Updated: August 26, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. ADT

The Faculty of Medicine will provide specific updates to supplement those already provided by Dalhousie University on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep you informed.

Current situation

NSPH’s approval of the revised postsecondary framework confirms that restrictions such as distancing, caps on class sizes, etc. will not be required for university operations this fall.   

This reflects the positive indicators we see in Nova Scotia. COVID cases have declined significantly, with no community spread at present and border measures helping contain travel cases. The province’s vaccination rollout continues steadily and successfully, with over two-thirds of the total population fully vaccinated. And the effectiveness of COVID vaccines is holding strong even against emerging variants: only 0.8% of the 4,200+ cases in the province since March have been in fully vaccinated individuals.

More information  

Please visit the COVID-19 Information and Updates page for links to the latest, most up-to-date information about the fall term and returns to campus.  

Emergency Response Team

The Faculty of Medicine has formed an Emergency Response Committee that will be meeting at least weekly until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Membership on this committee includes:

Emergency Response Committee

Name

Title

Adrian Herod

Graduate Student

Alexandra Fournier

Communications Coordinator, DMNB

Andrew Warren

Associate Dean, PGME

Ann Barrett

Associate Dean, Scholarly Communications

Anne Weeden

Executive Director, Operations & Policy

Carolyn Thomson

Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs

Christy Simpson

Head, Department of Bioethics

Constance LeBlanc

Assistant Dean, CPD

Craig McCormick

Co-interim Associate Dean, Research

Darrell White

Senior Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine

David Anderson

Dean, Faculty of Medicine

Erica Holloway

Professor, DMNB

Evelyn Sutton

Associate Dean, UGME

Gaynor Watson-Creed

Assistant Dean, Serving & Engaging

Ian Taylor

Director, Med IT

James Fawcett

Co-interim Associate Dean, Research

Janice Godin

Director, Human Resources

Jason Bremner

Communications Advisor, Faculty of Medicine

Jennifer Hall

Associate Dean, DMNB

Joanne MacDonald

Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

Linda Penny

Chief Operating Officer, Faculty of Medicine

Lisa Sutherland

Director, DMNB

Mitch McDonough

DMSS VP New Brunswick

Nicole Boutilier

VP Medicine, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Pamela Bourque

Chief Operating Officer, DMNB

Patrick Holland

Student Representative

Paul Bourgeois

Building Services Manager

Robert Boulay

Assistant Dean, Clinical Education – DMNB

Roger McLeod

Associate Dean, Research

Sandi Carew

CEO, Maritime Resident Doctors

Shawna O’Hearn

Director, Global Health Office

Simon Field

Assistant Dean, Clerkship

Valerie Chappe

Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies

William Baldridge

Head, Department of Medical Neuroscience

If you have specific COVID-19 related questions, please contact the committee member related to your area. You may also contact Mr. Jason Bremner at: jason.bremner@dal.ca

Travel / Self-Isolation     

Updated Mask Guidance

Nova Scotia:
Students will be required to wear a masks at all times in buildings on the Nova Scotia campus. This requirement will include all common areas, as well as lecture and tutorial sessions. Further, all students will be required to wear masks at all times in any partner teaching hospital facility (Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health Centre).

Unvaccinated learners will be required to wear a mask AND face shield for all activities in the Centre for Collaborative Clinical Learning and Research (C3LR) and all Nova Scotia Health facilities.

Masking guidelines will be continually reassessed to ensure alignment with recommendations from Public Health.  

New Brunswick:
Masks must be worn in the DMNB building in hallways, public spaces, tutorial rooms and classrooms.  Non-medical grade masks are permitted in all areas of the building except for the LRC. In the LRC, medical grade masks are required and will be provided when students enter this area for clinical skills sessions.

Medical grade masks are required on entry to Horizon Health facilities, physician offices and clinics.

To minimize disruptions with travel and hospital placements, we are asking all medical students to voluntarily provide their COVID-19 vaccination verification to Student Affairs.

Med I and Med II students are asked to upload their vaccination verification status using the online platform on Dal Medix by September 30th. The online platform for Med III and Med IV students to upload their status is being built and further instructions for these classes will be communicated early next week.

If students have previously uploaded their vaccine status to Dal Medix, no further action is required. If students have any questions about the upload process, please contact Anita MacDonald (anita.macdonald@dal.ca) in Nova Scotia, or Renea Leskie (renea.leskie@dal.ca) in New Brunswick.

Med 1

Rural Week for Med I students (DMNS) is deferred to 2022.

