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Procedures and Guidelines

Site and Rotation Assignment

Categories: clerkship preclerkship rotation UGME

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Purpose

The purpose of the Site and Rotation Assignment Policy is to prescribe college-level requirements for the selection, assignment, appeal, and reassignment of undergraduate medical students to geographically distributed sites throughout the pre-clerkship and clerkship phases of their academic program.

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:

10.11 A medical school assumes ultimate responsibility for the selection and assignment of medical students to each location and/or parallel curriculum (i.e., alternative curricular track) and uses a centralized process to fulfill this responsibility. The medical school considers the preferences of students and uses a fair process in determining the initial placement. A process exists whereby a medical student with an appropriate rationale can request an alternative assignment when circumstances allow for it.

Principles

Fairness: The College of Medicine is committed to applying a fair process in determining medical student site assignments and providing opportunity for medical students to request alternative assignments.

Transparency: The College of Medicine is committed to ensuring a transparent approach to the assignment of medical students to geographically distributed sites and rotation assignments.

Definitions

Pre-Clerkship: The first two years of the University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Medical Education Program (UGME) are termed “pre-clerkship”. During this program phase, medical students develop the foundational and professional skills necessary to progress into the clinical phase of their education.

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 site/campuses in Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Some Year 3 medical students participation in longitudinal clinical learning activities at rural distributed sites.

Geographically Distributed Sites: The College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan is a provincial school of medical education. As such, many of the required learning activities are delivered in locations or sites other than the two main College of Medicine campuses in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.

Site Assignment: refers to the assignment of a medical student to a College of Medicine campus in either Regina, Saskatchewan or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan during the pre-clerkship phase of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.  Also refers to the assignment of a medical student to an alternate site for a portion of clerkship.

Rotation Assignment: refers to the assignment of a medical student to a specific rotation within their assigned site during the clerkship phase of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.

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/campus to which they are currently assigned.

Related policies include: Pre-Clerkship Curriculum Scheduling PolicyPre-Clerkship and Clerkship Promotion Standards, Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy, Clerkship Elective Policy, and Call and Post Call Policy, Undergraduate Admissions processes (see Applicant Information). Related procedures include the Site Assignment Appeal Procedure, Rotation Assignment Appeal Procedure, Session Attendance Across Sites/ Campuses Procedure, Prince Albert and SLIC Selection Procedure.

This policy replaces and supersedes the Clerkship Rotation Assignment (Year 3) Policy.

Policy

1.0   Pre-Clerkship
The pre-clerkship phase of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program is delivered at the College of Medicine campuses in Regina and Saskatoon. Medical students complete most learning activities, including lectures, clinical skills, and clinical integration courses at these campuses However, certain learning activities, such as shadowing (observership), may be held at other geographically distributed sites. Students participate in selecting the location/site at which they complete the mandatory shadowing (observership) experience.

 

2.0   Clerkship

The clerkship phase of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program allows medical students to apply the basic knowledge and skills acquired in the pre-clerkship phase within clinical settings. For the majority of students, Year 3 within Clerkship entails a series of a two week introductory course, eight core rotations and  two separate consolidation/assessment weeks. While the majority of core rotations are held in the students' assigned site/campus, when a core rotation or selective is not available in the student's assigned site/campus, the College of Medicine reserves the right to assign medical students to other sites/campuses.  Rural rotations are held at geographically-distributed sites throughout the province. Medical student preferences are considered in assigning Year 3 core rotation when these program components are outside of the student's assigned site/campus. The majority of students complete their Year 3 at their assigned campus of Regina or Saskatoon, with a minority of students completing Year 3 at the Prince Albert site.

For a minority of students in the Saskatchewan Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (SLIC), Year 3 entails a two week introductory course, forty-two weeks of longitudinal integrated clinical learning experiences, and two separate consolidation/assessment weeks.   The clinical learning experiences are held in one, or in some cases two, rural communities that are designated SLIC sites.

Year 4 entails electives completed within various sites in Saskatchewan, Canada and internationally, six weeks of selectives completed in the assigned campus, as well as a capstone course in the  assigned campus.  Students return to their originally assigned campus for Year 4 of clerkship.

 

3.0   Site Assignment

All medical students complete the first-year of their pre-clerkship phase at the College of Medicine campus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. However, medical students complete the second through fourth year at a College of Medicine campus in either Regina, Saskatchewan, or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with the exception of those who apply for, and are placed in Prince Albert or a SLIC site for Year 3.

As part of the application process to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, applicants are asked their site assignment preferences for years two through four. The Office of Admissions will pre-assign medical students to a College of Medicine campus in either Regina, Saskatchewan, or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as outlined in the Admissions processes. Applicants are required to accept the site assignment as a condition of their offer of admission to the college.

