Reintegration of MD Students into Hospital-based Placements

Jun 3, 2020

The following is sent on behalf of Dr. Patricia Houston, Vice Dean, MD Program

Dear Clinical Chairs & Vice Chairs Education,

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to understand and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our clinical education environments. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our progress towards reintegration of clinical clerks into placements, while recognizing the importance of balancing the needs of patients and our community during this time.

We previously paused clinical placements until Monday, July 6, 2020. With this date fast approaching, we have been working with hospital education leaders through the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) to plan for reintegrating learners into hospital activities while ensuring the safety of staff, learners, and patients. Recently, we developed the attached Hospital-Based Academic Recovery Strategy & Guidelines (attached) to support harmonization, articulate guidance in preparing for and beginning to recover hospital-based academic activities and provide tools to support preparedness efforts.

We would like to ensure that all departments are aware of our planning efforts and work collaboratively to prepare for learner reintegration. We would like to take this opportunity and offer our apologies for not sending this communication out earlier, but as you can appreciate, this has been a complex and involved process. With your support, we hope to commence Clerkship reintegration as a system, beginning Monday, July 6, 2020, where possible.

We are currently planning for Phase 1. During this phase, the MD Program will prioritize reintegrating our returning year 3 Clinical Clerks who require placements to complete their academic program and graduate on time to transition to postgraduate education in July 2021. Please share this communication as broadly as possible with your departmental membership.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself. Thank you for your help, support and continued partnership during this uncertain time.

Stay well,


Patricia Houston, MD, MEd, FRCPC

Vice Dean, MD Program

Professor, Department of Anesthesia

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Tel: 416-978-4934 (office)