COVID-19 Update #5 – March 23

This is the fifth update to the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry community.

In an effort to streamline communication during the COVID-19 pandemic, updates will be shared on a regular basis.

You can now access all these updates online. You can also continue to access the Travel, Education and Visitor Policy and the status of our education and research programs online.

Inventory and donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Our hospitals have an urgent need for PPE. The School is putting a process in place to identify the inventory of all PPE that exists at the School. Once the inventory has been identified, it will be reviewed with our hospitals and appropriate inventory will be shared with them. More details on how and where to send your inventory will be available tomorrow (March 24).

Medical student elective applications no longer being accepted

  • All 17 undergraduate deans at medical schools across Canada are working together to ensure that decisions regarding undergraduate medical education are made in an equitable and fair manner. On Friday, March 20, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (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.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

  • The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has communicated that they are aware of concerns among graduate students in research-based programs about the continuation of their funding packages. They have advised that the funding commitments made to graduate students in their funding letters will be honoured, regardless of whether or not you are able to progress in your scholarly activities and/or duties due to the current disruption.
  • The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has communicated that students in professional graduate programs whose internships or placements have been disrupted will not be required to incur additional tuition costs to resume or complete those placements or internships, as arranged by their program, when it is possible to do so.
  • For ongoing information from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, you can visit their new COVID-19 web page. Send any questions to sgps_questions@uwo.ca and the team will do its best to address them.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – exams and provisional licensing

  • On Friday, March 20, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) released a statement regarding exams and provisional licensing. Below includes the specific details from their release related to exams and licensing.
  • Given recent discussion with health ministries, universities, faculty and resident groups, the Royal College will be postponing the delivery of its written exams to September 2020 at the earliest, with a goal to follow with the postponed spring oral/OSCEs in the same fall period (September – November 2020). We all hope that at that time, the Canadian pandemic will be resolving. If this potential timeline conflicts with providing COVID-19 clinical care, we will further evaluate dates, consult with key stakeholders and be ready to respond. We are committed to giving at least six weeks’ notice to all residents prior to exams. Again, our priority is the wellness of residents and the Canadians they are caring for. We anticipate that as this pandemic evolves, the care residents provide will be essential.
  • We (the Royal College) have been in close communication with the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) and the Collège des médecins du Quebec (CMQ), the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Medical Council of Canada to explore options to secure provisional licensing to ensure residents can continue to practise medicine and care for patients. Most provincial regulatory authorities have confirmed that they have mechanisms to provide licensing. FMRAC and CMQ are committed to continuing to work on this issue with all stakeholders and we at the Royal College will help to facilitate this process.
  • Direct your questions to the RCPSC by email at candidates@royalcollege.ca or ceo@royalcollege.ca.

Updated office signage

Western University’s Absence Notification tool

  • Several questions have been received regarding the use of the Absence Notification tool. The University’s COVID-19 website provides details about how to use the tool, as well as FAQs that provide details.
  • Please direct your questions to family.care@uwo.ca or call Human Resources at 519.661.2194.

Recommendations from Western Technology Services (WTS)

  • On Friday, March 20, WTS released some helpful tips about WROAMS, transferring files to OneDrive and Pulse secure.
  • ROAMs has a four-hour timeout. With many people working their entire day from home, there are some who are remaining connected longer than the four hours continuously. While the system provides an option to extend, WTS is receiving reports that under certain circumstances, extending beyond the four hours may hang the computer re-establishing the connection. WTS recommends disconnecting and reconnecting before the four-hour mark as a safeguard.
  • WROAMS access is not required to use OneDrive. OneDrive is available to all faculty and staff to use for file storage. More information about using OneDrive can be found at wts.uwo.ca/services/onedrive.html.
  • You will be prompted after logging in to update your Pulse Secure client when new versions are available. Keeping your Pulse Secure client and your system current with patches and drivers will help to ensure that your system is protected.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the WTS Helpdesk by submitting a JIRA ticket at jira.uwo.ca/servicedesk.

Campus mail delivery

  • Effective Monday March 23, changes will occur with campus mail delivery.
    Campus mail, small parcel and intercampus mail delivery/pickup service to delivery locations will be suspended.
  • All incoming mail will be held in the central mailroom after being sorted.
  • Arrangements for delivery to the regular sorting location, when staff is available to receive, can be arranged by calling ext. 88196.
  • Arrangements for pickup of outgoing Canada Post or intercampus mail also be arranged by calling ext. 88196.
  • Mail or parcels can alternatively be retrieved from the central mailroom located on the first floor of the Support Services Building:
  • Please call ext. 88196 in advance so we can attempt to locate the item to be retrieved.
  • Currently Support Services Building (SSB) is open M-F, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; central mailroom is accessed by visiting Client Services in SSB 1315.
  • Depending on the current volume pending for a building, retrieval may not be possible.
  • Exceptions are in place for The Office of the Registrar, Alumni Relations and Development, Financial Services, as well as those that have already made prior arrangements.

Please send ALL communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic that you need to be shared with the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry community for faculty, staff, students, learners, trainees and fellows to Jennifer Parraga. The information will be compiled and shared with the School.

Helpful links