Status of Residents

Residents are medical doctors involved in a university-operated educational program, based in various modes of health-care delivery which, following satisfactory completion of certification exams, will enable them to qualify for specialist status.

Therefore, residents are full-time university students and at the same time provide medical service in hospitals for remuneration and benefits, and these roles are inseparable.

In the pyramid of medical students and residents, higher level students teach those below.

This is an excellent way to learn and is encouraged. Any formal teaching commitments above this will be negotiated with the Department Head and Program Director concerned.

The ultimate responsibility for patient care lies with the appointed attending staff physician and not with the resident.

Residents are expected to provide a clinical service, appropriate to their level of training, to patients admitted to teaching units. Residents have a duty to provide care in emergency situations to other patients in hospitals where they are training.

Any further coverage of these other patients is by mutual agreement between the resident and the attending staff physician concerned, and requires the attending staff physician to provide the same academic responsibilities and supervision as he/she does on teaching units.

Where the trainee is not provided with adequate supervision and/or responsibility for patient care by the attending staff physician, the patient cannot be regarded as a teaching patient.

It is Faculty of Medicine policy that duty periods be regulated to provide both adequate patient care and essential patient exposure while also allowing sufficient time for rest as well as specific and general medical reading and other academic activities.

As physicians, along with other health professionals, your principal focus is the patient. Patients come from a wide range of cultures, diverse economic and educational backgrounds, as well as extremes in age groups. In addition, they and their families come to us often under a great deal of stress and vulnerability.

It behoves us all to present ourselves as professionals who are sensitive and responsive to our patient's expectations regarding appropriate identification, apparel, et cetera while on active duty. In addition to formal unscheduled teaching from attending staff physicians, the attendance and participation of all staff physicians in academic half days or formal teaching sessions occur as teaching rounds.

The University claims sole right in, and responsibility for, the selection of residents for the Dalhousie Integrated Training Programs. Residents are subject to the regulations of the hospital in which they train and this applies as well to resignation, suspension, termination and dismissal procedures. The University has the right to suspend or dismiss a resident whose academic performance does not meet accepted standards.