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Information for Physician Assistant Trainees

UPDATED: APRIL 2, 2020 | 9:19 AM EST


The scenario is rapidly evolving. All attempts are being made to provide information as current as possible.

Message from The University of Toronto: April 1, 2020

Please see the memo regarding COVID-19 and the postponement of upcoming clinical placements for the Physician Assistant students.

Message from The University of Toronto: March 27, 2020

Dear Physician Assistant 2nd year Students,

Thank you for meeting with us on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the impacts upon your clinical rotations. At that time, we advised you that rotation 6, that had been rescheduled to begin April 6, is now entirely postponed and that all travel and housing arrangements for that rotation should be cancelled.

We can now confirm that a decision has been made to put all clinical rotations on hold until July 6, 2020. These are unprecedented times of uncertainty in our health system and your safety, as well as the safety of our patients and colleagues, is of the utmost importance. We recognize that this is a difficult time for you all. We will continue to review the appropriateness of this decision, as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We will continue to work tirelessly to maintain the quality of your education and enable you to become the best PA possible.

We aim to keep you engaged in meaningful educational activities during this time – we will relay details as they are available.
We appreciate that there will be ongoing questions – and therefore we will hold our next check-in on Wednesday, April 1, at 10:30.

Thank you,
Leslie, Britton and Peter

Message from The University of Toronto: March 17, 2020

Message to 2nd Year PA Students from The University of Toronto Regarding the Coronavirus

As you know, the impact of COVID-19 is rapidly changing. We have now been instructed that all “unlicensed health professional trainees” will not be permitted in clinical placements between March 16 and April 4. Unfortunately, this will impact the first week of your rotation six – it has been cancelled.

Please cancel any travel arrangements that you have made to get to your rotation 6 placement. If you have non-NOSM housing booked, consider trying to cancel the first week, but for now, it might be best to keep the remaining housing available.

Do not book any new travel/accommodation as the situation is very unpredictable, and we don’t know for certain when you will be able to resume rotation 6.

We will let you know if the on-line portions of the semester will continue as scheduled. We will keep you informed of any new updates as they develop.

Message to Physician Assistant Preceptors

As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, the PA program is in close communication with the University of Toronto, the Faculty of Medicine and NOSM.

All clinical placements of ‘unlicensed health professional trainees’ (ie: all trainees except residents) for UofT students have now been cancelled for 3 weeks, starting March 16. This means that the Physician Assistant student who was scheduled to start their placement with you on March 30th will not be able to attend for the first week. At this moment, we are hoping that placements will resume as of April 4, but we do not know this for certain at this time.

We will keep you informed of any updates or future changes. As always, we thank you for your support of our students and your commitment to our program. The safety of our patients, students, and you, our colleagues, is our priority. We will endeavour to maintain the best educational experience for our PA trainees, as much as possible during these challenging times – and we appreciate your patience.

Message to PA Course Directors

As the COVID-19 status progresses, it is a worrisome time for everyone. We are following the directives closely with the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Medicine and our hospitals.

We realize that many of you have clinical and administrative roles in your practices that are also being impacted. While we are fortunate that our first year curriculum is predominantly on-line, you may start to encounter new challenges with course delivery, if the demands at your clinical site increase.

We want to support you in any way possible. If you think you might need to change the timing of synchronous sessions, or look at other options, please contact Sharon Naymark (see below) directly. Sharon will also reach out individually with you to touch base in the next week as things are changing so rapidly.

Message from The University of Toronto: March 13, 2020

Message from The University of Toronto Regarding the Coronavirus

With the increasing number of countries affected by COVID-19, the PA program, in alignment with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, is adopting a number of procedural changes, some of which may impact our PA students and faculty. For any PA student planning to leave Canada for any kind of travel, professional or personal (ie: March break), you must inform the PA program of your intent to travel ASAP, prior to departure, to enable us to determine appropriate steps upon your return. If you are currently out of the country, you must contact the PA program immediately upon your return.

Given that global information regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly, students who have travelled outside Canada may be quarantined and unable to participate in their clinical rotations or LCE’s for 14 days, which could lead to lost educational time that must be made up at a future date. For any students who are quarantined, they will be expected to continue full participation in regularly scheduled online learning activities.

Please consider the impact of non-essential travel outside of Canada. During this time of heightened concern, the PA program will do its utmost to support our students and continue educational programs as best as possible while fulfilling our obligation to maintain wise practice in public health and safety.

Contacts

Britton Sprules: bsprules@nosm.ca
Dr. Leslie Nickell: leslie.nickell@utoronto.ca
Year One:  Dr. Sharon Naymark, sharon.naymark@utoronto.ca
Year Two:  Dr. Peter Tzakas, peter.tzakas@utoronto.ca