Health and safety is our shared priority – for patients, students, staff and faculty. The College of Medicine will continue to work to ensure that all students progress through the MD program and achieve program objectives with as little disruption as possible, while adhering to public health and university guidelines. 

Student Responsibilities

As developing health professionals, medical students are leaders and role models and as such are expected to exercise responsibility in personal and professional lives by following all Public Health COVID-19 related orders. Non-compliance with these health orders may result in a meeting regarding professionalism, with associated documentation, and may affect progress in the program.

Preceptor Responsibilities

We are grateful to our many preceptors around the province for teaching Saskatchewan’s medical students, and for role-modeling professionalism. To support students’ safety, preceptors are expected to follow provincial guidelines for health care providers such as screening of staff and patients, continuous masking, and physical distancing whenever possible. Preceptors are also asked to ensure that current expectations regarding clinical patient interactions (outlined below) are followed. 

Clinical Patient Interactions

Pre-Clerkship

  • Pre-clerkship students, during clinical learning experiences, will not see any patients or standardized patients who screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms, nor any patients who are probable, suspect, or confirmed positive for COVID-19.
  • Pre-clerkship students will not shadow on an clinical unit with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, nor will clinical learning experiences typically proceed on a unit with a confirmed outbreak.
  • Pre-clerkship students will not participate in aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMPs) or any clinical activities that require an N95 mask.

Patients can be positive for COVID-19 and be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. It is important that you use PPE and frequently wash your hands.

preclerkship-chart.jpg

This document provides guidance on protocols to follow related to COVID-19 for University of Saskatchewan medical students in Pre-clerkship. Much or all of this information, including the self-assessment tool is on the Government of Saskatchewan website for COVID-19. In every instance of suspected symptoms or exposure, students should follow the recommendations for engagement in clinical activities, as given by Public Health and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S).

The  Saskatchewan Communicable Disease Manual includes the goals of notification, case definitions, symptoms of the disease, transmission, and treatment. Part of this manual contains the Public Health Management of Contacts Based on Risk table, which outlines directions for types of contacts and the public health recommendation around it. The Undergraduate Medical Program will use this as a guide for time away from program, based on individualized advice provided by Public Health. The program will also apply the COVID-19 Return to Work Guide for Health Care Workers  for student return to clinical experiences.

Clerkship

Clinical Patient Interactions:

  • Fully vaccinated* Year 3 clerks may participate in the care of patients confirmed positive for COVID-19, excluding AGMPs on COVID-19 positive patients, if appropriate PPE is available and worn, and if both student and clinical supervisor are comfortable with their involvement. Year 3 clerks may continue to participate in AGMPs in patients who are not confirmed positive for COVID-19, where allowed by their supervisor. 
  • Fully vaccinated* Year 4 and 5 (final year) clerks may participate in the care of patients confirmed positive for COVID-19, including observing or participating in AGMPs on COVID-19 positive patients, if appropriate PPE is available and worn, and if both student and clinical supervisor are comfortable with their involvement. 
  • Clerks who are not fully vaccinated will not participate in any direct care of patients confirmed positive for COVID-19, including not participating in AGMPs on COVID-19 positive patients. It is the student’s responsibility to opt out of this participation.
  • If any SHA protocols in a clinical unit would preclude clerks’ involvement in the care of COVID-19 positive patients, those SHA protocols must be followed. 
  • This applies to clinical learning in Saskatchewan; on future visiting electives, policies at the medical school where the elective is being completed will apply.

*Fully vaccinated = at least 2 weeks after a 2nd dose of a Health Canada-approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccination, or at least 2 weeks after a 1st dose of a Health Canada-approved one-dose COVID-19 vaccination

For frequently asked questions on clerks participating in care of patients confirmed positive for COVID-19, see the FAQ section that follows.

 

This document provides guidance on protocols to follow related to COVID-19 for University of Saskatchewan medical students in Clerkship.  Much or all of this information, including the self-assessment tool is on the Government of Saskatchewan website for COVID-19. In every instance of suspected symptoms or exposure, students should follow the recommendations for engagement in clinical activities, as given by Public Health and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S).

The  Saskatchewan Communicable Disease Manual includes the goals of notification, case definitions, symptoms of the disease, transmission, treatment. Part of this manual contains the Public Health Management of Contacts Based on Risk table, which outlines directions for types of contacts and the public health recommendation around it. The Undergraduate Medical Education Program will use this as a guide for time away from program, based on individualized advice provided by Public Health. The program will also apply the COVID-19 Return to Work Guide for Health Care Workers  for student return to clinical experiences.

