Faculty of Medicine: COVID‑19 Information

Updated: April 3, 2020 at 12:00 p.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

There are confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the Maritime provinces. The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dalhousie University announced on March 13, 2020 that all in-person classes will be suspended. In-person classes, in-person labs and in-person exams will not resume this term. Any course delivery will occur through temporary remote (distance) teaching ­– in most cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace.

The Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency, Sunday, March 22, 2020, in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The province’s new measures include a limit on group gatherings to no more than five (5) people and a requirement to maintain a distance of at least two (2) meters apart, among other measures. Failure to comply with the new measures may result in fines.

As communicated previously, while Dalhousie remains operational, we are now moving to a virtual operational environment. Consequently, campus buildings, offices and services have suspended in-person operations, and are restricting access except for faculty/staff with electronic access control cards. Designated residence buildings will have access controlled by an on-site commissionaire.

All faculty and staff are expected to work remotely. Attendance on campus is strongly discouraged unless directed or permitted to attend work by an administrative head. Employees are expected to stay and work from home

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     

  • All non-essential university travel is suspended. Do not book university travel. This suspension will be until June 1 at a minimum.
  • Faculty of Medicine staff, non-clinical faculty, residents and students will adhere to Dalhousie University’s travel and isolation policies.
  • Self-isolating graduate students should report their status to their graduate coordinator, staff to their supervisor and faculty to their Department Head.
  • Any self-isolating residents must report their status to their program director and Resident Affairs office.

Undergraduate Medical Education

Med 1

  • Med 1 students will not be asked to return to campus for the remainder of the academic year.
  • The Med 1 OSCE is postponed this semester. A new time will be communicated when a decision is made.
  • Med 1 Unit and lab exams will proceed as scheduled, but remotely. We are currently working with Dalhousie University on the logistics surrounding this and will provide more information as soon as we know it.
  • We will be postponing Rural Week for Med 1s.
  • Students are encouraged to continue with their RIM and Service Learning projects. In person contact with patients however is not allowed.
  • If you experience any trouble logging in with Microsoft Teams, please contact medit@dal.ca.
  • The remaining Skilled Clinician content will be posted on Brightspace prior to usual session times for student access and review.
  • The team has been working diligently to develop an online Taking A Sexual History module and MS Teams approach to the actual history-taking stations.
  • Potentially for this class an enhanced Pelvis and Rectal teaching session will be added to their PIER 1 teachings in August 2021.
  • We are currently looking at options to deliver an integrated history experience for students with more information available soon.
  • If you are unsure about where a particular piece of your curriculum will be delivered, please refer to One45. Updates will be made to each session’s location, indicating one of the following options:
    1. Microsoft Teams
    2. Pre-recorded lecture
    3. Last year’s lecture recording
    4. Refer to course document on Brightspace
    5. To be determined

NOTE: Cancelled curriculum will no longer appear in your One45 schedule, as it has been removed.

If you have any questions about your schedule at any time, please contact your Curriculum Coordinator.

PLEASE NOTE: Any procedural skills sessions (ultrasound/sterile scrub) missed by Med 1 or 2 students will be integrated into the upcoming year’s schedule.

General Reminders:

  • Any student who has travelled outside the Maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) since March 13, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. and is returning to Saint John or Halifax, MUST self-isolate for 14 days.

During this time:

  • Lectures in Human Development and Professional Competencies I Units will be delivered online.
  • When a lecturer is unable to present the topic in person, a recorded lecture is archived for review.
  • Tutorials will be carried out through the Microsoft Teams platforms.
  • Labs will be converted to online presentations that will be posted on Brightspace.
  • Electives, Family Medicine Experience and observerships are cancelled.

