■ Physician-team:

Leveraging the power of collaboration to foster safe care

First day in the office

Published: August 2021

Type of activity: Video

Activity summary

The video "First day in the office" portrays a third-year medical student beginning a family medicine rotation. The facilitation questions and suggestions to faculty focus on helping learners understand the responsibilities of delegating and accepting a delegated task.


Setting: Scenario takes place in an office with two main characters.

Dr. Hall: I usually arrive before 9 am and my clinic usually starts at 9:15. I'm sorry I was so late this morning. I really wanted to go to grand rounds at the hospital this morning. So, Mary showed you around the clinic? And showed you where you can put your stuff?

Amanda: Yes, Mary showed me around, and I got to see one of the exam rooms.

Dr. Hall: Ah, I think you'll get to see and do a lot with us here. Look, we have a really busy clinic today.

Amanda: That sounds great. I just finished my paeds rotation, but I spent most of my time on the ward, and we had a lot of complicated cases. I was really hoping to see more common problems in patients. I really liked the ambulatory component of my obs and gyne rotation.

Dr. Hall: Well, then, I think you're gonna really enjoy your time with us. We get a lot of well baby care and a lot of routine gyne. One of our first patients of the day is here for her yearly Pap and to get a renewal for her contraception, April Martin. She has been seeing me for 5 or 6 years. She's a very lovely young lady. I think you'll really like her. Look, we better get a move on. I'll go see this more complicated patient and you can go see April for her Pap. (Smiles encouragingly at Amanda, turns, knocks on a door, and enters an exam room.)

Voice over (Amanda): Uhhh, am I supposed to do the Pap by myself, or what?

Concluding facilitation question: What would you do in this situation?

Facilitation questions

  1. What would you do in this situation?
  2. Why is it important to discuss your learning objectives with faculty prior to starting a rotation? Discuss.
  3. How would you let your supervisor know you are uncomfortable accepting a clinical task?
  4. What types of questions are important to consider when delegating a task to others?

Suggestions to faculty

Have learners follow up the video by role-playing a discussion with the supervisor. Encourage them to use effective assertiveness to articulate their discomfort performing a task and to ask their supervisor for clarification and assistance.

For more information on delegation and supervision, encourage learners to explore the CMPA eLearning activity: Delegation and supervision.

Additional resources

CanMEDS: Collaborator, Professional

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this learning material is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific professional medical or legal advice, nor to constitute a "standard of care" for Canadian healthcare professionals. The use of CMPA learning resources is subject to the foregoing as well as the CMPA's Terms of Use.