduled will go ahead and be done virtually where possible.

Physician Assistant (PA) Program

  • PA clinical placements will be paused until April 6, 2020. Placements beginning April 6 and later will be reassessed, and any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.

Medicine

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

  • On December 18, as you are preparing for the winter break, we wanted to highlight guidelines recommended by the Middlesex-London and Windsor Essex Health Units. Undergraduate Medical Education Update
  • The AFMC released a plan, process and timeline for the 2021 residency match.
  • On April 15, the AFMC released the following statement nationally.
  • Visiting electives are suspended until September 26, 2020. Currently, students are unable to submit applications on the AFMC Student Portal. No decision has been made on when the portal will re-open.
  • It will re-open 16 weeks before visiting electives are offered by the faculties.
    We understand the concern these disruptions may cause, and we ask that students regularly check the AFMC Student Portal for updates as they become available.
  • On April 16, COFM shared this message with all medical students in Ontario.
  • It outlines the criteria that will allow Ontario schools to determine when circumstances have resolved sufficiently to allow for re-engagement in clinical rotations. These criteria have been developed from core principles: Patient Safety, Student Safety, Safety of Teaching Faculty and Health Providers, Learning Opportunities and Supervision.
  • Summer research in the region supported through Distributed Education/summer electives, Indigenous MedLINCs, and Discovery Healthcare Camps may be cancelled pending further information from local health authorities. It is understandable that community partners, faculty or students may wish to voluntarily withdraw their commitment at this time given the ongoing situation. Please contact the Distributed Education Office if you wish to withdraw your commitment.
  • On Friday, March 20, the AFMC shared that all 17 Deans have unanimously agreed to stop receiving new applications for visiting electives through the Student Portal due to the uncertainty of elective capacity at all the universities and the cost to students for applications.
  • Effective March 23, 2020, courses will use online learning to facilitate large and small group learning.
  • Large group learning will use pre-recorded lectures, facilitated using online discussion boards.
  • Small group learning will use Zoom for faculty facilitated sessions and other sessions will be student-led resulting in a group submission that will be assessed.
  • Anatomy learning will use online virtual anatomy resources and pre-recorded lectures.
  • Completion of project-based learning (i.e. Research and QI) will continue online.
  • Patient Centred Clinical Methods will be adapted by implementing the following: deferral of specific topics into the next academic year; and creation of new cases to use in small group sessions.
  • Assessments will be completed online.
  • All clinical learning for course and non-credit learning for Year 1, 2 and 4 has been cancelled until further notice.
  • Clerkship is being paused for three weeks beginning March 14, 2020 until April 6, 2020. This decision may be reassessed depending on the status of the pandemic. The national UME decanal committee continues to work collaboratively on a national process that addresses clerkship and electives.
  • All Canadian medical student clinical electives have been cancelled indefinitely.
  • Discovery Week for May/June 2020 will be cancelled. Even when COVID-19 safety restrictions are lifted, the aftermath period will be a time of recovery and recuperation and will pose a challenge for our communities.
  • We remain committed to ensuring students have ample opportunities to experience what kind of rich experiences are available in our regional communities. Once experiential learning opportunities are permitted again, we will be able to plan other opportunities for those students who remain interested.

Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Program

Research

  • Visit the Research Resources webpage for communication from Western Research, FAQs and information from granting agencies.
  • Western Research is providing regular updates regarding processes and maintenance of lab duties. This information is posted online. An update was provided today regarding suggested actions for currently approved research involving humans.
  • Work is underway with partners across campus to develop contingency plans to address unique challenges that could affect research should the University shutdown. Every step will be taken to preserve ongoing studies wherever it is safe and possible to do so. Research is continuing unless it poses a public health risk.
  • Researchers are, however, encouraged not to start or submit any new research protocols involving human participants or animal research at this time.
  • Researchers should assess the needs for ongoing projects.
  • Mission critical is animal care, management of equipment and preservation of samples. ACVS is working hard to ensure the continuity of research programs.
  • Consideration should be given, as appropriate, to alternate ways of conducting research (e.g., using telephone/Zoom instead of in-person interviews) so long as doing so does not affect the project’s scientific merit or integrity.