Pre-Clerkship FAQs

When you complete the Self-Assessment tool you will likely be advised to stay home and self-isolate.  If you are already at a learning session and start to feel ill, immediately advise your preceptor, leave the session, and go directly home and self-isolate.

  1.  Stay home and self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status.
  2. Call 811 to arrange for a PCR test (diagnostic test) for COVID-19. When you call, advise that you are a health care worker.  Alternatively, you can go to an SHA drive-thru test centre.
  3. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff (see Notification of symptoms/need to be absent list) to inform them of the situation and your need to self-isolate. Please advise if UGME office many notify Office of Student Affairs so they can reach out to you for support.
  4. Continue to self-isolate until you receive your COVID-19 PCR test result. Follow advice from Public Health/ OH&S for testing, self-isolation and timeline for return to program at the end of self-isolation.
  5. Once you have PCR test results, notify the UGME program (see Notification of Test Results list below) and advise your administrator of the recommendations from public health on return to learning activities. Work with administrator and year chair to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  6. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.
  7. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing monitoring of case numbers in the program. UGME report de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

 

Notification of symptoms/need to be absent:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site.
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance.
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission.

Notification of test results:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site

If you were in close proximity to the individual, it would be better to exercise caution and engage in self-monitoring for symptoms and your return to activities would depend on the risk level of proximity and mitigating factors (PPE, vaccination, etc.). Refer to the Contacts Definitions (Table 5, page 21) and the Public Health Management of Contacts Based on Risk table (Table 6, page 25) and follow recommendations there. If you are unsure, please consult your Year Chair and appropriate UGME Admin Staff or call 811.

If you are self-monitoring and you develop viral-like symptoms, follow steps in Scenario 1 .

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is considered to be COVID positive. A PCR test is no longer required to confirm COVID positivity if the rapid antigen test is positive.

 a.     If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, follow steps in Scenario 1.

b.     If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, determine risk level of exposure:

  • Whether or not you need to self-isolate will depend on the risk of the contact based on your vaccination status, proximity to the individual and mitigating factors. Refer to the Risk Classification for Asymptomatic HCWs with Potential Exposure and follow recommendations there. If you are unsure of your risk, please consult your Year Chair and appropriate UGME Admin Staff or call 811.
  • If you are fully vaccinated you will be considered to have a low-risk exposure/non-close contact, so long as you are not the primary caregiver for the individual who is COVID-19 positive. Self-monitor for 14 days following your last exposure to the case. Avoid close contact with individuals at high risk for illness during the self-monitoring period. If you develop COVID-19 symptom, self-isolate immediately and call 811. We recommend you also do home rapid antigen testing regularly, including the day of any in-person learning session.  See the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQs for more details.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, and if the contact was > 15 min within a 24 h period and within 2 meters without appropriate PPE, then you must get tested with a PCR test if you have upcoming learning sessions in a high risk (hospital) setting (to arrange testing call 811 and identify as a HCW, or go to a Drive-Thru test site).
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, whether you are required to self-isolate will depend on whether the contact is considered high risk/close contact.
  • Any advice from Public Health/OH&S contact tracers should be followed and supersedes this guidance.

 

The following steps apply if determined that the risk level is high:

c.     Immediately leave clinical setting and call 811 Healthline and indicate you are a healthcare worker and have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, and self isolate unless advised otherwise by Public Health or OH&S. Follow advice for self-isolation and timeline for possible return to clinical duties. Notify the relevant individuals in the Notification of exposure list (include all below). You may notify UGME Administrator via the application for absence. Please advise if UGME office many notify Office of Student Affairs so they can reach out to you for support.

 d.     If the exposure was in an SHA clinical setting, contact your local Incident Reporting Line to report your incident as a COVID-19 exposure:

  • Saskatoon Health: 306-655-0820 
  • Rural (Toll-Free): 1-866-966-0820
  • Prince Albert: 306-765-6452 or 306-765-6497
  • Regina: Regina General Hospital: 306-766-4689 or 306-766-4431
  • Wascana Rehabilitation Centre: 306-766-5217
  • Pasqua Hospital: 306-766-2557 or 306-766-2518

 e.     the University of Saskatchewan Incident Report form Submit to the exposure@usask.ca.

 f.     Notification of test results list (include all below) and the recommendations from public health on return to clinical duties. Work with year chair to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.

 g.     Student will be contacted by UGME and appropriate Year Chair to provide support and follow up.

