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Procedures and Guidelines


Categories: Clerkship Medical Shadowing Observership Pre-Clerkship Shadowing Activity Log UGME Shadowing

Updated on:

Shadowing - Pre-Clerkship & Clerkship


Assistant Dean Academic




Date for review : February 7, 2021


To ensure students have guidelines for Shadowing. Shadowing (or Observership) opportunities are deemed to be at the level of a pre-clerkship student.


1.1  Shadowing is a self-directed but mandatory experience for students to observe and explore various aspects of medicine and health care.

1.2  Students are encouraged to shadow (observe) physicians from a variety of disciplines and are also encouraged to shadow non-physician health care providers as part of the undergraduate curriculum, in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

1.3  Students are encouraged to reflect on their shadowing experiences, and how they relate to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes reflected in the Program Learning Objectives.


Pre-Clerkship – first and pre-clinical second years of the undergraduate medical program in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Clerkship – third, fourth and fifth clinical years of the undergraduate medical program in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

CPSS - The College of Physicians and Surgeons is a statutory, self-regulating body established by legislation of the Government of Saskatchewan and charged with the responsibility of:

  • Licensing properly qualified medical practitioners;
  • Developing and ensuring the standards of practice in all fields of medicine;
  • Investigating and disciplining of all doctors whose standards of medical care, ethical or professional conduct are questioned.
  • Note:  CPSS refers to Shadowing as Observerships.

Shadowing - Curricular and extra-curricular medical experiences arranged by agreement between medical students and volunteer supervisors of the student’s choosing, to assist students integrate their learning to date and assist them in career decision-making. Given that this is undertaken in Years 1 and 2, clinical activity will be limited by the students’ knowledge/skill set.  Students should be directly observed by the supervisor at all times, should not be expected to be responsible for any management of patients, should not be documenting on the medical record.  Supervisors should not rely on shadowing students' assessments in making any diagnostic or treatment decisions.  

Medical Shadowing Activity Log – Tool used to record and verify shadowing hours in the College of Medicine for Pre-Clerkship students.

Scope of this Policy:

This policy governs all undergraduate medical students in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan; includes students located in all educational campuses and sites in the province of Saskatchewan.


Shadowing is a pre-clerkship activity and allows students to explore career options and physician roles through observation in a variety of health care settings.



  • Every medical student is required to complete a minimum of 10 hours (5 hours/term) per year of medical practitioner shadowing for MEDC 111 and MEDC 211 Success in Medical School courses in Year 1 and Year 2.
  • Participation in at least ten hours of shadowing for the academic year. Students must complete 5 hours of shadowing by the end of term one. If students have completed all ten hours in term one, the additional hours may be carried over to term two.
  • Shadowing is optionally allowed over the summer between Years 1 and 2 and Years 2 and 3 for students continuing into the next year of the program, as an optional extension of the course work of the MEDC 111 and 211 courses.  Such shadowing must occur within Canada; students who wish to shadow in Canadian provinces other than Saskatchewan must plan these experiences well in advance in order to ensure they meet any provincial requirements (such as an educational license and/or local university approval).   Students must adhere to any provincial requirements in order to have University of Saskatchewan insurance coverage when shadowing.   Students are responsible for ensuring the Shadowing Activity Log Book is signed on the day of their shadowing experience by the Supervising Health Care Provider.

Details of additional specific shadowing requirements are found in the relevant course syllabi for MEDC 111 and 211.Supervising Health Care Provider

  • Curricular and extra-curricular pre-clerkship medical experiences are arranged by agreement between medical students and volunteer supervisors of the student’s choosing to help students integrate their learning to date and assist them in career decision-making.  Supervisors are NOT remunerated.
  • Any involvement of students in clinical situations must take into account their current level of training.  These first year medical students have certification in Basic First Aid and CPR for (HCP) Health Care Providers.  They are learning clinical and pre-clinical sciences, patient interviewing, and basic physical examination skills.  They MAY have had exposure to pathology, pharmacology or some systemic study of disease.  They MAY have learned discipline-specific clinical sciences or technical skills. Students should be asked about their level of training.  
  • Pre-clerkship students should not be recording histories or physical findings for official medical records.
  • It is required that any patient-related activity by these students be supervised directly and in person by a supervisor who has signed this Medical Shadowing Activity Log.  Further, it is expected that the patient(s) be asked for permission to involve the students in their care, and will be free to decline.  


  • The College of Medicine does not endorse shadowing for Clerkship students during the Core Rotations Course (MEDC 307.50) or Elective Rotations Course (MEDC 407.38), as clerkship students should be focusing their academic efforts on the curricular rotations they are engaged in.   Observership opportunities are deemed to be at the level of a pre-clerkship student. Please refer to the policy CPSS has developed on observerships. As this activity is not required as part of a year 3-5 students’ academic program, they are not covered by the University of Saskatchewan insurance policy. An extension of this, Clerkship students are not allowed to shadow during holiday time in year 3 or 4.

Students Returning to Program

  • For returning to clinical experience, the College utilizes the XMED course for both Pre-Clerkship and Clerkship students. As a result students must be registered in this course in order to be covered by liability insurance, with the intention of returning to program at the end of the XMED experience.


If the Medical Shadowing Activity Log is not submitted in a timely manner or falsified in any way, the student may face academic and professionalism consequences.  


Pre-Clerkship Student Responsibilities:

  • Complete the Shadowing hours, according to stipulations outlined
  • The white copy of the Medical Shadowing Activity Log Book must be submitted to the UGME Administrative Pre-Clerkship Coordinator by the final day of class each term.
  • The entire Medical Shadowing Activity Log Book (including documentation of any shadowing activity occurring over the summer between Years 1 and 2 or between Years 2 and 3) must be submitted to the UGME office in the student’s home Campus/site by the end of the first week of the new academic year. 
  • Ensure they are registered as a student in the College of Medicine during the fall and winter terms.  Students who are registered during this time and then take a leave of absence from the program for any reason are not covered by the University of Saskatchewan insurance policy when shadowing.
  • Note: WCB would only cover those students participating in experiences in Saskatchewan.

Pre-Clerkship Administrative Responsibilities:

·         Collect Medical Shadowing Activity Log and confirm completion of hours
·         Update the Shadowing portion of the UG website and make suggestions of physicians to contact for shadowing purposes, whenever possible.


Assistant Dean Academic, UGME