COVID-19 Updates

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School of Medicine COVID-19 Updates

Education and Safety Considerations


Students: Please click here to participate in the Anonymous COVID Safety Concern Survey for any concerns about inappropriate practices that increase students’ risk of exposure to COVID-19.


Updated: July 20, 2020 (4:15 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, July 20 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here. The password to unlock the recording is: L3b$Tz?7


Updated: July 14, 2020 (8:30 AM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS4 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, July 13 at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here. The password to unlock the recording is: 7f.yRNg8


Updated: July 13, 2020 (9:25 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

By the time many of you read this, the deans will be hunched over computers facing our virtual site visitors from the LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education). The day of reckoning is finally here. This is our reaccreditation site visit. You may recall that this event is overdue. It was originally scheduled to occur in late March as an in-person visit by a team of leaders from the AAMC, AMA and other medical schools. We had planned, reviewed and rehearsed. Our preparations, logistically, emotionally and intellectually, were at their peak. We could not have been more prepared. We were disappointed (devastated) when pandemic conditions forced the cancellation of that in-person site visit.

Maintaining accreditation is critical to our mission. Anyone who joined the Dean’s Office after 2014 cannot remember a time when we haven’t been focused on accreditation standards and elements. Evidence of extreme insecurity and OCD about not being publicly embarrassed over deficiencies in our program, right? Those who know me well can attest that my native insecurity and obsessive tendencies can get out of hand, but that’s not why years ago we adopted our program of continuous accreditation readiness. As an institution we have always aspired to be the best medical school we can be. The accreditation standards are the recognized yardstick of the qualities that make a medical school great. If we are truly great, we should meet or exceed all of those standards. At the conclusion of this two-day virtual visit (and a second one not yet scheduled), we’ll know if we measure up. We hope it will go well and that we will be granted reaccreditation for a full term. But even if we are so rewarded we won’t pat ourselves on the back and turn our efforts to less consequential things.

To be sure, after this is all over we’ll pivot away from the necessary preparation for site visitors. However, we will maintain our focus on accreditation standards and make sure that we are always guided by them. We aspire to be a great medical school all the time, not just when we are subjected to outside scrutiny. Standards are modified, enlarged, removed and added in response to the changing landscape of medical education. We will change with them. This is hard work, but we can’t just be great some of the time. Consistency is our trademark. We follow the standards. We don’t fear them. We respect them.

We’re doing all this against the backdrop of a deteriorating building while fighting a pandemic. That makes the work we do more difficult, but it doesn’t make it any less important. We’ve had to learn to do what we do while wearing masks and meeting our students virtually. Those things we must do in person we do limiting close physical interaction and maintaining distance the rest of the time. Alternatives? There are none.

In March (doesn’t that seem like a long time ago?) our world suddenly and dramatically changed in response to the spread of a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. We now have a whole new set of standards for doing our work and dealing with each other. Just like the LCME standards, these rules of interaction will change in response to alterations in the public health landscape. For now, it means we wear masks and work remotely as much as we can. We must sanitize, disinfect, and distance. We need to wash our hands carefully and often.

The novel coronavirus demands our respect. The consequences of disrespect are apparent all around us. Respect is not fear. Respect demands we respond effectively. It breeds preparation. Fear erodes our ability to respond at all. Preparation is the best defense against fear.

Our reaccreditation site visit will command our attention and respect for the next two days. We believe we are prepared to respond to the questions our evaluators will ask us. Getting ready for this review has made us a better medical school. Respecting the coronavirus will make us better people.

Stay safe. Be prepared.

Until next time.


Updated: July 10, 2020 (8:45 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • Class Meetings– Next class meeting for the Class of 2023 will be Monday July 20th. The class meeting for the Class of 2022 originally scheduled for Monday July 13th will be cancelled due to the first day of clerkships. The next class meeting for Class of 2021 will be Monday July 13th from 4-5pm (password 960668)

  • Transition to Clerkship week – The Class of 2022 will complete the Transition to Clerkship week tomorrow with Career Day. They then start clerkships on Monday July 13th. Good luck to all of you on your first clerkship!

  • Clerkship are finishing this week – Similarly, the class of 2021 finishes their clerkships this week and will be transitioning to their fourth-year courses. Good luck on your last clerkship OSCE/shelf and we wish you well on fourth year.

  • Return to Classes for Class of 2022 – The first day of classes for the Class of 2022 will be virtual activities on Monday August 3rd. The first planned date of in-person activities will be Wednesday Aug 5th. Please click here to view the academic calendar for the year.

  • LCME Site Visit next week – The LCME virtual site visit occurs July 13-14th. This first virtual visit will be specifically with faculty and staff and the site team will not meet with students during the first visit. The LCME will return for a second virtual site visit in the Fall semester. That second visit will focus on residents, students and faculty opinions.

  • Dean’s Office presence as clerkships start – With MS3 and MS4’s all on clinical rotations next week, the Dean’s Office wants to make a commitment to physical presence and availability. In addition to all faculty and staff being available by phone, email and Zoom, we commit to always having someone in the Dean’s Office physically present Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.

  • UUSOM to proctor Step 1 and Step 2 CK on campus for four days – The NBME has granted permission for UUSOM to be a site proctor for Step 1 and Step 2 CK for four days in the summer. The specific days are July 30th & Aug 13th for Step 1 and August 27th & Sept 10th for Step 2 CK. The testing will occur in the EHSEB Clinical Skills Lab. If you are interested in taking your test on any of these four days, please contact Academic Success ASAP.

  • Students should contact Work Wellness for COVID-19 triaging – For questions about student COVID-19 quarantine, recommendations on testing, exposure, etc students should contact Work Wellness at 801-581-2227. They are the group charged with recommendations and allowing you back on clinical service.

  • Anti-Racism Commission – As previously announced, Dr. Michel Good has announced the creation of a UUSOM Anti-Racism Commission. The Commission will consist of four working groups staffed by Department Chairs and students. The four working groups will focus on Admissions, Curriculum, Support, and Law Enforcement. 
  • N95 mask fit testing – Rising MS3 and MS4’s are required to document that they have completed N95 mask fit testing. Remember that students may not currently take care of COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 suspected patients and students should not be currently wearing N95 masks - the mask fit testing is simply to demonstrate and assure that students are educated and prepared to participate in the clinical setting throughout the year. The link to sign up for mask fit testing can be found here.

  • Anonymous reporting of unsafe COVID -19 working conditions – Students are encouraged to participate in the Anonymous COVID Safety Concern Survey for any concerns about inappropriate clinical practices that increase students’ risk of exposure to COVID-19. The purpose of the survey is not be punitive toward clinical sites but is intended to allow administration to address and solve clinical conditions that do not meet our criteria for student safety. Your identity will remain anonymous. The survey can also be found on our COVID-19 update webpage.

Updated: July 6, 2020 (10:35 AM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 29 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: July 6, 2020 (10:30 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

I spent some time on a woodworking project this weekend. I do woodworking the way I used to do sports – with tremendous enthusiasm and great enjoyment, but without a lot of skill or talent. All my projects require considerable remediation before I surrender to their imperfections and pronounce them finished.

 The battery on my hand-held power sander died at a critical moment, leaving me with uneven dovetail joints that were neither acceptable nor attractive. My sander is an old tool. It originally came with two batteries. I always kept one fully charged, so if one battery ran out during a project, I could switch to the other one and continue working. One battery lived out its normal life expectancy a few years ago and refused to hold a charge. I learned to plan my projects around maintaining the charge in the remaining battery, but I could tell that despite this allowance my battery was on its last legs. Hence my problem on Friday.

I put the drained battery in its charger. Nothing happened. The little red light that indicates the battery is charging did not light. I unplugged the charger and tried again. Still nothing. I removed the battery from its receptacle and replaced it. The friendly light did not illuminate. It was unresponsive to verbal threats. I have long since gone through this year’s toy allowance, so buying another sander was not really an option.

