Resources – Observerships & Job Shadowing

Thank you for your interest in our Department’s Observership program. As our educational mandate is delivered though a relationship with the University of Calgary, all formal learning experiences are registered with either the Undergraduate Medical Education Office or Postgraduate Medical Education Office.
 
From time to time, we are able to offer informal, observational experiences to visiting practitioners. These observational experiences may occur within our clinical services under the supervision of members of our Medical Staff.
 
Job Shadowing experiences can be offered to external participants and is typically a one day opportunity, although additional days may be granted at the discretion of the department manager.
 
In recognizing these opportunities have an impact on the clinical and academic operations of our teams, the Department of Medicine will offer and review Observership and Job Shadowing opportunities on regular intervals at the discretion of the Department Head or delegate.
 
Unfortunately, not all requests can be accommodated and due to the volume of requests we can only provide a response to successful applicants. Please be advised that the application process can take up to 6 weeks for approval and processing. Applications submitted less than 2 weeks in advance of an observership experience cannot be considered.

Observership Application Process

There is no fee to apply for an Observership experience with the Department of Medicine however, applicants may only submit one application per year.

No Identified Host Practitioner

If the experience has not been sponsored by a member of the Medical Staff who has identified themselves as the Host Practitioner, the applicant shall apply for opportunities reviewed on a quarterly basis.

The non- sponsored applicant (Observer) shall submit an Observership/Job Shadowing Request along with their CV (CV must be in UofC format), and a letter of interest stating the purpose of the observational experience prior to the application deadlines.

Application DeadlineObservership/Job Shadowing
January 1March - May
April 1June - August
July 1September - November
October 1 December - February

Applications are to be emailed to sandy.hafez@ahs.ca subject: Observership/Job Shadowing Opportunity

Selection

The Zone Clinical Department Head (or delegate) will chair a formal Review Committee to assess applications. Members of the committee will be chosen at the discretion of the Department Head or delegate. The Committee will decide whether it is possible to accommodate the request and will notify the successful applicants of their decision within 45 days. An informal interview may be conducted with the Host Practitioner. The successful applicant will be offered selected dates to partake in the shadowing experience. Upon agreement on the opportunity, the Observer will be provided with enrollment instructions by Sandy Hafez.

Host Practitioner Identified

If a member of the Medical Staff has brought forward an experience wherein they would like to be Host Practitioner to an Observer, the Host Practitioner will need to submit the Observer’s CV and a letter of interest stating the purpose of the observational experience and dates to sandy.hafez@ahs.ca.

Required documents will include:

  • Observership Enrollment
  • Confidentiality & User Agreement – Complete our online privacy awareness training then print and sign the agreement presented at the end.
  • Criminal Record Check – If your observership is greater than 5 days, we will require a criminal record check. It must be no older than 90 days from your start date, so you may need to wait to purchase this until your observership is confirmed. Please submit a copy and bring your original to be verified in person.
  • Vaccination Record – Must identify evidence of immunization to Rubella.

*Documents in languages other than English must be translated.

The Host Practitioner will be required to review documentation for completeness, sign the Observership Enrollment and forward the completed file to sandy.hafez@ahs.ca a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the anticipated commencement date.

Completed applications are reviewed monthly by the Zone Clinical Department Head.

After the completed package has been reviewed and signed by the Zone Clinical Department, Head, it will be submitted to the Medical Education Office for final approval. The Zone Medical Staff Office will distribute a memorandum for approved requests; experiences may not commence until the memo has been received. If the Zone Clinical Department has denied a request, notice will be sent to the Observer and the Host Practitioner.

Non-Canadian Observers

Observational experiences provide opportunities for engagement, collaboration, and health promotion. We hope experiences in the Department of Medicine will provide valuable insight to our medical system. Follow the instructions for observership with ‘No Identified Host Practitioner’.
 
In addition, you will be required to complete the following:

  • Confidentiality & User Agreement – Complete our online privacy awareness training then print and sign the agreement presented at the end.
  • Criminal Record Check – If your observership is greater than 5 days, we will require a criminal record check. It must be no older than 90 days from your start date, so you may need to wait to purchase this until your observership is confirmed. Please submit a copy and bring your original to be verified in person.
  • Vaccination Record – Must identify evidence of immunization to Rubella.

*Documents in languages other than English must be translated.
*It is your responsibility to ensure you have satisfied the requirements of Citizenship & Immigration Canada for your visit.
*It is your responsibility to ensure that you are adequately covered with comprehensive health care, hospitalization, and repatriation insurance which is valid for all of Canada for the duration of your stay. AHS does not provide this coverage.

Job Shadowing Application Process

Requests for Job Shadowing

Requests for job shadowing opportunities are submitted in writing to the applicable manager of the AHS program/service area. Requests should include the objectives, expectations, and proposed date and time for the observational experience.
 
Requests are considered by the applicable manager on an individual basis. The decision of whether to approve a request is based on:

  • AHS operational needs and constraints
  • Potential risk to patients/clinics/ job shadowers
  • Impact on AHS representatives
  • AHS representatives’ willingness, availability, and interest in providing supervision
  • Environmental factors
  • Workplace health and safety issues
  • Confidentiality of information
  • Patient/client privacy
  • Patient/ client consent

To Apply as an Internal Job Shadower

Internal Job Shadowers are not required to submit a new Confidentiality and User Agreement. The appropriate Department Manager must approve of these requests.

