Student Assistance Information on MD Program Website
The Student Assistance section of the MD Program provides quick reference information and resources for medical students at the University of Toronto who are experiencing an urgent or crisis situation.
The student assistance ‘button’ is displayed on the MD Program website in the upper right hand corner of each webpage, on Elentra in the upper right corner of the header, and as a link in the navigation menu of all MD Program course websites in Elentra.
The Student Assistance page can be accessed directly via the following URL: md.utoronto.ca/student-assistance
The information provided in the student assistance section is divided into four main areas where issues may arise:
- Personal issues & academic concerns
- School absences
- Student mistreatment
- Workplace injury and healthcare access
Each page provides advice, links to resources and/or contact information, relevant policies, etc.
The intention of the student assistance section
This section is a quick reference guide and a way for students to link to various sources of information and also to an incident reporting form. It is not a ‘hotline’ and in no way provides direct emergency assistance. It does not connect a user directly to another person, nor does it track who has clicked on the button or what components they have accessed. It does, however, direct users to useful contact information and support services (both internal and external to the University), as well as to a special reporting tool for incidents of mistreatment or unprofessionalism (see following page).
Reporting incidents of concern
The MD Program is committed to continual monitoring and improvement of the learning environment. This includes promoting awareness of what constitutes appropriate behaviour – by teachers, other health professionals, residents and other learners, and students themselves – and providing means to identify when inappropriate behaviour occurs and address it in ways that are consistent with the wishes of the learner(s) impacted. The Temerty Medicine Learner Mistreatment pages clarify types of behaviour that are considered mistreatment. Temerty Medicine’s Learner Experience Unit has adopted the AAMC definition of mistreatment, which defines it as intentional or unintentional behaviours that show disrespect for the dignity of others. This can be further categorized as: unprofessional behaviour; discrimination and discriminatory harrassment; and sexual violence and sexual harrassment.
The program encourages students who experience or witness concerning behaviours in the course of their training to contact the Learner Experience Unit to have a confidential conversation to learn about their options in discussing, disclosing, or reporting the behaviour in accordance with the Learner Mistreatment Guideline.
Learners may reach out to the Learner Experience Unit using the Online Disclosure Form which can also be accessed from the Learner Mistreatment Landing Page. Learners also have the option to submit reports in an anonymous manner, and the LEU will take steps to redact potentially identifiable information in anonymous submissions. Alternately, learners can come forward to the LEU in an identified manner and request that their report be de-identified (where the learner is consulted on the redaction process). Note that there may be limits to Temerty Medicine’s ability to act upon anonymous and deidentified reports, owing to its obligations to provide the respondent with a full and fair opportunity to respond to allegations made against them. Nonetheless, to the extent possible, these types of reports will be escalated out of the LEU in order to collect information about systemic or cultural issues in the learning environment, which may inform systems-level interventions.
NOTE: The Event Disclosure Form is a tool to seek follow-up. It is not an emergency notification service.
Reporting Incidents of Concern – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I speak to someone else instead of the people in the Learner Experience Unit?
Yes, you can choose to speak with an individual involved in the MD Program who is not in the Learner Experience Unit. However, in such a case, the recipient of the report is strongly advised to either help redirect you to our unit, which serves a central hub of support and resources for learners, or to consult our unit on your behalf to ensure the steps that they take are in alignment with the Learner Mistreatment Guidelines. For details, see the Learner Mistreatment Guideline. Many situations involving harmful behaviour are complicated and require detailed knowledge of policies, procedures, and resources.
What will the MD Program do to help me, or to resolve the issue?
If you decide to discuss, disclose, or report through the Learner Experience Unit in the Office of Learner Affairs, a member of the Learner Experience Unit team will provide guidance to you, offer you access to resources and services as appropriate, consult university and/or hospital policies (as relevant) to determine the appropriate steps to be taken, and work with you to optimize your learning climate so that you can go back to focusing on your education as your concerns are addressed.
Will anything change in the long-run?
The LEU publishes an annual learner mistreatment report that summarizes in a de-identified and aggregated manner all the concerns coming forward through the Unit in any given academic year. This enables Temerty Medicine to monitor the health of the learning environment and make targeted individual and systems-level changes over time for the benefit of students and other members of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine community.