Job shadowing/observing restricted to students of regulated health professions

Job shadowing/observing is a work experience where a student (e.g. a medical or other allied health professional student, as defined under the Health Professions Act) observes a physician’s clinical practice in an office, clinic, hospital setting or a patient’s residence.  

The College recognizes that job shadowing or observing by individuals who are not enrolled as students of health professions regulated by the Health Professions Act, such as high school students, poses significant concerns about patient privacy and confidentiality.

The College does not support the practice of job shadowing or observing by individuals who are not enrolled as students of health professions regulated by the Health Professions Act and who wish to observe as part of their curriculum, irrespective of patient consent. The College’s professional standard, Job Shadowing/Observing does not include individuals, including students, who are employed in specific roles in physicians’ offices and who are members of the office staff.

Accordingly, physicians should not permit individuals who are not enrolled in a regulated health profession educational program to

  • be present during patient interviews or diagnostic or clinical examinations, or
  • be present in the operating room or during surgical procedures, or
  • be allowed access to patient medical records.

Visiting trainees

Those who are medical students, residents, visiting physicians or other medical trainees including clinical trainees are considered to be visiting trainees.

All visiting trainees and physicians who wish to provide or acquire a short-term learning experience relevant to their specialty and area of practice, and which involves clinical contact with patients or includes providing limited medical care in specific circumstances, must be registered with the College.

Registration of visiting trainees is vital to ensure the public interest is protected. College registrants who wish to sponsor and supervise a visiting trainee or physician must allow sufficient time for the registration and licensure process to be finalized, which generally takes at least four to six weeks.