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 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

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

Email sent July 29, 2020 on behalf of Dr. Trevor Young

Dear Chairs and Business Officers,

Now that the Faculty of Medicine and other parts of the University have started to open up, many are asking when administrative staff will be returning to campus.

It is anticipated that most Faculty of Medicine employees will continue to work remotely into the fall, unless they are working in a lab or a unit that supports the Faculty’s research enterprise. This will continue to be the case when the City of Toronto enters into Stage 3.

To ensure proper support for staff working remotely, managers should be familiar with Best Practices for Leading and Managing Remotely, which can be found on the HR Service Centre.

Departments that may require staff on-site to prepare for teaching in the fall must follow the re-entry process set out in the University’s COVID-19 Leadership Toolkit, available on the HR Service Centre:

In addition, the University issued an updated memo yesterday, including the requirement that masks be worn in all common spaces on campus including classrooms. Many of these measures were outlined in a recent U of T news story.

Undergraduate and Clinical Master’s Students

Basic Science departments are coordinating closely with Arts and Sciences with respect to undergraduate teaching. The process for guiding our integrated use of the Medical Sciences Building will also be undertaken for 500 University Avenue, the C. David Naylor Building and 263 McCaul Street, with broad stakeholder input.

Research Restart and COVID-19 Reporting

In mid-July the restart of our research operations moved to Phase 2, which allows the number of individuals working in labs to increase from 20% to 50% of full team size. You can find resources related to research restart here, and guidance for the recovery of human research here.

Reminder: If anyone in your department develops COVID-19 symptoms, they are to self-isolate right away and contact a health care provider. A positive test for COVID-19 must be reported immediately to U of T’s Occupational Health Nurse by email at: and the person must self-isolate for 14 days following the day they were tested.

MSB Re-Opening Leadership

Due to the size, complexity and the multiple types of usage of the Medical Sciences Building, I have asked Prof. Sal Spadafora, Vice Dean, Strategy and Operations, to lead an MSB Restart, Recovery and Adaptation Building Integration Committee. The role of the committee will be to document all potential uses of the building and determine the requirements to ensure the health and safety of faculty, staff and learners when the new academic year starts in September.

Thank you all for your hard work and support. We welcome input and will offer further guidance as we move into the fall. Any questions on re-entry plans should be directed to the Faculty of Medicine HR consultant for the unit or department.


Trevor Young, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCAHS
Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
University of Toronto

Wellness & Resilience

COVID-19-Related Wellness and Resilience Resources

Resources for Faculty

Resources for Residents

DFCM Central and Programs

For regular updates from U of T PGME, please visit their website here.

For regular updates on the MD program, please visit the Faculty of Medicine webpage.

Academic Fellowship and Graduate Studies

The Academic Fellowship and Graduate Studies Program remains focused on the continuation of academic activity and ongoing implementation of COVID-19 preventative measures, while closely monitoring the directives from Toronto Public Health, the Dalla School of Public Health (DLSPH) and UofT. The AFGS Program Directors and Administrators are currently working from home, but the Team remains in continuous communications with all Program Instructors and Students as we all navigate through these unprecedented times of constant changes.

Spring term enrolment opened on April 1, 2020.

All DFCM/DLSPH Spring Term courses will be moved to online delivery methods for May 2020 term start and Instructors are actively working on curriculum continuity plans. The platform to be used for online course access and login instructions will be available on each course-specific Quercus page and Instructors and Students are encouraged to check, and use, the Quercus Discussion boards often for these updates. The format for class presentations and assignment submissions will also be updated on Quercus.

Students are also reminded to check the DLSPH website for course updates outside of our program.

General Program announcements and updates will continue to be posted on the AFGS Quercus Community Page and/or via email to all Faculty and Students.

Students are reminded to advise their Instructors directly if they will not be attending class online due to illness; alternate arrangements will be made to ensure they have access to the course materials without penalty.

It is expected that Instructors and Students may be experiencing additional obligations in their workplaces and may be finding it difficult to meet deadlines. Students are reminded to email their instructors in advance for assignment extension requests and Instructors should reach out to Program Directors with any potential late grading implications.

Any Practicum opportunities that have been impacted by COVID-19-related closures should be communicated to AFGS Staff or Program Directors as soon as possible for support at

The Program continues to accept applications for all Continuing Education and Fellowship programs; Applications are currently being reviewed for Spring 2020 (pending course space) and/or Fall 2020 starts.

International students requiring English Language Proficiency tests for applications are advised that home testing has now been launched in some areas :

Graduate Studies applications are currently under review for the 2020-2021 admission cycle and Offer/Rejection letters are still scheduled for the end of April, 2020.

Academic Promotions

Junior Promotion:

  • Please visit our website regarding the steps, process and criteria for a junior promotion
  • Our DAC is continuing to meet on a monthly basis

Senior Promotion:

Please note – the timelines for the senior promotion process were revised on March 31, 2020 in consideration of the extraordinary demands on our faculty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Faculty of Medicine has made the decision to extend the timelines of the Senior Promotion Academic Promotion cycle for promotion effective July 1, 2021. We will advise you of any changes to these dates as we move forward.

New dates for our senior promotion candidates:

  • Friday May 1, 2020 – due date for DFCM pre-application submission
  • October 5 – 9, 2020 – due date for DFCM dossier submission
  • March 8, 2021 – due date for the DFCM to submit dossiers to HR
  • For inquiries, please email the Academic Promotions Coordinator

Quality and Innovation Program

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



Palliative Care

Practice Management

MD Program

Email sent June 10, 2020

Dear Clinical Chairs & Vice Chairs Education,

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to understand and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our clinical education environments. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our progress towards reintegration of clinical clerks into placements, while recognizing the importance of balancing the needs of patients and our community during this time.

We previously paused clinical placements until Monday, July 6, 2020. With this date fast approaching, we have been working with hospital education leaders through the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) to plan for reintegrating learners into hospital activities while ensuring the safety of staff, learners, and patients. Recently, we developed the attached Hospital-Based Academic Recovery Strategy & Guidelines (attached) to support harmonization, articulate guidance in preparing for and beginning to recover hospital-based academic activities and provide tools to support preparedness efforts.

We would like to ensure that all departments are aware of our planning efforts and work collaboratively to prepare for learner reintegration. We would like to take this opportunity and offer our apologies for not sending this communication out earlier, but as you can appreciate, this has been a complex and involved process. With your support, we hope to commence Clerkship reintegration as a system, beginning Monday, July 6, 2020, where possible.

We are currently planning for Phase 1. During this phase, the MD Program will prioritize reintegrating our returning year 3 Clinical Clerks who require placements to complete their academic program and graduate on time to transition to postgraduate education in July 2021. Please share this communication as broadly as possible with your departmental membership.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself. Thank you for your help, support and continued partnership during this uncertain time.

Stay well,

Patricia Houston, MD, MEd, FRCPC
Vice Dean, MD Program

Professor, Department of Anesthesia
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
416-978-4934 (office)

Clinical Tools & Resources

Local Resources

International Resources

Clinical Resources

General Resources

Palliative Care

Social Determinants of Health Resources

Important Open Access Resources for Clinicians

  1. Free access to UpToDate: From now until April 30 (and subject to extension) access to the UpToDate clinical decision support online resource is free for members of the UofT community. My thanks to the university's Chief Librarian, Larry Alford, for his assistance in securing this access. In order to receive free access, any new subscriber simply needs to follow this link: UpToDate Guest Pass. If a clinician had a license in the past and it is no longer valid, they can simply reach out to our customer support team. Customer Support can extend access for lapsed individual subscribers through April 30, 2020. These lapsed subscribers will need to contact Customer Support directly:
  2. 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. 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.
    • 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.


Message from DFCM finance team

  1. All financial documents should be submitted directly to DFCM Business Officer (Iryna) & CC’d to DFCM Financial Officer (Drew). Once we have reviewed it and are satisfied that it meets all the financial requirements of the university we will send it on to Caroline & David T for approval. Finance holds the sole responsibility to ensure management review has been obtained for financial documents. This is no different.
  2. All non-related financial documents can go through the normal channels via Nicole.

The DFCM finance team is working remotely and is prioritizing payments out to staff, faculty, teaching units and vendors. All requests for payments should be submitted by the program administrative staff once a electronically signed copy has been approved by the program director. Completed requests should be sent to the business officer (Iryna Kravchenko) and CC’d to the finance manager (Andrew Gill) All financial documents should follow this process.

Email sent March 16, 2020 

Dear All,

Below is a list of resources to assist you in working from home.

Please refer to the list below before requesting the services of UofT staff as everyone is in high demand.

From Discovery Commons, you can access your files through two different methods:

  • 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 . 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 a zoom license with its own unique login and password. Please be aware that Brian does not have this information. Please talk among your program staff to find out who does. Please use own program’s license as the general DFCM license is under high demand right now.

If you are running a webinar and require Brian’s assistance, please give him at least two days notice.

Please note: basic licenses are now free during the pandemic. If you require additional licensing please contact Brian.



Microsoft Office: Outlook, Onedrive



  • Select Core module
  • Input
  • Use your UTORid and password
  • Open RDP
  • Server = Work computer IP address
  • Username = medicine\“yourcomputerlogin”
  • Password = computer’s password