Creation of a Full-Time Educational Assistant Position for the Windsor Family Medicine Postgraduate Program
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Dear Dr. Stephen Wetmore (Chair of the Department of Family Medicine) and Dr. Gerry Cooper (Associate Dean of the Windsor Program) on behalf of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry,
We, the Family Medicine residents from theSchulich School of Medicine & DentistryWindsor campus, are petitioning for the creation of a full-time educational assistant position for the Windsor Family Medicine Postgraduate Program.
We have recently lost one of the most valuable members of the Windsor Postgraduate team, Deb Curran, due to staffing issues. It is unclear whether this issue was related to funding, union conflict or a Schulich administrative decision. We believe that our program will now be compromised by the loss. Ms. Curran was extremely dedicated to her job with the Postgraduate Program and routinely went above and beyond what was expected of her part-time position. This was particularly obvious during the union strike of 2013 when she singlehandedly managed the office responsibilities while simultaneously addressing the personal, scheduling and educational needs of all of the residents. We are concerned that it will be nearly impossible to find a suitable replacement who would be able to continue running our program smoothly on a purely part-time basis.
In recent times there has been much turnover in the administration of the Schulich program. We have previously been negatively affected by staffing issues such that whenever there is a position vacant or a new employee in training, our emails have been missed; responses are greatly delayed; rotation scheduling has been sent the night before a new rotation is to start; and vacation requests have been ignored. These are just a few examples recently experienced by Windsor residents coinciding with staffing changes. This affects the quality of our training as both residents and local preceptors rely heavily on our educational assistants and their ability to organize our rotations effectively. We believe that one of the strengths of the Windsor Program as a distributed education site of Schulich has been its strong administrative support.
The creation of a new full-time educational assistant position, in addition to the current part-time position, would ensure the continued independent administration of the Windsor Family Medicine Postgraduate Program and benefit all current and prospective residents. We emphasize that two part-time positions are not enough to keep our program running as it increases handover issues; creates delays in each individual education assistant's work; and puts strain on their jobs as well as ours. We are extremely grateful for Deb's extraordinary commitment to our program, and to us individually as residents, and are concerned that another individual would not be able to fill such large shoes in a part-time contract.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We hope that this may start a process that will ensure continued support for the residents in Windsor.