Procedures and Guidelines


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

Updated on:

Shadowing - Pre-Clerkship & Clerkship


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 University of Saskatchewan MD program pre-clerkship 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 supervising health care provider of the student’s choosing, to assist students integrate their learning to date and assist them in career decision-making. Clinical activities will be under direct observation of their supervising health care provider and limited by the students’ level of learning (see below for expections of supervising health care provider).    

Medical Shadowing Activity Log – Online tool used to record and verify pre-clerkship student shadowing hours in the College of Medicine.

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. 



  • Students must be registered in the regular academic term of the College of Medicine courses in order to be eligible for shadowing (ie. Registration in either MEDC or XMED courses)
  • Students are responsible for entering all shadowing experiences into the online shadowing log
  • Students are responsible for communicating their level of learning to the supervising health care provider.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to avoid arranging shadowing during scheduled non-mandatory learning sessions, and should not arrange any shadowing during mandatory learning sessions (see Preclerkship Attendance and Absence Policy).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 extension of the course work of the MEDC 111 and 211 courses. Such shadowing must occur within Canada, and must be entered in the online shadowing log.
  • Students who wish to shadow in Canadian provinces other than Saskatchewan must plan these experiences well in advance to ensure they meet any provincial requirements (such as an educational license and/or local university approval). Students must adhere to any provincial requirements to have University of Saskatchewan insurance coverage when shadowing.
  • Note: WCB would only cover those students participating in experiences in Saskatchewan.

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

Students Returning to Program

  • Students returning to the program after time away from the program may wish to engage in shadowing as a way to engage in clinical experiences. In order to be eligible for shadowing, students must be registered at the University of Saskatchewan in order to be covered by liability insurance. The College utilizes the XMED course (a not for credit course with nominal student fees, that does not go on a student’s transcript) for both Pre-Clerkship and Clerkship students who are planning their return to the program, which provides appropriate liability coverage to allow students to shadow. Students are expected to track activity in their online shadowing log for liability purposes.
  • Students on an educational leave to complete a University of Saskatchewan graduate program, while registered at the University of Saskatchewan, are able to shadow to assist with retention of their clinical skills. Students are expected to track activity in their online shadowing log for liability purposes.

Supervising Health Care Provider Information and Expectations:

  • Curricular and extra-curricular pre-clerkship medical experiences are arranged by agreement between medical students and volunteer supervising health care provider of the student’s choosing.
  • Supervisors are NOT remunerated.
  • Any involvement of students in clinical situations must take into account their current level of training. All students should be asked about their level of training prior to starting a shadowing encounter.
  • It is expected that the patient(s) be asked for permission to involve the students in their care, and will be free to decline.
  • 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 under direct observation by the supervising health care provider.
  • Students will not be responsible for any management of patients and should not be making any diagnostic or treatment decisions, or documenting on the medical record.

Pre-Clerkship Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Collect Shadowing Activity Log information and confirm completion of hours
  • Update the shadowing portion of the UG website and online course, including physician or administrative contacts, and suggestions for non-physician shadowing options.


  • 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.

Guidelines for Hosting Non-College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan Learners

The Undergraduate MD program is not involved in coordinating shadowing for MD students from other medical schools (non-USask medical student), or other learners. Individuals who are non-Usask medical students, or other learners, may directly arrange shadowing with a physician preceptor. Both the student/learner and the preceptor should be aware of, and adhere to, the CPSS Medical Practice Observation/Experience Policy.

If the shadowing takes place within an SHA facility in Saskatoon, the physician/ non-USask medical students/ learner must adhere to the SHA Observer policy (see link to “SHR OBSERVER Application for Non-USask MD Students” pdf on this page) and have appropriate permission through the SHA Practitioner Staff Affairs office. If the shadowing takes place in an SHA facility outside of Saskatoon, the physician should contact SHA Practitioner Staff Affairs with the request to have a non-USask medical student/learner shadow them and follow any relevant approval processes in that area.

Contact information: SHA Practioner Staff Affairs – Saskatoon

SHA Practioner Staff Affairs – Regina


Instances or concerns of non-compliance with the Shadowing Policy should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, or the Director, Academic Program, within the College of Medicine.


Academic Director, UGME