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 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.

Confused about COVID? Family doctors answer your questions

Family doctors from DFCM and the Ontario College of Family Physicians answer common questions about the changing COVID-19 situation including:

  • How do I know if I have COVID? 
  • Do I need to self-isolate? 
  • When should I call my doctor?

Visit ConfusedAboutCOVID.ca

U of T Re-Opening Updates

The latest information and resources about teaching and learning 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 Winter 2022 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

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

Vaccine Resources

For Health Professionals

For Patients