As the situation continues to evolve with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is working closely with our partners and university leaders to determine the next best steps for students in a number of areas. Please see an important update below.
Further to the message sent on Friday, March 13, we are confirming that all in-person courses will be delivered by other means, such as online instruction. Individual instructors will be reaching out to students through Quercus announcements and other means. Consistent with other undergraduate and professional programs, this decision is effective tomorrow Monday, March 16 and continuing until the end of our term on April 9, 2020. All skills based labs and courses, such as MTM labs, will also be suspended until further notice.
The University is considering how best to approach final exams. Further information about this will be provided as soon as possible. We understand that many students are faced with difficult decisions regarding whether to return home, given the increasing challenges with international travel. We have decided that Faculty of Pharmacy students will not be required to return to the Leslie Dan Faculty of pharmacy or St. George campus for the examination period. More information will follow regarding format and completion of exams. Students registered with Accessibility Services should continue to contact Accessibility Services to receive accommodations and supports.
We have received messages from students who are keenly interested in completing their experiential rotations. We have also received messages from students who are concerned about the risks associated with completing rotations. We recognize that the situation is changing rapidly and that our decision-making needs to be adaptive and flexible.
We have been working closely with many of our experiential partners and have carefully considered their feedback and recommendations on this matter.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 all experiential placements are suspended for a three-week period. This means all Block 9 and the first week of Block 10 placements are placed on a pause. While our partners expressed a sincere appreciation for the contributions of our students it was unanimously agreed that, at this point in time, the risks of continuing with rotation placements outweigh the benefits.
This decision is based upon the following key principles:
- We must keep patients safe.
- We must keep our students safe.
- The TAHSN hospital education leadership have collectively made the decision to pause all non-paid, student placements in all areas effective Monday March 16.
We know that many of our students want to be part of the crisis response and we will use the time provided in this three week pause to determine how students can best do this safely and within changed environments across multiple settings. We also hope to engage students in this discussion as much as possible.
There may be students who are currently working in clinical environments, not on educational placements. Those who are in technical working roles and are considered to be employees should continue to follow instruction provided by the employer.
Currently, we intend to preserve graduation timelines if possible. We know that graduating students have concerns and we will be working with the other Canadian programs, the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs and the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) to ensure that you have the opportunity to complete requirements. We commit to being flexible and open-minded in how those requirements can best be met in this unique and constantly changing environment. We are in close communication with other Faculties of Pharmacy across Canada as we all grapple with the same challenges nationally.
We understand this is a very difficult time – for you as students and for our community as a whole. Please do not hesitate to reach out and the Office of Experiential Education (OEE) remains available to you for your support.
Thank you for your understanding as we work together during this very difficult time.
Professor & Dean,
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy