COVID-19 Information for Residency Programs - Week of March 8, 2021

Good Morning Program Directors and Administrators:

Good news, but as always, with some questions and uncertainty.

  1. First – no concerns re: resident transition from block 9 to 10 tomorrow. There are no current outbreaks in London. If a resident was working in an outbreak area at another hospital they will have to self-isolate for 14 days (for example if they were away on elective and in an outbreak unit).
  2. Vaccinations – First Dose

    The physicians and residents of Middlesex London Health Unit have received their first dose now, or will have an appointment for it shortly. Approximately a third of our residents and fellows have completed their vaccination for COVID-19. Those residents and fellows in the Windsor-Essex Health Unit have had more access to vaccinations, meaning more have now completed their vaccinations. Note that there is disparity across Ontario in supply.

  3. Vaccinations – Delayed Second Dose to 112 days

    Ontario Ministry of Health announced a shift on March 5th to increase the interval between the first and second vaccination doses to 112 days.

    The National Advisory Committee on Immunization provided this statement last week. “NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first.” This is based on the effectiveness of the first dose in boosting immunity, and maximizing the number of individuals able to get their first dose.

  4. Uncertainty re: second dose – For some of our residents and fellows the second dose will be falling into a timeframe in June in which they may be moving. If this is the case, then rescheduling via MLHU we hope will be possible.

  5. Johnson+Johnson vaccine approved in Canada as of March 5th.

  6. CPSO Pandemic MCCQE2 Exemption

    The CPSO MCCQE2 Exemption was official last week which will be a great relief to our Ontario physicians practicing with the ‘temporary COVID licence.’ This will provide them with a full independent licence for practice. A number of uncertainties and questions remain for our residents. I have attached the information provided by CPSO re: the ‘Pandemic Exemption’ and the exemption criteria. PARO, RDoc (Resident Doctors of Canada), and the Ontario PGME Deans are seeking clarification about questions of eligibility for the exemption. I will send out any additional information as I receive it to you as well as our residents.

  7. MCC update (additional information appended)

  8. MCCQE2 will be scheduled over 20 days from May 18th to June 29th. It will be entirely virtual, with candidates, physician examiners, and standardized patients in separate locations. Each exam will be a full day, with a one-hour break. No new applications will be available for the May-June examination – only those candidates who have their previously scheduled examination cancelled will be able to register. The deadline for a decision re: registering, deferring, or canceling is March 10, 2021.

Thank you again. I know that for many it is busy times with the PGY1 CaRMS Match.