In follow up to the message sent April 6, we are writing to share some key decisions regarding experiential rotations.
The University of Toronto Health Science Faculties have decided to pause all clinical rotations until July 6, 2020. This decision was made by U of T and applies to all clinical learners in the health sciences. The decision was influenced in part by the fact that our TAHSN hospital partners and other hospital partners across Ontario have indicated they are not able to accommodate learners at this time (please see letter attached). Now that we have received this information we are able to confirm the plan for EPE 1, EPE 2 and Blocks 1-3 of APPE rotations.
In consultation with the Provost and Vice-Provost, the Faculty requested and was granted a declaration of academic disruption at the program level for the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program effective immediately and to April 30, 2021.
EPE 1 and 2
This academic disruption effectively means that EPE 1 and EPE 2 rotations will be postponed for this summer and will be integrated into the curriculum at a future time. Having taken a close look at our curriculum we are making this decision with confidence that we can integrate the EPE 1 and EPE 2 requirements into the curriculum at a future time. We are currently exploring opportunities to provide pharmacy education activities over the summer to interested students. More information on this will be made available in the coming weeks.
APPE rotations for our 2T1 class continue to be a priority. In light of the decision to pause all clinical rotations until July 6, we have had to make some adjustments to rotation schedules. We have decided that Block 1 will be deemed a study block for all students. For block 2 we will offer NDPC rotations, including new NDPC rotations with Faculty members, among others. Block 3 is yet to be determined as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Our goal is to resume direct patient care rotations in clinical environments as soon as we are able to do so. As we await information on the clinical environment we will be working to develop and offer virtual direct patient care rotations with sites across the province. The development of virtual rotations that will allow students to have direct patient care activities is a priority for us and we will make these available as soon as possible.
Students will receive communication from the Office of Experiential Education (OEE) outlining individual student rotation assignments when this information is confirmed and ready to be shared.
We understand changes related to COVID-19 may result in financial challenges for some students. The University is working to expand the University-wide fund for emergency student aid and we will provide additional information about this fund as soon as it becomes available.
Virtual Town Halls
We expect that you will have many questions regarding these decisions and what next steps you should take. We are planning to host virtual town halls for each class next week. Dates and times will be communicated once details are confirmed.
In the meantime, if you have any urgent questions please do not hesitate to reach out. There has been a lot of change in our professional, educational and personal lives in the recent weeks. Please take time to care for yourselves and each other. As a Faculty we are very proud of your professionalism and resilience as we navigate these challenging circumstances.
Acting Director, Doctor of Pharmacy Program (PharmD)