Smoothing wood is an exercise in removal of unwanted material in the hope of gaining a desirable finished surface. In my case, it usually involves reducing one edge to match another. Sometimes this is done by shaving the wood with a plane, chisel or saw. Often, it is through the use of abrasives, like sandpaper, rasps or files. In every instance it requires that effort be applied to the area in question. More energy is required to correct large imperfections than is needed to smooth minor rough spots. In each case, something has to be removed or there will be an edge, a coarse patch or a blemish that even the best paint can’t cover. I had big edges to eliminate. When there’s a lot to remove the approach must be aggressive. When the roughness is gone, finishing with fine touches is very satisfying.

I busied myself with other tasks and after about an hour, I noticed that the red light had come on and the battery was beginning to charge. Within a couple of hours the green light was shining, indicating that the battery was fully charged. With a charged battery in place, the sander surged to life. I put on some new coarse sandpaper and was quickly able to get my project to the point where the joints were smooth and the exposed wood was clean and beautiful. At that point all I needed to finish the job was a few light finishing touches with fine sandpaper.

I believe a lot of us sense our batteries running low. It’s getting harder and harder each week to feel fully recharged. This is the 17th message I have addressed to you since we began working remotely. Even though that much time has passed we’re still setting records for the number of new COVID-19 cases being diagnosed in Utah. There is legitimate concern that our facilities may yet be taxed beyond their capacity, and there is no end in sight to the need for social distancing and masks. I don’t blame any of you who feel that the impact of these little missives has diminished over time. No one looks forward more than I do to the day when I can just drop by your office to say hi. Unfortunately, today is not that day. 

We’re engaged in a big project that demands an intense finishing effort. We have to aggressively remove some things to get to what is smooth and beautiful underneath. We need coarse sandpaper and a lot of energy to adjust our approach to our work and to transform our curriculum. Both we and our students have to work under conditions we could not have anticipated even six months ago. We have to accelerate our pace of preparation. We have to incorporate more good into what we do and be ever more watchful against that which detracts from who we are. When we have done the heavy work, we can enjoy applying some finishing touches. At that point, I think we’ll recognize that we have done something special. I’m planning on it.

I’m very proud of what you do. Keep it up. Be sure to wear your masks and wash your hands.

Until next time.


Updated: June 29, 2020 (7:40 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

I enjoy eating ice cream. We like to make our own for special occasions. Marianne has several recipes that are big winners with our family and friends. I didn’t think there was anything we needed to do to improve on our old favorites. Until this weekend.

A copy of Cook’s Illustrated magazine found its way into our home recently. In it was an article entitled ‘How to Make Pro-Caliber Ice Cream’[i]. I read it and learned some things I didn’t know about ice cream. With full credit to Elizabeth Bomze and Dan Souza, the authors of the article, I now pass them on to you.

According to Bomze and Souza, it is texture that makes or breaks great ice cream – how smooth, cold and refreshing it feels in your mouth. Getting the right texture hinges on controlling the water in the base and freezing that base as quickly as possible. Makes sense. The water freezes during the churning process and thickens the base so that it becomes solid and refreshing. The key is controlling the size of the ice crystals that form as the water freezes. High quality ice cream contains crystals so small that our tongues can’t detect them. Each ingredient in the base influences the property of the water and the size of the ice crystals. Who knew?

Sugar sweetens the base and ensures that the ice cream is soft enough to scoop straight out of the freezer by keeping a portion of the water in the mix from turning into ice. The right amount of sugar is crucial to achieving “that properly dense but still scoopable consistency”. Not enough sugar and your ice cream turns out rock hard. Too much and it’s soupy. Bomze and Souza’s recipe includes corn syrup because corn syrup is a less sweet form of sugar. It affords textural benefits of sugar without making the ice cream too sweet.

