How will Curriculum Committee Decisions impact on your Queen’s UGME teaching? Read this post to find out!

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In 2013-2014 the Queen’s UGME Curriculum Committee made the following decisions of general interest.  Please read to see if this will impact on your UGME teaching.

(Note:  resource documents for the following are available in MEdTech Faculty Resources Community.)

Change from “QMCCs” to MCCs

In July 2013 the Curriculum Committee decided to adopt the list of MCC clinical presentations instead of the QMCCs (Queen’s MCCs) for the Medical Expert portion of the curriculum. The list of QMCC to MCC changes was approved in May 2014. The changes will take effect in September 2014. Course Directors will see the changes through the MEdTech objectives assigned to their courses. An email outlining the changes will also be sent to each Course Director.

Career Counselling

In August 2013 the Curriculum Committee voted to allow students in Term 2b to schedule one-on-one meetings at the Learner Wellness Centre with either Dr. Howse or Dr. O’Neill in order to assess progress in attaining career competencies as part of Professional Foundations 1.

Course Directors’ Role Description

The “Course Directors’ Role Description” document was approved by the Curriculum Committee in October 2013. Revisions were approved in August 2014.

New Course

In November 2013, the Curriculum Committee approved the creation of the new Population Health course as outlined in Dr. Carpenter’s detailed proposal.

Red Book Policy

In December 2013, the “Policy and Procedures for the Red Book” (the Undergraduate Medical Education Competency Framework) was approved by the Curriculum Committee. Revisions were approved in February 2014.

Adding items to the Curriculum Committee’s Agenda

In January 2014 the Curriculum Committee approved the document “How to request that items be added to the Curriculum Committee’s agenda”.

Accreditation “Hot Topics”

Learning events in MEdTech can now be coded with the accreditation “Hot Topics” from the ED-10 standard’s Hot Topic list

Making changes to courses

The course change process outlined in “Making Changes to Courses – Role of the Course Director” was approved by the Curriculum Committee in January 2014.

Gaps and Redundancies Process

In May 2014 the Curriculum Committee took jurisdiction over the “Gaps and Redundancies Process”, which was formerly overseen by the Teaching, Learning and Innovation Committee.

First Patient SGL Pass

In May 2014, the First Patient SGL Pass was approved by the Curriculum Committee to facilitate students’ attendance at First Patient Program appointments.

Changes in Course Names

On June 13, 2013, the name of MEDS 113 Professional Foundations 1 course was changed to MEDS 113A Professional Foundations 1A. The course MEDS 113B Professional Foundations 1B was added to Term 2 and MEDS 123 Professional Foundations 2 was deleted from Term 2. The following courses were renumbered and/or re-named: MEDS 454 – Clerkship Preparation was changed to MEDS 351 – Clerkship Preparation (year 3 term 5 fall); MEDS455 – Complex Presentations and Competencies was changed to MEDS 481 – Complex Presentations (fall, year 4) and MEDS456 – Consolidation and Readiness for Residency was changed to MEDS 491 – Readiness for Residency (winter, year 4).

On April 23, 2014, the name of the course MEDS 242 – Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology was changed to MEDS- 242 Skin and Special Senses. Also, the course code for MEDS 234 was changed to MEDS 234 A and B (Clinical and Communication Skills 2A and Clinical and Communication Skills 2B). In addition, MEDS 233 A and B Professional Foundations was renamed to MEDS 233 A and B Professional Integrations.

Please see MEdTech Faculty Resources Community for more details.

Please stay tuned for more Curriculum Committee news from the July Retreat, later on in the fall.


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Policies for Review and Comment

Prior to a new or amended policy or regulation being submitted for MD PEC approval, it must be published for review and comment by faculty and/or students within the School of Medicine.  Feedback received will be directed to the Policy Sponsor.

In the event that major changes are made based on this feedback, a new draft will be posted for additional comments.

In keeping with this procedure the following policies are being posted for comment or feedback:

If you wish to comment on any of these items, please either use the link provided under each or email  Comments will be forwarded to the policy sponsor prior to the policies submission to MD PEC for approval.

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights – Wednesday July 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm

MD PEC Participation:

In recognition of the importance of input from our faculty and staff in the governance of the MD program, MD PEC would like to encourage faculty and staff to attend its meetings. Guests to these meeting will be non-voting “Gallery members” and may be asked to leave during particular discussions, if deemed necessary by the Chair. Interested participants should contact the Committee Secretary (Faye Orser, (orserf@KGH.KARI.NET)) for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules.

