Internal Medicine Residency Accreditation (AC) Task Force

In May 2021, the Department of Medicine received the Preliminary Accreditation Outcome for the Internal Medicine Training Program from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In this report, the Royal College Accreditation Committee (AC) informed the department of their decision to confer status of “accredited Program on Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accreditation.”

The RCPSC issues such a notice when it finds “Major and/or continuing non-compliance with one or more standards, which calls into question the educational environment and/or integrity of the program.” As a result of this decision, the program will undergo an external review in November 2023.

The review report highlighted numerous strengths of the program, but also identified the following areas for improvement:

  1. There is an ongoing issue with resident supervision in the clinical environment, and perceived lack of support, particularly of junior learners on subspecialty services and on the Clinical Teaching Units, CTUs, during weekends. This is felt by the residents to be impacting patient safety.
  2. Residents are afraid to raise substantial questions or issues with the program, for fear of repercussions, both within their training program and related to future employment in Toronto. This perception arises from observation of the treatment of residents who have spoken out.

To address these weaknesses, the Department has established the Internal Medicine Residency Program Accreditation Task Force (AC Task Force), co-chaired by Internal Medicine resident Dr. Michael Elfassy and Department of Medicine faculty member Dr. Kevin Imrie. The AC Task Force has been struck to ensure a safe, arms-length process to collect information on residents’ experiences in the program and their advice on ways to address the perception of lack of support within components of the program and the potential of repercussions for speaking out.

The Task Force is responsible for establishing and implementing a work plan to:

  • Gather information on residents’ experiences in the program and their advice on ways to address the perceived lack of support and potential for repercussions for speaking out, ensuring strict confidentiality of individual resident input;
  • Communicating the Task Force’s work progress and findings, with particular attention to communication with the residents in the program, the RPC, departmental leadership and PGME; and
  • Providing a written report to the DoM Executive Committee, summarizing findings and recommendations.

Internal Medicine Residency Program Accreditation Task Force

Co-Chairs

Faculty Co-Chair

Kevin Imrie, MD FRCPC, FACP FRCPI (hon) FRACP (hon)

Dr. Kevin ImrieDr. Kevin Imrie is a Clinical Hematologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, he has previously served as Physician-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Vice-Chair Education for the Department of Medicine as well as Associate Dean of admissions and evaluation in PG Medicine. He is past president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Imrie has served in a number of leadership capacities with the Royal College, the University of Toronto and Cancer Care Ontario. He chaired the pan-Canadian task force on resident duty hours from 2011-2013 as well as the task force on Fatigue risk management and chaired the Royal College Council task force on periodic reaffirmation of competence.

Dr. Imrie is a highly regarded teacher and has received a number of awards, including the University of Toronto’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Medicine Education in 2005 and the Department of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year in 2008. In 2015, he was awarded the Ian Hart award of distinction from the Canadian Association of Medical Education in recognition of his lifetime contribution. Dr. Imrie has been awarded Fellowship in the American College of Physicians, as well as honorary fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Resident Co-Chair

Michael Elfassy, MD, MSc

Dr. Michael ElfassyDr. Michael Elfassy is a PGY2 Resident Physician in the Internal Medicine Residency Program in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Prior to residency, he completed his MD at the University of Toronto and an MSc in Global Health from McMaster University. Dr. Elfassy has been involved in many leadership capacities throughout his medical training. In addition to his role as Co-Chair of the AC Task Force, he serves as Resident Representative on the Education Executive Committee within the Department of Medicine. His past roles include MD Program Admissions Committee Representative and Vice-President of the Medical Society, where he was involved in advocating for more equitable admissions policies and expanding educational opportunities for medical students.

Members

Membership of the IM Residency Accreditation Task Force:

Residents Faculty
Co-Chair: Michael Elfassy, PGY2 Co-Chair: Kevin Imrie, SBK Hematology
Brandon Chistensen, PGY3 (SMH) Jeremy Edwards, SMH Cardiology
Nicole Gibbings, PGY4 (MSH) Richard Dunbar-Yaffee, UHN GIM
Vivek Govardhanam, PGY3 (SBK) Ed Etchells, WCH/SBK GIM
Jessie Peng, PGY3 (TGH) Alex Saltman, MSH Rheumatology
Rishad Khan, PGY3 (MSH) Shelly Dev, SBK Critical Care
Sonya Vukovic, PGY2 (TWH)