Med 2

After further discussion, the decision has been made to move the OSCE, previously rescheduled to take place in PIER 1. The OSCEs will now take place during PIER 2, on December 4, 2021.

Rural Week for Med II DMNS only
We had hoped the COVID situation would have allowed us to move forward as planned, adhering to strict Public Health safety precautions, but unfortunately this is not possible at this time. As such, Rural week for Med II students scheduled later this month is now cancelled (DMNS only). We are working on a potential summer elective experience for those who are interested and able to participate. Details to follow.  

Med 3

At this time, all undergraduate medical education activities, including clinical clerkships, are continuing as planned. This is a fluid situation and subject to change suddenly as the epidemiology of this pandemic evolves.

the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has determined that there will be no visiting electives for the Class of 2022, a tough decision that factored in the evolution of the pandemic and varying public health measures in each province.

While disappointing to many of you, this decision will ensure equitable educational opportunities across the country and will not disadvantage those regions which are experiencing greater challenges and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to travel restrictions, with the Nova Scotian border now being closed to people coming from Prince Edward Island, we have made the decision to relocate all core clerkship rotations currently scheduled to take place on PEI for the remainder of the year.

These rotations will be relocated to take place in Nova Scotia, and students will be contacted individually by the clinical department administrators with information regarding their new rotation.

Med 4

Med IV electives are proceeding as scheduled. Students need to be mindful of travel restrictions throughout the Maritime provinces that may impact elective activity. Students should be aware of travel and work restrictions that may occur related to travel from one area to another in the Maritimes.  Travel restrictions continue to evolve, and learners will be notified as they are clarified. Students can reach out to Student Affairs if they have questions or concerns.

We understand that students may wish to change their elective plans to avoid having to isolate, and we would encourage any students that wish to do so to contact the relevant clinical departments and Student Affairs as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to support and assist students in making new arrangements. There will be no penalties against students who are forced to cancel electives at short notice as a result of these measures.

Vaccines

Students, as well as faculty and staff, are being advised to be fully vaccinated prior to arriving on campus. Dalhousie strongly encourages all students and community members who are able to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to do so. However, it is not a requirement to come back to campus.

Contact Information

Nova Scotia
Dr. Evelyn Sutton
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education
Email: evelyn.sutton@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1890

New Brunswick
Dr. Jennifer Hall
Associate Dean, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick
Email: jennifer.hall@dal.ca
Phone: 506-636-6979

Nova Scotia
Dr. Sue Zinck, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Email: suzanne.zinck@dal.ca

New Brunswick:
Dr. Lisa Sutherland, Director, Student Affairs
Phone: (506) 643-1431

Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness

Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness continues to provide both health and counselling services for students. Most services have transitioned to telephone or video-based contacts. One can make an appointment online at dal.ca/studenthealth/bookonline or by calling the Student Health and Wellness Centre at 902-494-2171. 

Student Affairs has also created a helpful Brightspace site to bring together in one place relevant information for students. To access Student Support Services, log in to Brightspace and click on the course called “Student Support Services.” There you will find:

  • Information about the new grading policy
  • remote learning resources
  • faculty-level academic supports
  • student health resources
  • contact information for Advising and Career Services, including a virtual front desk where you can chat with a staff member
  • contact information for writing support
  • information about financial resources
  • information about library services

More information on Student Supports (including Arrival in NS and a Declaration of Absence Form) can be found here.

Remote Library Services

  • All of Dalhousie Libraries’ online resources (databases, ebooks, ejournals) are still available. Should you experience any problems accessing resources, please contact Library.Eresources@dal.ca.
  • Subject liaisons are available to help with research and library assistance. Please contact ugmelib@dal.ca and one of the Medicine liaisons can assist you.
  • Dalhousie Libraries’ eReserve service is available to create reliable links to content in Brightspace, and the library can scan specific chapters of print Reserve items to post to Brightspace.
  • Dalhousie Libraries’ LiveHelp service is available anytime for faculty and students. You can access the chat box here: https://libraries.dal.ca/help/ask-us.html
  • Anything that can be delivered electronically (articles, conference papers, book chapters) can be ordered through Document Delivery. NOTE: This does not include print books or entire e-books.
  • Scholarship@Dal Libraries webinars and UNIWeb training sessions are still taking place. See what is being offered on the Dalhousie Libraries’ Events Calendar.
  • Need help with remote teaching? Take in an Academic Technology Services (ATS) virtual drop-in session, running Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 8:00 PM (Atlantic Time). More information here: https://www.dal.ca/dept/elearning.html  
  • DMNB students still have access to the UNBSJ library spaces and collections. Students can book a seat it in the library by visiting https://lib.unb.ca/services/bookings. They can also request an item from the collection by visiting the UNB library catalogue and making the request there.
  • Any changes to Dalhousie Libraries services will be posted here: https://libraries.dal.ca/covid-19-updates.html