 

  1. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing review of exposure incidents. UGME reports de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

 

Notification of exposure:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site.
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance.
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission.
  • relevant supervising physician/administrative staff e.g., if on a clinical placement such as shadowing, community Experience or PREP.

 

Notification of test results:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site.
  • relevant supervising physician/administrative staff e.g., if on a clinical placement such as Community Experience or PREP.

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is considered to be COVID positive. A PCR test is no longer required to confirm COVID positivity if the rapid antigen test is positive.

Follow all the steps outlined in Scenario 3, with the exception of step (d) contacting the SHA incident reporting line, and step (e) completing the USask Incident Report Form.

Home rapid antigen testing (such as the SHA Test to Protect program) is designed for screening for COVID-19 in asymptomatic people. 

Antigen testing has high specificity (if you have a positive screening test you likely have COVID) but it does not have as high a sensitivity as a PCR test (a negative test does not exclude you having COVID) so it cannot be used as a test if you have symptoms. If you have symptoms that might be COVID-19, follow steps in Section 1. 

If someone in your household has a positive home rapid antigen test, consider them to be COVID positive – see Scenario 4 and the and the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQ.   

If you have a positive home rapid antigen test, consider yourself to be COVID positive. Follow public health measures outlined here.  Please do the following:

 

  1. Stay home and self-isolate, despite being partially or completely vaccinated for COVID-19. If you do not have symptoms, you do not require any additional testing. If you have symptoms, arrange a PCR test by calling 811 (identifying as a health care worker) or going to a drive-thru test site.
  2. Self-isolate for 5 days from the date of your test result, or until 48 hours after your symptoms resolve or significantly improve, whichever comes later.
  3. Notify your close contacts as outlined here, going back 2 days (48 h) prior to time of your positive test result or 48 h prior to the start of your symptoms.
  4. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff (see Notification of Test Results) to inform them of the situation and your need to self-isolate. Work with administrator and year chair to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy. Please advise if UGME office many notify Office of Student Affairs so they can reach out to you for support.
  5. Contact the UGME office and OSA if you need any support and follow up. OSA may also reach out to provide support and follow-up.
  6. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing review of exposure incidents. UGME reports de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

 

Notification of test results:
  • the UGME office administrator at your site.
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance.
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission
  • the administrative assistant and Rotation Coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • hospital switchboard (note that switchboard does not need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (note that they do need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • appropriate Year Chair

Some pre-clerkship learning (e.g., DSPEs in Clinical Skills courses) may occur in SHA facilities. The SHA outbreak management guidelines can be found here; section 5.8.8 (page 12) is relevant to College of Medicine learners. In the event that a clinical learning session is scheduled on a confirmed outbreak unit, the session will typically be cancelled or rescheduled.  Course leadership will make that decision in collaboration with UGME leadership depending on the nature of the session, and on rare occasions the session may proceed.  Students will be informed if a session needs to be cancelled or rescheduled due to an outbreak.

Shadowing cannot take place on a clinical unit where there is a COVID-19 confirmed outbreak, to reduce transmission risk and to avoid unnecessary testing.  A full list of outbreak units it available here; please check that list prior to shadowing to ensure you will not be on an outbreak unit. If in doubt, contact your clinical supervisor for your shadowing or your Year Chair/Coordinator.

Contingency plan for missed learning if self-isolation is required:

  • If learning cannot take place virtually – apply sick time from the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  • If learning can be participated in virtually – student may not require rescheduling, depending on whether objectives of the learning experience can be met and whether the learning experience can be replicated or not.

All plans will be developed with the student by the UGME administrative staff in consultation with Year Chair and relevant Course/Module Director.

If you have specific needs and would like to explore accommodation of these needs, please reach out to the Office of Student Affairs for support in bringing forward any accommodation requests. If you have any questions, please contact your Year Chair/ Year Site Coordinator (information below), Dr. Malin or McKague, and we will be happy to answer them. You are also welcome to direct questions through your class reps. 

In all learning activities, please consistently take the following steps to keep yourself, and everyone else, as safe as possible:

 

  • Do the Daily Fitness for Work screening before each clinical session
  • Do home rapid antigen testing regularly, including (for pre-clerkship students) before each in-person session or exam
  • Follow continuous masking guidelines and all PPE recommendations for the unit you are on: PPE guidelines
  • If you are using PPE, regularly review techniques for donning and doffing it properly
  • Maintain exceptional hand hygiene
  • Be safe on breaks:
  • follow breakroom guidelines which includes physical distancing and not sharing food or holding potlucks
  • In meeting or seminar rooms, always:

o Maintain a minimum 2m distance between each person, especially if in the vicinity of anyone unmasked to eat or drink

o Remain masked - masks should only be removed if eating or drinking, and then a 2m distance must be maintained 

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even very mild, please stay home, self-isolate, and call 811 to arrange testing.
  • If you start to experience symptoms while at school/in a clinical setting, tell your supervisor, go directly home, self-isolate, and call 811 to arrange testing.

