Skip to main content

Elective Guidelines for U of S Residents

Categories: electives faculty residents PGME

The definitions of an elective and outlined procedures are explained in Section IV, Item 4.6 of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Policies and Procedures for Certification and Fellowship publication.

“Electives taken in an unaccredited setting may be accepted towards specialty or subspecialty training requirements if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the resident must be enrolled in a recognized program at the time the elective is taken,
  2. the total duration of rotations taken at unaccredited sites must not exceed six (6) months of the total training for the specialty or subspecialty,
  3. the elective period is planned by the program director and the resident, which is then accepted by the program director as meeting the specialty training requirements,
  4. there is a clearly defined elective supervisor,
  5. there are clearly defined and understood educational objectives, and
  6. there is a well defined in-training evaluation system to include evaluation of the resident during the elective period that is based on the educational objectives of the elective and that is clearly understood beforehand by the resident, the elective supervisor, and the program director.”

Saskatchewan Health’s policy on out-of-province electives is that they not exceed a total of six months in the overall training period in a Royal College program and two months in a Family Medicine program. (Programs may have additional guidelines applicable to the duration of out-of province electives, keeping within the six-month total as outlined above.)

These guidelines are to be followed when residents enrolled in residency training programs in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, apply to do electives out-of-province.

  1. Residents and programs should plan well in advance.

  2. Planning should take place between the program director, resident and program director/supervisor from the out-of-province institution.

  3. No funding subsidies are provided for elective rotations; therefore, cost estimates are not required. All costs relevant to the elective are at the resident’s expense.

  4. A letter from the current program director should accompany a completed and signed Authority to Travel form and be forwarded for consideration by the Assistant Dean Postgraduate Medical Education. Residents should not make travel commitments prior to final approval from the PGME Office. The letter should include:
    • the reason or purpose of the elective
    • the anticipated educational benefit
    • the dates of the elective, the place of the elective and the name of the supervisor
    • if the elective is taken at a site not accredited by the RCPSC or the CFPC, submit the objectives for the elective signed off by the program director and by the elective supervisor
  5. Travel Policy when traveling outside of Canada: University policies must be adhered to. The purpose of the policy is “to ensure that university-sponsored international academic mobility programs incorporate specific measures to reduce risk and facilitate emergency response to students, faculty and staff when traveling outside Canada.”

    The resident and program director are responsible for reviewing the International Travel Risk Management – Academic Mobility Programs document available on the University of Saskatchewan web site and following the process as outlined. Residents and program directors can also review the Procedures and Guidelines for the Policy.

    Programs or activities shall not be permitted to be conducted in locations for which Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) has issued an advisory warning against travel. For the purposes of the University policy, students (residents) shall be deemed to fall within the tourist category for FAC travel warnings.

    **Travel Cancellation/insurance**
    In the event that a travel advisory is issued after a student has already made a financial commitment (purchase of tickets, etc.) to the elective, the prohibition on travel will still apply. Therefore, the student (resident) should ensure that trip cancellation/insurance covers this situation should it arise. Refer to page 4 in the “Travel Warnings” section of the Procedures and Guidelines for the Policy document. There is an appeal process outlined in the Procedures and Guidelines document.

    For more information relevant to this University travel policy please contact:
    • Exchange and Study Abroad Coordinator – 966-5014
    • Global Commons – 966-4925
    • Manager, Risk Management and Insurance Services – 966-8788
    • Risk and Insurance Analyst – 966-8753
  6. Visa Requirements for Electives in the United States: Residents are responsible for obtaining the appropriate Visa for such training in the United States. This normally requires a J-1 Visa.

    *** WARNING ***

    Failure to secure the appropriate Visa documents may result in non-clearance for border crossing and residents may be at risk of having this registered as an “illegal entry attempt”, thus having a record maintained by US Immigration and Customs, which could negatively impact future travel to or through the United States. Please note that this has recently happened to a Canadian resident who failed to secure a Visa in advance of travel to the USA for an elective period. Residents who suffer legal/immigration complications as a result of failure to complete proper immigration procedures will be financially responsible for any legal fees incurred.

  7. Visa Requirements for Electives outside of Canada: In addition to the requirements as stated in No. 6 above, the resident is responsible for obtaining information relevant to visa requirements for electives out of the country and is responsible for acquiring the appropriate immigration clearance or Visa relevant to the country in which they are entering to do the elective.

  8. Liability Insurance and Licensure:

    • In Canada
      • Residents are responsible for ensuring they have appropriate licensure in the Province where they are doing the elective. The educational register license in Saskatchewan is only applicable to this Province.
      • CMPA coverage is applicable within Canada. CMPA insists that residents contact them directly to notify them of any changes. The resident must notify the CMPA to inform them of the place and dates of the elective if outside of Saskatchewan.
    • Outside of Canada and including the United States
      • Residents are responsible for obtaining information and for securing the appropriate medical licensure and malpractice coverage for the location where the elective will occur.
      • Residents are responsible for communicating with the institution or location where the elective will occur to find out what medical liability coverage they recognize. If the resident is not automatically covered for medical liability by the accepting institution, the resident is responsible for securing such coverage as recommended and recognized by that institution.
      • For their own protection, residents are strongly encouraged to communicate with the accepting institution in writing or by email. The resident should maintain this information for their records should there be a dispute regarding the lack of coverage or inappropriate coverage. Any disputes or legal implications will be the responsibility of the resident to resolve with the accepting institution. The resident will be financially responsible for any legal fees incurred.
  9. Work Permit Holders: Externally funded residents who receive a Work Permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) covering training in a University of Saskatchewan Residency Training Program must:
    • Contact their funding agency to request approval for the elective.
    • As per Item 3 above, all costs related to the elective are at the residents expense.
    • If the elective request is for a Province other than Saskatchewan, the resident is responsible for obtaining the required work permit to cover training at that jurisdiction and must provide a copy to the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. This must be provided prior to departing Saskatchewan for the elective.
    • Please note that a work permit does not allow re-entry into Canada. Please refer to the Resident Handbook under the heading Immigration for more information.

    As this may be a lengthy process, the resident must apply well in advance of the elective.

  10. The Assistant Dean Postgraduate Medical Education considers the request. If approved, a memorandum is sent to the current program director with a copy to the resident indicating approval. If the above-noted process is incomplete, approval will not be considered until all information has been received.

    Residents should be strongly encouraged not to make any financial commitments (such as airline ticket purchases, etc.) prior to final approval from the Assistant Dean Postgraduate Medical Education.

  11. The Postgraduate Medical Education Office sends a copy of the Authority to Travel form to the University Business Office, retains a copy in the Postgraduate Office and returns other copies to the Program Director’s Office.

The elective planning process in itself is labour intensive, but with the additional University of Saskatchewan governing policies relevant to travel outside of Canada, planning and notification for consideration by the Postgraduate Medical Education Office must be received well in advance of any proposed elective