Postgraduate Medical Education

General Information

  • With the improving epidemiology of COVID-19 within the region and our ever- increasing vaccination rates, we have developed an electives reopening plan. In discussion with Nova Scotia Health, the IWK and Horizon Health, Dalhousie has decided to re-open for OUTGOING electives as of July 1, 2021 (the start of block one).  We will reopen for INCOMING electives on July 28, 2021 (the beginning of block two).
  • Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam -part 2 (MCCQE2), has been suspended.  The Medical Council has also re-defined the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada as consisting only of part 1.  This paves the way for more regulatory authorities to grant full licenses to those who have successfully passed part 1 of the exam, regardless of the outcome of part 2, without requiring changes in provincial legislation. 
 
  • Please notify your program director about your need to self-isolate.

  • Travel guidelines are different depending on the province in which your home training site is based.  

  • Travel Update (Horizon): March 10, 2021

Travel Restrictions

Process for Work-Isolation

  • If travelling for one of the approved reasons (bereavement with critical staffing shortage on return, IIA, or essential final year elective) Dalhousie residents should email pgdirect@dal.ca with a request for work isolation on return, the details of planned travel and reason to be away, along with confirmation of approval of the elective or leave from their Program Director.

  • Once a request for work isolation is received, the Director of PGME will advise residents on the next steps.

  • It is advised that residents reach out to the PGME director 3-4 weeks before their planned return to the Atlantic Bubble.

  • Residents should assume that self-isolation for 2 weeks will be required on return, until they have confirmation of approval for work isolation from the PGME director.

Resident Redeployment

All residents, like other physicians, are potentially subject to redeployment / reassignment.  Every effort will be made to begin with volunteers. 

Residents will not be penalized academically for work related to redeployment that falls outside their usual training program rotations. In cases where terminal competencies have not been achieved and a resident is at the end of training, training extension may be offered in accordance with our usual practice.

NSH officials will work with PGME and programs to minimize redeployment to the degree possible. Our guidelines ensure that we redeploy residents to areas most proximal to their training discipline and in accordance with their individual skills and abilities. 

To this end, program directors have been contacted to ask that all residents be assigned a specific general work category that best aligns with their skill set.  Categories include: no patient contact, capable of ward-based care with supervision, capable of supervising on a ward, and capable of ICU care.  Should you have specific concerns or questions about your work level assignment, please contact your program director. This approach aligns with NSH work categories for faculty members.

Through its guidelines on response to mass casualty events and public health emergencies Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine has endorsed the principle that all
registered PG learners including residents and Dalhousie fellows are subject to these redeployment measures by virtue of their status in the hospitals.

Redeployment under such circumstances is the jurisdiction of the hospital administrative leaders who are charged with providing care to the population. The VPs Medicine or their delegates at our affiliated health authorities will advise the Faculty of the relevant measures taken involving PG learners through the Academic Issues Committee and the Dean, Senior Associate Dean, and/or Associate Dean, PGME.

Electives

  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) for NS has asked us to stop all non-essential travel. Travel by Dalhousie residents for elective rotations outside of Atlantic Canada is not considered essential. 
  • Therefore, effective at the beginning of block 12, (start May 3, 2021), with the exception below, all new incoming electives by those originating outside of Atlantic Canada, are cancelled.
  • Similarly, all outgoing electives (outside of Atlantic Canada) are cancelled.
  • Electives within Atlantic Canada by those whose “home base” for residency is within Atlantic Canada, are allowed. 
  • Those arriving in NS from Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) do not have to self-isolate, nor do they require COVID swabs prior to starting work in NS unless required for other reasons (eg known exposure). 
  • Those arriving in NS from New Brunswick (NB) must both fully self-isolate AND have two negative COVID swabs prior to starting work.
  • Residents already isolating in NS in advance of electives beginning in block 12 will be allowed to proceed with the elective. 
  • No new elective requests will be approved for a start date after May 3, 2021 until further notice.
  • Residents doing electives in PEI or NL are expected to follow the public health guidelines in those provinces, which may require a period of isolation.

Royal College Preliminary Guidance

These documents will walk you through the requirements of training and key considerations for programs, as well as processes for attestations of training.

Financial Assistance for Residents

Financial Support for Isolation and Cancelled Electives

If you have/will be incurring expenses as a result of isolation due to travel for training, or cancelled electives there may be financial support. Please reach out to pgdirect@dal.cafor eligibility details or to apply.

Contact Information

Nova Scotia & PEI
Dr. Andrew Warren
Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education
Email: andrew.warren@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1850

New Brunswick
Dr. Jennifer Hall
Associate Dean, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick
Email: jennifer.hall@dal.ca
Phone: 506-636-6979

Dr. Lisa Sutherland
Director Student and Resident Affairs
Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick
Email: sutherll@dal.ca
Phone: 506-643-1431

Dr. Carolyn Thomson, Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs
Phone: (902) 494-3232    
Email: Carolyn.thomson@dal.ca

Remote Library Services

Remote Library Services

  • All of Dalhousie Libraries’ online resources (databases, ebooks, ejournals) are still available. Should you experience any problems accessing resources, please contact Library.Eresources@dal.ca.
  • Subject liaisons are available to help with research and library assistance. Please contact ugmelib@dal.ca and one of the Medicine liaisons can assist you.
  • Dalhousie Libraries’ eReserve service is available to create reliable links to content in Brightspace, and the library can scan specific chapters of print Reserve items to post to Brightspace.
  • Dalhousie Libraries’ LiveHelp service is available anytime for faculty and students. You can access the chat box here: https://libraries.dal.ca/help/ask-us.html
  • Anything that can be delivered electronically (articles, conference papers, book chapters) can be ordered through Document Delivery. NOTE: This does not include print books or entire e-books.
  • Scholarship@Dal Libraries webinars and UNIWeb training sessions are still taking place. See what is being offered on the Dalhousie Libraries’ Events Calendar.
  • Need help with remote teaching? Take in an Academic Technology Services (ATS) virtual drop-in session, running Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 8:00 PM (Atlantic Time). More information here: https://www.dal.ca/dept/elearning.html  
  • DMNB students still have access to the UNBSJ library spaces and collections. Students can book a seat it in the library by visiting https://lib.unb.ca/services/bookings. They can also request an item from the collection by visiting the UNB library catalogue and making the request there.
  • Any changes to Dalhousie Libraries services will be posted here: https://libraries.dal.ca/covid-19-updates.html


Graduate Studies

Together@Dal

Fall 2020 will be a semester like none before. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will welcome approximately 1,000 students, most of whom will be studying online, and many from locations around the world. To bring us all together we’ve created Together@Dal: Grad Edition.

The program will share the resources available to you at the university, help equip you to start your degree online and create a community of graduate student peers.

Graduate Students

  • All Graduate course classes will continue to be online until Jan 2021. There are no further in-person classes, regardless of class size.
  • All seminars, research days, conferences and journal clubs will only proceed online.  Please consult your Department for online scheduled activities and events.
  • Each program should consider developing webinars or web streaming option to allow research discussions to continue.
  • All thesis defences (both Master and PhD) will now proceed remotely. Please follow your Department or the Faculty of Graduate Studies guidelines for remote thesis defences.
  • Departments should consider back-up plans for sick members and deferral options.
  • See the FAQ on thesis defence on FGS website.

Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness

Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness continues to provide both health and counselling services for students. Most services have transitioned to telephone or video-based contacts. One can make an appointment online at dal.ca/studenthealth/bookonline or by calling the Student Health and Wellness Centre at 902-494-2171. 

Student Affairs has also created a helpful Brightspace site to bring together in one place relevant information for students. To access Student Support Services, log in to Brightspace and click on the course called “Student Support Services.” There you will find:

  • Information about the new grading policy
  • remote learning resources
  • faculty-level academic supports
  • student health resources
  • contact information for Advising and Career Services, including a virtual front desk where you can chat with a staff member
  • contact information for writing support
  • information about financial resources
  • information about library services

More information on Student Supports (including Arrival in NS and a Declaration of Absence Form) can be found here.

Faculty of Medicine Graduate Students Society (FMGSS)

Call for Peer Support Students
Hello! The Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Society is proud to announce the formation of The Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Peer Support Network. We are currently looking for at least two graduate student volunteers from each department to fill the role of peer support student. You will be educated on mental health resources and trained in active listening and mental health support for students in distress. The volunteer position is strictly for peer support. Volunteers will not be asked to provide ounselling or primary care.

