The College of Medicine leadership, staff and faculty will continue to work to ensure that all students progress through their program with minimal disruption while adhering to public safety guidelines. The health and safety of patients, students and faculty is our priority. As developing health professionals, medical students are leaders and role models and as such are expected to exercise responsibility in the their personal and professional lives by following all public health, university and program expectations.  Non-compliance with these expectations may result in a meeting regarding professionalism, with associated documentation, and may affect progress in the program.

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 related to COVID-19

Respiratory Illness and COVID-19 Protocols – Pre-Clerkship

The health and safety of patients, students, and faculty is our priority as we support students with their education as future physicians. Respiratory illnesses are common, and can pose risks to standardized patients, patients, classmates and staff during learning sessions.  COVID-19, specifically, can pose additional risk to those who are vulnerable.  As developing health professionals, medical students are leaders and role models and are expected to exercise responsibility for personal health, to support their own well-being and the health of others.

Clinical Patient Interactions related to COVID-19:

  • Pre-clerkship students, during clinical learning experiences, will not see any patients or standardized patients confirmed positive for COVID-19.
  • Pre-clerkship students will not shadow on a 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) if that procedure requires an N95 mask.
  • Fully vaccinated pre-clerkship students may observe or participate in care of patients who screen positive for symptoms of COVID-19 but are not confirmed to have COVID-19, assuming appropriate clinical supervision and PPE at available and clinical supervisor and students are comfortable with this involvement.

*Fully vaccinated = has completed a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine primary series. Note that it is strongly recommended that students also receive all boosters for which they are eligible. 

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 respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 for University of Saskatchewan medical students in pre-clerkship. It is informed by University, Public Health and SHA guidance, including: 

Respiratory Illness and COVID-19 Protocols - Clerkship

Clinical Patient Interactions related to COVID-19:

  • Fully vaccinated* Year 3, 4 and 5 clerks are expected to participate in the routine care of patients who are COVID-19 positive where the opportunity arises in their clinical education. 
  • Fully vaccinated* Year 3, 4 and 5 clerks may participate in AGMPs on patients who are COVID-19 positive where the opportunity arises in their clinical education. 
  • Participation in care of patients with COVID-19, like participation in the care of other patients, assumes that appropriate PPE and clinical supervision are available and clinical supervisor and students are comfortable with this involvement. Note that opportunities to participate in care of COVID-19 positive patients will vary depending on the clinical setting and may not always be available. 
  • 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.  Clerks who are unable to participate in the care of patients with COVID-19 due to vaccination status or other accommodatable reason may apply for accommodations through Access and Equity Services (AES)
  • 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 = has completed a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine primary series. Note that it is strongly recommended that students also receive all boosters for which they are eligible. 

 

This document provides guidance on protocols to follow related to COVID-19 for University of Saskatchewan medical students in clerkship. It is informed by University, Public Health, and SHA guidance, including:

Pre-Clerkship FAQs

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to any other respiratory virus.  If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If you are already on campus or in a clinical setting and start to feel ill, immediately advise your preceptor, leave the session/clinical setting, and go directly home and self-isolate.

a. Stay home and self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status.

b. Do a home rapid antigen test (RAT)

  • If you have a positive home rapid antigen test, then you have COVID-19. Continue to self-isolate. Follow the steps in Scenario 4, below.
  • If you have a negative RAT, it does not guarantee that you do not have COVID-19, as RATs can be falsely negative. Repeat your RAT in 24-48 h. If you continue to have symptoms, even with a negative RAT, stay home until you are feeling better.  
  • Returning to on-campus activities – If your RAT remains negative, return to on-campus activities once you are symptom-free, following the University guidelines.
  • Returning to clinical sessions in clinical settings or community placements –  Due to the risk of transmission to potentially vulnerable patients and to avoid transmission within health care settings, follow the  Heath Care Workforce Screening & Return to Work Guidance for timing of return to program.
c. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff as per the Attendance and Absence policy.

d. Work with administrator to schedule missed learning opportunities following the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.

e. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is COVID positive. They may have been infectious for 2-3 days before developing symptoms.

