Department of Family & Community Medicine

Personal Safety

Personal Safety in Patient Encounters
I am concerned about my personal safety in certain patient encounter situations.

Family medicine residents are not required to see patients alone in the clinic, on house calls, or other settings if not appropriately supervised.

Home Visits: Residents are not expected to make house calls without a supervisor. When there is agreement/consent between a resident and supervisor, and adequate agreed upon support, the resident may provide care in the home to a known patient.

After Hours in Isolated Parts of the Hospital/Building: Residents are not expected to work alone or without adequate supervision in after-hours clinics. In the hospital, a resident will have access to protective services/security to enter isolated areas.

Patient Transfers: Residents, if feeling uncomfortable in a patient transfer situation and if there is no supervisor available to accompany them, may decline to go on the patient transfer. Residents should only be asked to transfer a patient by any means as the MRP if the supervisor and resident agree that s/he is competent to manage that patient.

Residents must immediately notify their supervisor or Site Program Director/Administrator of perceived safety concerns. The local program will review all concerns brought forth and take steps to minimize future risk. For additional input, if needed, contact the DFCM Postgraduate Program Director, 416-978-6467.

Residents involved in safety-related events or who have safety concerns are also encouraged to contact the PGME Office of Resident Wellness at 416-946-3074.

 

Travel Between Training Sites
I am concerned about travelling between training sites.

Travel is a normal occurrence for Family Medicine residents, including travel between teaching/clinical sites and to Rural and Teaching Practice sites. In all cases of travel, advanced safety planning and open discussion is encouraged between the resident and supervisor and/or Site Program Director/Administrator, including safety in relation to: inclement weather; and walking alone for any major or unsafe distances, particularly outside of a building at night. In this instance, travel with security personnel is recommended, if available, or use of a “buddy system” with a preceptor or colleague.

In the case of Rural/Teaching Practice travel, residents choose their site, recognizing travel is involved. Once assigned, any safety issues related to Rural/Teaching Practice travel must be discussed with the resident’s Site Program Director and the DFCM Rural/Teaching Practice Director.

If a resident is absent due to travel safety, the resident must notify the Site Program Administrator.

 

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