Vaccine clinic creates training opportunity

April 13, 2021 | Author: Royal College Staff

Dr. Jerry Maniate (Submitted photo)

In the earliest days of the worldwide COVID-19 vaccine rollout, The Ottawa Hospital’s (TOH) Jerry Maniate, MD, M.Ed, FRCPC, FACP, recognized a unique training opportunity for residents: recruit volunteers to administer vaccines and leverage the crisis situation as a learning experience.

Dr. Maniate is vice president of Diversity, Inclusion & Education at TOH. In late 2020, the site was designated as one of two in Ontario to begin administering the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to health care workers and essential caregivers at hospitals, long-term care (LTC) homes and retirement homes. Open seven days a week, the clinic can immunize up to 1,800 people per day.

“Educational opportunities for learners is my focus and I saw a chance to innovate,” said Dr. Maniate, a long-time education researcher who was a key contributor to the Royal College working group that revised the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework in 2015.

While the fast-paced rollout of the vaccine clinic did not leave time for Dr. Maniate’s team to develop formal Entrustable Professional Activities for residents, he saw tremendous value in encouraging self-reflection as the key learning opportunity.

“In the early days of the vaccine clinic, I was learning the power of engaging the public, and of promoting a culture of questioning and reflecting,” he said. “I found there was much to be learned by hearing brief stories of care from LTC workers. What have their struggles been? How can these stories change our attitudes as physicians? What new appreciation can we gain?”

Dr. Christopher Cipkar (PGY5 Hematology) administers a COVID-19 vaccine at The Ottawa Hospital’s recent vaccine clinic. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Maniate said he encouraged the volunteer residents to adopt a similar culture of self-reflection. “A lot of what we learn comes through the experience of stopping, pausing, reflecting, thinking and integrating what we identify into our future performance. So much of learning occurs in the day-to-day experience of interacting with people.”

Sheryl Hodgson, MD, an Internal Medicine resident at TOH, volunteered in the early days of the clinic and found the experience edifying. She said being in close contact with health care workers who might be more vulnerable than physicians due to their socioeconomic status enabled her to reflect on the complexities of working in LTC.

“If a worker at an LTC care facility gets sick, it can be difficult or impossible because of their life circumstances to take time off,” she said. “What came to mind was: what does that mean for your relationships with your co-workers and clients?”

Dr. Hodgson added that most volunteer residents did not imagine, when they went into medicine, that giving vaccinations would be an important part of their work. “It became clear that this was the most important thing we could do for our community,” she said. “You need to have the flexibility to do what’s most needed.”

Members of The Ottawa Hospital’s vaccine clinic team. From left, Dr. Travis Davidson, PGY3 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Matthieu Vierula, PGY3 Anesthesiology, Dr. Lorne Wiesenfeld, Dr. Christopher Cipkar, PGY5 Hematology, Dr. Jerry Maniate and Dr. Simon Feng PGY4 Anesthesiology. (Submitted photo)


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Rakesh Bhandari | April 14, 2021
Congratulation to Dr Maniate for leading this very important initiative where the Residents were exposed to the practice of grass root level medicine. Thank you to the college for supporting this wonderful learning experience
Sukhpreet Klaire | April 14, 2021
What a way to spin taking residents from actual educational opportunities and making them do mandatory, unpaid, and potentially dangerous work. I can’t imagine how insulting this version of events must be.
Royal College Staff | April 29, 2021
Thank you for your feedback on our article about The Ottawa Hospital’s vaccine clinic. In response, we reached out to The Ottawa Hospital for their input. They have shared with us that all resident assignments to the COVID-19 vaccine clinic were voluntary, not mandatory, and residents were paid as they would have been for regular working hours. In addition, all of the same infection prevention and control protocols followed in hospitals are followed in the vaccine clinic, including PPE and screening everyone who enters. If you would like to speak in more detail about the vaccine clinic, please reach out to The Ottawa Hospital.
Kind regards,
Royal College Communications
Stuart Waldenberg | April 14, 2021
I enjoyed this article. It reminded me of my moonlighting days early in my career as airport physician at London Airport. At that time smallpox was a threat still to be reckoned with and it was my job to vaccinate all unvaccinated foreign travellers. It was an opportunity to speak to all kinds of interesting people. Another part of the job was to diagnose rashes on arriving flights. Chicken pox or smallpox? A potentially fateful decision.
john golberg | April 14, 2021
I am a senior Ortho semi-retired. From the Ottawa program. I have been swabbing at first, and Vaccinating now in a clinic in the poorest part of the city. Glad to see this work by the residents. In my work, we don't save many lives but with hundreds of vaccines administered, I may just be doing that!