To Apply as an External Job Shadower

External Job Shadowers required to:

  • Complete and sign the External Participant Job Shadow Enrollment Record
  • Complete the AHS Confidentiality & User Agreement
  • Provide Immunization Records
Immunization Requirements

Job shadowers will have the appropriate immunization to protect against the risk of communicable disease transmission. Immunization/ proof of immunity against rubella is mandatory, in accordance with applicable legislation. Immunization is strongly recommended against hepatitis B, measles, mumps, varicella (chickenpox), seasonal influenza, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria. Proof of other immunization/ immunity may be required, subject to unit-specific requirements.
 
Proof of required immunization/ immunity will be provided to the applicable manger prior to the commencement of an observational experience. Requests for observational experiences may be declined when proof of required immunization/immunity is not provided.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Prior to the observational experience commencing, the applicable manager will review confidentiality requirements with job shadowers.
 
External job shadowers will complete and sign both the External Participant Job Shadow Enrollment Record and the Confidentiality and User Agreement prior to the observational experience. The manager will also ensure that the external job shadower has completed AHS privacy education requirements (Information & Privacy and IT Security & Compliance Awareness Video and online Learning Module) prior to commencement of the observational experience. Internal job shadowers are not required to submit a new Confidentiality and User Agreement.
 
When the job shadower is a minor, his/her legal guardian signs the External Participant Job Shadow Enrollment Record.

Criminal Record Checks

Satisfactory criminal record checks dated no more than 90 days prior to the commencement of an observation experience are required for external job shadowers requesting an observational experience lasting more than 5 business days (38.75 hours in total).

Orientation and Supervision

Informed consent from all affected patients must be obtained prior to a job shadower entering clinical or patient care areas. Patients have the right to refuse requests for attendance by job shadowers.
 
Applicable mangers will designate an AHS representative to supervise the job shadower for the duration of the observational experience.
 
Students, volunteers, and contracted service providers are not permitted to supervise job shadowers.
 
Applicable managers will ensure that both the job shadower and the designated AHS representative understand that the job shadowing is an observational activity and that the job shadower is not permitted to provide any services in the course of the observational experience.
 
Job shadowers must not be left unattended. The designated AHS representative must supervise the job shadower at all times during the observational experience and ensure he/she does not compromise the safety or security of any person.
 
Job shadowers will be issued with badges identifying them by name and their status as job shadowers. The badges must be clearly visible at all times while in AHS facilities.

Important Information before Applying

  • The Department of Medicine supports opportunities for external Practitioners and students to observe a host for a defined period. The Host Practitioner and the Department of Medicine will ensure that the Observer is aware of and complies with the policies, directives and practices such as confidentiality and safety.
  • It is the Host Practitioner’s responsibility to explain to the Observer that AHS and the Department of Medicine has a legal and ethical responsibility to safeguard the privacy of all patients/residents/clients and to protect the confidentiality of their personal information. The Observer agrees to abide by the AHS and Department of Medicine policies and procedures concerning confidentiality and release of information.
  • The Observer agrees not to discuss with anyone any individual’s identifying personal or health information that they may come into contact with while participating.
  • The Host Practitioner may be held responsible for any improper conduct of the Observer, including but not limited to any breach of privacy or confidentiality.
  • AHS and the Department of Medicine will not be liable or responsible for injury suffered to the Observer while participating howsoever caused.
  • The Department of Medicine will offer no financial assistance and is strictly limited to job shadowing under supervision at all times (no formal teaching, research, or training, and no clinical service delivery).
  • Acceptance of this invitation is not deemed as creating an employer/employee relationship between the Observer and the Department of Medicine.
  • Letters of Reference/ Letters of Support will not be offered by the Department of Medicine as clinical assessments or evaluations will not be conducted during the observership or job shadow.

Definitions

AHS Representative

An employee, member of the medical or midwifery staff, student, volunteer, contracted service provider, or other individual authorized to represent AHS.

External Job Shadower

An individual not currently employed by AHS who has been permitted they opportunity to observe the daily work of individuals within AHS.

Host Practitioner

A member of the Medical Staff who will be supervising the observer.

Internal Job Shadower

An individual currently employed by AHS who has been permitted the opportunity to observe the daily work of individuals within AHS.

Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing is a career exploration tool that allows individuals outside of the Department of Medicine (students* or other) to spend time with an Internal Medicine Physician. It is an opportunity to watch, learn and ask questions firsthand. Job Shadowing does not involve any hands-on experience, skill development or provision of service/ patient care and shall not be left unattended. Job shadow experiences generally last from a couple of hours to one full day in length.
 
*This policy refers to students not enrolled in the University of Calgary (U of C) Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program. U of C UME students are to approach their preceptor directly for job shadowing requests.

Manager

Individual(s) who has the delegated human resource authority for directly planning, monitoring, and supervising direct (employee) reports.

Observership

An Observership is an unpaid experience in which a visiting physician shadows a member of the Medical Staff (the Host Practitioner) in a clinical setting. It may be an opportunity to learn firsthand aspects of clinical practice in medicine, but is not a hands-on clinical or formal academic experience. The Observer is to be strictly supervised at all times, shall not be granted independent access to AHS facilities and resources, shall not provide any services, and shall not be left unattended. As well, all observers must comply with patient safety and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements.