Shift Reduction

PGY5 EM Shift Reductions Prior to Exams

In order to provide them with additional time to study for their Royal College Exams, FRCPCP EM Residents in PGY5 are provided with a shift reduction for the 3 blocks leading up to the exam until the exam is complete. As this shift reduction is intended to provide residents with additional time to study, it is understood that if a resident chooses to use the shift reduction, they will not pick up any additional clinical work during this period.

Shift Requirements

For the 3 Blocks leading up to the written exam the shift requirement for PGY5 Residents is 11 shifts per block.

Starting in the block following the oral exam the shift requirement returns to 15 shifts per block.

Vacation Adjustments during the period of the shift reduction:

  • 3 shift reduction for every 1 week of vacation
  • Less than 1 week of vacation – 1 shift reduction for every 2 vacation/PL days
  • Absolute minimum of 8 shifts in a block

Exam Blocks

The Block of the Written Exam:

  • 2 Exam Days
  • If Resident takes a week off – 8 Shifts Minimum
  • If not – 10 shifts

The Block of the Oral Exam:

  • 1 Exam Day + Travel time to and from Ottawa
  • If Resident takes a week off – 9 shifts Minimum
  • If Not – 11 Shifts

If both the Written and Oral Exam are in the Same Block:

  • 3 Exam Days + Travel time to and from Ottawa for the Oral Exam
  • If a Resident Takes a Week off – 6 Shifts Minimum
  • If a Resident Takes 2 weeks off – 4 shift minimum
  • If not – 8 shifts

If there is a full block between the Written and Oral Exam:

  • 13 Shifts in that block
  • 3 shift reduction for every 1 week of vacation
  • Less than 1 week of vacation – 1 shift reduction for every 2 vacation/PL days
  • Absolute minimum of 8 shifts in a block

Night shifts will not be required during the shift reduction period, however residents may choose to work them if they so desire.

Residents need not have a preceptor for any block where they have 8 or less shits, however will require one in any block with more than 8 shifts.

Any resident doing longitudinal PEM Shifts, may only do 1 PEM Shift per block during the shift reduction period.

PGY5s are entitled to an additional week (7 days) of Professional Leave in the 4 weeks leading up to the Royal College exam. Residents may choose to split the 7 days between the written and oral components of the certification exam or take all 7 days consecutively.

Academic Requirements

Given the multiple roles of PGY5 residents at rounds, journal club and other academic events, it is the expectation that they will attend all academic events until 4 weeks in advance of the written exam and 1 week prior to the oral exam. This requirement does not apply if on a formal vacation or PL.

In the 4 weeks prior to the written exam (and 1 week prior to oral exam) PGY5 Residents are encouraged to come to academic events however it will not be required. Following the exams the attendance requirements return to normal.

Any unique circumstances not outlined above will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the program director.

At McMaster University’s Division of Emergency Medicine (EM), it’s our mission to foster world-class research, education, and leadership with a strong focus on clinical applicability.

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