Undergrad Update: Years 3 and 4 Clerkships


**Sent on behalf of Dr. Kathryn Fung, Program Director, Undergraduate Psychiatry Education**


Dear Year 3 and 4 clerkship supervisors:

Thank you all for your work at this challenging time. As you are aware, on March 14, 2020, the UBC Faculty of Medicine placed an immediate hold on the Year 3 clinical clerkship and cancelled all Year 4 elective placements out of concern for student health and to reduce further spread of COVID-19. This took many preceptors by surprise as the communication of UBC’s decision was issued on a Saturday.

Fortunately for Year 4 (Class of 2020), most of their clinical activities were complete by that time. I apologize for any disruption that this cancellation may have had on your practices. Some preceptors have inquired about the impact on students.

For your interest, Year 4 students were given options to complete the remainder of their academic requirements from one of the following three options:

  1. Self-learning/CME (e.g. online learning modules, literature reviews, reading)
  2. Educational contributions (e.g. clinical scenario template, public messaging) to be compiled and used for Year 3 education and eventually converted to interactive online modules
  3. Community involvement (paraclinical) coordinated through Dr. Mary Kestler
    • Telephone triage (e.g. 811/COVID-19 line)
    • Public health (e.g. PPE inventory/collection, contact tracing)
    • Administrative (e.g. coordinating student interest, matching to opportunities)

Current Year 3 students (Class of 2021) had their clerkship placed on hold up to and including March 29, 2020. Now that this date is here, the UBC Undergraduate Medical Education COVID-19 Task Force has finalized some decisions. Year 3 students have been told that they may return home. There is currently no definite date for resuming clerkship, but it will NOT be before July 6, 2020. This may result in some blending/overlap of clinical experiences with the Class of 2022 students. The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) is working toward a process by which an altered clerkship will meet accreditation standards. We are working toward a coordinated postgraduate residency start date.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to teaching. As faculty are receiving more e-mails than usual, I will send updates only when relevant information becomes available.

Keep safe,


Kathryn Fung, MD FRCPC
UBC Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine
Program Director, Undergraduate Psychiatry Education