Process for Subcommittee Reporting:

As part of the reporting requirements of the various UGME committees, each will be requested to submit an annual report to MD PEC. These reports should provide a summary of each committee’s activities from the previous year as well as plans for the upcoming year. A retreat for members of MD PEC will be scheduled in September, annually, to review these progress reports.

Accreditation Update:

The students have now completed an independent report on the program for inclusion in the accreditation report. Results of this report will be discussed at a future MD PEC meeting dedicated to reviewing areas of concerns.

Conflict of Interest Procedures:

Staff have been looking into ways to implement an annual conflict disclosure for faculty. Discussions are underway with the Education Technology unit to investigate the possibilities of including a statement in MedTech.

Travel Safety Guidelines for Students:

Dr. Sanfilippo presented a draft document entitled “Student Vehicle Travel Safety Guidelines” developed by COFM. This document relates to concerns about student safety while traveling on curricular “business”. A “go to” document will be compiled listing current processes for Queen’s Medical students in the event travel conditions are considered unsafe.   Once completed, this document and the draft guidelines will be posted on the UGME website as information for the students.

Diversity and Equity Initiatives

The Committee discussed the need to develop a Diversity Advisory Panel to promote and advance diversity initiatives. This panel will advise MD PEC on the administration of a Diversity Fund being established to encourage and develop Diversity initiatives and projects. Membership on this panel will include representatives from the school’s teaching faculty, students, education leaders and staff. Terms of reference for this new committee were reviewed and accepted.

Student Academic Affairs Committee

The Committee reviewed and accepted a proposal to develop a Student Academic Affairs Committee. This new Committee would operate as a subcommittee of MD PEC to recommend policy and practice on matters related to the academic experience of students in the MD Program and the QuARMS Program.   This would include recommendations on policy and practice related to student progress and promotion, professionalism, communicable diseases and immunization, student registration, leave of absence and reintegration, student awards, content of transcripts, medical student performance records, academic accommodation, complaints and ethical conduct and the content and management of student records.   It would refer and receive recommendations for policy and practice in these areas from the Professionalism Advisory Committee, Student Awards Committee, QuARMS Committee, and Communicable Diseases and Immunization Committee.




Next Meeting: August 27, 2014

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Learner Wellness Update:

Plans are continuing to secure an additional student counselor who would work at arms-length from the School of Medicine to act as both a Student Counselor and Ombudsman.   A description of the position is being developed with the intention of filling the posting for the upcoming academic cycle.

Dr. Fitzpatrick, Director of Learner Wellness, continues to review and improve both the Learner Wellness and Career Counselling services.

Conflict of Interest Procedures:

The Committee reviewed and approved the implementation of the finalized conflict of interest procedures. These procedures are being developed in advance of the Faculty policy on Conflict of Interest.   Staff will develop plans for the operationalization of the procedures and present at a future meeting.


The offer process for admissions to the program is well underway. The Committee reviewed the existing deferral policy and requested that the Admissions Committee look at revising it to reflect current Admission practices.

OSCE Team Terms of Reference:

An OSCE Team has been established in order to facilitate the development and running of OSCEs within both the UGME and PGME programs. The team works as an advisory body to both the PGME office and the UGME Student Assessment Committee. Terms of reference for this group was presented to the committee and approved.   The OSCE team continues efforts establish a working panel of faculty whose role will be to develop OSCE stations as well as support the established OSCE within both programs.

Policy: Use, Revision and Dissemination of the Queen’s UGME Competency Framework (Policy #CC-11)

This policy captures what has been happening in the Curriculum Committee for the past 5 years with the major curriculum document, but has never been formalized nor systematized.

“Since the Queen’s Undergraduate Medical Education Competency Framework is the foundation on which the School of Medicine’s curriculum is based, it is essential that its use, revision and dissemination be regulated systematically through a policy and through procedures arising from the policy.”

The implementation of this policy will have medium impact to faculty, students and staff requiring limited changes to processes, forms and/or conduct.
The Committee approved the policy and it is now posted on the UGME website for review:


Next Meeting: June 18, 2014

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights – Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Convocation for MEDS 2014

The class of 2014 is now preparing for their MCC Part 1 exams which will take place in about 3 weeks.   Convocation for these students will take place on May 22 at 2:30 pm in Grant Hall.  Similar to ceremonies over the last few years, our students will be the sole participants in the event, therefore Faculty are encouraged to participate in the ceremony.  Information on how to make arrangements can be obtained at


The 2nd iteration of the CARMS match was completed this week.  As a result, CARMS hosted a teleconference with the UGME Deans announcing that 55 graduates would remain unmatched this cycle.  This is the largest number of unmatched students to date.  Therefore, there is the possibility that this will be an escalating problem in upcoming years, and further discussions are underway at both the provincial and national levels.  As discussed in previous meetings, the Learner Wellness team will work closely with our students providing them with continued support and counseling regarding their career possibilities.


The QuARMS application assessment process has now been completed and offers are waiting to go out to the top 10 candidates.  The Admissions team continues to work on the application results for the MD program.  Offers will go out in mid-May.


The Awards Committee is preparing to review the Terms of Reference of several of our awards.  As our curriculum is now competency based with a Pass/Fail status, many of the terms of the awards are no longer relevant.  Once finalized these new Terms of Reference will be presented to the Progress and Promotions Committee and MD-PEC for approval.

Learner Wellness Update:

The proposed changes to the Learner Wellness Program which include an Advisory Panel and the addition of an arms-length counselor are now being finalized.  The Advisory Panel would be put in place to develop, review and approve plans for the management or accommodation of student disabilities.   In addition to the panel, plans are underway to secure an additional student counselor who would work at arms-length from the School of Medicine to act as both a Student Counselor and Ombudsman.    Funding arrangements are being discussed and it is hoped that this person will be in place for the beginning of the Fall Term.

Clarification to the Policy on Attendance and Absences in Undergraduate Medical Education (Policy # SA-07):

Under the policy, absences from mandatory teaching sessions must be sanctioned and approved.  It has been the procedure that absences occurring due to short term illnesses would require the student to submit a doctor’s note.  However, as this process put an undue burden on the student at the time of an illness and as these notes are no longer provided by Queen’s Student Health, it has been decided to eliminate this requirement.  Long term illnesses or repeat occurrence may still necessitate a note at the request of the Progress, Promotion and Remediation Committee.

Marks Release:

Progress, Promotion and Remediation Committee in conjunction with the Student Assessment Committee have altered the process for the release of marks.  The new process allows for the release of marks to students after finalization at the Examiner’s Committee level.  Students with performance issues will be notified in advance of the release.  These students will then be notified of the official outcomes and consequences following the Progress, Promotion and Remediation Committee meeting.   This new process was piloted with the release of marks for the Fall Term and was received favourably by the students.

Conflict of Interest Procedures and Access to Student Records Procedures:

The Committee discussed two draft documents outlining procedures for both conflicts of interest and the access to student records.  The conflict of interest process is being developed in advance of the finalization of the Faculty policy on Conflict of Interest.  The process document relating to access to student records is in support the Queen’s University Student and Record Access Policy.  Changes to both of these documents will be made prior to faculty dissemination.




Next Meeting:  May 21, 2014

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Curricular Council Meeting Highlights Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm


Admission for the UGME program is becoming increasingly complex.  Not only have applications for the general MD streams increased by 14% over last year, we also now admit students to the MD/PhD and QuARMS programs.

The general admissions process relies heavily on a large number of faculty participants to review application files and to participate in the interview process.  The application and interview process for this year is now complete.  The Admissions team is currently ranking the applicants for offers to be made in mid-May.

The MD/PhD program is now in its 3rd admission cycle.  File review and interviews for this stream occur earlier than the general stream.  However, it is a parallel process to the general stream with the addition of supplemental application reviews and separate interviews conducted by members of the Graduate program.  The process has concluded for this year with the acceptance of offers from our top ranked candidates.

The QuARMS process is now in its second cycle.  The top 40 applications have recently been to our school for interviews and tours.  It is anticipated that offers will be made next month.


Preparation is well underway for the creation of the Institutional Self Study as the Subcommittees being to wrap up their work.  The full accreditation site visit is planned for March 31 to April 2, 2015 with a mock visit scheduled for October 2014.

Subcommittee activity has identified several “Red Flags”.  These include:  diversity, pipeline programs, Residents as Teachers, Learner Wellness and student safety.  Efforts are underway to address these issues prior to the site visit next year.


It was reported that this year’s CaRMS match went extremely well for our students.  Of the 103 students in the match, 102 matched.  Most of these students secured a residency position in either their first or second choice.  17 of our students will be remaining at Queen’s.    These favourable results can be partly attributed to the excellent support and counseling that our students are receiving from the Learner Wellness Centre.