Fat in the base leaves less water to freeze. But too much fat can form flecks of butter during churning. Fat lubricates the tongue so that ice crystals are less noticeable. Stabilizers increase the viscosity of the base, leaving less chance for ice crystals to cluster into larger more perceptible masses. Bomze and Souza recommend nonfat dry milk powder in their recipe (in addition to heavy cream and whole milk). It decreases the amount of freezable water and traps some of the water, minimizing ice crystals. A little cornstarch also traps water so that it can’t freeze.

I followed the Bomze and Souza recipe, including instructions on chilling the mix before putting it into the ice cream maker. A strange thing happened. It worked! The result was some really good ice cream.

I admit I was skeptical at the outset. I don’t like the taste of milk made from powder, and neither corn starch nor corn syrup sound delectable to me. I guess that’s the point. A recipe is never about one ingredient. Sometimes it’s not what an ingredient adds, it’s what it prevents.

Another important aspect of ice cream making is the actual churning and freezing. Freezing the base as quickly as possible ensures small imperceptible ice crystals. That means that the mix needs to be cooled down before being put in the ice cream maker. Since creating the mix involves the stove top, the cooling process requires about six hours in the refrigerator. Churning the base in the ice cream maker induces partial freezing but more importantly whips air into the mix via the action of the dasher. And then comes hardening where the fully churned product is packed into a container and placed in the freezer for a couple of hours.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering if there is actually a message here beyond the affirmation that ice cream tastes good. There is.

We’ve spent a lot of effort over a considerable period of time trying to follow a recipe for developing good doctors. That recipe includes but is not limited to requirements for accreditation. These accreditation standards have dogged nearly everything we have done for the past few years. Some are clearly important for what they add, or demand from us. Others are designed to prevent us from getting distracted following paths that don’t build our students or strengthen our program. There are additional ingredients in our complicated recipe for doctorship that have almost nothing to do with anatomy, physiology, pharmacology or biochemistry. They are essential in that they temper and minimize misunderstanding of the human condition and prevent omission of tools of basic human interaction. They fill in gaps of ignorance and misinformation and soften the edges of discrimination and bias. By themselves they are often not tantalizing and they do involve some churning. They are essential just the same.

We’ve learned a lot by studying ourselves. What I’ve learned is that there is a lot more for all of us to learn and to teach. We’re in a difficult time working under complex and challenging conditions. There is no single step we take that turns out great doctors. If reaching that goal matters to us we cannot omit any part of the recipe, including the foundational mixing of disparate backgrounds and personalities at the beginning; acknowledging, then chilling passions and prejudices in the middle and that hardening step of performing real doctor work at the end.

While we work at this task together, I remind you to wear your masks and wash your hands frequently. These habits may not be satisfying, but what they prevent makes them essential parts of our current recipe.

Until next time.

[i] Bomze E, Souza D. How to Make Pro-Caliber Ice Cream. Cook’s Illustrated (165) July-August 2020, pp. 16-17.


Updated: June 29, 2020 (7:35 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements on Friday, June 26: 

  • Class meetings for Classes of 2021 and 2022 – Our next class meeting for the Class of 2023 will occur in July. Class meetings for the Class of 2022 will be Monday June 29th from noon-1pm and the Class of 2021 will be Monday June 29th from 4-5pm.

  • Joint Statement on Racism in Health Care – To add to the multiple statements already released by the AAMC, Dr. Good, and the Deans Office, a joint statement from the UUSOM and elected student leaders is being finalized. Please contact your class co-presidents and student body officers for details and to make sure your voice is heard.

  • Anti-Racism Commission – Dr. Good has announced the creation of a UUSOM Anti-Racism Commission. The Commission will consist of four working groups staffed by faculty leadership and student leaders. The four working groups will focus on Admissions, Curriculum, Support, and Law Enforcement. For more details, please click here.

  • Scholarship Money dedicated to Under-Represented Students – Dr. Good has also announced the UUSOM will create a $1 million-dollar scholarship fund—and will ask for a challenge match from our supporters—to be used for 4-year full tuition scholarships for students under-represented in medicine. Please see attached for more details.

