On-Call Duties

On-Call Points

Generally, psychiatry residents complete 60 points of call per year (with reductions for vacation and conference but not for study leave).

Points are calculated as follows:

  • Weekday night = 1 point
  • Weekend day/night = 2 points
  • Statutory day/night = 2 points

On-call points per rotation

  • 60 points / 13 periods = 4.62 points per period, rounded up to the nearest whole number
  • 5 points of call in a 1-period rotation
  • 14 points of call in a 3-period rotation
  • 28 points of call in a 6-period rotation

On-call adjustments

  • 1 point per week of vacation
  • 1 point per week of conference leave
  • No call reduction for study leave
  • No call reduction during Christmas and New Year period
  • EXAMPLE: A resident completing a 6-block rotation with 2 weeks of vacation, 1 week of conference leave and 1 week of study leave would need to do 25 points of call.
  • For a split clinical rotation (i.e. split between 2 sites), on-call duties are divided equally between the 2 sites (e.g., 3 blocks at each site during a 6-block split rotation).
  • For a split clinical / research rotation, on-call duties are assigned at the clinical site only
  • For a full time research rotation, on call duties are assigned at the training site where research supervision is being provided.
  • Pregnant residents stop taking call as of 20 weeks.
  • Call reduction by 1 point/period when residents complete a northern rotation trip.
  • Call reduction by one point, applicable the week prior to (starting Friday) the LMCC2 exam. A 30-day notice must be given to the training director.


  • Assistant chief residents (except MCH) = 3 points / block (with reductions for vacation and conference leave)
  • MCH assistant chief residents = 4 points / block (with reductions for vacation and conference leave)
  • DH residents = 3 points / block (as DH calls are overnight calls 4:30 pm – 8:30 am; same reductions for vacation and conference leave)
  • Teaching fellows = 2 points / block, if the duty is shared, the reduction lowers to 1 point/block

Once the final call schedule is distributed, a resident can request a change, if necessary.

On-Call Duties during Royal College Examination

Residents are not required to be on-call one month (4 weeks) prior to the written Royal College exam and in the two weeks prior to the oral Royal College exam.

The Royal College exam is not considered a vacation, study leave, or conference. The exam dates are not tabulated within the 25 per cent maximum leave that can be taken during a given rotation.

PGY1–PGY4 will compensate for PGY5 pre-exam call reduction up to a maximum total of 6 points per period. This would then be compensated for by the PGY5 in periods 12 and 13, again up to a maximum of 4 points in period 12 and 6 points in period 13 (this is of course dependent on when the exams are held and subject to change from one year to the next).

Special Considerations:

Additional leave – leave that provides for additional call point reduction would apply as it does at baseline, but based on relative (as opposed to absolute) numbers. For instance, a 1 or 2 week vacation leave would only be granted a 1 point reduction, meaning that if a PGY5 who would do no more than 3 points, takes 2 weeks’ vacation, their points would be reduced to 2, not 1. It also remains each site's prerogative to deny leave requests should this result in inadequate overall clinical coverage (as stipulated in the FMRQ contract).

Assistant site chiefs/teaching fellows – should residents occupying these positions happen to be PGY5, they would be entitled to the pre-exam call reduction on top of their current reduction, but again might have to settle for a maximum of 2 points per period rather than 1.

Call compensation by PGY1–PGY4 only applies to the proposed overall reduction of calls for PGY5 ahead of exams Any additional reduction incurred for leave taken by a PGY5 (i.e. vacation, conference, study leave) will not be compensated by PGY1–PGY4.

Non-PGY5 chiefs and/or teaching fellows would participate in coverage compensation but would indeed be capped off at 4 rather than 6 points so as to maintain their "baseline" reduction.

Minimum points:

No minimum points. Any call reduction (i.e. teaching fellow) starts at 5 points. (3 for the DH). It does not start lower in the event that there are many residents at a site and they tend to do fewer calls.

Back-up system

The resident call schedule should have a back-up hierarchy or measures to respond to the unavailability of the scheduled resident (back up resident then chief resident). The total number of home and back-up calls cannot go over 9 points.

Residents on back-up call are expected to remain in town and keep their pagers (or cell phones) turned on for 2 hours once the call begins so they can be reached if the resident on-call is unexpectedly unable to fulfill their clinical duties. Once the 2 hours have passed, residents are no longer considered back up.

The backup is used in extremely rare and urgent circumstances. The backup cannot be used if an absence is foreseeable (in these circumstances residents are required to try to find a colleague to replace them).

There is no back up resident at the Douglas Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital or the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

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