Med 2

  • Med 2 students will not be asked to return to campus for the remainder of the academic year.
  • The Med 2 OSCE is postponed this semester. A new time will be communicated when a decision is made.
  • Med 2 Unit and lab exams will proceed as scheduled, but remotely. We are currently working with Dalhousie University on the logistics surrounding this and will provide more information as soon as we know it.
  • Dalhousie University has made the difficult decision to move the spring/summer courses, set to begin in May, to remote (distance) teaching. This means in-person classes will not resume on-campus until the fall. Additional details on spring/summer courses will be shared in the coming weeks.
  • Students are encouraged to continue with their RIM and Service Learning projects. In person contact with patients however is not allowed.
  • If you experience any trouble logging in to Microsoft Teams, please contact medit@dal.ca.
  • MSK, Pediatric and Integration in-person Skilled Clinician sessions are postponed
  • The remaining MSK and Pediatric Skilled Clinician content will be posted on Brightspace prior to usual session times for student access and review.
    1. Pediatric Skilled Clinician content is being put together by component heads and will be posted on Brightspace. Further direction will come from UGME on this.
  • MSK Skilled Clinician lectures for the next 4 weeks will be offered live online to students on Tuesday mornings at 0930-1030.
    1. NOTE: Students are strongly encouraged to attend the live Tuesday session to ask or listen to any Q/As at the end of the session.These sessions will also be
    2. archived for viewing at later dates. A link to a video series for joint examinations will be posted on Brightspace.
    3.  When classes resume, there will be a hands-on teaching session for students to learn the MSK exam.
  • Case practice sessions have been redeveloped as interactive online cases for students to work through. These will be posted regularly on the Skilled Clinician MSK Brighspace site starting Monday, April 6.
  • The Integration component is being redeveloped for online learning. There will be direction from our UGME staff as material for posting becomes available.
  • DMNB Partnering for Patty Simulation has been canceled. Options will be considered to give students an IPE experience. Stay tuned for more information.
  • If you are unsure about where a particular piece of your curriculum will be delivered, please refer to One45. Updates will be made to each session’s location, indicating one of the following options:
    1. Microsoft Teams
    2. Pre-recorded lecture
    3. Last year’s lecture recording
    4. Refer to course document on Brightspace
    5. To be determined

NOTE: Cancelled curriculum will not appear in your One45 schedule.

If you have any questions about your schedule at any time, please contact your Curriculum Coordinator.

We will be sending out more information on the other curricular element that have not yet been addressed.

** any procedural skills sessions (ultrasound/sterile scrub) missed by Med 1 or 2 students will be integrated into the upcoming year’s schedule.

Med 3

  • In recognition of ongoing escalation of COVID-19 related activities, we have pushed back the potential start date of the resumption of clerkship to no earlier than May 19, 2020. We will confirm this return date no later than May 5, 2020. Classes could potentially resume virtually with PIER 3 before the May 19th date.
  • After careful thought, and to align with the decision-making of medical schools across North America, we have made the decision to suspend clinical clerkship rotations as of 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020.
  • Every effort is being made to maintain the academic integrity of your medical education, and we will provide regular updates to inform you about developments.
  • All IPE/Simulation sessions have been canceled for the remainder of March. These resources are currently being used for staff/faculty training with respect to COVID-19.

Med 4

  • PIER 4 lectures will be assessed on a day by day basis. Some faculty have new clinical duties as a result of the pandemic and may not be available at the last minute. For any sessions where a lecturer is not available, an archived version of last year’s lecture will be posted on Brightspace that students are expected to review.
  • The Residency Resiliency and Wellness session will go as planned.
  • ACLS is being canceled at this time. In all likelihood this will be delivered as part of residency training, but again, stay tuned.
  • CRAM sessions will likely be delivered through MS Teams online platform. Stay tuned.
  • Part one the Medical Council of Canada qualifying examinations have been postponed.
  • No new dates have been set, but university officials are working with the certification bodies, as well as with provincial regulatory authorities to minimize the impact on graduating medical students and residents.
  • Registrars of the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons in all three Maritime provinces have assured us that the cancellation of these examinations will not  impact the ability of graduating medical students to begin residency on time.

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. Joanne MacDonald, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Phone: (902) 494-3232
Email: joanne.macdonald@dal.ca

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

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   
  • Any changes to Dalhousie Libraries services will be posted here: https://libraries.dal.ca/covid-19-updates.html

Daily Undergraduate Education Updates

March 16, 2020 Update

  • All clinical electives are postponed until further notice.
  • Service Learning programming has been postponed until further notice.
  • Observerships are postponed until further notice.
  • It is understood that there are presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the university community at the University of New Brunswick.
  • Clinical clerkships in New Brunswick will still be held, with the situation being closely monitored.

Med 1

  • Skilled Clinician sessions will be canceled for the next two weeks.
  • Virtual lectures and tutorials will begin next week following March break.

Med 2

  • Virtual lectures and tutorials will begin following March break.
  • MSK clinical skills sessions will begin following March break.
  • Any student requiring self-isolation will have make up clinical skills sessions
  • Case practice sessions are canceled until further notice.
  • Small group parent-tot Pediatric sessions will be canceled for the next two weeks.

Med 3

  • Simulations that occur in clinical environments are postponed for a minimum of two weeks.
  • Simulation resources at multiple sites are being used for clinical staff training to deal with COVID-19.
  • For non-clinical teaching sessions, best practice for social distancing and spacing should be implemented.
  • Academic half-day sessions may be performed virtually.

Med 4

  • The Communications Skills Sessions at DMNS scheduled for March 19, 2020 will be postponed.
  • Information around scheduling for remainder of PIER 4 will be made available later in week.
  • Interviews for the second iteration of the 2020 R-1 Match will be conducted virtually. Visit the CARMS website for more information.

March 15, 2020 Update

  • Clerks will report for scheduled rotations and clinical sites on March 16, 2020.
  • Clerks who meet current guidelines for self-isolation will not report on March 16th, but will advise their preceptors, Student Affairs and UGME that they are required to be in self-isolation.
  • Clinical services may reassign students within a rotation, depending on staff resources and workloads.
  • Clerks will not be expected to perform additional clinical or on-call responsibilities as a result of classmates being in self-isolation.
  • Some students may require specific accommodations as supported by Student Affairs as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Part one the Medical Council of Canada qualifying examinations have been postponed.
  • No new dates have been set, but university officials are working with the certification bodies, as well as with provincial regulatory authorities to minimize the impact on graduating medical students and residents.
  • Registrars of the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons in all three Maritime provinces have assured us that the cancellation of these examinations will not  impact the ability of graduating medical students to begin residency on time.

March 13, 2020 Update #2

Med 1 & 2:

  • Class suspension period coincides with reading week break. No change.
  • It is expected classes will resume via remote teaching the week of March 23rd. More information will be provided next week.

Med 3

  • Clerkships will take place as scheduled.
  • Dalhousie Medical School clerks are required to self-isolate for 14 days following any travel outside of Canada with an arrival date after 12:00 p.m. on March 13th.
  • All self-isolating clerks must report their status to their clerkship coordinator and to their campus Student Affairs office (Dr. Joanne MacDonald for Nova Scotia and Dr. Lisa Sutherland for New Brunswick). Self-isolating clerks must also submit a Leave of Absence form to the Undergraduate Medical Education office.

Med 4

  • PIER 4 lectures scheduled for March 16th, 17th, and 18th will take place remotely at the scheduled times.
  • Login information will be provided by Med IT on Monday morning.
  • Further information about the rest of PIER 4 will be forwarded early next week.

March 13, 2020 Update

On March 12, 2020, health authorities across the Maritimes communicated that medical students working on an Emergency Medicine rotation would be restricted from seeing patients with a respiratory illness.

  • Clinical clerks will continue to be involved with the assessment of patients with acute respiratory illness.
  • Dalhousie Medical School is in constant contact with the various health authorities to ensure the safety and education of our learners.
  • The assessment of patients with acute respiratory illnesses is an important part of medical training.
  • Appropriate precautions and standard universal precautions should be taken including, gloves, gowns and regular masks. N95 masks are not necessary for these encounters.
  • N95 masks are reserved for procedures where viral particles may be aerosolized. In these situations, clinical clerks should not be in the room.

Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures:

High risk

Other

Endotracheal intubation & extubation

Airway suctioning

High frequency oscillatory ventilation

High-flow oxygen (optiflow)

Bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage

Breaking closed ventilation system, intentionally (e.g., open suctioning), unintentionally (e.g., patient movement)

Laryngoscopy

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Positive pressure ventilation (BiPAP & CPAP)

Tracheostomy care

Autopsy of lung tissue

Chest physiotherapy

Nasopharyngeal washing, aspirate, and scoping

Administration of aerosolizing or nebulizing medications

Sputum induction

Abscess/wound irrigation (non-respiratory TB)2

Any questions or concerns can from students or clerkship directors can be addressed by:

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

March 12, 2020 Update

  • Learners who believe they need accommodation related to COVID-19, either because of specific health concerns, or high-risk group membership, should contact the Student Affairs Office.
  • Pre-clerkship and clerkship learners are to report to their clinical assignments and learning environments as currently planned.
  • At this point, the UGME curriculum will proceed as usual. Advance planning for the possibility of alternate means of instruction has begun.
  • Undergraduate learners will not be assigned to the direct care of known COVID-19 patients.
  • Students should re-familiarize themselves with routine practices and additional precautions for care of those on respiratory isolation if they have questions.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Student Affairs Office with any questions or concerns.

Nova Scotia
Dr. Joanne MacDonald, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Phone: (902) 494-3232
Email: joanne.macdonald@dal.ca

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

 


Postgraduate Medical Education

General Information

  • With the state of emergency now in effect, new self-isolation requirements for inter-provincial travel have been introduced. We are seeking clarity about how these restrictions will apply to our residents.
  • At this time, and until we receive further information, we are asking all residents who arrived in Nova Scotia after 6:00 a.m. on March 23, 2020, from other provinces in Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Please notify your program director about your need to self-isolate.
  • We will update you as soon as we learn more information, in hopes you can return to your rotation or regularly scheduled learning experiences as soon as possible.
    We recognize the stress that this announcement is causing / has caused and will continue to provide information as it is received.

Resident Redeployment

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.

Certifications and Exams

  • All spring written examinations for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as the written and oral examinations for the College of Family Physicians of Canada have been postponed.
  • Part one and two of the Medical Council of Canada qualifying examinations have been postponed.
  • No new dates have been set, but university officials are working with the certification bodies, as well as with provincial regulatory authorities to minimize the impact on graduating medical students and residents.
  • Registrars of the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons in all three Maritime provinces have assured us that the cancellation of these examinations will not impact the ability of graduating residents to begin practice, nor will they impact the ability of graduating medical students to begin residency on time.
  • Discussions on rescheduling and local delivery of Royal College exams is ongoing. Exams may potentially be rescheduled as early as May 2020.

Electives

  • Dalhousie residents doing electives at Dalhousie institutions, including distributed locations across the Maritimes, can continue as scheduled until advised otherwise.
  • All other electives are postponed.

Academic Half Days

  • Academic half days can continue if social distancing principles can be maintained through such means as IT supported delivery or appropriate spacing.

Resident Resources

The Resident Affairs Office has a number of resources available for residents. For more information, please visit their website.

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

Resident Affairs
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   
  • Any changes to Dalhousie Libraries services will be posted here: https://libraries.dal.ca/covid-19-updates.html

Daily Postgraduate Education Updates

March 16, 2020 Update

  • Dalhousie residents doing electives at Dalhousie institutions, including distributed locations across the Maritimes, can continue as scheduled until advised otherwise. 
  • All other electives are postponed.
  • Academic half days can continue if social distancing principles can be maintained through such means as IT supported delivery or appropriate spacing.
  • Discussions on rescheduling and local delivery of Royal College exams is ongoing. Exams may potentially be rescheduled as early as May 2020.

March 15, 2020 Update

  • All spring written examinations for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as the written and oral examinations for the College of Family Physicians of Canada have been postponed.
  • Part one and two of the Medical Council of Canada qualifying examinations have been postponed.
  • No new dates have been set, but university officials are working with the certification bodies, as well as with provincial regulatory authorities to minimize the impact on graduating medical students and residents.
  • Registrars of the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons in all three Maritime provinces have assured us that the cancellation of these examinations will not impact the ability of graduating residents to begin practice, nor will they impact the ability of graduating medical students to begin residency on time.
  • Program directors and/or electives coordinators should advise residents with electives planned that they should be rebooked.
  • Individuals from other institutions currently doing electives at Dalhousie should be managed on a case-by-case basis, according to the resident’s preference.  
  •  Dalhousie residents doing electives at Dalhousie institutions can continue as scheduled until advised otherwise. 
  • More information will follow as it becomes available.

March 14, 2020 Update

  • All spring written examinations for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as the written and oral examinations for the College of Family Physicians of Canada have been postponed.
  • Part one and two of the Medical Council of Canada qualifying examinations have been postponed.
  • No new dates have been set, but university officials are working with the certification bodies, as well as with provincial regulatory authorities to minimize the impact on graduating medical students and residents.
  • More information will follow as it becomes available.

March 13, 2020 Update #2

  • Dalhousie Medical School residents are required to self-isolate for 14 days following any travel outside of Canada with an arrival date after 12:00 p.m. on March 13th.
  • All self-isolating residents must report their status to their program director and to their campus Resident Affairs office.
  • To ensure the safety of residents and patients, Dalhousie Medical School has cancelled all electives for residents scheduled to be performed outside of the Maritimes.
  • All international electives will be cancelled for those who have not yet arrived in Canada. These restrictions will remain in place for at least three months.
  • Residents beginning electives at the NSHA anytime after today, who have not previously worked at the NSHA (including trainees from elsewhere in Canada) must be reported to Medical Services prior to beginning work. Supervisors are asked to notify physicianrecruit@nshealth.ca.
  • The Postgraduate Medical Education office is collecting information and will communicate with residents next week regarding rescheduled exams and certifications.
  • PGME is recommending the cancellation of in-person academic half days for programs where more than 20 people would normally attend.
  • Dedicated learning time should still be protected and programs are encouraged to look for alternate methods of curriculum delivery such as videoconferencing or e-learning modules.

March 13, 2020 Update

  • On March 13, 2020, the Nova Scotian government introduced new travel measures for pubic sector employees, including health care workers, requiring them to self-isolate upon their return from travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
  • Dalhousie Medical School residents in Nova Scotia are required to self-isolate for 14 days following any travel outside of Canada.
  • Dalhousie Medical School residents outside of Nova Scotia should continue to follow travel restrictions outlined by Public Health and local health authorities.
  • To ensure the safety of residents and patients, Dalhousie Medical School has cancelled all electives for residents scheduled to be performed outside of the Maritimes.
  • Program directors and residents are requested to work together to find alternate learning experiences that will allow them to meet program requirements.
  • For residents scheduled for external learning experiences mandated by accreditation requirements through an inter-university affiliation agreement, approval will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Any questions or concerns can from residents or program directors can be addressed by:

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

March 12, 2020 Update

  • Learners who believe they need accommodation related to COVID19, either because of specific health concerns, or high-risk group membership, should contact the Resident Affairs Office.
  • All planned certification examinations by the RCPSC, CFPC and Medical Council of Canada are currently going ahead as scheduled, but decisions are being updated by the certifying Colleges and Medical Council, as the situation evolves. We will keep residents informed of the decision-making by certification bodies, as it evolves.
  • Participation in electives in other countries during the pandemic should be carefully considered, particularly given the rapidly evolving situation with respect to imposed airline and other travel restrictions.
  • In routinely caring for patients with infectious or potentially infectious respiratory illnesses, the usual respiratory isolation precautions are all that is required.
  • Residents should re-familiarize themselves with routine practices and additional precautions for care of those on respiratory isolation if they have questions.
  • For those residents who are not directly involved the direct care of patients where aerosolized secretions are likely (eg. performing intubations, suctioning or replacing tracheostomies), N95 masks are not necessary and there are no plans to fit residents for masks at this time.
  • Where residents are involved in these situations routinely, the Health Authorities will ensure that appropriate masks and other protective equipment are available, and that appropriate fit testing is performed.  

Please do not hesitate to contact the Resident Affairs Office with any questions or concerns.

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


Graduate Studies

Graduate Students

  • All Graduate course classes have resumed online for the reminder of the term. There are no further in-person classes, regardless of class size.
  • Face-to-face seminars, research days, conferences and journal clubs are all to be cancelled as of March 16, 2020.
  • 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.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Information pertaining to postdoctoral fellows can be found here.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Newsletters

Supervisory Committee Meetings

  • Consider postponing where possible
  • If meetings cannot be delayed until the fall term, meetings should proceed online.

Comprehensive Exams

  • Deferral request by students should be considered and granted.
  • Should proceed remotely and on schedule if the Student do not wish to defer to the fall term. Prepare back-up plans for sick members.

Successful Thesis Defences

Mr. Owen Crump – MSc defence March 24, 2020

Thesis Title: Mast Cells and Interferons as a Novel Approach to Immunotherapy using a Murine Breast Cancer Model

Supervisor: Dr. Jean Marshall

Other Activities

  • FMGSS: all in-person social events and meetings are cancelled.For online meetings and events please contact FMGSS leadership.PREP sessions: In Person PREP sessions are cancelled. Online options are under development. Please contact Gerald Power (gerald.power@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

 

Daily Graduate Studies Update


Research

Tupper Building Scientists

  • All researchers are advised that all University campus-based research operations are to be suspended as of 5:00 pm on Tuesday 24 March 2020, until further notice.
  • Critical COVID-19 research is exempted and will continue as a matter of urgency, with full support. Exceptions will be considered for other time- or resource-sensitive critical projects. 
  • Principal Investigators who are conducting research that meets these criteria must request permission to continue operations.
  • Please submit requests via the form available as Appendix A here [PDF]. Forms are to be submitted by PIs to their Chairs (or Deans, in single-department Faculties) no later than noon on Monday 23 March 2020.
  • Completed forms are to be forwarded by Chairs to Deans and then to the Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation (ovpri@dal.ca) by 4:00pm on Monday 23 March 2020. 
  • The Provost and Vice-President Academic and the Vice-President Research and Innovation will review and decide upon all requests received.

DMNB Research

  • A notice of temporary suspension of all on-site research activities at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick went out on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • The University of New Brunswick has moved to essential services and functions to limit their operations, so all UNB buildings including DMNB will be locked as of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • All DMNB research faculty, staff, and trainees other than designated essential personnel must not come into work on-site in the DMNB building or in the Saint John Regional Hospital translation/anatomy lab.
  • The biomedical research laboratory team is asked to suspend all experiments and to prepare for the laboratory to be closed to all except essential personnel until further notice.
  • All DMNB research faculty, staff, and trainees may continue to work from home and have virtual meetings, but are asked not to gather in-person – even off-site – and should adhere to university and public health guidelines regarding the pandemic: Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Public Health, and Public Heath Agency of Canada.
  • Work-related travel is currently prohibited by both UNB and Dalhousie University.
  • A small group of designated essential personnel will be maintaining the basic operation of the facility. They will be able to receive essential shipments to keep the facility running (e.g. liquid nitrogen), but are not expected to be able to receive other types of shipments (e.g. perishable laboratory reagents).

Laboratory Planning

  • Please consider implementing a laboratory communication strategy, with up-to-date contacts and the clear assignment of responsibilities for members. 
  • Department Heads should ensure that they have updated emergency contact information for all researchers, and researchers for their staff and trainees.
  • Facilities Management has arranged to fill all liquid nitrogen tanks this week and will be monitoring over the next few weeks.
  • Qualified personal for delivery are in place and will continue to top up nitrogen levels in the event of university closure.
  • A potential longer-term closure of weeks should be considered in planning.

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.

Daily Research Updates


Faculty and Staff

Working Remotely

  • All faculty and staff are expected to work remotely. Attendance on campus is strongly discouraged unless directed or permitted to attend work by an administrative head. Employees are expected to stay and work from home.
  • 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.

Current Department Status

Dean's Office

  • Due to the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19, we are closing the in-person Dean’s Office reception services and instead working remotely until further notice. We encourage supervisors of Dalhousie staff to enable them to work remotely wherever possible; see attached guidelines.
  • As a result, we ask that all documents (HR/Finance paperwork) requiring the Dean’s signature be emailed to our reception (Christina.Dort@Dal.ca or deanmed@dal.ca).   

