Remote Work
Toolkit

Daily Updates

During COVID-19, we are providing updates to the NOSM community daily. This page contains the most recent information available. If you prefer to receive these updates by email, please send your contact information and email address to communications@nosm.ca.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | 5:22 PM EST

COVID-19 Rounds 

  • Northern health-care providers! Join us Friday, April 3 at 12:30 p.m. EST for free virtual rounds. COVID-19 Critical Care: Clinical and Ethical Decision Making features Dr. James Goertzen, NOSM Associate Dean, CEPD; Dr. Sarah Newbery, rural physician and NOSM Assistant Dean, Physician Workforce Strategy; Dr. S. Zaki Ahmed, Chief of Staff TBRHSC; and, Dr. Mike Scott, Chief of Critical Care TBRHSC. No registration required.

MD Students

  • UME will be hosting virtual Town Hall meetings this week. The Phase 2 meeting was held this afternoon, Phase 3 is meeting tomorrow, and Phase 1 on Friday.
    • Phase 2: The Town Hall meeting this afternoon was recorded. An email will come from UME with instructions on viewing.
    • Phase 3: Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST)
  • Updates were posted under Information for All Phases for recordings of class lectures today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | 4:16 PM EST

MD Students

  • UME will be hosting virtual Town Hall meetings for Phases 1, 2, and 3 this week.
    • Phase 1: Friday, April 3, 2020, at 3:00 PM (EST
    • Phase 2: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST)
    • Phase 3: Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST)
  • Phase-specific connection information can be found in your Phase section of the Information for MD Students page.
Email Phishing Alert
  • Over the past few days, NOMS’s IT team has seen a significant increase in email phishing attacks related to COVID-19. Hackers are impersonating NOSM leadership while requesting/offering financial support. Do not assume that the name displayed in an email can be trusted. Always confirm by phone if the sender is requesting/offering money.

Monday, March 30, 2020 | 4:29 PM EST

Please note that daily updates on NOSM operations during COVID-19 will be sent from this email address.

All updates are being posted on NOSM’s website in real-time.

  • MD Students
    • UME will be hosting virtual Town Hall meetings for Phases 1, 2, and 3 this week, to address any questions from students regarding the recent measures taken by NOSM.
      • Phase 1: Friday, April 3, 2020, at 3:00 PM (EST
      • Phase 2: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST)
      • Phase 3: Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST)
        Phase-specific connection information can be found in your Phase section of the Information for MD Students page.
    • Recordings of class lectures will be made available to MD students. Information regarding the rules on accessing the lecture capture can be found under Information for All Phases.
    • Updates regarding the delivery of P1SA and BREs for CBMs 105, 108 and 111, as well as Phase 1 Personal Days can be found under Information for MD Students.
  • Staff, Faculty and Learners: An update from Human Resources (March 27, 2020) can be found on the Information for Staff and Faculty page.
  • The Working Remotely Toolkit can now be accessed from any page on NOSM’s website – just click on the blue triangle at the bottom right-hand corner of your browser window.
  • Psychological Resources For Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • During the outbreak, many mental health professionals will be working to offer psychological support and advice to front-line medical staff, clients, and the public. We have put together this page to collate online resources to assist your clinical practice during the current global health crisis.
    • If you are aware of any resources that you believe would be helpful to your colleagues please get in touch: support@psychologytools.com

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead,

Dr. Verma

Friday, March 27, 2020 | 3:20 PM EST

Happy Friday everyone!

The week wraps up with the following updates:

Hang in there, remember, we are all in this together!

Enjoy your weekend everyone,

Dr. Verma

Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 4:22 PM EST

Hi everyone,

It looks like it’s a beautiful, sunny day across most of Northern Ontario! Hopefully you’re able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather with your family, while being mindful of physical distancing.

Here are a couple of updates for today:

UME Virtual Town Halls

  • April 1-3, UME will be hosting virtual Town Hall meetings for Phase 1, 2, and 3 respectively, to address any questions from students regarding the recent measures taken by NOSM. Participants are encouraged to join via the WebEx or audio connections. Phase-specific connection information can be found in the respective Phase section of the Information for MD Students page.

Lakehead University has announced that Spring Convocation ceremonies, originally planned for May/June 2020, have been postponed until further notice.Convocation ceremonies will be rescheduled for some time this Fall. Students eligible to graduate will have their degrees conferred in spring 2020 following approval at the Lakehead University May 2020 Senate meeting. For more information, visit Lakehead University’s COVID-19 web page or contact convocation@lakeheadu.ca.

Phase 1:
OSCE for Y2  MD students scheduled for May 7, 2020 is cancelled.
Please visit the website for updates regarding CBM 106.

Residents:

  • Update from the CPSO & PARO regarding Certification Examinations & Provisional Licensure.
  • Royal College Residents – Please see the update from March 26, 2020 about the postponement of the RCPSC certification exams and some information about licensure from the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

NOSM’s CEPD Unit has put together a set of COVID-19 online resources specific to clinical faculty; now available on nosm.ca/covid-19.

Wellness ResourcesResources have been added. The Health Sciences Library has great resources for staying active while working from homeand the OMA invites physicians to drop in virtually between noon and 1:00 p.m. each weekday to support one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please continue to send your general questions to communications@nosm.ca.

More to come tomorrow.

Have a great evening!

Dr. Verma

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 5:08 PM EST

Happy Wednesday! The NOSMkind movement is gaining momentum. We are beginning to receive some great stories. Stay tuned…next week we will begin sharing them. Please keep them coming, the world needs to hear these uplifting stories.
  • Update on Certification Exams:
    • FMRAC statement specifically on the shared commitment to provisional licensure processes across the country.
    • PGME will be working with CEPD to develop support for graduating residents once in practice who will be writing exams in the Fall.
  • Letter to Residents – March 25, 2020: Ontario PGME Deans and PARO Alignment on Principles for Advancement related to the potential of extended training due to a pandemic.
  • Updates for Phase 3 MD students: Please see updates on the NOSM website specific to incoming Phase 3 students – Class of 2021 and for current Phase 3 students – Class of 2020.
  • OSCE originally scheduled for April 4, 2020 has been cancelled. The working plan is to reschedule for January 2021, as a formative experience. The delivery/date of the OSCE maybe change, however, will not be a requirement to be promoted to Phase 3 for this year.
Remember there are a number of Wellness Resources available to you. Please consult our website for additional information.
Dr. Verma

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 | 7:26 PM EST

Hi everyone,
Here are a couple of updates for today.
  • Information for Researchers: Please see updated FAQs on the NOSM website.
  • Faculty and Staff: Work from home arrangements will be extended until April 30, 2020.
  • Effective March 25 there will be access restrictions for NOSM staff at Laurentian University (MSE and HSERC). Please see email sent from HR on March 24 for details.

More to come tomorrow.

Have a great evening!
Dr. Verma

Monday, March 23, 2020 | 4:29 PM EST

Hang in there everyone! One day at a time. You are all doing a great job! If you missed the COVID-19 Briefing this morning, you can view it here. Please remember that if you have any questions, you can email them to communications@nosm.ca and we will answer them as soon as we are able.

    • Research guidelines related to COVID-19 have been updated for Lakehead University and Laurentian University.
    • Information for MD students has been updated with a Statement on AFMC Student Portal.
    • Phase 3 Student information updates: for incoming Phase 3 students, Clinical Rotations, Electives, MCC QE Part 1 Exam and NOSM MCC Boot Camp, QPA#4
    • Updates on Certification Examinations:
    • CBM 106: Students will not be travelling to Communities in May 2020.  Alternative plans will be communicated to students when information becomes available.
    • The Knowledge Sharing Circle at NOSM at Laurentian University will be moved online for Thursday, March 26 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. The topic is Asemaa (Tobacco) Offerings & 4 Sacred Medicines with Perry McLeod-Shabogesic of Nipissing First Nation. Please RSVP.

Dr. Verma

Friday, March 20, 2020 | 4:07 PM EST

It’s Friday and what a week it has been! You’re all doing an amazing job managing this unprecedented situation and I’m very proud of how our NOSM community has come together. Keep it up – we are all in this together.
  • Information for Residents: Updated information is available for residents regarding the following: Updates on Qualification Examinations, Update on Resident Registration Processes – New and Returning Residents, Electives Outside of NOSM Cancelled, Core and Elective Rotation Travel Within Northern Ontario for NOSM Trainees, Vacation Leave, Exam Study Leave. Please visit the website to learn more.
  • Reminder: Please limit your emails to health-care professionals during this time. Only include them in absolutely necessary communications.
  • #NOSMkind: NOSM learners, faculty, staff and Alumni are doing incredible work. The world needs to hear these uplifting stories. Visit our website to learn how you can share your story.
  • NOSM Summer Studentship Program: NOSM is suspending funding for the Summer Studentship Program. Funding will be restricted for use after June 30, 2020. Learn more on our website.
  • A message from Ontario College of Family Physicians: Steps we can all take to push back against COVID-19.
  • NOSM’s Virtual Library Services are now available on the website.

INVITATION: Dr. Verma will host another information session about NOSM’s response to COVID-19 on
March 23, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. by WebEx.

JOIN WEBEX MEETING
Meeting number (access code): 649 436 148
Have a great weekend everyone. I hope to see you on Monday at the NOSM Dean COVID-19 Update (Webinar). Remember to send your questions ahead of the information session to communications@nosm.ca.
Dr. Verma

Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 3:20 PM EST

  • Events and Activities: CCME clarification on registration. No need to cancel registration, you will automatically be registered for the virtual CCME and receive a 75% refund in coming weeks.
  • Phase 1: Student attendance at autopsies is on hold until further notice. This requirement will not impact promotion decisions for Y2 students to Phase 2. Completion is necessary for graduation.  Details to follow. 
  • CBM 105 & 111: Pharmacology tutorial sessions will take place via video/teleconference.  MiPS and TOSCs will be delivered via videoconferencing. 
  • Module 111 – Hypothesis Testing using Spirometry: The practical portion of this lab has been cancelled. Instead of students collecting their own data and gathering that of other students, a data set will be provided. Therefore, Activity #2 of the Lab Activities, which involves the data analysis, will be completed as usual.
  • Funding Opportunity: PSI COVID-19 Research Stream –  PSI Foundation invites all eligible clinician-researchers to apply for this special funding stream. Learn more about this funding opportunity.   
  • NOSM’s Health Sciences Library has a Health & Wellness Guide with information about wellness, emotional well being, healthy living, being active at home, and much more.
  • Managing Health Worker Illness and Return to Work resource added from the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  • Transition to Phase 3: planned to start on April 14, 2020. Orientation is from April 14-17, 2020 with clinical rotations planned to start on April 20, 2020. In this unprecedented pandemic situation, there will be flexibility and support for alternative mechanisms for students to meet the graduation requirements in time to start their residency programs July 1, 2021. The requirement for 14 weeks electives and the 20 weeks available for electives in Phase 3, leaves considerable room for schedules of individuals to be adapted and still meet graduation requirements. Please direct any enquiries about Phase 3 to Dr. Toner (phase3director@nosm.ca).
  • Please see General Principles for the Reassignment of Residents in Times of Exceptional Health System Need document just added to the website.  PARO Work Alert Bulletins for Residents have also been added. We continue to keep the Information for Residents section of the NOSM website updated as information becomes available.
  • CCFP Exam Update: Family Medicine Residents – Please see the update from March 19, 2020 about the timing of the CFPC certification exam and some information about licensure from the Executive Director and CEO of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). We will post updates to the timing of the Royal College exams as soon as these are available.

INVITATION: Dr. Verma will host another information session about NOSM’s response to COVID-19 on
March 23, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. by WebEx.
JOIN WEBEX MEETING
https://nosm.webex.com/nosm/j.php?MTID=m5b0936a8aa1a4c0d1e1ab09d1a62b30a
Meeting number (access code): 649 436 148

Send your questions ahead of the information session to communications@nosm.ca

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | 3:50 PM EST

I want to thank you for your great work during this difficult time. We are an incredible team – learners, faculty and staff alike. I’m very proud of how you have stepped up to this unbelievable challenge and the strength, resiliency and adaptability you have all displayed. Keep up the great work! Here are the updates for today:
  • Phase 3 Updates: Students in Phase 3 will cease all clinical learning in core rotations as of noon on Friday, March 20. This will continue to be evaluated on a daily basis. Please read the updated information for Phase 3 students.
  • NOSM Admissions Interview Weekend: The NOSM MMI Interviews scheduled for Sudbury will take place online. This innovative approach to meeting candidates virtually will be facilitated using technology provided by Kira Talent. See NOSM’s website for more information.
  • CEPD Weekly Clinical Rounds: NOSM CEPD Office will be hosting weekly virtual rounds on the management of COVID-19
  • NODIP Update: FAQs for the NOSM Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program have been updated.
  • NOSM Events and Activities: The following NOSM events have been cancelled until further notice; Be Awesome with NOSM Vancouver and Ottawa, NOSM Check Up celebrating Years of Service, and Human and Medical Sciences Seminar Series.
  • Resident Information: The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the Deans and Postgraduate Deans are working with the provincial licensing bodies to allow a form of licensure for graduated residents who will not have fully completed certification exams before July 1. More information will be communicated once available.
  • Phase 2 students: Transition to Phase 3 – AFMC, the Deans, the Undergraduate Deans and the Postgraduate Deans will have a national communication soon about approaches to mitigating the potential impacts of COVID-19 on medical students who graduate in 2021.

INVITATION: Dr. Verma will host another information session about NOSM’s response to COVID-19 on

March 23, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. by WebEx.
JOIN WEBEX MEETING
https://nosm.webex.com/nosm/j.php?MTID=m5b0936a8aa1a4c0d1e1ab09d1a62b30a
Meeting number (access code): 649 436 148

Send your questions ahead of the information session to communications@nosm.ca.   

These are unprecedented times and many are experiencing difficulty on multiple levels. Please remember to remain professional with each other, kind and compassionate. You never know what someone else is going through.
There are a number of Wellness Resources available to you. Please consult our website for additional information.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 12:19 PM EST

Please note that daily updates on NOSM operations during COVID-19 will be sent from this email address.
All updates are being posted on NOSM’s website in real time.
  • Staff and Full-time Faculty: Effective March 18 through April 3, all Staff and Full-time Faculty are asked to work from home if possible.
  • Resident Update: The protocol for travel within Northern Ontario to training sites has been updated. Residents who are currently away from their home-base residency location are now NOT required to return to and stay in their residency home-based community at the end of their current core and elective away rotations.
  • Phase 2 Student FAQ Update: Please read the updated FAQ’s on NOSM’s website.
  • Visiting Electives: Visiting electives cancelled. NOSM NEP electives are continuing. Please continue to check the website for updates.
  • Information for students at high risk of serious illness: Please contact Clerkship Director for alternative learning activity.
  • Updates on Events and Activities: Please note that the Northern Health Research Conference is postponed.
  • MD Program Accreditation Survey Visit: Accreditation survey visit and all scheduled prepatory meetings are cancelled.
  • Students Volunteering: If you are volunteering in a health care setting, please be sure that you have any required personal protective equipment.
  • Student health professionals returning to practice: Student who are also credentialed health professionals and wish to practice during this time of need – please follow the principles that apply.
  • March 16, 2020 Briefing by Dr. Verma is now available to view here.
Please continue to send your general questions to communications@nosm.ca.

Friday, March 13, 2020 | 4:03 PM EST

Dear Learners, Faculty and Staff,

As things move rapidly with the COVID-19 pandemic, NOSM continues to take precautionary measures to protect our learners, faculty and staff. I will update you as frequently as possible and remind you to check our COVID-19 webpage for up-to-date information and notifications. I will also be holding a briefing on Monday, March 16 at 8:30 a.m. by WebEx.

Please note that as of today, the following face-to-face events have been cancelled: NOSM’s Northern Constellations, the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME), and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) conference. Please visit these websites for more information about their plans.  Refer to the FAQ’s for Staff and Faculty on NOSM’s website if you have questions about outstanding expenses for these events.

NOSM’s interview weekend scheduled for March 28 and 29 will not take place in person. Admissions has communicated this information to participants and will have a virtual process in place to accommodate the interviews online. More information will be posted on NOSM’s website as it becomes available.

Each NOSM portfolio has been providing updates as required and posting updates to the FAQ’s on nosm.ca/covid-19.

As you know NOSM travel for full-time faculty and staff has been suspended until further notice. All meetings can be attended to by teleconference or video/WebEx.

I am discouraging everyone from travelling during this time. If you chose to do so for personal reasons, you may will be asked to fill in a screening form and possibly self-isolate upon your return.

Your health and wellbeing is the most important thing during these times.

Please be patient with this process and with each other. Treat each other with kindness and respect. These are unprecedented times and we should focus on maintaining our health and supporting each other whenever possible.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 11:02 AM EST

Precautionary Measures

There remains a concern, shared by many, about the rapid growth and spread of the novel coronavirus around the world and in Canada.

Effective immediately, NOSM has taken precautionary measures as it relates to travel. Please read the below memo and screening form.

Despite the low risk to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) constituency, there remains a concern, shared by many, about the rapid growth and spread of the novel coronavirus around the world and in Canada.

Effective immediately, NOSM has taken precautionary measures as it relates to travel:

  1. All visiting international electives (undergraduate MD or other) are cancelled.
  2.  All short-term international lecturers/visiting international guests should communicate with their appropriate NOSM contact (details below) to make alternate arrangements.
  3.  Any form of international travel is undertaken at your own risk. Upon your return you may be subject to testing and possible quarantine (details below).

The situation is changing rapidly. Please stay up to date by checking the NOSM website.

Overview

According to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, as of March 7, 2020 the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Ontario remains low at this time. NOSM has established a COVID-19 Response Team which meets weekly and is in regular communication with public health, hospitals and teaching sites.

Although we are not able to predict the eventual magnitude of the threat from COVID-19, NOSM continues to monitor the situation and is committed to the safety and health of NOSM learners, faculty and staff and minimize the effect on learning and work.

At this time, we have no information about certification exams for NOSM residents. We will provide an update with this information on the website as we receive it.

Procedural Changes related to Travel for Learners, Faculty and Staff

With the increasing number of countries affected by COVID-19, NOSM is adopting the following procedural changes:

For incoming learners (from other medical schools):

  • International medical students coming from anywhere outside Canada will have their electives cancelled going forward.
  • Residents from outside Canada coming for one month or less will have their electives cancelled going forward.
  • Residents and Fellows from outside Canada coming for more than one month will be subject to a two-week self-quarantine (if asymptomatic) after arrival in Canada. These learners may consider arriving early in order to start on time.

For NOSM learners, staff or faculty considering travel outside Canada

  • International Electives, including the USA, are cancelled until further notice.
  • NOSM related international travel to affected areas deemed as high risk (per the federal government’s travel advisories) is not permitted until further notice. We will reassess this directive regularly and updates will be posted to the NOSM website.
  • We highly recommend that you follow the federal government’s travel advisories for personal travel and carefully consider the impact of non-essential travel outside of Canada.
  • During this time of heightened concern, NOSM will do its utmost to support learners and continue educational programs as best possible while fulfilling our obligation to wise practice in public health and safety.
  • Given that global information regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly, learners who have travelled outside Canada may be quarantined and unable to come to work or participate in their rotations for 14 days, which could lead to lost educational time that must be made up at a future date. Learners who are quarantined will be encouraged to explore remote attendance at academic or group activities with the relevant program lead.
  • Travel to CLIC in South Africa on October 11-14, 2020 should not be booked at this time.

For NOSM learners, staff or faculty considering travel within Canada

  • NOSM does not require you to travel to attend external conferences or meetings (e.g. CCME)
  • Decisions about proceeding face-to-face for Northern Constellations have not been made yet. Participants are encouraged to register and further updates will be provided as available.
  • Travel to CCME (April, Vancouver) and SRPC (April, Ottawa) is still permitted. This recommendation will be monitored and updated regularly. Organizers of CCME are meeting the week of March 9 to decide if any change to planning is needed
  • Learner travel for electives or conferences within Canada are still permitted, at this time. However, this will be at your own risk and you may be subject to testing and possible quarantine. Please contact the designated NOSM contact (noted below) prior to booking travel.

Returning to NOSM from international travel

All learners, staff or faculty returning from any international travel will be asked to complete a screening form (see attached) before returning to work or academic activity.

  • If you become, or are, symptomatic (i.e. develop a fever, cough, difficulty breathing within 14 days), you are advised to:
    • isolate yourself at home (away from others) as quickly as possible
    • DO NOT VISIT, but IMMEDIATELY CONTACT BY PHONE, a health-care professional or local Public Health Unit.
      (Public Health contact information for your community can be found online.)

      • describe your symptoms and travel history
      • follow their instructions
    • continue to remain home until medical clearance is received
  • If you are returning home from an affected area (as perthe federal government’s travel advisories) and are asymptomatic, you must remain home (self-isolate) for 14-days and remain asymptomatic for the 14-day duration, before returning to clinical duties and educational activities.
  • If you are returning from international travel (but not an affected area as per the federal government’s travel advisories) and are asymptomatic, please contact the appropriate NOSM contact before returning to work, clinical duties or educational activities.

Questions?

For learner questions related to this memo, please contact:

Medical Students
John Friesen, Senior Director, Undergraduate Medical Education
jfriesen@nosm.ca

Residents and Health Sciences Learners
Jennifer Fawcett, Senior Director, Postgraduate Medical Education and Health Sciences
jfawcett@nosm.ca

Visiting Electives
Joel Leduc, Manager, Community Services
jleduc@nosm.ca

For clinical faculty questions related to this memo, please contact:
Anita Arella, Director, Faculty Affairs
aarella@nosm.ca

For staff and full-time faculty questions related to this memo, please contact:
Human Resources
hr@nosm.ca

For questions related to visiting research students, faculty, etc., please contact:
Patty Fink, Director, Research and Library Services
pfink@nosm.ca

About COVID-19

For more information about COVID-19 please visit the World Health Organization website.

To Reduce the Risk of Acquiring a Virus

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds (tip: sing Happy Birthday twice).
  • Avoid touching your face unless you are sure your hands are clean.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It’s a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.
  • Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to reduce the spread of germs: sneeze/cough into a tissue and then dispose of it as soon as possible or if no tissue available sneeze/cough into your arm/elbow.
  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask–of any type–offers protection. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal.

Affected Areas with Travel Restrictions/Advisories

There are several active travel health notices for COVID-19. Each country or area may have different levels of risk. These risk levels may change as the COVID-19 event evolves internationally. Please follow the federal government’s travel advisories.

Additional Resources

If you have any questions or suggestions as to how NOSM can best manage our approach to COVID-19 please email dean@nosm.ca.