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Q: What exams must be completed during the internal medicine rotation and when do they occur?

A: A formative and summative (final) MCQ exam are part of the internal medicine rotation evaluation.


The formative online exam is open throughout the clerkship for student learning and review, but has to be formally completed to provide students with a mark. The formative exam must be completed prior to the end of the first four-week IM block (either the MTU or subspeciality block).  Students who have not completed the formative exam by the cut-off time will not be allowed to write the final summative exam as scheduled and will have to defer the exam to the deferral period. Students are expected to make a genuine effort at this exam.


The summative exam will occur during the last week of the second four-week IM block. A student MUST pass this examination to be considered OVERALL SATISFACTORY on the Internal Medicine rotation.

Time Off

Q: Can I use a flex/personal day during my IM rotation?

A: No more than 2 days absence is allowed during the eight-week IM rotation. One personal/flex day allowed but cannot be scheduled the week of the summative MCQ exam/any scheduled exam day, and not on first or last day of MTU rotation. Personal/flex day requests must request 12 weeks in advance of the MTU block to accommodate this request in the call schedule. Days off in lieu of prior worked holiday days will be scheduled for you.


Q: Can I take time off for a conference?

A: If you are presenting at a conference, we will provide the minimal time required for transportation to and from the conference and for presentation (if needed). We need to be made aware well in advance, and please provide confirmation of your acceptance.


Q: What happens if I’m sick?

A: If you are ill with any potential infectious symptoms, please do not come to work as this would be considered in violation of Alberta Health Services current Fit For Work standards. Please speak to your preceptor (voice-to-voice conversation – a text page or email does not suffice) to inform them of you absence and complete an OSLER absence request.



Q: Is Wednesday teaching mandatory?

A: Yes, both bedside teaching and classroom sessions are mandatory for clerks on subspecialty portion of the IM rotation. If you are unable to attend because of an illness or being post-call, please let us know.  Bedside teaching and some classroom sessions will now occur in person. However, this may be subject to change based on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from the UME.


Q: Why did I only get 6 on-call shifts, while my colleague was lucky and got 7? (or vice versa)

A: We try our best to give everyone an equal learning opportunity; however, depending on higher-level scheduling issues, this may not always be possible.


Q: What does 1:4 call mean? Why am I on call every second day?

A: One in four (or 1:4) call means that on average, you will be on call one in every four days, or an average of 7 days in a 28-day block. You will not be scheduled for more than two weekends.


Q: What time can I expect to go home after an overnight call shift?

A: We follow the spirit of the PARA rules. Therefore, an overnight call shift is 26 hours (24 hours of call, plus two hours for safe handover).


Q: I’m on a rotation that has overnight call, but I don’t have a call room!

A: Your clerkship policy is that you should stay until midnight at the latest, or earlier if your preceptor allows it. You are expected to be at work the next morning.

*Please consult the IM clerkship core document as well as the clerkship handbook for more information. Do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions!*

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