  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:
  • You may continue to attend school and your clinical learning activities.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We suggest doing a RAT testing intermittently over the next 10 days, particularly if your contact was a household contact

Home Rapid antigen testing (RAT) has high specificity (if you have a positive RAT you likely have COVID) but it does not have a high sensitivity (a negative test does not exclude you having COVID). If you have symptoms that might be COVID-19, follow steps in Section 1. 

If you have a positive home rapid antigen test, please do the following:

  1. Stay home and self-isolate. You do not need any additional testing.
  2. Returning to on-campus activities – Stay home and self-isolate for 5 days from the date of your test result, or until 24 hours after fever has resolved (without use of fever-reducing medications) and your symptoms have significantly improved for 48 h, whichever comes later. If you meet this criteria, you may return to campus on day 6. 
  3. Returning to clinical settings or community placements –  Follow the Heath Care Workforce Screening & Return to Work Guidance. Note that Day Zero is the day that you had your positive RAT, or developed symptoms, whichever came first. The earliest you can return is Day 6, if you are feeling better.
  4. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff as per the Clerkship Attendance and Absence policy
  5. We suggest you inform your close contacts (anyone you were in close contact with, without appropriate PPE, in the 2-3 days prior to developing symptoms or testing positive).  If you were in a clinical setting, you must notify the clinical manager or OH&S in the clinical facility. 
  6. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.

Some pre-clerkship learning (e.g., DSPEs in Clinical Skills courses) may occur in SHA facilities. The SHA COVID-19 outbreak management guidelines can be found here. If 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 should not 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 COVID-19 outbreak units is 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 a missed learning experience can be rescheduled or offered in an alternative format, then the administrative coordinator will notify you of the changes and adjust one45.
    • Factors that determine if a learning experience can be rescheduled or offered in an alternative format include whether objectives of the learning experience can be met, whether the learning experience can be replicated or not, and whether it is feasible to reschedule or offer an alternative format.
  • If a missed learning experience cannot be rescheduled or offered in an alternative format, then we will apply sick time based on the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy. Students should engage in self-directed learning using available learning resources.

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), Drs. 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:

  • Self-monitor daily for symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses.
  • Follow all PPE recommendations for the unit you are on.
  • Maintain hand hygiene.
If you have any symptoms of respiratory illness, even very mild, please stay home/go home and self-isolate

Clerkship FAQs

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to any other respiratory virus.  If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If you are already on campus or in a clinical setting and start to feel ill, immediately advise your preceptor, leave the session/clinical setting, and go directly home and self-isolate. 

Stay home and self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status.

a. Do a home rapid antigen test (RAT).
  • If your home rapid antigen test is positive, then you have COVID-19. Continue to self-isolate. Follow the steps in Scenario 4, below.
  • If you have a negative RAT, it does not guarantee that you do not have COVID-19, as RATs can be falsely negative. Repeat your RAT in 24-48 h. If you continue to have symptoms, even with a negative RAT, stay home until you are feeling better.  
  • Returning to on-campus activities – If your RAT remains negative, return to on-campus activities once you are symptom-free, following the University guidelines.
  • Returning to clinical sessions in clinical settings or community placements – Due to the risk of transmission to potentially vulnerable patients and to avoid transmission within health care settings, follow the  Heath Care Workforce Screening & Return to Work Guidance for timing of return to program.

 b. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff as per the Clerkship Attendance and Absence policy.

 c. Work with administrator/Rotation Coordinator to schedule missed learning opportunities following the Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy.

 d. We suggest you inform your close contacts (anyone you were in close contact with, without appropriate PPE, in the 2-3 days prior to developing symptoms or testing positive. If you were in a clinical setting, you must notify the clinical manager or OH&S in the clinical facility.  Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.

 e. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.

*An individual who has either a positive PCR test or a positive rapid antigen test is COVID positive. They may have been infectious for 2-3 days before developing symptoms.

