Wellness Chart for Clerks
In 2011, the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec (FMEQ) conducted a survey on students’ wellness. It allowed us to identify the causes of stress among medical students in Quebec. The purpose of this survey was to improve the well-being of medical students. Following the qualitative analysis of the results, we deemed it necessary to draft the following charter which contains concrete recommendations aimed at improving the well-being of medical students in Quebec.
These recommendations will improve the well-being of all students, since all students report being more or less affected by stress.
1. SCHEDULE AND WORKLOAD
1.1. A regular training day should not exceed 10 hours per day, i.e. excluding on-call days and shift work.
1.2. A regular training day shall begin no earlier than 6.30 a.m. and end no later than 6.30 p.m., excluding on-call days and shift work.
1.3. The schedule of the rotation, including the on-call schedule, must be provided to the student at least one week before the beginning of the rotation.
1.4. Students may have the opportunity to exchange their on-call schedule.
1.5. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are holidays for all students.
2. TRANSITION BETWEEN ROTATIONS
2.1. At the beginning of a new rotation, students should be clearly informed of the expectations of the rotation, should be provided with a list of the rotation objectives and the academic and clinical activities, as well as a sample schedule of what their day should look like.
3. STUDYING AND EVALUATIONS
3.1. One study day is provided to every student. Students decide when they take it.
3.2. Students are released from their rotation for the entire day of an exam.
3.3. Students do not have on-call shifts two days prior to an exam.
3.4. That a reminder is sent the supervisors that clerkship must always be perceived as a learning opportunity by students and not like a constant evaluation of skills and knowledge.
4. DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
4.1. Every student is assigned to a mentor (medical resident or doctor) with whom he or she could talk if they face difficult situations (suffering, death…)
5. IMPORTANT STEPS AND RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS
5.1 Every student is provided information on the evaluations (OSCE and CMC exams) in formal and informal information meetings.
5.2 Students can give feedback on their evaluations (OSCE and CMC exams)
5.3 One or many information meeting about the CaRMS is offered to students from the first year of their clerkship or a year before the residency applications.
5.4 Mentoring initiatives are put in place to guide students in the residency applications process.
5.5 The students are released from their rotation for the entire day of a CaRMS interview.
5.6 The day missed for interviews are excluded from the maximal number of absence in a rotation.
6. ROTATIONS FLEXIBILITY
6.1. Medical faculties support student implication and leadership by showing flexibility in the absence requests for extracurricular responsibilities.
7.1 Resources against mistreatment are presented and explained at the beginning of clerkship, and frequently brought up again afterwards.
7.2 A anonymous feedback system is provided and allows the reporting of mistreatment.
8. BAER and mental health
8.1 Students have quickly access to mental health resources, at a reasonable price.
8.2 Mental health resources are available at convenient hours for students in clerkship. For example, it could be opened in the evening a few days per week, with an emergency line provided by phone 24h/24.
9. On-call shifts
9.1 Students have the same status and the same discount as the medical resident in the cafeteria.
9.2 All students on night shifts have a parking space near their learning environment
9.3 All students on night shifts have a parking space at the same rate or lower than other employees and-or medical residents.
9.4 Night shifts end at the lastest at 23h, in order for students to return safely to their homes and in public transport if needed.