PGME updates

2020 - 2021 Program Updates

Message from the Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education

Dr. Patricia Houston

2020-2021 was, among other things, a year of integrations and transitions for Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME).

Integration was – and continues to be – a theme common among many PGME activities. Collaboration between the PGME team and colleagues across the continuum of medical education has fostered growth, with the goal of improving and enhancing processes, procedures and relationships. The fruits of these collaborative labours include the introduction of a common Learner Assessment of Clinical Teachers (LACT) tool for use by our undergraduate and postgraduate learners and guidelines for the dissemination of our Voice of the… survey series. Working within our newly improved data integration systems, PGME continued to enhance the online platform, Elentra, to support Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) assessments and other workplace-based assessment tools. These achievements are examples of our commitment to enhance program evaluation and continuous quality improvement processes and supports, both in PGME and across the continuum of medical education.

This past academic year also marked transitions in PGME. We said farewell to Prof. Glen Bandiera, who completed his second term as Associate Dean, PGME on August 27, 2021. We thank him for his dedication, commitment and innovations over the past 10 years in PGME, and wish him the best in his new leadership role as Executive Director, Specialty Education at the RCPSC.

In an effort to maintain continuity and guidance to the PGME team, I am grateful for the opportunity to step in to provide my leadership as Interim Associate Dean for PGME. I am perhaps even more grateful – and delighted – to welcome Prof. Meredith Giuliani, who will take on the role of Associate Dean, PGME effective January 1, 2022.

Professor Patricia Houston
Acting Dean | Vice Dean, Medical Education | Interim Associate Dean, PGME
Temerty Faculty of Medicine

COVID adaptations

COVID-19 Adaptations

In response to the global pandemic, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) quickly mobilized its faculty and staff to create several educational opportunities that fostered improvements in various educational and operational processes:

  • PGME supported residency programs in their need for flexible education and assessment expectations under a new curricular model.
  • We quickly created the COVID-19 Website to serve as a hub for education and clinical resources.
  • Guided by Principles for Redeployment and corresponding procedures, we developed a three-phase redeployment plan for medical residents and fellows across our training sites and continued to support the development and implementation of accommodations for postgraduate trainees at increased risk for serious health consequences from COVID-19.

Through unprecedented times, PGME continued to implement Competency by Design and successfully completed the first ever virtual Royal College accreditation.

Early in 2021, Temerty Medicine submitted four teams comprised of PGME residents and clinical faculty to participate in Ornge’s Operation Remote Immunity initiative to deliver and administer COVID-19 vaccines to 31remote Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario. The overwhelming response from staff physicians, faculty and learners who stepped forward to volunteer underscores our collective commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, and is a small but important step in addressing the ongoing ethical, social and racial injustices that affect Indigenous health equity.

COVID-19 continued to create issues for trainees entering Canada. PGME remained committed to our advocacy efforts for incoming international trainees beginning programs at our affiliated hospitals. As a result, very few trainees reported difficulties upon their arrival in Canada.  


Program Innovations

Program Innovations

Program innovations in PGME continued over the 2020-21 academic year. Key projects PGME supported include the Voices surveys around learner and faculty experience and the Learner Assessment of Clinical Teaching (LACT) to enhance and improve feedback mechanisms between learners and faculty.

Another major priority area for the 2020-21 academic year was the enhancement of positive learning environments. In collaboration with Temerty Medicine, departmental and program education leaders and learners, PGME launched refreshed learner mistreatment webpages that include an online reporting and disclosure system for learners experiencing mistreatment.

PGME continued to use the online platform Elentra to support the implementation of Entrustable Professional Activities and other workplace-based assessment tools. There are now 47 programs onboard for Competency by Design (CBD) and we have successfully passed the halfway mark for rolling out CBD across our approximately 80 Royal College Specialties at the University of Toronto.

The 2021 PGY1 CaRMS cycle represented a significant shift from previous years as all activities transitioned online. PGME supported programs by offering resources in Unconscious Bias in Resident Selection, as well as workshops in Best Practices in Application and Selection, including a focus on virtual interviews and file review. 

Notably, Global Health at PGME was cited in the 2020 PGME Accreditation institutional review report as a leading practice and innovation specifically highlighting the efforts Temerty Medicine made to help programs meet our social accountability mandate. Moreover, the Global Health COVID-19 series offered 25 sessions between March and July of 2020 on critical COVID-19 content and resident wellness issues. It continued with a second series, which ran from March through July 2021 with theme of Mid-COVID-19 Pandemic: Reflections On Year One. Evaluations of the COVID-19 sessions confirmed that the series provides critical information as well as a supportive learning community for residents, fellows and faculty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.


Education Scholarship

Education Scholarship

PGME was actively engaged in scholarship activities for the 2020-21 academic year. Representatives from the PGME Office participated in national and international medical education conferences. Research topics explored ideas of how to foster wellness amongst learners and faculty and how to successfully pivot to virtual teaching and learning. Review details about scholarly activities by representatives from the PGME Office.



PGME continues to recognize members of our medical education community who are committed to the Faculty and Postgraduate Medical Education by acknowledging their efforts through various awards.

  • Excellence in Postgraduate Medical Education – Development and Innovation: Prof. Ahmed Al Awamer, Department of Family & Community Medicine/Prof. Ebru Kaya, Department of Medicine (co-applicants) and Prof. Mark Fefergrad, Department of Psychiatry
  • Excellence in Postgraduate Medical Education – Teaching Performance, Mentorship and Advocacy: Prof. Adrienne Tan, Department of Psychiatry and Prof. Natalie Wong, Department of Medicine
  • Charles Mickle Fellowship Award: Prof. Sanjeev Sockalingam, Department of Psychiatry
  • Sarita Verma Award for Advocacy and Mentorship in Postgraduate Medicine: Prof. Pier Bryden, Department of Psychiatry
  • Robert Sheppard Award in Postgraduate Medical Education: Prof. Rachel Spitzer, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Social Responsibility Award: Prof. Michaela Beder, Department of Psychiatry

Review the complete list of 2020-21 PGME award winners.