Admission, Resident/Student Affairs

Global Health Office

  • The Global Health Office team will be working from their respective homes.  
  • The official means of communication will be email. Should you wish to be contacted by phone, please provide your phone number in the email message, and a member of the team will contact you.
  • Shawna O’Hearn, Director (shawna.ohearn@dal.ca)
  • Angela Day, Manager, Global Health (Angela.day@dal.ca)
  • Sarah Peddle, Manager, Service Learning (Sarah.peddle@dal.ca)
  • Sarah Upshaw, Manager, PLANS (Sarah.upshaw@dal.ca)
  • Joe MacEachern, Manager, Indigenous Health (Joe.maceachern@dal.ca)
  • Jen LeBlanc, Outreach Manager (jen.leblanc@dal.ca)
  • Chris Yeats, Coordinator, International Students (chris.yeats@dal.ca)
Medical Research Development Office
 
  • Due to the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19, we are closing the MRDO office and will be instead working remotely until further notice.
  • As a result, we ask that all documents requiring approval from the Associate Dean Research be emailed to our reception (sandy.bennett@Dal.ca or shirin.shaikh@dal.ca). 
  • Regarding the Departmental/Unit signatures (ex: Department Head or other), the University will accept the following, and MRDO will do the same:
    • A scanned copy, or
    • An attached email, confirming the signing authority’s approval of said paperwork
C3LR
  • Most staff have moved to remote working from home, however if you need anything, please contact: C3LR@dal.ca
 
 

Events

  • All non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • Faculty and staff are asked to review any Dal Medix calendar entries to ensure that all scheduled events adhere to Dalhousie’s event cancellation policy and are updated accordingly

Mental Health Wellness

  • During these times of uncertainty, it is important to consider mental health wellness. Employees seeking additional mental health supports at this time should contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Daily Faculty Updates

March 16, 2020 Update

  • During these times of uncertainty, it is important to consider mental health wellness. Employees seeking additional mental health supports at this time should contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
  • The Faculty of Medicine’s main reception desk (CRC Building, 2nd floor) will be closed until further notice to help reduce personal contact between our team members and clients, vendors and visitors.
  • Those requiring signatures, or who are delivering paperwork are asked to scan any documents and email to Christina Dort: ch368176@dal.ca.
  • Faculty and staff are asked to review any Dal Medix calendar entries to ensure that all scheduled events adhere to Dalhousie’s event cancellation policy and are updated accordingly.
  • For staff members who are anticipating working from home and are unfamiliar with using Microsoft Teams, drop in Q&A sessions hosted by MedIT will be held daily, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Sessions can be attended in person in room BA3 in the Tupper Basement, or online through Microsoft Teams through this link.
  • For any other recommendations for working remotely, view the Dalhousie IT guidelines for Working From Home.

March 15, 2020 Update

  • All non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • All faculty and staff are to continue their clinical and professional responsibilities during this time.
  • Where possible, units can consider having employees work from home and meet via video or teleconference.
  • Supervisors have been provided information on handling employee requests and should use their discretion to approve these arrangements.

March 13, 2020 Update

  • Dalhousie University will remain open during the week of March 16-20.
  • All faculty and staff are to continue their clinical and professional responsibilities during this time.
  • Where possible, units can consider having employees work from home and meet via video or teleconference.
  • Supervisors should use their discretion to approve these arrangements.

March 12, 2020 Update

  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit: https://www.dal.ca/novel-coronavirus.html for the most up-to-date information from Dalhousie University.
  • The university continues to monitor the evolving situation and is carefully considering the impact on university activities, operations and events. Dalhousie has processes and plans in place for dealing with emergencies including communicable diseases like COVID-19. Precautionary planning is currently underway to ensure we are prepared in the event a more robust university response becomes necessary.
  • To date, Public Health has not recommended canceling events or gatherings. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will advise if this changes.
  • Public Health has created a guideline aimed at helping event planners determine whether to cancel events or mass gatherings.
  • MedIT will be hosting drop in sessions for training and advice on using Microsoft Teams, DalAnywhere, and other communication and collaborations tools that are available for FoM users.
    • When: Daily, March 16-20, 12:30-1:30pm
    • Where: Tupper Basement, room B-A3


Facilities Management 

  • In order to be prepared for any possible closure of the university, Facilities Management asks that everyone check to make sure they have building access and that they have a PIN# setup, as it is required at the card readers at the main entrances to the buildings. For more information, please contact Paul Bourgeois (Paul.Bourgeois@dal.ca)

Trusted COVID-19 information and resources

Prevention and preparedness remain key advice:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (throw the tissue away)
  • Clean high-touch surfaces and objects often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.