Education update with Dr. Salim Hatem

2020 has been a year of challenge and change. The education programs in the Department of Medicine have risen to those challenges, adapting and innovating in order to be able to continue to provide excellent training across all aspects of the Department.

Dr. Salim Hatem, Program Director for the Department of Medicine, provides some of the highlights from the education front. 

COVID-19 back-up call schedule

COVID-19 created some scheduling challenges because of the need for residents to stay away from the hospital due to illness or the need to quarantine or isolate. In order to be sure that those calls could be covered in a systematic way, we’ve created a back-up call schedule for Clinical Teaching Units which will reduce the need to fill holes in the schedule at the last minute. We anticipate that this will reduce the need to scramble to get coverage for residents who have to be away from the hospital.

Online learning modules

With the move toward online and virtual education in the face of the pandemic, we've been working with Dr. Pavel Antiperovitch, cardiology fellow, and Dr. Marilyn Phung, internal medicine attending, to create case-based online learning modules that focus on common practical problems and Canadian guidelines in internal medicine.

Two online learning modules have been created and are up and running for PGY-1s in cardiology and general internal medicine. The modules focus on management of the most common and clinically significant diagnoses that a PGY-1 resident would be exposed to.

Before COVID-19, most of our formal learning would have been done in-person. We are really excited about this new and innovative idea that allows residents to complete the learning away from the hospital at their own pace and on their own time. We hope that this is a model that can be used even after the pandemic.

Royal College oral exam will be virtual

The Royal College oral exam component will be virtual in 2021. To help our residents prepare for the virtual Royal College experience, our annual training OSCEs will also be virtual. We are still working out the details and are awaiting guidance on what the Royal College exam will look like so we can give our residents an authentic experience of what the actual exam will be. More details on that will be coming soon.

Offers to internationally-sponsored resident trainees

The Department had a successful interview selection process for internationally-sponsored trainees. We were able to offer training positions to six trainees from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE who will join us in July 2021. This was the highest number of offers we’ve made in the last several years.

All of the interviews took place virtually for the first time.

Results of subspecialty CaRMS match

Residents from the Department of Medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry did very well this year in the subspeciality CaRMS match. Of the 40 residents who applied for subspeciality training, only three went unmatched and those three will apply in the second iteration. Of those who matched, two-thirds will remain at Schulich Medicine. The subspecialty CaRMS match is for PGY-3 residents going on to subspeciality training in areas like nephrology, infectious diseases, ICU or cardiology. 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, subspeciality interviews were all done virtually for the first time this year. Because residents couldn't do interviews and electives elsewhere, it wasn’t a surprise that many residents matched at their home school.

All but one subspeciality seat in the Department of Medicine were filled, and we look forward to welcoming these residents to subspeciality training in July 2021.