COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Faculty, Staff and Residents
The University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine recognizes that a lot of information is being sent to our students, residents, faculty and staff during this unprecedented time. Below are announcements and links to resources specifically relating to family medicine that we hope will be useful to you.
Currently, DFCM staff are all working from home but are there to assist you. To see a list of contacts, go to our Contact Us page.
Are we missing something? Do you have something you have created at your hospital site or clinic that would be useful to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to add it to the list.
Do you have a story to share? Visit our new blog page where we will be sharing stories from the frontlines.
U of T Re-Opening Updates
Information and resources about the 2020-21 school year can be found on the University of Toronto's website, including an update on preparing for a safe return to in-person activities for the Fall 2021 term, and U of T's vaccination requirements for students, staff, faculty and librarians.
Please see the University's plan for returning to campus in "UTogether2020: A Roadmap for the University of Toronto" here.
Wellness & Resilience
Best practices and suggestions compiled by senior leaders at U of T.
- Consider booking meetings for 20 minutes instead of half an hour and 45 minutes rather than a full hour to allow for people to stretch or transition between meetings.
- When booking a meeting, consider if a meeting is required or if there are other ways of sharing the information or getting input.
- Invite only the individuals who are required to meetings.
- Check calendars before booking meetings, and don’t book over blocked time without first consulting.
- Wherever possible, provide a meeting agenda with time designated for each topic and end on time.
- Consider phone calls for one-on-one meetings rather than video calls so people are freer to move and be away from their computer screen.
- At the beginning of each meeting, establish that it is fine to participate with cameras off, or to stay on mute. Let your colleagues with children know that they don’t need to apologize for any background noise and allow them to participate as best they can.
- Consider introducing walking meetings, where you and your team can step outside and get exercise during a call.
- Where possible, reserve one afternoon a week free of meetings for focused and uninterrupted work.
- Keep emails succinct and clear
- Use the c.c. line thoughtfully
- Delay email delivery when possible – while some individuals need to work outside of regular business hours, non-urgent email correspondence can be sent using the delayed delivery function available through Outlook. This reduces the pressure to respond after hours or on weekends.
Prioritization and Workload
- Consider ways to lighten workloads, including rethinking due dates where possible.
- Prioritize your team’s work. Try to gain clarity from colleagues or supervisors about what work is urgent and what can be deferred. Treating every task as critical can lead to overwork and feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Determine team capacity and bandwidth before beginning a new project proposal.
Calendars and Scheduling
- If possible, try to avoid scheduling meetings between 8:30 am – 9am and 11:30 am – 1:30 pm; this will provide time away from desks for all and especially those who are parents of school-age children. These times are often needed to get children online for classes or provide lunch for elementary school children.
- Schedule blocks of time in your calendar for uninterrupted time to focus on work.
- Block a lunch break in your calendar and block any time needed for family obligations.
- Respect time that has been blocked off by your colleagues and co-workers.
- Determine core meeting hours for your unit and try to adhere to them, except for urgent time-sensitive issues.
Building a Supportive Culture
- Keep the lines of communication open with your colleagues.
- Familiarize yourself with the supports available, such as the Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP) for confidential counselling an other wellness services you can find on the HR & Equity website.
- Take vacation time, even if you don’t go anywhere. It is important to have time to rejuvenate. Encourage your team to do the same.
- Set up regular check ins – determine the best methods to connect with your team.
- Be flexible and willing to modify past practices to work more effectively in a virtual environment.
- Be flexible and open to discussing temporary alternative working arrangements when possible. Varying obligations may create challenges for some – encourage flexibility and creativity wherever possible.
- Have open conversations to create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.
- Find ways for your team to have some informal, online fun/social time together.
COVID-19-Related Wellness and Resilience Resources
- Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak (World Health Organization)
- Mental health resources for patients and for doctors (developed by DFCM and the Ontario College of Family Physicians)
- Ways of finding happiness in challenging times (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)
- Three steps to coping with anything (including COVID-19) (Drs. Bob Maunder and Jon Hunter - Mount Sinai Hospital)
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
Resources for Faculty
- List of wellness and resilience resources for faculty (DFCM Faculty Development Wellness and Resilience Committee)
- Wellness for Health Care Providers (DFCM Open)
- Wellness Resources for Faculty (Temerty Faculty of Medicine)
- COVID-19 Wellness Series (webinars) (Temerty Faculty of Medicine)
- Faculty Navigator - A one stop line to have a person help faculty member figure out which supports needed and link to the support, get information, etc.
- 416-978-8203 /email@example.com
- Open from 12:30pm-8:30pm weekdays.
- Available to all FOM faculty members.
- Quick Guide: Wellness Resources for Physicians (Toronto Academic Health Science Network)
Resources for Residents
- UofT Postgraduate Wellness Office: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 946-3074 or access their wellness resources here
- PARO 24-hour Helpline: 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362)
- Physician Health Program Confidential help line: 1-800-851-6606
- A confidential service providing assistance on issues, such as stress, burnout, mental health, and substance use issues, to both physicians and their families. They offer expedited referrals to third party providers with expertise in physician health.