Workforce Summary:

Workforce numbers for the July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 year have now been tabulated.  Results will be distributed to all the department heads shortly.  The HD (half day) allocations remain very close to the numbers reported in the previous period.   Projected requirements for the upcoming academic year are now being prepared.

MCC Results:

MCC reports on LMCE Part I results over the last 3 years are currently being studied by a special task force.  This group has been asked to identify any trends which may result in direct changes in the UGME curriculum.  Results of this study will be report to MD PEC.

Learner Wellness Proposal:

Changes to the Learner Wellness Centre are being proposed.  This proposal includes the creation of an Advisory Panel and the addition of a counselor.  The Advisory Panel would be put in place to develop, review and approve plans for the management or accommodation of student disabilities.   In addition to the panel, plans are underway to secure an additional student counselor who would work at arms-length from the School of Medicine.  This new structure would provide additional avenues for student related wellness issues to be reported as well as help satisfy accreditation standards related student wellness.





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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

AAMC Curricular Inventory – UPDATE:  Data for this initiative was not submitted as it was felt that the submission did not adequately reflect the curriculum.  The problem was a result of the categories available for mapping of our instructional methods to the LCME methods.  Work will continue on this project with the hope that submissions can be made in the future.

Draft Accommodation Policy – The Director of Progress, Promotion and Remediation presented a draft Accommodation Policy for review.  This policy is intended to provide guidance when an applicant or student requests accommodation due to a long term, short term or progressive disability.  Requests for Accommodation will be vetted through an Accommodation Subcommittee which will recommend an accommodation plan to the Progress, Promotion and Remediation Committee.  The Committee made several recommendations for changes.  A revised version of this policy will be posted for faculty review shortly prior to final approval.

Course and Faculty Review Process – The Director of Curricular Review presented a revised process for disseminating reports from the Course and Faculty Review Committee (CFRC).  This process will improve the flow of information and provide increased efficiency to the CFRC reporting process.  Through this revised process, reports indicating problems such as significant resource issues, repeated negative themes or potentially high risk issues will be reported directly to MD PEC for resolution.   Revised terms of reference for the CFRC will be developed to reflect this new reporting structure.

Next Meeting:  April 16, 2014

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights – Wednesday March 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

CaRMS – The CaRMS match was highly successful with only one Queen’s student unmatched.  The students matched to a wide variety of specialties and of note there were only six unmatched positions at Queen’s.

AAMC Curricular Inventory – Work has been undertaken to submit data to the AAMC curricular inventory portal.  The team working on this project has encountered some difficulties in preparing the data for importing into the portal.  However, it is believed that participation in this initiative will benefit future Accreditation reporting.

Diversity – The Committee is reviewing the need for a Diversity policy.  Diversity is one of the many accreditation standards which the School is working towards implementing policies and standards to ensure compliance.   It was determined that a committee will be established, which will include students, to develop a diversity policy.

Communicable Disease & Immunization Policy – An updated Communicable Disease & Immunization Policy was reviewed and approved by the Committee.  The changes in the policy were made to match the immunization form currently being used. The updated policy can be seen on the UGME website at

Service Learning – The topic of service learning was discussed and noted that it is a key accreditation issue.  The Professional Foundations Committee has developed a discussion paper on service learning.  A commitment statement on service learning was presented and approved by the Committee.  It was noted that some service learning opportunities are currently within the curriculum.  It was decided that the Professional Foundations Committee would serve as the overseer and developer of service learning.

Next Meeting:  March 19, 2014

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Flu Clinic at the School of Medicine Building

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety, in conjunction with the KFLA Health Unit, is sponsoring  a Flu Shot Clinic at the University this year. This will be a chance for all faculty, students and staff to take advantage of the free vaccination program offered by the Ministry of Health.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. School of Medicine Bldg., Corner of Arch and Stuart Street Entrance

Remember to bring your health card.

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New and Revised Policies

Prior to a new or amended policy or regulation being submitted for MD PEC approval, it must be published for review and comment by faculty and/or students within the School of Medicine.  Feedback received will be directed to the Policy Sponsor.

In the event that major changes are made based on this feedback, a new draft will be posted for additional comments.

In keeping with this procedure the following policies are being posted for comment or feedback:

If you wish to comment on any of these documents, please add your feedback to the discussions or email

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