If you are intested, please reach out to one of the following:

Adrian Herod: Adrian.Herod@Dal.Ca
Prathyusha Konda:Prathyusha.Konda@Dal.Ca
Patrick Slaine: Patrick.Slaine@Dal.ca

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • For anyone concerned about their funding and the impact of COVID-19 on their progression should contact the funding agencies, Dr. Valerie Chapp, or Faculty of Graduate Studies for support.
  • Information pertaining to postdoctoral fellows can be found here.

Supervisory Committee Meetings

  • Meetings should proceed online.

Comprehensive Exams

  • Should proceed remotely and on schedule. if the student does not wish to defer to the winter term. Prepare back-up plans for sick members.

Other Activities

  • FMGSS: all in-person social events and meetings are cancelled.For online meetings and events please contact FMGSS leadership.
  • PREP sessions: PREP sessions: In Person PREP sessions are cancelled. Online options have been developed. Please contact Jodi Reid (jodi.reid@dal.ca) for information on upcoming online PREP sessions.
  • The scholarships committee will continue to review applications for funding. All discussions will be done remotely. Please follow announcements from the MRDO with calls for applications and deadlines.
  • Student payroll: GSPIP have clear requirement for administrators to continue monitoring and entering necessary information to keep the stipend rolling. Students will continue to receive stipends and scholarships as directed by funding agencies.
  • Student should consult with their supervisors to plan for their research project as directed.

Student recruitment for next term can proceed with online interviews only.

Contact Information

Dr. Valerie Chappe
Assistant Dean, Graduate & Postgraduate Studies
Email:
 valerie.chappe@dal.ca

Dr. Younes Anini
Research Trainees Advisor
Email: Younes.Anini@Dal.Ca

Dr Leslie Anne Campbell
Research Trainees Advisor
Email: leslie.anne.campbell@dal.ca


Research

COVID‑19 Research Opportunities and Information

The phased approach to Return to Campus planning focused on the safety of the research community and the important continuation of mission-critical teaching, research and student support. As such, Dalhousie University is continuing current research activity at this time. Likewise, DMNB research activities are continuing at our New Brunswick campus.

The Medical Research Development Office has created a page with information regarding funding opportunities, search tools, and external updates.

Please visit: https://medicine.dal.ca/research-dal-med/covid-19-information.html, for more information.

CORES

  • As of today, CORE facilities will remain open to users as per normal, except where CORES staff are unable to meet Public Health requirements for safe distancing.
  • This may mean that users who have not already been trained for the use of a piece of equipment will be unable to use it.
  • Users will be required to wash their hands upon entry to, and before leaving, the CORE.
  • Please contact the CORE Manager for information on changes to normal service as this may change as things evolve, and please sensitive to these issues as you plan your upcoming research plans.


Faculty and Staff

Working Remotely

 

  • MedIT will no longer be offering daily Teams information sessions as of Friday, April 3 due to decreasing demand. Please contact medit@dal.ca if you have any questions, concerns, or challenges when it comes to working remotely and/or distributed education. MedIT will work with you and your department to select and develop the appropriate tools and strategies you need to communicate online safely.
  • a COVID-19 guideline for employment at Dalhousie is now available online through a new resource for employees, a Remote Working site.
  • The guideline is intended to help leaders of academic and service and support units, unit administrators, and faculty and staff understand the impact of the current COVID-19 virtual operations on terms and conditions of employment at Dalhousie.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit: https://www.dal.ca/novel-coronavirus.html for the most up-to-date information from Dalhousie University.

Information Security

A reminder to our community to be vigilant and cautious with email in your inbox and the tools being used to communicate and share information. More details can be found at the Remote Working site under the Technology Resources menu, including:

  • COVID-19 Related Scams: a number of malicious actors are taking the opportunity to exploit fears about the infection, and use alerts and other communications to trick people into installing malware on your devices. Don't click on a link or open an attachment of anything suspicious. "When it doubt, throw it out." More information can be found here.
  • Technology Security Topics (link): contains information related to Zoom Risks and Best Practices, VPNs and Remote Access, Securing Mobile Devices, Protection from Phishing, and much more.

Continuing Professional Development & Medical Education

The Continuing Professional Development & Medical Education Office has compiled useful information related to COVID-19 for both physicians and the general public.

 

Mental Health Supports

In this uncertain time, our students, faculty, and staff may be experiencing stress and anxiety. If you are in need of assistance, several mental health resources are available to you:

Access to Buildings

Nova Scotia:
Learners will have access to the Tupper Link from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. seven days per week.

New Brunswick:
Learners will have 24/7 access to the DMNB building including the student lounge and student lockers.

Directional arrows in the stairways will remain in place for now.

Trusted COVID-19 information and resources

Prevention and preparedness remain key advice: