Queen’s Senate approves major changes to MD program

Principal Patrick Deane reappointed for second term

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Senate discussed enrolment projections.

Senators discussed additional medical school capacity following the Ontario provincial budget announcement at Senate in Robert-Sutherland Hall on March 28.

“The entering medical doctor (MD) class at Queen’s will increase by 14 placings,” Principal Patrick Deane said at Senate.

“This is important to address healthcare issues in the province.”

Principal Deane was reappointed for a second five-year term. Fahim Quadir was reappointed as Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), garnering applause from attending Senate members.

Christine Moon, an MD-PhD student in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, was honoured at Senate for receiving the Margaret Hooey Governance Award.

Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures

Senate moved forward with approving the proposed major modifications to the MD Program Proposal, effective Sept. 1 ​​2023.

The proposal will expand the MD program’s student enrollment by extending program delivery to Lakeridge Health in the Durham region.

Years one and two of the curriculum at the new site will be modified to better prepare students for family medicine careers while maintaining the same learning outcomes for both locations.

“We will be making it very clear to students at the time of acceptance how this program is structured, how they will be prepared, and then it was our intention that they continue with residency and medicine,” Richard van Wylick, health sciences vice-dean (education) said.

The modifications will add flexibility to students’ degrees, according to van Wylick. 

“Students will move—provided they meet the requirements successfully of the degree—into the residency programs,” Michelle Gibson, assistant dean (curriculum, undergraduate medical education) said.

Enrolment Targets and Projections

Senate approved the university registrar to make adjustments for specific program enrollment targets for 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years.

In response to concerns about enrollment goals further straining housing availability in Kingston, Senate discussed how enrollment planning is a three-year process with only modest changes occurring annually.

After noting the Short-Term Enrollment Projections report, AMS President Eric Sikich asked what the University’s strategic plans are to address international outreach for undergraduate students, especially those in China.

“The decline in international enrollments from China–this is not a unique Queen’s problem,” Deane said. “If you have a look at our global engagement strategy […] diversifying our global reach is an intrinsic part of that.”

Deane said these issues are complicated by the issue of affordability in the Global South.

“The issue of rebuilding international enrollments—the level they were at just before the onset of COVID—is a really complex one globally,” he said.

“It’s very much part of the plan to reach more widely around the globe.”

Departures from Academic Integrity

Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures Chair John Pierce said the University is facing significant challenges in maintaining academic integrity, particularly in dealing with social media-related violations.

“ChatGPT is the most extreme example of this,” Pierce said.

“There [are] some decentralization problems going on, and there needs to be some extensive review on the policy side and the implementation side so we can get to a better analysis of the data we have.”

Pierce explained looking at both the policies around AI and determining how to implement them in faculty societies introduces a multitude of issues needing to be addressed.

“The policy says that the student cannot misrepresent their work and so using ChatGPT without acknowledgement is a misrepresentation of the student’s abilities,” Pierce said.

“I really do think that in light of the academic integrity issues we’re facing, a significant look at how we’re assessing [them] would be really important, along with understanding student motivations and intentions,” Senator Brian Frank said.

Principal’s Report

Deane announced there will be a virtual town hall reviewing responsible investing at Queen’s on April 5.

Senators were updated on the impact of the university based on the provincial government’s budgets, issued last Thursday.

“In the provincial budgets, this was very much focused on addressing the immediate needs of Ontarians, but there was some significant news in that budget for the post-secondary sector, particularly in the area of health, health care, and human resources,” Deane said.

Deane pointed out the Ontario budget allocated $33 million over three years to increase medical school and postgraduate medical training spots.

Other provisions in the budget will see an expansion of nursing programs across the province, including at Queen’s. 


academic integrity, medical school, Patrick Deane, Senate

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