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Appeals

The Postgraduate Medical Education Office coordinates hearings of the Academic Review Board (ARB) and the Postgraduate Tribunal.  These bodies represent the second and third levels of the postgraduate appeal process.  Level One appeals are heard at the program level by the program’s Competency Committee (specialty programs) or the Resident Assessment Committee (family medicine programs). 

When a resident seeks to appeal a decision of his or her program committee, the process is as follows:

 

Academic Review Board

  • This is a Level 2 Appeal (Level 1 = Program Committee)
  • The ARB will hear the resident appeal
  • Members include:  A chair, a faculty representative, and a resident representative.  This is no standing membership so each ARB is comprised of new members
  • The ARB is also supported by the University’s legal counsel and a recording secretary
  • The appeal is confidential
  • The resident and Program Director are both present and represented by their own legal counsels.  Witnesses may be called and there are examinations and cross-examinations by lawyers.
  • The resident may be supported by a friend/family member/advisor
  • The hearing usually lasts for a half-day.
     

The ARB Process

  1. The resident writes to Associate Dean, PGME, indicating that he or she wishes to appeal a decision of their Competency Committee or Resident Assessment Committee. 
  2. The Associate Dean will convene an ARB
  3. The ARB Secretary will meet with the resident and program director separately to review the appeal process.  The Secretary will also ensure that the program is in touch with its legal counsel (ideally, this should have already occurred).  Residents should contact PARO for information regarding legal counsel.
  4. A date is chosen for an appeal hearing.  This can take some time to arrange given the busy schedules of all physicians involved.
  5. Residents must provide the ARB Secretary with their appeal.  This must include all supporting documentation to be used and is usually compiled by the resident’s lawyer.
  6. A copy of the appeal (including supporting documentation) is provided to the program.
  7. The Program Response is provided to the ARB Secretary and is usually compiled by program’s lawyer).  This includes all of the supporting documentation the program wishes to use.  A copy is provided to the resident.
  8. The ARB Secretary provides copies of both the Appeal and the Program Response, including documentation, to the ARB members.
  9. There is a pre-hearing meeting for the members of the ARB.  They are given information by the ARB Legal Counsel on their roles and the structure of the hearing process.
  10. The ARB hearing is followed by a period of deliberation.  This can be a lengthy process and it may take the panel several hours to come to a consensus.
  11. A final report is issued by the ARB chair. This can take at least a month to be produced and is a recommendation to the Associate Dean.
  12. The Associate Dean notifies all parties of his decision.

 

Postgraduate Tribunal

  • This is a Level 3 appeal.
  • There is a standing membership of the Postgraduate Tribunal, drawn from faculty and residents.  Three representatives will be selected from this larger membership to hear individual appeals. 
  • For each appeal, the Tribunal will consist of a chair, a faculty representative, and a resident representative.
  • The appeal is confidential.
  • The resident and the program director are both present and represented by their own legal counsels.  Witnesses may be called and there are examinations and cross-examinations by lawyers.
  • The resident may be supported by a friend/family member/advisor.
  • The hearing usually lasts for a half-day.
     

The Postgraduate Tribunal Process

  1. If a resident wishes to appeal a decision of the Academic Review Board, the resident must submit a ‘Notice of Appeal’ to the Tribunal Secretary
  2. This must occur within 15 days of being informed of the Associate Dean’s decision regarding the appeal heard by the Academic Review Board.
  3. The Tribunal Secretary will confirm the membership of the Postgraduate Tribunal that will hear the appeal.
  4. The Tribunal Secretary will meet with the resident and program director separately to review the appeal process.  The Secretary will also ensure that the program is in touch with its legal counsel (ideally, this should have already occurred).  Residents should contact PARO for information regarding legal counsel.
  5. A date is chosen for an appeal hearing.  This can take some time to arrange given the busy schedules of all physicians involved.
  6. Residents must provide the Tribunal Secretary with their appeal.  This must include all supporting documentation to be used and is usually compiled by the resident’s lawyer.
  7. A copy of the appeal (including supporting documentation) is provided to the program.
  8. The Program Response is provided to the Tribunal Secretary and is usually compiled by program’s lawyer).  This includes all of the supporting documentation the program wishes to use.  A copy is provided to the resident.
  9. The Tribunal Secretary provides copies of both the Appeal and the Program Response, including documentation, to the Tribunal members.
  10. There is a pre-hearing meeting for the members of the Tribunal.  They are given information by the Tribunal Legal Counsel on their roles and the structure of the hearing process.
  11. The Tribunal hearing is followed by a period of deliberation.  This can be a lengthy process and it may take the panel several hours to come to a consensus.
  12. A final report is issued by Tribunal chair. This can take at least a month to be produced and there are two possible outcomes:  the Tribunal can grant the appeal in whole or in part, with or without conditions; or the Tribunal can deny the appeal.