Clerkship FAQs

When you complete the self-assessment tool, you will likely be advised to not to come to work/in-person sessions.  Stay home, despite being partially or completely vaccinated for COVID-19. If you are already at a learning session/clinical setting and start to feel ill, immediately advise your preceptor, leave the session/clinical setting and go directly home and self-isolate.

  1. Stay home and self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status.
  2. Call 811 to arrange for a PCR test (diagnostic test) for COVID-19. When you call, advise that you are a health care worker. Alternatively, you can go to an SHA drive-thru test centre.
  3. Notify the relevant individuals on the Notification of symptoms/need to be absent list. Please advise if UGME office many notify Office of Student Affairs so they can reach out to you for support.Continue to self-isolate until you receive your COVID-19 PCR test results. Follow advice from Public Health/ OH&S for testing, self-isolation and timeline for possible return to clinical duties. You may return to your clinical rotation/elective between 7-10 days after the onset of your symptoms– Follow the steps in the Return to Work Guide for Health Care Workers and see the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQ for specific information about when you can return to your clinical rotation/elective.
  4. When you have your test results, notify relevant individuals on the Notification of test results list (see below) and follow the recommendations from public health/OH&S on return to clinical duties. Work with year chair/ rotation administrator and rotation coordinator to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  5. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.
  6. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing monitoring of case numbers in the program. UGME reports de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

 

Notification of symptoms/need to be absent:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission
  • the administrative assistant and Rotation Coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • hospital switchboard (note that switchboard does not need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (note that they do need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • appropriate Year Chair

 

Notification of test results:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site
  • the administrative assistant and rotation coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (to advise of date of return)
  • appropriate Year Chair

If you were in close proximity to the individual, it would be better to exercise caution and engage in self-monitoring for symptoms and your return to activities would depend on the risk level of proximity and mitigating factors (PPE, vaccination, etc.). Refer to the Contacts Definitions (Table 5, page 21) and the Public Health Management of Contacts Based on Risk table (Table 6, page 25) and follow recommendations there. If you are unsure, please consult your Year Chair and appropriate UGME Admin Staff or call 811.

If you are self-monitoring and you develop viral-like symptoms, follow steps in Scenario 1.

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is considered to be COVID positive.  A PCR test is no longer required to confirm COVID positivity if the rapid antigen test is positive.

 

  1. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, follow steps in Scenario 1.
  2. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, determine risk level of exposure:
  • If you are fully vaccinated you will be considered to have a low risk exposure/non-close contact, so long as you are not the primary caregiver for the individual who is COVID-19 positive, and are not required to self-isolate. Self-monitor for 14 days following your last exposure to the case.  Avoid close contact with individuals at high risk for illness during the self-monitoring period.  If you develop COVID-19 symptom, self-isolate immediately and call 811. Do home rapid antigen testing regularly at least every 2 days, including the day of any in-person learning session.  See the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQs  and What you Need To Know as a Close Contact to COVID-19 for more details.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, whether you are required to self-isolate will depend on whether the contact is considered high risk/close contact.
  • Any advice from Public Health/OH&S contact tracers should be followed and supersedes this guidance.

 

The following steps apply if determined that the risk level is high (note risk level will be high only if you are not fully vaccinated):

  1. Immediately leave clinical setting and call 811 Healthline and indicate you are a healthcare worker, and self isolate unless advised otherwise by Public Health or OH&S. Follow advice for self-isolation and timeline for possible return to clinical duties. Notify the relevant individuals on the Notification of exposure list (include all below). Please advise if UGME office many notify Office of Student Affairs so they can reach out to you for support.
  2. If the exposure occurred in an SHA clinical setting, contact your local Incident Reporting Line to report your incident as a COVID-19 exposure:
    • Saskatoon: 306-655-0820 
    • Rural (Toll-Free): 1-866-966-0820
    • Prince Albert: 306-765-6452 or 306-765-6497
    • Regina: Regina General Hospital: 306-766-4689 or 306-766-4431
    • Wascana Rehabilitation Centre: 306-766-5217
    • Pasqua Hospital: 306-766-2557 or 306-766-2518
  3. Complete the University of Saskatchewan Incident Report form and submit to the exposure@usask.ca.
  4. Notify relevant individuals on the Notification of test results list (include all below) and follow the recommendations from public health/OH&S on return to clinical duties. Work with year chair to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  5. Student will be contacted by UGME to provide support and follow up.
  6. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing review of exposure incidents. UGME reports de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

Notification of exposure/need to be absent:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission
  • the administrative assistant and Rotation Coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • hospital switchboard (note that switchboard does not need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (note that they do need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • appropriate Year Chair

 

Notification of test results:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site
  • the administrative assistant and rotation coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (to advise of date of return)
  • appropriate Year Chair

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is considered to be COVID positive. A PCR test is no longer required to confirm COVID positivity if the rapid antigen test is positive.

Follow the steps outlined in Scenario 3. If you are fully vaccinated, this will not be considered a high risk exposure.  See the What you Need to Know as a Close Contact to COVID-19 and the HCW Return to Work Assessment FAQs.  

Home rapid antigen testing (such as the SHA Test to Protect program) is designed for screening for COVID-19 in asymptomatic people. 

Antigen testing has high specificity (if you have a positive screening test you likely have COVID) but it does not have as high a sensitivity as a PCR test (a negative test does not exclude you having COVID) so it should not be used as a test if you have symptoms. If you have symptoms that might be COVID-19, follow steps in Scenario 1. 

If someone in your household has a positive home rapid antigen test, consider them to be COVID positive – see Scenario 4 and the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQ.

If you have a positive home rapid antigen test, consider yourself to be COVID positive. Please do the following:

 

  1. Stay home and self-isolate, despite being partially or completely vaccinated for COVID-19. If you do not have symptoms, you do not require any additional testing. If you have symptoms, arrange a PCR test by calling 811 (identifying as a health care worker) or going to a drive-thru test site.
  2. Self-isolate for 5 days from the date of your test result, or until 48 hours after your symptoms resolve or significantly improve, whichever comes later. You may return to your clinical rotation/elective between 7-10 days after the date of your positive test – Follow the steps in the Return to Work Guide for Health Care Workers and see the Health Care Worker Return to Work Assessment FAQ for specific information about when you can return to your clinical rotation/elective. 
  3. Notify your close contacts as outlined here, going back 2 days (48 h) prior to time of your positive test result or 48 h prior to the start of your symptoms.
  4. Notify the appropriate individuals (see Notification of Test Results below) to inform them of the situation and your need to self-isolate. Work with administrator, year chair and rotation coordinator to schedule missed learning opportunities, following the Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  5. Contact the UGME office and OSA if you need any support and follow up. OSA may also reach out to provide support and follow-up.
  6. Associate Dean, UGME is informed to ensure ongoing review of exposure incidents. UGME reports de-identified information on exposures and test results to University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources to support university tracking of trends in exposures and cases.

Notification of test results:

  • the UGME office administrator at your site
    • note that the UGME office administrator may need to consult with Year Chair/Associate Dean or Program Manager on appropriate guidance
    • UGME office administrator will notify OSA if you provide permission
  • the administrative assistant and Rotation Coordinator in the department of current rotation or elective
  • hospital switchboard (note that switchboard does not need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • preceptor or ward attending and any relevant supervising resident (note that they do need to know the reason you are going to be unavailable)
  • appropriate Year Chair

The SHA COVID-19 Outbreak Guidelines  allow health sciences students to remain on outbreak units.  Please see the excerpt from the relevant Section 5.8.8 (page 12):

Any health science students (e.g., Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy & Nutrition, Rehabilitation Science, Dentistry, Lab, etc.) in preceptored or group clinical placements will be allowed to complete their placements on a unit where an outbreak has been declared, regardless if the placement has started. Students will follow the same cohorting principles for confirmed outbreaks that apply to their discipline provided health science programs, commit to ongoing PPE training, comply with the SHA vaccine policy, and minimize time on outbreak units for those learners that cannot be cohorted. 

What this means to me as a learner?

  • Students who are on, or may be placed on a confirmed outbreak unit during their clinical experience, will be notified by the UGME office. Students on an outbreak unit will be notified when the outbreak is ended.
  • If you have been providing clinical care on this unit with a confirmed outbreak, you will be required to having COVID-19 testing (ideally within 24 h of the outbreak being declared, and every seven days during the outbreak).  If you are unsure whether the requirement for testing applies to you, please contact the Clinical Nurse Manager, or call Infection Prevention and Control at your site.
  • You can continue to follow patients on outbreak units or attend outbreak units to do consults, as directly by your clinical supervisor. Ideally, you should limit time spent on outbreak units, unless you are cohorted to that unit (i.e., spending most of each day providing care on that unit).  
  • If you have specific needs related to being placed on an outbreak unit, contact the Office of Student Affairs.

Contingency plan for missed learning if self-isolation is required:

  1. If learning cannot take place virtually – apply sick time from Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.
  2. If learning can be participated in virtually (i.e., telehealth) – student may not require additional time in rotation depending on whether objectives of rotation can be met.

All plans will be developed with the student by the UGME administrative staff and Year Chair in consultation with Rotation Coordinator.

If you have specific needs and would like to explore accommodation of these needs, please reach out to the Office of Student Affairs for support in bringing forward any accommodation requests. If you have any questions, please contact your Year Chair/ Year Site Coordinator (information below), Dr. Malin or McKague, and we will be happy to answer them. You are also welcome to direct questions through your class reps.

    1. Is it mandatory that clerks be involved in care of COVID+ patients?

    No – this is an optional experience not required to meet clerkship learning objectives.  Both the clinical supervisor (faculty or resident) and the student must be comfortable with the clerk being involved in this care – if either is uncomfortable, then the clerk should not be involved in this care. 

    There are many reasons why a student may or may not be comfortable participating in care of a COVID+ patient, including personal or family members’ health risk factors or other reasons.  Similarly, there are reasons why a clinical supervisor may not feel comfortable with a clerk being involved, related to the patient’s situation, the experience level of the clerk or other reasons. 

    • A clerk may opt out of being involved in the care of a COVID+ patient, with no questions asked.
    • A clinical supervisor may decline to have a student involved in the care of a COVID+ patient, with no questions asked
    1. Will faculty know in advance if a student wishes to participate in care of patients confirmed positive for COVID-19?

    Typically, no. Students can opt-out of participating in care of COVID-19 positive patients, and the list of students opting out will be shared in advance of a rotation start with the Rotation or Elective Coordinator and the administrative staff member, to assist with placement.  This list will be shared only on a need-to-know basis, to aid in placement of learners, when relevant. Therefore, supervisor and student will need to discuss if the student is to be involved in care of a COVID+ patient, if the opportunity arises.   

    1. Should whether or not a student participates in care of COVID+ patients impact my assessment of their performance?

    No. Assessment of performance should be based on observed skills relevant to the objectives. It is not mandatory that a student participate in care of COVID-19 positive patients, and there may be many reasons why a student does or does not participate in this care. 

    1. If a student wants to change their choice about participating in care of COVID+ patients, can they do so?

    Yes.  If a clerk initially opted out they can opt in advising their clinical supervisor and they should also update their Year Administrative Coordinator for their campus. SLIC and Prince Albert students should contact the Administrative Coordinator at their home site of Regina or Saskatoon.

    If a clerk wishes to opt-out, they may do so by advising their clinical supervisor and also updating their Year Administrative Coordinator for their campus.  SLIC and Prince Albert students should contact the Administrative Coordinator at your home site of Regina or Saskatoon.

    1. What PPE should be worn when providing direct care for a patient who is COVID+ or suspected to be COVID+?

    As of Jan 7, 2022, a fit-tested, seal checked N95 respirator  is recommended when entering the room/space and/or within two meters of a patient, resident or client suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (i.e., Droplet/Contact Plus precautions), regardless of whether an AGMP is being performed. Gown, gloves and eye protect (contact droplet+) PPE should also be worn.

    1. What happens if a student gets COVID-19, or have a high-risk contact, and needs to self-isolate? The Clerkship Attendance and Absence policy has provision for sick time which self-isolation falls under. A student needing to miss time on a rotation due to illness or self-isolation works with their Rotation or Elective supervisor and Year Chair/Coordinator to determine if some activities can be done remotely (if the student is well enough). Typically, up to 5 days of a 6-week rotation can be missed without needing to make up additional time; a plan for making up missed learning and achieving rotation or elective objectives is made in collaboration with the Year Chair/Year Coordinator, Rotation Coordinator, and student. This may occasionally need to involve additional time on the rotation or elective in order to complete it; this planning is done on a case-by-case basis to try to minimize any impacts on the student’s progress in the program and personal life. Students should follow the COVID-19 protocols in terms of reporting illness and test results, including (if they had a high-risk exposure in the clinical setting) completing an exposure incident report.

    Students have WCB coverage for clinical placements in SK through the clinical placement agreement. Students have the option of additional private disability insurance should they wish to purchase it. 

    1. What steps should clerks take to stay as safe as possible?
    • Do the Daily Fitness for Work screeningat the start of each day
    • Do home rapid antigen testing regularly, ideally 2-3 times per week
    • Follow continuous masking guidelines and all PPE recommendations for the unit you are on: PPE guidelines
    • Regularly review correct PPE donning/doffingsteps; ask a clinical supervisor, RN or colleague give you feedback on your technique
    • Do frequent hand hygiene
    • Physically distance, especially if unmasked or near someone who is unmasked: 

    o Maintain a minimum 2m distance between each person, including when in the vicinity of anyone unmasked to eat or drink

    • Continue to keep personal bubble small and follow public health best practices in your personal life
    • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even very mild,please stay homeself-isolate, and call 811 to arrange testing 
    • If you start to experience symptoms while at school/in a clinical setting, tell your supervisor, go directly home, self-isolate, call 811 to arrange testing

Program Contacts

List of Year and Site Chairs & Program Director:

Year 1 Co-Chair Dr. Nicole Shedden
and Dr. Jennifer Chlan-Fourney
Saskatoon nks904@usask.ca
jen.chlan@usask.ca
Year 2 Chair Dr. Jacqueline Kraushaar Regina jacqueline.kraushaar@usask.ca
Year 2 Site Chair Dr. Schaana Van de Kamp Saskatoon schaana.v@usask.ca

Please see the list of UGME Pre-Clerkship Administrative Staff to contact at your home site below:

Site Name Course Year Email
Sasktoon Cheryl Pfeifer Principles & Foundations Year 1 & 2 cheryl.pfeifer@usask.ca
Sonja MacDonald Medicine & Society, Clinical Skills, Clinical Integration Year 1 & 2 sonja.macdonald@usask.ca
Tamara Hominuk Success in Medical School I-IV, OSCE All Years tamara.hominuke@usask.ca
Regina Cassie Eskra All courses Year 2

cassandra.eskrar@saskhealthauthority.ca

List of Year and Site Chairs & Program Director:

Year 3 Chair Dr. Schaana Van de Kamp Saskatoon schaana.v@usask.ca
Year 3 Site Chair Dr. Joelle McBain Regina mcbainjoe@me.com
Year 4 Chair Dr. Joelle McBain Regina mcbainjoe@me.com
Year 4 Site Chair Dr. Ashley Selvig Saskatoon ashley.selvig@usask.ca
SLIC Director Dr. Tara Lee Estevan, Meadow Lake, Melfort tara.lee@usask.ca

Please see the list of UGME Administrative Staff to contact at your home site below:

Site Name Email
Saskatoon Carolyn Blushke & Tami Golding carolyn.blushke@usask.ca
tami.golding@usask.ca
Regina Annie Ethier annie.ethier@saskhealthauthority.ca
Prince Albert Nicole Toutant nicole.toutant@usask.ca
Meadow Lake Bailey Edelman bailey.edelman@usask.ca
Estevan Kristin Dupuis kristin.dupuis@saskhealthauthority.ca
Melfort Mabel Ryhorchuk mabel.ryhorchuk@saskhealthauthority.ca
LaRonge Janice Skilliter janice.skilliter@usask.ca

Departmental and Rotation Clerical Support Staff:

Name

Elective Specialty

Elective Location

Category

Email

Toutant, Nicole

Prince Albert

Department Admin

nicole.toutant@usask.ca

Arnault-Pelletier, Valerie

Indigenous Health

Saskatoon

Department Admin

valerie.arnault@usask.ca

Crowe, Amanda

Indigenous Health

Regina

Department Admin

amanda.crowe@saskhealthauthority.ca

Arnault-Pelletier, Valerie

Indigenous Health

Rural

Department Admin

valerie.arnault@usask.ca

Toews, Lawrence

Indigenous Health

Saskatoon

Department Admin

lawrene.toews@usask.ca

Toews, Lawrence

Indigenous Health

Rural

Department Admin

lawrene.toews@usask.ca

Cook, Erin

Anesthesia

Saskatoon

Department Admin

erin.cook@saskhealthauthority.ca

Strauss, Alex

Anesthesia

Regina

Department Admin

alexandra.strauss@saskhealthauthority.ca

Humniski, Nick

Clinical Ultrasound

Saskatoon

Department Admin

nhumniski@live.com

Chomyshen, Leah

Emergency Medicine

Saskatoon

Department Admin

leah.chomyshen@usask.ca

Finch, Ann

Emergency Medicine

Regina

Department Admin

ann.finch@saskhealthauthority.ca

Lewis, Tracy

Family Medicine - Urban & Rural

Saskatoon

Department Admin

dafm.ugme.saskatoon@usask.ca

Fuchs, Kristen

Family Medicine - Urban & Rural

Regina

Department Admin

kristen.fuchs@rqhealth.ca

Fuchs, Kristen

Family Medicine - Urban & Rural

Rural

Department Admin

kristen.fuchs@rqhealth.ca

Lewis, Tracy

Family Medicine - Urban & Rural

Rural

Department Admin

dafm.ugme.saskatoon@usask.ca

Toutant, Nicole

Family Medicine - Urban & Rural

Rural

Department Admin

nicole.toutant@usask.ca

Schnurr, Joe

Integrative Medicine

Saskatoon

Department Admin

schnurr.ja@gmail.com

Kuffner, Angela

Internal Medicine

Saskatoon

Department Admin

angela.kuffner@usask.ca

Phillips, Karen

Internal Medicine

Regina

Department Admin

karen.phillips@saskhealthauthority.ca

Shivak, Tenille

Internal Medicine

Saskatoon

Department Admin

tenille.shivak@usask.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Internal Medicine

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Legare, Chanda

Internal Medicine

Swift Current

Department Admin

chanda.legare@usask.ca

TBD

Internal Medicine

Yorkton

Department Admin

 

Edelman, Bailey

Internal Medicine

North Battleford

Department Admin

bailey.edelman@usask.ca

Berg, Louise

Medical Imaging

Saskatoon

Department Admin

louise.berg@usask.ca

Faris, Edwina

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Regina

Department Admin

edwina.faris@saskhealthauthority.ca

Wudrick, Larissa

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Saskatoon

Department Admin

omp767@mail.usask.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Koehncke, Niels

Occupational Health

Saskatoon

Department Admin

niels.koehncke@usask.ca

Budz, Lorrisa

Ophthalmology

Saskatoon

Department Admin

lorrisa.budz@usask.ca

Kurk, Francine

Ophthalmology

Regina

Department Admin

francine.kurk@saskhealthauthority.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Ophthalmology

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Lewis, Tracy

Palliative Care

Saskatoon

Department Admin

dafm.ugme.saskatoon@usask.ca

Kurk, Francine

Palliative Care

Regina

Department Admin

francine.kurk@saskhealthauthority.ca

Quirion, Deb

Pathology

Saskatoon

Department Admin

deb.chamberlain@usask.ca

Kurk, Francine

Pathology

Regina

Department Admin

francine.kurk@saskhealthauthority.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Pathology

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Groenveld, Nancy

Pediatrics

Saskatoon

Department Admin

nancy.groeneveld@usask.ca

Murray, Tracey

Pediatrics

Regina

Department Admin

tracey.murray@saskhealthauthority.ca

Bhende, Krittka

Pediatrics

Swift Current

Department Admin

krittika.bhende2@saskhealthauthority.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Pediatrics

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Otto, Julie

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Saskatoon

Department Admin

julie.otto@usask.ca

Bray, Karen

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Regina

Department Admin

karen.bray@saskhealthauthority.ca

White, Laura

Psychiatry

Saskatoon

Department Admin

laura.j.white@usask.ca

Stephenson, Carlotta

Psychiatry

Regina

Department Admin

carlotta.steohenson@saskhealthauthority.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Psychiatry

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Leis, Anne

Public Health

Saskatoon

Department Admin

anne.leis@usask.ca

Willms, Amanda

Public Health

Saskatoon

Department Admin

amanda.willms@usask.ca

Lawson, Josh

Research

Saskatoon

Department Admin

josh.lawson@usask.ca

McBain, Joelle

Research

Regina

Department Admin

mcbainjoe@me.com 

Mainra, Rahul

Solid Organ Transplant

Saskatoon

Department Admin

rahul.mainra@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Saskatoon

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

North Battleford

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Lloydminster

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Swift Current

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Eisan, Lisa

Surgery

Moose Jaw

Department Admin

lisa.eisan@saskhealthauthority.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Yorkton

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Melfort

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Baniak, Marilyn

Surgery

Estevan

Department Admin

surgery.education@usask.ca

Liamzon, Maria

Surgery

Regina

Department Admin

maria.liamzon@saskhealthauthority.ca