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. 

Please note that overall Temerty Faculty of Medicine announcements can be found here.

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 dfcm.communications@utoronto.ca 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 gradual and safe return to in-person activities for the Fall 2021 term.

Please see the University's plan for returning to campus in "UTogether2020: A Roadmap for the University of Toronto" here.

Wellness & Resilience

Workload and Wellbeing

Best practices and suggestions compiled by senior leaders at U of T.

Meetings

  • 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.

Email Communications

  • 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

Resources for Faculty

Resources for Residents

  • UofT Postgraduate Wellness Office: Please contact pgwellness@utoronto.ca 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

MD program

Academic Promotions

Junior Promotion:

  • 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.

Senior Promotion:

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

Virtual Care Resources

Family Medicine Resident Supplementary Educational Materials

General Primary Care Topics

Redeployment Resources

Women’s Health

Maternity Care

Indigenous Health

Emergency Medicine

Addictions

MSK

Palliative Care

Practice Management

Research

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

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. 

Local Resources

International Resources

Clinical Resources

General Resources

Palliative Care

Social Determinants of Health Resources

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.

Vaccine Resources

For Health Professionals

  • 19 to Zero (resources to support vaccine uptake and safe COVID behaviour)

For Patients

Relevant COVID-19 Community of Practice Sessions

Staff

Working remotely

Below is a list of resources to assist you in working from remotely while the office is closed. Please contact Brian Da Silva or Discovery Commons if you require assistance.

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.

Zoom

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)

Connecting to your desk phone

You can connect to your desk phone using the VOIP app or portal. For set-up assistance, please contact Brian Da Silva.

Microsoft Teams

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 dfcm.communications@utoronto.ca.