 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:

  • You may continue to attend school and your clinical learning activities.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We suggest doing a RAT testing intermittently over the next 10 days, particularly if your contact was a household contact

Home Rapid antigen testing (RAT) has high specificity (if you have a positive RAT you likely have COVID) but it does not have a high sensitivity (a negative test does not exclude you having COVID). If you have symptoms that might be COVID-19, follow steps in Section 1. 

If you have a positive home rapid antigen test, please do the following:

a. Stay home and self-isolate. You do not need any additional testing.

b. Returning to on-campus activities – Stay home and self-isolate for 5 days from the date of your test result, or until 24 hours after fever has resolved (without use of fever-reducing medications) and your symptoms have significantly improved for 48 h, whichever comes later. If you meet this criteria, you may return to campus on day 6. 

c. Returning to clinical settings or community placements – Follow the Heath Care Workforce Screening & Return to Work Guidance. Note that Day Zero is the day that you had your positive RAT, or developed symptoms, whichever came first. The earliest you can return is Day 6, if you are feeling better.

d. Contact the appropriate UGME administrative staff as per the Clerkship Attendance and Absence policy.

e. We suggest you inform your close contacts (anyone you were in close contact with, without appropriate PPE, in the 2-3 days prior to developing symptoms or testing positive). If you were in a clinical setting, you must notify the clinical manager or OH&S in the clinical facility. 

f. Please contact UGME and/or OSA if you need any support or have questions.

The SHA COVID-19 Outbreak Guidelines  allow health sciences students to remain on outbreak units. 

What this means to me as a learner?

  • Students who are on or may be placed on a confirmed outbreak unit (COVID-19, inlfuenza or other outbreaks) during their clinical experience will be notified by the UGME office and receive a memo from SHA outlining any relevant steps to take.
  • If you have been providing clinical care on this unit with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, you may be required to having COVID-19 testing. 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 , 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, Rotation Coordinator and Year Chair.

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), Drs. 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:

  • Self-monitor daily for symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses.
  • Do home rapid antigen, testing regularly (recommended 2x/week).
  • Follow all PPE recommendations for the unit you are on.
  • If you are using PPE, regularly review techniques for donning and doffing it properly.
  • Maintain hand hygiene.
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, even very mild, please stay home/go home and self-isolate.

Program Contacts

List of Year and Site Chairs & Program Director:

 

Year 1 Chair

Dr. Nicole Shedden

Saskatoon

nks904@usask.ca

Year 1 Site Coordinators

Dr. Helen Chang

Dr. Jacqueline Kraushaar

Regina

woodrabbit@sasktel.net

jacqueline.kraushaar@usask.ca

Year 2 Chair

Dr.  Jacqueline Kraushaar

Regina

jacqueline.kraushaar@usask.ca  

Year 2 Site Coordinator

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

Saskatoon

Cheryl Pfeifer

 

Foundations

year 1 & 2

 

cheryl.pfeifer@usask.ca  

 

Sonja MacDonald

 

Medicine & Society, Clinical Skills, Clinical Integration

year 1 & 2

sonja.macdonald@usask.ca

 

 

Tamara Hominuke

 

Success in Medical School I-IV, OSCE

all years

tamara.hominuke@usask.ca

 

Regina

Cassie Eskra

All courses

year 1, 2

Cassandra.Eskra@saskhealthauthority.ca

Year and Site Chairs & SLIC Director:

Year 3 Chair

Dr. Schaana Van de Kamp

Saskatoon

schaana.v@usask.ca

Year 3/4 Site Coordinator Regina

Dr. Shade Onaolapo

Regina

Mofolashade.Onaolapo@saskhealthauthority.ca

Year 4/5 Chair

Dr. Ashley Selvig

Regina

ashley.selvig@usask.ca

SLIC Director

Dr. Geoff Zerr

Estevan, Meadow Lake, Melfort, LaRonge

geoff.zerr@usask.ca

 

UGME Administrative Staff to contact at your home site below. 

Saskatoon –Tami Golding; tami.golding@usask.ca

Regina – Nicole Gates Willick; Nicole.GatesWillick@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: see UGME Program Contacts List