College of Medicine
Academic Information & Policies
The following addresses college-level policies and information. For university-wide policies, please visit the U of S Policies and Regulations.
Student Attendance Policy
It has been our experience that students who chronically do not attend class often end up in academic and professional difficulty. They also end up feeling disengaged and separated from their class cohort, which can further affect academic success because of a lack of peer support.
Regular and punctual attendance is expected of all students in all of their classes (lectures, laboratories, seminars, tutorial and clinical sessions). It is the prerogative of individual instructors as to how they apply these general guidelines. Students who neglect their academic responsibilities may be excluded from final examinations.
For the clinical education component of the program, the College of Medicine relies heavily upon university and community clinical faculty, their patients and other patient volunteers. Absenteeism and lack of punctuality by students place an unwelcome strain on the goodwill of all concerned. Often a significant degree of accommodation has occurred to make these clinical experiences possible. Replicating these experiences to accommodate student absences is very difficult. Acceptance of responsibility for attendance and participation in patient care is part of the student’s professional education and responsibility. Appropriate attendance and punctuality are indicative of the student’s understanding of, and adherence to, expectations of professional behaviour.
The following standards must be observed:
- Unless absence is unavoidable, attendance at all learning experiences is mandatory.
- All absences (anticipated or unanticipated) must be explained to the appropriate course coordinators and copied (by email) to the Undergraduate Education Office (Room B526, Health Sciences Building).
In compliance with accreditation requirements, all clinical activities by students are logged. Minimum standards of participation have been established. Activity logs are provided. Students who fail to adequately document participation in clinical activities may be required to repeat the year in question or to discontinue their studies altogether.
Any students that do not hand in their Clinical Education Activity Log Books (for all years) by the assigned date will be given a conditional pass until the log books are handed in.
Promotion, Graduation, & Assessment
The academic performance of each student will be considered by the relevant Year or Term committee who will recommend that a student be:
- Required to Repeat a portion of the program, or
- Required to Discontinue.
Year or Term Committee Meetings are held at the end of each promotion period to consider student performance. Promotion recommendations will be forwarded to the Student Academic Management Committee (Promotion committee for the MD program) for a final determination of the student’s status. [Note that, although numeric grades are often used within the college to delineate standards of achievement for promotion and awards, the final transcript will indicate only pass (P) or fail (F). A student who has been not been promoted due to being unsuccessful in one or more course will receive a fail (F) on his/her transcript for the relevant course(s)].
Assessment of students shall measure relevant knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in sufficient detail to give an adequate picture of the student’s strengths and weaknesses in regards to the stated educational objectives of that course of instruction.
There shall be formative (ongoing) as well as suitable summative (final) evaluation of student progress. The results of assessment shall be transmitted to the student at appropriate intervals and in sufficient detail to enable corrective measures to be taken.
All courses shall make provision for assessment of student performance. In courses equivalent to or greater than a half course, a final examination will be held unless the Coordinator, Department and College decide otherwise.
Final grade reports of medical students shall be reported to the Office of the Registrar as Pass (P) or Fail (F) for all courses in all four years of the MD program at the University of Saskatchewan.
M.D. PROGRAM PROMOTION STANDARDS – PRE-CLERKSHIP
For students enrolled in the MD program the following promotion standards will apply:
In the pre-clerkship period (Years 1 and 2), students must achieve the following in order to be promoted to the next term of the program:
Successful completion of each course in each term in the pre-clerkship period, as described in the course syllabus for each course.
a. Students who have successfully completed all courses will be promoted unconditionally.
b. Students who have been unsuccessful in any one course will be required to either remediate the course in which they were unsuccessful, repeat a portion of the program, or discontinue, based on the following considerations:
- academic performance in all courses of that term, including performance on individual in-course assessment components and modules
- academic performance in previous terms in the MD program
- other mitigating circumstances
c. Students who have been unsuccessful in more than one course will be required to either repeat a portion of the program or discontinue.
d. As per the Breach of Professionalism Policy, students may be required to remediate a portion of the program, repeat a portion of the program, or discontinue on the basis of unprofessional behaviour.
Students will be allowed to repeat no more than two terms (or portions of terms) of the pre-clerkship curriculum due to failure of promotion based on academic reasons or academic withdrawal.
In addition, students will be allowed a total of no more than six years (excluding withdrawal periods) for completion of the MD Program for reasons of academic failure/academic withdrawal. This will not apply to withdrawal/leaves for medical or personal reasons in which academic performance is not a concern or combined degree programs in which the student is in good academic standing. SAMC will determine appropriate duration of withdrawal periods and placement on return to program in order to support student success.
