Student Representation and Student Government

Student Membership on MD Program Committees

Medical students are full voting members on all MD Program committees with the exception of the program’s student progress committees, which are responsible for making student grading, progression and promotion recommendations, and management/operational committees that are advisory to the Vice Dean, such as the MD Program Executive Committee.

Student representatives are elected by their peers to represent student views on the committees and to relay information from committee proceedings back to the student body, as articulated in the program’s Statement on Student Representation on MD Program Committees (PDF) and Statement on MD Program course committees (PDF).

In most cases, student representatives on committees also serve on either the Medical Society Executive Council or their class council (see below.)

 

MedSoc

The Medical Society, commonly known as MedSoc, is the representative body of medical students at the University of Toronto. Further information, including the Medical Society Constitution and Medical Society By-laws as well as information about medical student clubs and advocacy campaigns, is available on the MedSoc website.

 

Sharing Your Perspective

Outside of official student representative positions, there are many opportunities for all students to make their opinions known. The Faculty and MD Program leadership welcome the diversity of student viewpoints, and encourage students to be active in decision-making of the medical school through any of the following means:

Fireside Chats
Four to six times during the school year, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Trevor Young, hosts the Fireside Dinner with the Dean program – better known as ‘Fireside Chats’ – which provide a group of approximately 20 students with the opportunity to meet with the Dean, Vice Dean Medical Education, Dr. Patricia Houston, and one or two other senior members of the Faculty of Medicine in an informal setting. The Fireside Dinner with the Dean program is organized by two student representatives and the Vice Dean, Medical Education. The students are randomly selected for each ‘Chat’, and every student receives an invitation over the course of their undergraduate medical studies; hence, there is no application or sign-up process for the program. In addition to getting to know the Dean and the other faculty members, the students at each such event take the opportunity to discuss any issues of concern to them.

Town Hall Meetings
Town hall meetings for students may be organized by students and/or the MD Program leadership whenever issues of particular complexity or importance require broad discussion, consultation, and opportunities for questions to be asked.

Teacher and Course Evaluations
Students have the opportunity to evaluate virtually every learning activity in the MD Program, as well as every course as a whole. These evaluations are generally completed electronically on MedSIS and occasionally on paper. Evaluation data and comments from students are considered very carefully by course directors, and therefore students are strongly encouraged to provide feedback in this manner.

Feedback to Student Representatives
Every course and committee in the MD Program has one or more student representatives, with the exception of the three small, senior operational committees. While students are encouraged to approach program leaders directly with any concerns or ideas they may have, they can also relay their opinions via the appropriate student representatives. This communication may happen directly or through questionnaires or other approaches adopted by the student representatives.

Likewise, the student representatives are responsible for sharing updates from the committees on which they serve with their classmates.

Open-Door Approach
All of the members of the MD Program leadership are keen to hear feedback or discuss any issues of interest or concern with students. This includes the Vice Dean, Medical Education, the Associate Dean Health Professions Student Affairs, the Director, MD Admissions & Student Finances, the Academy Directors, the Foundations and Clerkship Directors, and the course directors and thematic faculty leads. Their contact information is available on the MD Program website: http://md.utoronto.ca/contact

You may wish to convey your thoughts in an e-mail or request an appointment with any of these individuals, depending on the nature of your feedback.

If you have a concern with a particular individual (e.g. a teacher), it is generally preferable to attempt to resolve the issue as close as possible to the source. However, if for whatever reason this is not possible or desirable, you are welcome to speak with the MD Program leader of your choosing.

If your concern is specifically related to an incident of student mistreatment or major unprofessionalism (regardless of who appears to be responsible for the incident), the program urges you to report the incident as soon as possible. The ‘student assistance’ section of the MD Program website (md.utoronto.ca/student-assistance) or and the Protocol for UME students to report mistreatment and other kinds of unprofessional behaviour (PDF) can help you determine whom to contact and what will happen next.