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Help us celebrate the people who make and keep learning environments safe and inclusive!

Has someone done something to make your learning learning environment, as a learner registered in PGME, UGME, or PAEP, a more welcoming, safe, and supportive place? We invite you to nominate them to be recognized as a Learning Environment Champion.

Those selected will receive a letter from your program (PGME, UGME, or PAEP) as well as a commendation pin.

This commendation can go to anyone associated with your program or with a clinical learning environment qualifies — including, but not limited to, faculty supervisors, preceptors, tutors, residents and fellows, fellow-learners and other trainees, as well as non-physician hospital employees.

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The Office of Learning Environment and Mistreatment (OLEM)

OLEM is a stand-alone office in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). We are not part of the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME), Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME), and Physician Assistant Education Program (PAEP) administrative offices.

The purpose of OLEM is to identify and address mistreatment that a UGME, PGME or PAEP learner has experienced, or is currently experiencing, in a learning environment.

To do so, OLEM facilitates safe and confidential discussions, problem-solves and takes action towards resolving concerns, as well as providing access to a variety of supports.

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City Location Contact Information
Hamilton On-campus Phone: 905-522-4135 or 88 from any on-campus landline.
Off-campus Phone: 911
Anywhere (24/7) The Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST)
Phone: 905-972-8338
Visit the COAST website.
Niagara Region On-campus, (24/7) – violence, threat or injury Phone: 905-688-5550
Violence/threat: ext. 3200
Injury: ext. 3243
Health, safety and wellness: ext. 7233
Anywhere (24/7) – counselling Brock University Counselling Services
Phone: 1-833-276-2533
Anywhere The Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST)
Phone: 1-866-550-5205
Visit the COAST website.
Waterloo Region Anywhere The Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST)
Phone: 1-877-825-9022

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Mistreatment is disrespectful or unprofessional behaviour that has a negative effect on the learning environment. Mistreatment may be intentional or unintentional. It may also include acts of commission or acts of omission. Mistreatment can take the form of microaggressions, including verbal or nonverbal slights or snubs that demean, insult, invalidate and / or assault a learner, as well as bystanders. Such instances of mistreatment demean or humiliate individuals, often – but not exclusively – because of their identity, such as gender identity, race/ethnicity, Indigeneity, sexual orientation, disability status, immigration status and/or socioeconomic class. Learn more with Medportal’s UGME Learning Mistreatment Policy (PDF).

OLEM categorizes mistreatment as: 

General mistreatment refers to public humiliation, disrespectful behaviour, threatening harm, physical harm or inappropriate favours.  

Sexual mistreatment refers to a range of behaviours including, but not limited to, sexist remarks/assumptions, denied opportunities, unwanted sexual touch to rape or soliciting, coercing and/or requesting sexual acts in exchange for opportunities to advance professionally.   

Mistreatment involving racist, xenophobic and/or anti-Indigenous language or behaviour refers to denied opportunities, subjection to offensive terms/names, lower evaluation or offensive remarks about religion, culture and/or Indigeneity.  

Sexual orientation/gender identity mistreatment refers to denied opportunities, subjection to offensive terms/names, lower evaluation or offensive remarks about sexual orientation and/or gender identity. 

Ableist mistreatment refers to denied opportunities, subjection to offensive terms/names, lower evaluation or offensive remarks about physical, psychological, visible and/or invisible disabilities. 

OLEM will assist with mistreatment committed by faculty/supervisors, peers (e.g., junior/senior learner), non-physician hospital employees and administrative staff.  

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Students, learners and trainees within the DeGroote School of Medicine’s PGME, UGME and PAEP programs are entitled to a safe and supportive learning environment.

If you have been subject to mistreatment, have witnessed mistreatment in the learning environment or if you have questions about what constitutes mistreatment, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Leave the situation. If your safety or the safety of others is at risk, refer to ‘do you need immediate assistance?’ and access the best help for your location.
  2. Talk to someone you trust about what has happened immediately or at any time after. Sharing your experience with someone you trust can help you feel supported, organize your thoughts and determine the next step that you’d like to take. Disclosing your experience to others does not preclude you from submitting a concern to OLEM.
  3. Document what happened from your perspective, in as much detail as possible, as early as possible. This is helpful whether or not you plan to report the incident at this time.
  4. Submit a concern to OLEM or send an email to book an appointment.

Please note: Learners who have witnessed another learner being mistreated can also report using the online reporting tool or by emailing the office to book an appointment.

Information Box Group

2022 - 2023 Report 2022 - 2023 OLEM Annual Report

Find out about the work that OLEM did in its 1st year of operations

OLEM's Protocol Our Protocol

Learn about the policies that OLEM follows and the steps that the office takes to address mistreatment experienced by UGME, PAEP, and PGME learners in their learning environment(s).

Upcoming Events

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