Phase D (Class of 2016 and 2017)
Promotion will be dependent on the student's achieving satisfactory status in every instructional program that year, including electives. Students will be considered to have failed clerkship if any of the following:
- Failure of 12 weeks of the clerkship period
- Failure of at least 3 rotations
- Failure of the summative OSCE and the remedial summative OSCE
Phase D – Rotation specific Pass/Fail criteria
Students will fail rotations based on deficiencies in clinical skills, knowledge base or professionalism. All rotations will use clinical assessments, in conjunction with end-of-rotation exams (locally derived or National Board Medical Examinations). Selected rotations will use additional information derived from oral examinations, and written projects/assignments. Please see the specific rotation syllabus for further information.
M.D. PROGRAM PROMOTION STANDARDS – CLERKSHIP
For students enrolled in the 2+2 curriculum the following promotion standards will apply:
In Year 3 of the clerkship period, students must achieve the following in order to be promoted to Year 4:
Successful completion of each course in Year 3, as determined by that Course’s policies as per the Course Syllabus.
a. Students who have successfully completed all courses will be promoted unconditionally.
b. Students who have been unsuccessful in any one course (with the exception of Core Clinical Rotations – see “c” below) will be required to either remediate that course, repeat a portion of the program, or discontinue the program, based on the following considerations:
- academic performance in all courses of that year, including performance on individual in-course assessment components and modules
- academic performance in previous terms in the MD program
- other mitigating circumstances
c. Students who have been unsuccessful in the Core Rotations Course, or in more than one of the other Year 3 courses (Selected Topics in Medicine; Selective Clinical Rotations; Success in Medical School III) will not be promoted, but will be required to either repeat a portion of the program or discontinue.
d. As per the Breach of Professionalism Policy, students may be required to remediate a portion of the program, repeat a portion of the program or discontinue on the basis of unprofessional behaviour.
In Year 4 of the clerkship period, students must achieve the following in order to graduate:
Successful completion of each course in each Year 4, as determined by that Course’s policies as per the Course Syllabus.
a. Students who have successfully completed all courses will graduate unconditionally.
b. Students who have been unsuccessful in one or more Year 4 course(s) will not graduate, but will be required to either repeat a portion of the program, or discontinue.
c. As per the Breach of Professionalism Policy, students may be required to remediate a portion of the program, repeat a portion of the program or discontinue on the basis of unprofessional behaviour.
Students will be allowed to repeat each year of the clerkship program (or portion of that year) no more than once due to failure of promotion based on academic reasons, or academic withdrawal.
In addition, students will be allowed a total of no more than six years (excluding withdrawal periods) for completion of the MD Program for academic failure /academic withdrawal reasons. This will not apply to withdrawal/leaves for medical or personal reasons in which academic performance is not a concern or combined degree programs in which the student is in good academic standing. SAMC will determine appropriate duration of withdrawal periods and placement on return to program in order to support student success.
Post-Graduate Medical Education
The undergraduate curriculum is the first stage in the professional education of physicians. Before the graduate can occupy an independent role in the delivery of health care, he/she will require further training and experience in his/her chosen field of interest.
Application for entry level positions in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada specialty training programs or College of Family Physicians of Canada Family Medicine training programs must be made through CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service). More information regarding this process will be made available as students progress through their undergraduate training. Please refer to the Career Counselling Manual for further information.
Scheduling of Examinations
Final examinations shall be held as soon as possible after the end of classes.
Unscheduled examinations shall not be used for purposes of assessment for promotion. This regulation does not include the ongoing assessment of students that necessarily occurs in clinical teaching.
A mid-term examination may qualify as a scheduled exam for purposes of promotion provided that:
- Intention of its being held is announced at the beginning of the course or if it is requested by the students and agreed to by the instructor;
- The actual date of an exam is announced at least two full weeks (14 calendar days) before it is held.
Mid-term examinations for promotion shall be scheduled through coordinators of instruction. Exceptions to the regulations on the scheduling of examinations require the approval of the Undergraduate Education Committee.
- Students are expected to arrive on time at the scheduled start time for the exam.
- Students arriving late to the exam will NOT be provided extra time at the end of the exam.
- Students arriving later than 30 minutes after the start of the examination may be denied entrance. Students denied entrance may apply to the College for a deferred examination and such an application will be subject to consideration.
- Students are NOT permitted to leave the examination room until 30 minutes after the start of the exam.
- At the end of the scheduled examination time, students must stop writing and submit all examination documents to the invigilator.
- Students who need to leave the examination room for any reason, including washroom breaks, require the permission of the invigilator.
- Only ONE student at a time will be permitted to go to the washroom and an invigilator will escort the student there and back.
- Students shouldn’t bring any books, papers, notes, calculators or any other electronic devices (including laptops, netbooks, tablets, cell phones, iPods, etc.) into the examination room unless specified by the Course Coordinator.
- If necessary to bring any of the above mentioned items into the examination room, they must be left at the FRONT of the room; cell phones and other mobile electronic devices must be powered OFF. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Examinations in Clerkship
Objective Standardized Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are playing a larger role in evaluating students during undergraduate and postgraduate training. We are committed to ensuring that students receive ongoing practice with OSCEs. An OSCE will be given to all students at least once during each of year 1, 2, and 3 of their medical education.
Final assessment for each student shall be completed by the relevant department by the end of the rotation in that discipline and shall be reported in writing to the Dean’s Office.
If a student has had difficulties during his/her rotation, his/her performance will be drawn to the attention of the Clerkship Coordinator and Clerkship Chair.
In case of failure in one rotation, a supplemental assessment shall be held after appropriate remediation. Because of the nature and schedule of clinical instruction in Clerkship, final examinations may be replaced by approved alternative forms of assessment.
Procedural Aspects of Examinations
Techniques for evaluating students shall be consistent with program objectives, i.e. tests/examinations should yield valid measures of intended learning. Where subjective-type testing (e.g. oral examination) is used, special effort should be made to ensure reliable results. If a student fails an oral examination, he/she should be re-examined by a different examiner(s).
The final assessment obtained by a student in the College shall be reported to that student in a yearly statement of standing issued by the Office of the Registrar (available on PAWS). The Registrar shall record and report final grades in all courses.
In Clerkship, students shall be advised at the end of each rotation as to whether they have passed or failed that rotation.
Students who do not agree with an assessment, may appeal same to the Course Coordinator in the first instance, then the Clerkship Chair and finally the Undergraduate Education Committee. If still not satisfied, the University Appeal system is available. University of Saskatchewan policies and forms are available at: http://www.usask.ca/uofs/university_secretary.html.
Equity in Assessment
In the event of a dispute between a Department Head and an instructor(s) regarding final assessments, the Undergraduate Education Committee will establish a committee to arbitrate the differences in accordance with the University Council Regulations on Examinations.
Supplemental Assessment and/or Remediation
A student who fails an examination, module or course requirement may be granted a supplemental assessment or remediation under the regulations established by the College (for more specific information please refer to the appropriate syllabus). During the academic year, remediation may be offered for course components at the discretion of the module director, course director or course chair (where applicable).
Success in supplemental assessment or remediation will be accorded a maximum grade equivalent to the minimum requirement for successful completion of that component of the curriculum.
A student who is absent from a final examination through no fault of his/her own, for medical or other valid reasons, may apply for a deferred examination. The Dean or his delegate will consider all requests for deferred examinations. The student and instructor will be informed of the decision and the Undergraduate Education Committee will be notified of such decisions at its next meeting.
With the approval of the Undergraduate Education Committee, and in consultation with the candidate(s) for a deferred examination, the instructor(s) of a program is allowed some flexibility about the type of examination.
Incompletes and Absences
When a student has not completed the term work in a class by the time of the submission of the final assessment report, or is absent from a final examination (with no explanation) a special mark/grade may be assigned. For example, if a student has been granted an extension of the deadline to enable him to complete term work, a grade of IP (Incomplete) may be temporarily assigned. If the required work is not completed in the allotted time frame, an IP grade is automatically converted to a grade of INF (Incomplete Fail) for transcript purposes. For further information regarding incompletes, unexplained absences, etc. please contact the Undergraduate Education Office.
Evaluation of Courses
Typically, each course will be evaluated on a two-year rotating cycle. Near the end of a course, module, or system, you will be prompted by email to complete a web-based evaluation form (one45). You will be asked to provide feedback on the content of the course as well as its organization, delivery, method of student assessment, etc.
one45 form submissions are kept confidential. one45 is convenient because you can log on from any internet site using any web browser. It also keeps track of who has and who has not completed any given evaluation. You may receive specific reminders to complete an evaluation.
Evaluation of Clerkship Rotations
Feedback from JURSIs will be collected using a standardized rotation evaluation. All students will have the opportunity to provide feedback on each rotation via one45 evaluation forms. This feedback is used for the improvement of each rotation.
Evaluation of Teachers
You will also be asked to evaluate your instructors with respect to, for example, their:
- knowledge, analysis and synthesis of ideas
- enthusiasm for teaching
- rapport with students
- active involvement of learners
- provision of direction and feedback
- overall teaching effectiveness
NOTE: COMPLETING EVALUATIONS IS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES.
University of Saskatchewan Council and Senate approved regulations on Student appeals in Academic and Non-Academic Matters and also Student Academic Dishonesty Rules in November 2000 (http://www.usask.ca/university_council/reports/12-06-99.shtml.) The College of Medicine takes its direction and procedures from this report. The committee of the College of Medicine designated to deal with these matters is the Undergraduate Education Committee (UEC).
Any student has the right to appeal the result of an examination, including one which he/she has passed. Unless the Dean agrees otherwise, the first formal step in the grievance procedure should be taken within 30 days of the alleged grievance. Student complaints about matters of academic standing will be accepted following receipt of the preliminary statements of standing, and should be processed by the College as expeditiously as possible. However, students will have 30 days from the release of final statements of standing in which to initiate the first normal step. A student who remains dissatisfied with his/her standing following the routine inquiry stage in the grievance process will have an additional 15 days (or 45 days from the date of release of final statements of standing) in which to apply for a formal re-read.
Students are encouraged and strongly advised to communicate informally with their instructors and/or Year Chairs and/or department heads, before seeking a review under more formal procedures. Failing resolution by informal discussion, or if the student is unable to communicate informally because of distances from campus, he/she should apply in writing to the Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education. In either case, he/she should indicate the nature of his/her complaint about the accuracy of fairness of his/her academic standing in a particular course (in either examination or term work) and request a review. (See Form A at http://www.usask.ca/university_council/nonscriptreports/formA.pdf.) If the student remains dissatisfied, he/she may then request a formal re-reading of the examination paper (or essay, term paper, etc.).
Exam Review Policy
In order to maintain the integrity of the exam bank used by the College of Medicine, copies of examinations cannot be made available to students. The College understands the pedagogical value of a post exam review and feels these are best handled by the course coordinator/instructors who can clarify concepts rather than students just viewing the “right” answer. Thus, we have built time in the curriculum for the post exam reviews. Students will not get their opscan answer sheets or exams back during these sessions and questions will not be displayed to minimize the exposure of the questions and maintain the integrity of the exam bank. Instead the curriculum manager provides the course coordinator with a list of questions where more than 30% of the students answered incorrectly and then the session focuses on clarifying the concepts behind those questions, discussing why answers are correct/incorrect. We believe this process is beneficial to the student as it provides an opportunity to review the difficult concepts and to correct misconceptions. In the event of a specific module or exam failure, a student may request to review his/her assignment.
In the event of a specific module or exam failure, a student may request to review his/her assessment by contacting the appropriate Module, Course Coordinator, Director or Course Chair.
Accessibility of Marked Examination Papers
Any student(s) has the right of access to his/her marked examination paper, though the ownership of the paper remains in the College of Medicine.
Where essay examinations are involved, a Department may permit a student to see his/her marked final examination paper, or a copy thereof, during the period from the release of the preliminary statements or standing until the final date of application for re-reads. If authorized by the Department, a copy of the paper will be made at the student’s expense, with due time allowance for copying.
Where multiple choice examinations are involved, a Department may permit a student to see a photocopy of his/her marked answer sheet and check it against the scoring key during the period from the release of preliminary statements of standing until the final date of application for re-reads.
Appeal of Decisions about Promotion and Graduation
The College of Medicine Academic Appeals Committee (as described below) shall hear and decide upon student appeals concerning promotion and graduation. Any student has the right to appeal decisions affecting promotion and graduation.
The procedure for promotion or graduation is as follows:
- Recommendations for promotion or graduation are made by the appropriate Year committee in consultation with the year teachers and forwarded to the Undergraduate Education Committee.
- In the case of a student not being recommended for promotion or graduation, that student will immediately be advised in writing by the Associate Dean, UGME, who will summarize the reason(s) for the unfavorable recommendation and advise the student of his/her right to appeal to the Undergraduate Education Committee.
- The Undergraduate Education Committee reviews the Year committee recommendations and, in turn, forwards the UEC recommendations directly to the University Council unless otherwise directed by the Faculty Council.
A student, in anticipation of an unfavorable recommendation from the UGME Committee concerning their promotion or graduation, may present to the Committee any information they deem relevant to such a decision, either in person, in writing or both. The student shall notify the Chairman of the Committee of such intention at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting scheduled to deal with the matter. Exercise of this right, however, shall not prejudice the student’s right of subsequent appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee, should this become necessary.
- In the case of an appeal, the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee will inform University Council (Office of the Registrar).
- Recommendations by the Undergraduate Education Committee (such as recommendations for special supplemental examinations or remedial study) shall be made in consultation with the department.
Appeal action shall be initiated by the student advising the Dean in writing of his/her intention to appeal within 30 days of the UGME committee. The written submission must include reasons for appealing. In addition to a written submission, the student and the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee may appear in person before the Academic Appeals Committee.
Academic Appeals Committee
The Academic Appeals Committee shall hear and decide upon student appeals concerning promotion and graduation.
The Academic Appeals Committee shall consist of three members – a standing Chair will be appointed according to membership on Standing Committees’ Rules, Regulations and Procedures of the College of Medicine, and two further members, one of whom shall be a student, appointed on an ad hoc basis by the Dean or his designate. The student shall be of a higher year than the appellant except in the case of a final year student, in which event the student member shall be in the final year.
The appellant will be notified of the membership of the committee and may inform the Dean of any member he/she believes to be prejudiced.
The following shall be excluded from membership on the Academic Appeals Committee:
- Members of the Undergraduate Education Committee
- Members of the Year Committee appropriate to the appellant’s year of study
- The Dean or and Associate Dean
- A course chair, coordinator, instructor or department head whose evaluation is under appeal.
The Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee shall provide the Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee and the appellant student with a written summary of the reasons for the unfavorable recommendations.
In reaching its decision, the Academic Appeals Committee shall limit itself to consideration of the information available to the Undergraduate Education committee at the time of its decision under appeal. However, should new information emerge during the course of an appeal, which the Academic Appeals Committee deems relevant, it may recommend that the Undergraduate Education Committee reconsider the matter.
Recommendations by the Appeals Committee shall be of the same nature as those made by the Undergraduate Education Committee, ranging from unconditional promotion to dismissal and including the requirement to pursue remedial study. If the Appeal Committee recommends supplemental or remedial study, then such study should be administered through the Undergraduate Education Committee unless otherwise stated.
Recognizing that timing of the decision may be a consideration, the Appeals Committee shall make reasonable effort to accommodate the University and College schedule, but not to the detriment of a fair judgment.
Decisions shall be by a simple majority vote.
The Academic Appeals Committee shall report its findings to the Dean, to the Chair of Faculty Council and to the appellant.
MEDICAL COUNCIL OF CANADA
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) is registered as a corporation under the Canadian Corporation Act. It is empowered to establish an examination board for the purpose of conducting medical licensing examinations and to establish a Canadian Medical Register. The LMCC (Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada) qualification is granted to graduate physicians who have passed the Qualifying Examinations (QE) Part I and II, conducted by the MCC.
All students in the College of Medicine are expected to sit the MCC QE Part I examination in May of their graduation year. This examination is a national examination with national standards and is delivered “on-line” to all Canadian medical students. All Canadian students are also expected to sit the MCC QE Part II. The majority of students take this examination 17 months into their postgraduate training. This examination is also a national examination with national standards and is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).
COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (COPS) is the provincial licensing body for medical practitioners. Student enrolled in the MD program are licensed as pre-clerkship students at the beginning of Year A. This educational license is renewed at the beginning of clerkship and again in postgraduate training.
In order to obtain licensure to practice medicine independently in Saskatchewan, the COPS requires graduates to have successfully completed the MCC QE Part I and II and to have successfully completed two to six years of postgraduate training. For the purposes of registration under Section 28 of the Medical Profession Act, the following shall constitute evidence of satisfactory postgraduate training:
- For applicants who shall practice as a consultant specialist and restrict practice to one of the disciplines recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), certification in that specialty by the RPSC shall be required. This usually requires at least five years post MD.
- For applicants who shall practice primary care and medicine, certification by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) shall be required. This usually requires at least two years post MD.
Regulations for the other Provinces and Territories are similar, but students are advised to contact the appropriate licensing bodies for more information.
To view the full academic information and policies for the current program, please see the Student Information Guide. http://www.medicine.usask.ca/education/medical/undergrad/current-students/syllabus/index.php