Updates from the Deans

(Abbreviated) updates as of Thursday, March 19, 2020.

While you are practicing social distancing and not able to participate in clinical activities,  your help is needed to pilot a tool that is intended to help patients understand CDC guidance regarding their symptoms during this COVID pandemic. The Department of Emergency Medicine has received an IRB exemption to do a pilot to assess the feasibility and internal validity of the tool. This tool has great potential to help mitigate the consequences of this pandemic. We sent out the pilot link earlier this afternoon. The deadline for participating is 9pm this evening. Thank you if you are able to complete.

We are working with Emory Healthcare to finalize the logistics that will allow students the opportunity to volunteer in the COVID-19 Call Center. We will provide details tomorrow if you’re interested in helping.

Class of 2020:

  1. The Match Day Zoom link is here: https://zoom.us/j/697242162. Please join Dr. Eley and others to celebrate this very exciting day in your medical school career! While it may not be in-person, you will still match and receive your news via email at noon. Shortly after 12 noon, we will send out the Match list to all M4s so they can see where their fellow students matched.
  2. Students currently on clinical rotations should no longer report to their clinical sites. We are working with clerkship and elective directors to create substitute curricula that will allow students to meet their course requirements and graduate on time. This will include multiple educational platforms to include online, simulation, individual tutelage and perhaps some telemedicine. Your clerkship director will provide you with the plan going forward as the plans are finalized. Especially now, we ask you all to collaborate with your faculty to make these last few weeks of training memorable!
  3. Research Day, scheduled in April, has been cancelled. All Discovery-related student meeting travel is cancelled at this time.
  4. As you may have already heard, the Emory University graduation has been cancelled. Stay tuned for how the University and the Medical School will celebrate your graduation. Current circumstances will prohibit us from celebrating in person, but we will celebrate nonetheless! 

Class of 2021:

  1. The Executive Curriculum Committee (ECC) met (virtually) today and approved the following:
    1. Non-clinical electives, traditionally offered during the Translation Phase, will be offered for students to start as early as Monday, March 23rd. Students can enroll in variable-credit electives. Typically, one week of content equals one credit hour. There are several pre-existing electives that students can choose from. There is a newly developed COVID-19 elective as well. In addition to existing electives offered, students can propose their own elective.
    2. All electives must have learning objectives, a method of student assessment, and a faculty director. All electives must be approved by the Electives and Capstone subcommittee of the ECC. Given the unique circumstances, we will retroactively approve electives up to 7 days after students submit their elective choice. If you choose to create an individualized elective, please reach out to a faculty member to see if they will be the official director. There are many faculty eager to help you during this time and would love to contribute to your education. 
    3. Electives are in the catalog in OASIS. The Office of Student Affairs is pulling together a list of all non-clinical electives and other recommendations and we will send this out tomorrow.  
    4. We will send instructions tomorrow on how to enroll in an elective, if you choose this option. This is perhaps a good option for those who are waiting to take Step 2 and unsure about when testing while resume.
  2. If you have not yet scheduled your radiology make-up exam, please reach out to Dr. Gadde and Carol Dowdle to do so.
  3. For students who are currently on Discovery, please look for a communication from Dr. Powers about your research project. The University has announced that we will be curtailing our research efforts to decrease spread of COVID-19. The projects that will be curtailed will be determined within the next week. When that is known, Dr. Powers will work with all students who are affected to determine a way forward. Others of you will not be affected and can continue your project at home. Please direct all questions about Discovery to Dr. Powers.
  4. For those students who are considering moving up your start date of Discovery in light of recent events, please contact Dr. Powers and Sherice Henry-Allen to discuss.
  5. An announcement was made yesterday by Prometric that they will be closing their testing centers starting tomorrow (3/18). The earliest they will re-open is April 16th. We know this affects many of you scheduled to take Step 2 CK. We understand this is very stressful. You are not alone as this affects all medical students in the country. Let me reassure you that the school will work with students to ensure flexibility over this requirement. There are initial discussions about the potential of medical schools possibly administering the proctored exams, but we do not have any more information as to whether or not this will happen.
  6. All clinical clerkships are suspended until at least April 6th. This includes all clerkship activities. Students should not report to their clerkships. All clerkship directors are aware. We will ensure that faculty are made aware this evening as well. It doesn’t hurt however to reach out to your supervisors to make sure they know. Please do not contact individual clerkship directors. Direct all questions to Dr. Erica Brownfield.
  7. Students planning on doing an away elective in April will need to find an alternative experience. Given that the AAMC has encouraged all medical schools to suspend visiting student electives, you may have already received a cancellation notice from the institution you planned on visiting. Please work with Drs. Felner and Heron and Laura Hopkins in Student Affairs to alter your schedule. Please notify the host institution that you will not be coming in April for your elective rotation.
  8. There will be no simulations or assessments in the SOM for now.
  9. Small group sessions will continue as planned, but not in person. These will be done virtually via Zoom. Small group advisors will notify you regarding how to participate in these sessions.

Class of 2022:

  1. The Executive Curriculum Committee (ECC) met (virtually) today and approved the following:
    1. Non-clinical electives, traditionally offered during the Translation Phase, will be offered for students to start as early as Monday, March 23rd. Students can enroll in variable-credit electives. Typically, one week of content equals one credit hour. There are several pre-existing electives that students can choose from. There is a newly developed COVID-19 elective as well. In addition to existing electives offered, students can propose their own elective.
    2. All electives must have learning objectives, a method of student assessment, and a faculty director. All electives must be approved by the Electives and Capstone subcommittee of the ECC. Given the unique circumstances, we will retroactively approve electives up to 7 days after students submit their elective choice. If you choose to create an individualized elective, please reach out to a faculty member to see if they will be the official director. There are many faculty eager to help you during this time and would love to contribute to your education. 
    3. Electives are in the catalog in OASIS. The Office of Student Affairs is pulling together a list of all non-clinical electives and other recommendations and we will send this out tomorrow.  
    4. We will send instructions tomorrow on how to enroll in an elective, if you choose this option.
  2. An announcement was made today by Prometric that they will be closing their testing centers starting tomorrow (3/18). The earliest they will re-open is April 16th. We know this affects some of you scheduled to take Step 1. We understand this is very stressful. You are not alone as this affects all medical students in the country. Let me reassure you that the school will work with students to ensure flexibility over this requirement. There are initial discussions about the potential of medical schools possibly administering the proctored exams, but we do not have any more information as to whether or not this will happen.
  3. All clinical clerkships are suspended until at least April 6th. This includes all clerkship activities. Students should not report to their clerkships. All clerkship directors are aware. We will ensure that faculty are made aware this evening as well. Please do not contact individual clerkship directors. Direct all questions to Dr. Erica Brownfield. There will be no simulations or assessments in the SOM for now. 
  4. Small group sessions will continue as planned, but not in person. These will be done virtually via Zoom. Small group advisors will notify you regarding these sessions.

Class of 2023:

  1. Dr. Schulman and Dr. McKeon will communicate anatomy plans to the class by the end of this week. The school has purchased an impressive virtual anatomy tool for students and our instructors to use for the remainder of the year.
  2. The school has also been given full access (not just question banks) to Scholar Rx for your use during Foundations. Dr. Schulman will follow-up with you regarding how best to use this going forward.
  3. OPEX is cancelled at least until the end of March.
  4. All lectures will be done via Zoom. A link for each lecture will be placed on the Student Portal calendar for students to access remotely. We strongly recommend you participate in these sessions as it is important for students to not fall behind. The lectures will still be recorded as usual for you to access at any time you desire.
  5. Small group sessions will continue as planned, but they will all be held virtually. Small group advisors and/or M4 mentors will notify you regarding how to participate in these sessions.
  6. Community Learning and Social Medicine (CLSM) has already planned for meetings to occur virtually on Monday afternoon. The instructions on how to participate in these virtual meetings will be sent out by the CLSM leadership. Students should not attend any gathering of community members. 
  7. Any electives should be done virtually. Please contact your elective director to discuss plans for how this can occur.
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