  • UUSOM to proctor USMLE Step exams for four days – The NBME has granted permission for UUSOM to be a site proctor for Step 1 and Step 2 CK for four days in the summer. The specific days are July 30th & Aug 13th for Step 1 and August 27th & Sept 10th for Step 2 CK. The testing will occur in the EHSEB Clinical Skills Lab. We have not been given details yet about how scheduling will occur nor how priorities will be assigned. More details to come soon.

  • Scheduling deadline for rising MS3’s – Clerkship preferences were due in the Tools scheduler by Monday June 22nd. Completed clerkship schedules will be delivered to students by Monday June 29th. Once clerkships are finalized, Mike Aldred will open up the elective scheduling process which consists of students signing up for electives on Tools and/or contacting Mike directly.
  • N95 mask fit testing Rising MS3 and MS4’s are required to document that they have completed N95 mask fit testing. Remember that students may not currently take care of COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 suspected patients and students should not be currently wearing N95 masks - the mask fit testing is simply to demonstrate and assure that students are educated and prepared to participate in the clinical setting throughout the year. The link to sign up for mask fit testing can be found here.

  • Anonymous reporting of unsafe COVID -19 working conditionsStudents are encouraged to participate in the Anonymous COVID Safety Concern Survey for any concerns about inappropriate clinical practices that increase students’ risk of exposure to COVID-19. The purpose of the survey is not be punitive toward clinical sites but is intended to allow administration to address and solve clinical conditions that do not meet our criteria for student safety. The survey can also be found on our COVID-19 update webpage.

Updated: June 23, 2020 (2:40 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 22 at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 23, 2020 (2:35 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 22 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 22, 2020 (11:35 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

My family and I were supposed to be on an Alaskan cruise last week. The trip had been planned for almost two years. It’s hard to coordinate work schedules, vacations, school recesses and preferences for 19 people. Airline reservations from three cities, passports (the cruise was leaving from Vancouver, BC), pre-cruise housing, cabin bookings and shore excursions were all worked out with precision that would make NASA proud. Matching pajamas for all the grandchildren had already been purchased and distributed. Tears were shed (some of them mine) when the cruise line canceled our trip. My wife was able to get the last refunds from airlines handled a few days before we were scheduled to depart, a frustrating process that involved hours on hold, while being told that ‘your call is very important to us’. So, in honor of what had been anticipated to be the family vacation to end all family vacations, we decided to take a couple of days for ourselves. Almost on a whim, we chose Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

We stayed in a very nice hotel. Their safety procedures were impressive. Even the wooden bear carvings outside the lobby were wearing masks. We ate in fine restaurants that offered well-distanced outdoor seating. The staff all wore gloves and masks. We spent Friday in Grand Teton National Park.

At the park Visitor Center we asked to be directed to some scenic but easy hiking trails. The park ranger emphasized that there were no non-scenic trails. She recommended the trail to Hidden Falls by Jenny Lake. We took the shuttle boat across the lake to the trail head. The trail was clearly marked and it was not challenging. The Falls were beautiful. The trail led to another marked destination called Inspiration Point. The day was young, and we felt good. Besides, the trail marker said it was only another half mile. We decided to go.

After a short walk we reached an amazingly beautiful spot overlooking the lake. I thought to myself, this place is really well named. It is inspirational. Then Marianne asked, “should we head up to Inspiration Point?” What? I asked. We’re already there. She pointed straight up the mountain to where a group of hikers were gathered and smiled. “I think that is Inspiration Point.”

The distance directly up the mountain to Inspiration Point was probably not more than 500 yards. But it was very steep and there was no path heading straight up to it. The actual trail led across the side of the mountain in a spiraling zig-zag pattern that doubled back on itself, ever climbing, but at an incline that normal humans in running shoes could easily negotiate. It took us a while, but when we got there, I could tell the difference between what I thought was Inspiration Point and the real thing. As beautiful as the view from that first landing was, it was not as majestic as the wide panorama from the real Inspiration Point.

