The Vice Dean, Medical Education is responsible for oversight of the MD program and MD/PhD program (the latter in conjunction with Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training Programs). A team of senior academic and administrative leaders is responsible for management of the MD and MD/PhD programs, while governance is supported by a robust committee structure that includes active participation by student leaders. Student members are selected by their classmates and hold a position on the Medical Society Executive or their Class Council.
Governance and Management: Separate but Linked
The Faculty of Medicine – like the University of Toronto as a whole – is directed through paired governance and management structures.
In general terms, governance can be understood as the authority and responsibility to set appropriate principles and policies for an institution in order to establish the direction of its activities. By contrast, management is the authority and responsibility to run the day-to-day operations of an institution in accordance with the principles and policies that have been established by governance.
In the Faculty of Medicine, governance is the purview of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine (commonly referred to as ‘Faculty Council’), while management is the purview of the Dean, Dr. Trevor Young, the Vice Deans and Associate Deans (which together are referred to as the Decanal Team), the CAO, and the Senior Managers. Both the governance and management structures work closely with the Faculty’s Departments (via the Chairs), the Extra-Departmental Units (via the Directors), and programs (via the Vice Deans Education).
Faculty Council has a broad membership base, with representation from the student body (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), faculty, Chairs, Deans, and administrative staff. Faculty Council reports to the University of Toronto Governing Council.
Meetings of Faculty Council are held three times a year and are open to the general public. Meeting dates are posted, along with the minutes of previous meetings on the Faculty of Medicine website.
Faculty Council has a number of standing committees, the memberships of which are drawn from a combination of Council members and other individuals from the Faculty of Medicine. The standing committees include Boards of Examiners for each of the health professional programs, an Appeals Committee, an Education Committee, a Continuing Professional Development Committee, a Research Committee, and two procedural bodies: an Executive Committee and Striking Committee.
Management Committees of the Dean
Several management committees are chaired by the Dean or report to him. Chief among these is the Dean’s Advisory Group, which provides advice and feedback to the Dean on a wide variety of issues tabled by the Dean and/or other members of the group. It consists of senior academic and administrative leaders, including the entire Decanal Team.
In addition, there are four committees of Department Chairs: the All Chairs’ Committee, Basic Science Chairs’ Committee, Clinical Science Chairs’ Committee, and Rehabilitation Science Chairs’ Committee. Together, the management committees serve as a forum for discussion and receive updates about procedural issues in the Faculty, and at the University. The committees ensure consistent operations among the portfolios. Further information about these committees can be found on the Faculty of Medicine Councils and Committees webpage.
Decision-making in the MD Program
Management and governance of the MD Program is led by Dr. Patricia Houston in her capacity as Vice Dean.
The MD Program Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Vice Dean and consists of senior academic and administrative leaders, is advisory to the Vice Dean with respect to the overall management and strategic directions of the MD Program.
The MD Program Curriculum Committee has overall responsibility for the design, implementation, management, evaluation, and enhancement of the MD Program. The primary goal of the committee is to assure a learning experience that allows MD students to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them optimally for entry into postgraduate programs and, ultimately, into medical practice. Co-chaired by the Vice Dean and an education scientist, the committee is comprised of senior academic and administrative leaders, as well as broad representation from key stakeholder groups, including students. The committee is supported by various sub-committees - summarized below - each of which reports to the Curriculum Committee.
The MD Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) is responsible for the evaluation of each of the following elements of the MD Program: (1) Student attainment of the MD Program competencies, milestones and Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs); (2) The composition and integration of the program as a whole; (3) The effectiveness of individual courses; (4) The outcomes of the program.
The Student Assessment and Standards Committee (SASC) is responsible for reviewing student assessment and feedback methodologies utilized by individual courses, ensuring that suitable methods of standard setting are being utilized, and making recommendations on issues of policy related to student assessment and feedback.
The Test Committee is responsible for managing the program's examination bank, establishing best practices in test item generation and examinations, and implementation of the program's Progress Test and the integrated OSCE.
The Foundations Committee and Clerkship Committee are responsible for enabling the coordinated and collaborative implementation of the Foundations and Clerkship curricula, respectively.
Each course in the MD Program also has a course committee. Course committees bring together students and teachers from the course, particularly those who are heavily involved in course content development/delivery.