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Resident FAQs

If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to contact PGME at postgrad@nosm.ca or the Wellness Office at residentwellness@nosm.ca (Dr. DellaVedova, Wellness Lead) or pgewellness@nosm.ca (Jaimy Kiiskila, Coordinator). 

Do I have to go to work during a pandemic?

Residents have dual roles as both trainees and health care providers.  As members of the medical profession, we are all called upon to provide care to the best of our ability during a crisis. Sometimes this means taking on elevated personal risk.

Individual residents also have the right to refuse unsafe work. Certain residents may be considered higher-risk including those who have chronic respiratory disease, those who are immunocompromised, those who are pregnant, and those who cohabitate with any of the above. You are not expected to serve if you fall ill or become a vector for infection.

Am I entitled to personal protective equipment?

As frontline health providers you are entitled to all necessary PPE, and should be considered along with other healthcare professionals for early access to preventative measures like vaccines. You have the right to refuse work if protective measures are inadequate.

Do the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement rules still apply?

Every attempt will be made to respect the conditions outlined in the agreement. Work hour limits can be waived during a pandemic situation if absolutely necessary.

Can I be redeployed from my regular rotation?

In emergency situations, residents can be deployed to areas of greatest need. Activities must remain appropriate to the level of training and scope of practice and must be adequately supervised. It is possible that you may be quickly retrained to provide care outside of your usual scope. Patient safety is always the highest priority.

What happens to my course of training?

The goal of NOSM is to make every effort to continue academic programs residents with minimum disruption. Your site director, program director or program coordinator will issue updates in the event of any disruption to academic schedules. If you are redeployed, consideration will be given to awarding credit for extraordinary service. All efforts will be made to avoid an increase in the length of training.

Could there be interruptions in salary or vacation?

Salary, benefits, and stipend entitlements continue during any pandemic. Due to extraordinary patient care needs, certain vacation requests may be denied. Vacation days will continue to accrue as usual.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you have symptoms associated with a respiratory infection it is important that you stay home. Do not report to work. Follow the usual leave procedures for sick days, short term leaves, or long term leave as outlined in the Learner Leaves Policy. Keep in mind that, as of now, you are highly unlikely to have 2019-nCoV unless you have recently been to China, been in close contact with a known case, or been in close contact with a symptomatic patient who has recently been to China.

How can I protect myself at work?

Always follow universal precautions like handwashing before and after each patient encounter, and upon entering and leaving the hospital or clinic. Always strictly follow additional precautions for each patient including contact, droplet or airborne precautions. Use dedicated equipment for patients or thoroughly wash equipment after patient encounters. Avoid unnecessary encounters by rounding comprehensively. If you are uncertain how to approach a patient, contact your supervisor or infection control.

Is there anything I should be doing now to prepare?

You should ensure you have been properly fitted for a N95 mask and keep your mask fit card on you at all times. If you don’t know your mask size, contact your training site’s Occupational Health office or the location where your last test was completed. If you know that you cannot be fit properly due to religious or health reasons, contact your site director or program director now to understand how this will affect your work and training. At this point in time, the 2019-nCoV virus is believed to be transmitted by droplet and contact, however, information is always being updated.

Where can I get up to date reliable information on the 2019-nCoV virus?

Check the Public Health Ontario website for the latest updates (www.publichealthontario.ca). Information on NOSM’s response to the pandemic and any impact to your residency training program will come to you from postgrad@nosm.ca or specifically from your program director. Global messages to the entire NOSM community will come from the Dean’s Office.