- COVID-19 Resources for Residents Infographic (created and compiled by residents at the University of Toronto)
DFCM Central and Programs
U of T PGME
- For updates please visit the U of T Postgraduate Medical Education website
- COVID-19 Goals of Care Communication Guide for Residents and Fellows
- For regular updates please visit the Temerty Faculty of Medicine webpage
- Please visit our website regarding the steps, process and criteria for a junior promotion
- Our DAC (Department Appointments Committee) is continuing to meet on a monthly basis (Sept - June) to review new appointments and junior promotions
- Future junior promotion workshops will be listed on our website.
For information about the DFCM senior promotion process timeline, details, and helpful advice, please check the Senior Promotions page.
For more information please contact Sarah Letovsky, Academic Promotions Coordinator.
Educational Resources for Faculty & Residents
Faculty Development—Resources to assist with virtual teaching
- 6 Steps to Successful Virtual Supervision (DFCM)
- Zoom Virtual Teaching Clinic Model (DFCM)
- Faculty Development Resource Repository (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- Pearls for Writing a Virtual Care Field Note (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- Tips for Supervising Family Medicine Learners Providing Virutal Care (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- List of resources to help you pivot your medical education work online (PIVOT MedEd)
- Resources for Faculty Development In Health Professions Education (University of Toronto Centre for Faculty Development)
- Best Practices for Supervising Learners while Providing Virtual Care (NOSM & CEPD)
- Precepting and Teaching Using Telemedicine Platforms (DOCX; 19KB) (Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University)
Virtual Care Resources
- The COVID 19 Pivot: Adapting our Practice to Virtual Care (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- COVID 19: a remote assessment in primary care (BMJ 2020)
- COVID-19: Remote Consultations - A quick guide to assessing patients by video or voice call (Ontario College of Family Physicians)
- Telemedicine: The Essentials (University of Toronto Centre for Faculty Development)
- Virtual Care Playbook (CFPC, RCPSC, CMA)
- Telemedicine modules & resources (Department of Family Medicine, McGill University)
- Consent for Virtual Care (Ontario Medical Association)
- Virtual Care Handbook for Family Medicine Residents (DFCM)
- When and how to conduct sensitive examinations in a virtual care environment (DFCM)
Family Medicine Resident Supplementary Educational Materials
General Primary Care Topics
- FMF Live On Demand Virtual Education (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- The Hub (University of Toronto)
- A Resident Guide to Redeployment (created by Marlee Klaiman and Zainab Najarali, DFCM)
- Online courses about women's health (login required) (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada)
- Weight gain in pregnancy (online course) (Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary)
- 5 A’s of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain (online module) (Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia)
- Latching On: How Family Physicians Can Support Breastfeeding Patients (online module) (Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia)
- Not Just The Blues: Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (online course) (Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia)
- Fundamentals of Fetal Health Surveillance (self-learning online manual) (Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia)
- Lecture by Dr. Amy Montour at McMaster on Culturally Sensitive Care (MacGlObAs, McMaster University)
- Indigenous Relationship and Cultural Safety Courses (Cancer Care Ontario)
- An Indigenous Women’s Reproductive Health Curriculum (Hearing Our Voices)
- Emergency Medicine Resources (Mount Sinai Hospital)
- Opioids Clinical Primer (machealth)
- Clinical Care Guidance (British Columbia Centre on Substance Use)
- Online Opioid Self-Assessment Program (University Health Network)
- Grow and meet your Sport Medicine and Musculoskeletal (MSK) Education needs (Sport Med School)
- A New Approach to the Management of Osteoarthritis (College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- Rheumtutor: online educational resource about rheumatology (Rheumtutor)
- MSK Matters - A sport and exercise medicine podcast for Canadian medical residents and senior medical students (hosted by Dr. Ali Rendely, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute)
- COVID-19 Palliative Care Modules (Pallium Canada)
- Physician Learning Modules (WSIB Ontario)
Read the COVID-19 Research FAQ from the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation.
Find resources and information on the Temerty Faculty of Medicine's Research & Clinical Education During COVID page.
For upcoming Research Rounds, please see the DFCM events page.
COVID-19 Research Links
- Global Research on Coronavirus Disease (World Health Organization)
- Responding to Covid-19 — A Once-in-a-Century Pandemic? (New England Journal of Medicine)
Clinical Tools & Resources
COVID-19 Community of Practice
Practicing family physicians share their perspectives on COVID-related topics in one-hour long interactive webinars. This COVID-19 Community of Practice is a joint initiative from DFCM and the Ontario College of Family Physicians.
- COVID-19 Goals of Care Communication Guide for Clinicians (Vital Talk)
- Health care access information for uninsuired individuals (Healthcare Access Ontario)
- COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update and Weekly Operational Update (World Health Organization)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Resource (Centre for Effective Practice)
- Managing Chronic Conditions Using Virtual Care During COVID-19 (Centre for Effective Practice & DFCM)
- Screening and Managing At-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder During COVID-19 (Centre for Effective Practice & DFCM)
- Ontario Clinical Practice Guidelines for Antimicrobial and Immunomodulatory Therapy (Sinai Health System - University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program)
- COVID-19 Specialty Specific Information for Health Providers (Temerty Faculty of Medicine)
- COVID phone triage for admin, nurses, NP/MDs - Sample Macros for Accuro useful for COVID-19
- Guideline for opening primary care offices (North York Family Health Team)
- Ramping up in-person office visits in primary care in the aftermath of COVID-19 (Tara Kiran, CMAJ Blog)
- COVID-19 Resources and Updates from Toronto, Ontario, and Canada
- Questions and Answers on COVID-19 (CMA, CFPC, RCPSC)
- COVID-19 Resource Centre (Centre for Effective Practice)
- A Field Manual for Palliative Care in Humanitarian Crises (Oxford Medicine Online)
- COVID-19 Palliative Care Resources (Palliative Care Toronto)
Social Determinants of Health Resources
- Rapid Rx (North York Family Health Team)
- COVID-19 Opioid Agonist Treatment Guidance (META:PHI)
- COVID-19 printable handouts in multiple languages to address language barriers (Health Design Studio)
- Mental Health, Housing & Newcomer Supports for LGBTQ2S people (The 519)
- Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council COVID-19 Community Support (Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council)
- Marginalized Populations and COVID (Google Drive) (organized by Carnelle Williams,income security health promoter at St Michael's Hospital)
- Plain language document for how to access income supports (compiled by Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management, Carleton University)
- A Social History Tool using the IF-IT-HELPS mnemonic (DFCM)
- Indigenous COVID Pathways Hotline: 437-703-8703 (GTA only; Daily 4-9pm)
- COVID-19 Social Care Guidance Tool (DFCM, Centre for Effective Practice, Upstream Lab)
- Social resources for Canadians impacted by COVID-19 (by province) (Upstream Lab)
- Managing type 2 diabetes during COVID-19: a guide for primary care providers (Centre for Effective Practice)
Important Open Access Resources for Clinicians
- Online ICU Training Resources: Members of the Critical Care Education Pandemic Preparedness (CCEPP) project have developed an online resource for non-intensive care clinicians -- doctors, nurses, RTs, and others -- who may find themselves working in critical care during the pandemic. www.QuickICUTraining.com is a study guide and quick reference resource for those upskilling, renewing, or reviewing their critical care capabilities in response to COVID-19. It is meant to supplement simulation- and/or on-the-job learning and more formal training programs.
- QuickICUTraining.com is comprised of short "pocket card" summaries, evidence-focused lectures, procedural demonstration videos, and links. Content on this website is a result of both collation of existing materials and novel creation. The website also houses triage guidelines and recommendations. Please note that this resource continues to be developed and improved as we are receiving and generating more materials and refining current materials.
For Health Professionals
- 19 to Zero (resources to support vaccine uptake and safe COVID behaviour)
- Addressing vaccine hesitancy (video - OMA, DFCM, CEP)
- What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines (available in multiple languages, including Amharic, Arabic, Bangla, English, French, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Tigrinya and Traditional Chinese)
- How did we get COVID-19 vaccines so fast? (available in multiple languages, including Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Swahili, Traditional Chinese, Urdu)
Partner Organizations (OCFP, CFPC, OMA)
File access (from Discovery Commons)
- Via a browser and an internet connection: Many of the University's applications are accessible via the Internet. For example, you can connect to Office 365 through your browser by going to https://mail.utoronto.ca. From there you can access your email, calendar, OneDrive, and Teams as well as any other Office 365 services that you have access to. You can install Word, Excel, PowerPoint on your home computer and work locally if your appointment qualifies you for an Office 365 ProPlus license. You can find more information here.
- Connect to your work computer through the University's VPN: You only need connect to your work computer if you need access to a specific program on your work computer, or if you need files from your network drive (the N: drive). You will need to install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client on your remote computer, and configure your work computer for remote access. Instructions can be found here. There is currently a high demand on the University's VPN which may result in degraded performance. The University is working on addressing this, but it may take some time. If you are in need of particular files from the N drive we would recommend that you copy them to your OneDrive account and work on them locally for the time being.
Every program has Zoom license with its own unique login and password. If you require additional licensing, or need assistance running a large meeting/webinar (100+ attendees), please contact Brian Da Silva well in advance.
Other Zoom support is available here:
DFCM backgrounds are available on the Resources for Faculty page, under Communication Tools.
Microsoft Office (Outlook, OneDrive)
- Download Outlook and OneDrive app for desktop
- Upload files and folders to OneDrive (Files and folders synced to OneDrive can be accessed from any computer through the OneDrive app or browser)
- Share and sync files and folders on OneDrive
Connecting to your desk phone
Microsoft Teams is a collaborative work space including chat function, video conferencing and file sharing. Download the Teams app here.
Please join DFCM’s Teams channel by emailing email@example.com.