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. The Student Mistreatment page clarifies types of behaviour that are considered mistreatment. The MD Program categorizes mistreatment in three ways: unprofessional behaviour; discrimination and discriminatory harrassment; and sexual violence and sexual harrassment.
The program encourages students who experience or witness behaviour of serious concern in the course of their training to address the situation in accordance with the Protocol for students to report mistreatment or other kind of unprofessional behaviour (PDF).
If the incident is relatively minor and the student feels comfortable doing so, it is recommended that the student discuss the situation directly with the person whose behaviour seemed unprofessional. Minor incidents are typically single, apparently isolated events that are troubling, yet do not strike the student as having a significant impact on the learning environment. This direct approach recognizes the role of collegial conversation, and emphasizes the principle of addressing problems locally wherever possible. The student may also wish to approach another trusted MD Program teacher, leader, or administrative staff member for advice.
For more serious or uncomfortable incidents, students are encouraged to report what they experienced or witnessed to a Designated MD Program Leader:
- Director, Learner Experience
- Associate Dean, Office of Health Professions Student Affairs (OHPSA)
- Academy Director
Students can of course choose to speak instead with another individual, but Designated MD Program Leaders have the connections and knowledge of University resources and protocols to provide appropriate assistance.
In addition to a face-to-face meeting, phone call, or e-mail, MD students may disclose an event to a Designated Leader using the Disclosure Form. To submit a Disclosure, students are asked to complete an ‘Disclosure Form’ located at: https://documents.med.utoronto.ca/Forms/ume-incident-report
The response to a disclosure will depend on the nature of the situation, but in all cases, the student’s privacy will be respected and the matter will be treated sensitively and strictly confidentially except where required by law or University policy. Visit the Student Mistreatment pages for more on disclosure and reporting of mistreatment, as well as next steps following the submission of a disclosure.
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 listed in the chart above?
Yes, you can choose to make a report to an individual involved in the MD Program who is not listed above. However, in such a case, the recipient of the report is strongly advised to help redirect you to a Designated MD Program Leader. For details, see the Protocol for MD Program students to report mistreatment and other kinds of unprofessional behaviour (PDF). This protocol is for your protection and theirs. 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 make a report to a MD Program leader identified above, he/she 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, if warranted, set in motion a formal investigation process. You should be aware that in most instances, issues cannot be fully addressed by one person alone. Therefore, it is likely the person you make the report to will enlist the involvement of others, with your permission.
Will anything change in the long-run?
We will create a summary report of incidents submitted through this process annually which omits information that identifies you, the reporter. Incidents are recorded for statistical analysis to allow the Faculty of Medicine to monitor the health of the learning environment and make targeted changes over time for the benefit of students and other members of the Faculty community.