The purpose of the Clerkship Work Hours Policy is to establish standards regarding the number of hours’ medical students participate in clerkship rotations as well as to specify call and post-call requirements.
This policy ensures that the Undergraduate Medical Education program meets or exceeds the following Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation standards:
8.8 Monitoring Time Spent in Educational and Clinical Activities: The curriculum committee and the program’s administration and leadership implement effective policies and procedures regarding the amount of time medical students spend in required activities, including the total number of hours’ medical students are required to spend in clinical and educational activities during required clinical learning experiences.
Transparency: The College of Medicine is committed to ensuring a transparent approach to the number of hours per week during clerkship as well as call and post-call requirements.
Clerkship: The third and fourth years of the University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Medical Education Program (UGME) are termed “clerkship”. During this program phase, medical students participate in clinical learning activities known as rotations, many of which occur off of the College of Medicine campuses in Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Scope of this Policy
This policy applies to all undergraduate students registered in the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the University of Saskatchewan irrespective of the geographically distributed site to which they are currently assigned.
This policy supersedes and replaces the following college-level policies: Call and Post-Call Policy.
1.0 Clerkship Duty Hours
Hours of daytime work on weekdays will vary by rotation. Clerks should not be expected to work more than 11 hours per day on a regular basis, though this may occur on occasion. The weekly maximum (not including evening, night or weekend call) is 55 hours per week. Calculations include clinical work and scheduled educational sessions. Under certain circumstances, Clerks participating in an emergency medicine rotation may be required to work longer hours than those listed in this policy.
2.0 Clerkship Call
As part of clerkship, all Clerks are required to take call on some rotations. On-call experience is considered to be an essential part of clinical education during clerkship. The following criteria applies to all rotations:
- Weekend call is defined as between Friday evening to Monday morning, including statutory holidays.
- Clerks should not be on call 3 weekends in a row.
- The call schedule for Clerks should not exceed 1-in-4 (or 1-in-3 if home call) averaged over the entire rotation.
- On occasion, in some rotations, the call schedule may be more than 1-in-4 but must not exceed this standard on average during the whole rotation. Where 1-in-4 is modified, the departmental Rotation coordinator should consult with the student(s) involved.
- Home Call is defined as either not being in hospital for call, or with call finishing at 2300H. If a student who is on Home Call has to come into the hospital, or work in the hospital, after 2300H for clinical duties, the postcall policy will be followed (I.e. they can be off call after 1200H and have a post-call day.)
- Please note: if a student is on “home call” less than or equal to 2300, they are expected to attend regular duties the next day.
- No clerk should be on call the last night of a rotation. “Night” is defined as after 5:00 PM/1700
- No clerk should be on call the night before an oral or written exam.
- No clerk should be on call later than 2300, on Monday night and should be finished their clinical duties at this time to allow Clerks adequate rest in preparation for the mandatory Selected Topics in Medicine sessions scheduled every Tuesday from 0800 to 1100.
- If a student is travelling to a Rural Rotation or Elective in the next block, they will not be on call at least 36 hours before the start of that rotation (I.e. not past 2300H on Saturday). The onus is on the student to inform the admin of this prior to the release of the final call schedule for that rotation.
- Students who take vacation are not required to take extra call.
- Switchboard must be notified if a switch is made in the call schedule
Timely notification of call schedules is an essential part of ensuring optimal student education during clerkship. The provision of the call schedule on a timely basis is the professional responsibility of the departmental rotation coordinator or departmental administrator of the rotation. Final call schedules must be provided to the students at a minimum of two-weeks prior to the start of the rotation.
3.0 Clerkship Post-Call
Attendance at clinical duties and teaching activities during clerkship is part of the core professional and academic responsibilities of medical students; this includes those activities scheduled post-call. The following is the policy for Clerks post-call:
- 1200, noon, is the latest a student can ever be expected to participate in clinical care/educational sessions and may go home.
- Clerks are not excused from clinical duties following Academic Half Day, even if on-call until 2300 the previous night.
The post call procedure in the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDOS) agreement is not applicable to the clerk call schedule.
The Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, is responsible for providing oversight to the overall administration of the Clerkship Work Hours Policy in the College of Medicine.
The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Medical Education Office and Office of Admissions, is responsible for the implementation, monitoring, maintenance, and evaluation of the Clerkship Work Hours Policy at the College of Medicine campus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Instances or concerns of non-compliance with the Clerkship Work Hours and Call Policy should be brought to the attention of the Vice-Dean, Education or the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, within the College of Medicine.
The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, provides overall stewardship to the standard operating procedures associated with the Clerkship Work Hours Policy.
Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education