 

4.0   Site Assignment Appeal

Medical students are expected to complete their pre-clerkship at the geographically distributed site to which they are assigned. However, medical students are provided the opportunity to appeal during their first year of undergraduate studies and can request relocation at a later date. Such requests will only be considered based on highly extenuating medical or compassionate (new, serious, unanticipated, or unavoidable) circumstances, and will also take into consideration available resources as well as sufficiency of learners to support the learning experience at the campuses.

To appeal a site assignment during the any year of the undergraduate program, medical students should first seek the assistance of the Office of Student Affairs to explore all available options in managing their situation. Where the situation cannot be managed, the Site Assignment Appeal Committee (SAAC) will be convened at the request of Student Affairs. This committee is the final level of appeal within the College of Medicine. 

See Site Assignment Appeal Procedure.

 

5.0   Year 3 Alternative Site Selection

Students wishing to complete Year 3 in either the rotation-based regional Prince Albert site or a longitudinal integrated rural SLIC site may apply in the autumn of Year 2 to these sites. Student preference for SLIC sites is taken into consideration.  Selected students attend year 3 at their assigned Prince Albert or SLIC site and return to their assigned campus for Year 4.

See Prince Albert and SLIC Selection Procedure.

 

6.0   Rotation Selection and Assignment

Medical students complete the clerkship phase of their academic program at a variety of geographically distributed sites across Saskatchewan. For those students not participating in SLIC, the clinical portion of Year 3 of clerkship entails a series of eight core rotations.

The College of Medicine uses the One45 Selection Program to administer the clerkship rotation selection process and assign placements in a fair and equitable manner.

Medical students are provided the opportunity to rank their preference for order of core rotations. They have two weeks from when the selection process opens to log in to One45 and submit their ranked preference for clerkship rotations.


After the selection process closes, the program will assign core rotations using an automated matching process. The College of Medicine does not guarantee that medical student preferences will be accommodated because a variety of external factors, including capacity, can impact core rotation and site availability.

 

7.0   Rotation Assignment Appeal

Medical students are expected to complete their clerkship rotations at the geographically distributed campus/site to which they are assigned. Students can request a direct switch of a rotation within their assigned campus/site with another medical student. 

To facilitate a direct switch request, medical students must provide written notice to the Undergraduate Medical Education Office within two weeks from when their rotation assignment is first released. Such documentation must include the name of both students interested in switching their rotations, their contact information, as well as their rationale for switching.

To appeal a rotation assignment, medical students must submit a written appeal and any supporting documentation to the Year Three Chair within two weeks from when their rotation assignment is first released.  They may also appeal their rotation assignment after the two week deadline, based on highly extenuating medical or compassionate (new, serious, unanticipated, or unavoidable) circumstances.

Rotation assignment appeals will be considered by the Rotation Assignment Appeal Committee. A variety of factors are considered when reviewing such appeals, including site capacity and the rationale behind student appeals; therefore, the College of Medicine does not guarantee that such appeals will be granted.

See Rotation Assignment Appeal Procedure.

Responsibilities

The Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, is responsible for providing oversight to the overall administration of the Site and Rotation Assignment Policy.

The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Medical Education Office, is responsible for the implementation, monitoring, maintenance, and evaluation of the Site and Rotation Assignment Policy. This includes the development and stewardship of the standard operating procedures associated with this policy, with the exception of site assignment procedures, which are governed by the College of Medicine Undergraduate Admissions Policy (see Applicant Information).

The Director of Admissions, with the assistance of the Office of Admissions, is responsible for site assignments during the admissions process, per Section 3:0 Site Assignment.

The Director,  Student Services, with the assistance of the Office of Student Affairs, is responsible for providing counsel to medical students requesting to be reassigned between geographically distributed sites, per Section 4.0: Site Assignment Appeal, of this policy. This office is also responsible for referring unresolved requests to the Site Assignment Appeals Committee where necessary.

The Site Assignment Appeals Committee is responsible for adjudicating medical student requests for reassignment referred by the Office of Student Affairs. This body is also responsible for providing written response to the appellant and relevant parties in a timely manner.

The Year Three Chair, Undergraduate Medical Education, is responsible for administering the rotation assignment appeals process described in Section 6.0: Rotation Assignment Appeal of this policy.

The Student Academic Management Committee, College of Medicine, is responsible for evaluating, reviewing, and updating this policy every three years.

Non-compliance

Instances or concerns of non-compliance with the Site and Rotation Assignment Policy should be brought to the attention of the Vice-Dean, Education or the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, within the College of Medicine.

Procedures

The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, provides overall stewardship to the standard operating procedures associated with the Site and Rotation Assignment Policy.

Contact

Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education
Phone: 306-966-6135
Email: medicine.ugme@usask.ca