Perspective is important, especially when you’re looking at things you haven’t seen before. Knowledge of your destination is especially critical if you’re heading there for the first time. Perseverance on the path is important, even if it there are some difficult turns. Interim rest stops are okay, but they are no substitute for reaching the ultimate goal.

Our trail to becoming the best medical school we can be has had its share of zig-zagging as we head up the mountain in front of us. There have been more than a few rocks in our path and there are more difficult turns ahead. We’ve done some pretty good things. We hope to do a lot more. The pandemic forces us to teach more with less time for education. Events around us highlight our need to become more equitable, diverse, inclusive and aware and to broaden our curriculum focus to emphasize critical topics that affect the health and well-being of all people. Our students will not be good physicians for anyone if they can’t provide excellent care for everyone. These are challenges that will make us better, not barriers that will prevent our progress. We’ll overcome them. It’s our mission. It’s ‘the Exceptional Learning Experience’ and it’s who we are.

Keep hiking. The view will be magnificent when we get there.

Until next time.


Updated: June 22, 2020 (11:30 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements on Saturday, June 20:

  • Class meetings for Classes of 2021 and 2022 – Class meetings for the class of 2023 will occur monthly through the summer. Class of 2022 will be Monday June 22nd from noon-1pm and the Class of 2021 will be Monday June 22nd from 4-5pm.

  • Racism and its impact on health – To add to the multiple statements put out by AAMC, Dr. Good and UUSOM, the UUSOM administration and elected student leaders are partnering to draft a joint statement. Please contact your class co-presidents and student body officers for details and to make sure your voice is heard.

  • Changes to Critical Care Course – The proposal to allow the 4th year required Critical Care course to move to a 2-week clinical and 2-week simulation/virtual format has been approved by the Curriculum Committee. This will allow more students to be enrolled in each block. Additionally, students will be assigned to a generic Critical Care course number with individual site placement done by the course leadership based on site availability.

  • N95 mask fit testing – Rising MS3 and MS4’s are required to document that they have completed N95 mask fit testing. Remember that students may not currently take care of COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 suspected patients and students should not be currently wearing N95 masks - the mask fit testing is simply to demonstrate and assure that students are educated and prepared to participate in the clinical setting throughout the year. The link to sign up for mask fit testing can be found here.

  • Anonymous reporting of unsafe COVID -19 working conditions – Students are encouraged to participate in the Anonymous COVID Safety Concern Survey for any concerns about inappropriate clinical practices that increase students’ risk of exposure to COVID-19. The purpose of the survey is not be punitive toward clinical sites but is intended to allow administration to address and solve clinical conditions that do not meet our criteria for student safety. The survey can also be found on our COVID-19 update webpage.

  • Scheduling priorities for rising MS4’s – Rescheduling of cancelled or postponed rotations is completed (thank you Mike!) and rising 4th year students can now begin the general process of adding, deleting or changing their scheduled rotations.

  • Scheduling deadline for rising MS3’s – Clerkship preferences are due in the Tools scheduler by Monday June 22nd. Completed clerkship schedules will be delivered by Monday June 29th.

Updated: June 22, 2020 (9:30 AM)

Core Clinical Curriculum made the following announcement on Friday, June 19:

AY2020-21 Clinical Curriculum Priorities

We previously approved our clinical curriculum priorities for AY2020-21; these are amended here with two additional high priorities. Expect more to come in each of these areas. Please reach out if you have particular interest and/or expertise in joining strategic planning and implementation efforts in one or more of these areas:

  • Mitigating bias and addressing racism in how our curriculum addresses social and structural determinants of health
  • Promoting an excellent clinical learning environment for all of our students
  • Contributing to development of the UUSOM system for reporting, tracking, and intervening on concerns about professional behavior.
  • Pursuing a programmatic assessment approach within our clinical curriculum

Students in Clinical Learning Environment

Attached is the attestation form and representative practices that students completed prior to re-entry. Rising MS3s will complete the same training and attestation/instructions prior to beginning clerkships. And, this training and attestation process will occur for our rising MS2s and entering MS1s before they begin clinical experiences for the AY.

Though we continue to stress that medical students should not be caring for COVID+ or PUI patients, our Student Affairs team is organizing N-95 mask fit testing for our rising MS3s and MS4s.

Green, Yellow/Orange, Red Plans for AY2020-21

Each of our core required clinical curriculum courses has completed its Green, Yellow/Orange, Red xls matrix for AY2020-21. We do not intend that any of our courses will move back to its Green structure for AY2020-21; and, we are aggressively attempting to resist the need to move back to Red format.

Following suit to adaptations already in place for the clerkship lengths for AY2020-21, the curriculum committee approved the Critical Care course adaptation to 2 week clinical + 2 week remote and simulation model in order to accommodate anticipated decreases in critical care placement sites and challenges in scheduling students during prime interview blocks.

We will continue to follow state trends in new cases and hospitalizations for COVID; IHC has continued to remind us that student placement in their facilities is contingent upon its ongoing evaluation of the situation.

Updated NBME Web-Based Testing Requirements

The NBME announced updates to its web-based testing requirements effective July 1, 2020. Please do remind students that they should confirm their device compatibility and reach out to Student Affairs with any concerns:

Sites and Links

Clinical and Elective Curriculum COVID Box Folder: https://uofu.box.com/s/tkpqe7zlanna4i8awaszr39wfdkzo40q

UUSOM Remote Teaching Resources: Kerri.Shaffer@hsc.utah.edu https://medicine.utah.edu/students/programs/md/curriculum/remote-teaching-resources.php

UUSOM Student Affairs Announcements to Students: https://medicine.utah.edu/students/current-students/student-services/co_vid_19.php

University of Utah Remote Resources Guide: https://dps.utah.edu/remote-resource-guide/

AAMC Resources: https://www.aamc.org/coronavirus-resources-academic-medicine-community

LCME Updates & Resources: https://lcme.org/covid-19/

NBME updates on Subject and Step Exams: https://www.nbme.org/news/coronavirus-covid-19-assessment-information-and-updates.


Updated: June 17, 2020 (1:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 15 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 15, 2020 (9:10 AM) 

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

I have fond recollections of family vacations. I am the youngest of five children. There are 11 years between me and my oldest brother. I remember trips to Yellowstone, viewing Old Faithful and the other natural attractions, and worrying that bears might snatch me in my sleep from the family tent. I don’t remember tripping, falling and biting through my tongue during one of those family expeditions, but I have a scar in the middle of my tongue that attests that it indeed happened.

We traveled by car. Seven people in the same vehicle, even if it is a large gas-guzzling station wagon, make for close quarters. As the youngest and smallest of the clan I was given the ‘privilege’ of sitting in the middle, away from the windows. Older brothers can be very persuasive to hero-worshipping younger siblings, but even their approval, encouragement and assurance that the middle seat was a place of honor could only postpone and not prevent me from asking what every child who has ever been strapped into a car seat wants to know.

Are we there yet?

We’re grappling with an increase in COVID-19 cases in our community and hospital. Our system is not overwhelmed, and we’re coping effectively, but we’re still far away from the day when we will return to a life without restrictions and limitations. Like a child in a car seat, we’re tired, we’re frustrated, we’re worried and we’re claustrophobic. We want out, we want the restrictions to end, we want things to be like they were. We’re not there yet.

Events around us continue to shock and sicken us. We want peace and harmony, safety in our streets, cheerful news. We want to see racism and other forms of injustice go away. We want peace and calm in our cities. But we’re not there yet, either.

No amount of whining or complaining from the back seat could decrease the miles to Yellowstone, but when we got there, even I agreed it was worth the trip. Defying campus policies and public health recommendations will not eradicate SARS-CoV-2, but when it is controlled and we have protected the vulnerable people in our community, we’ll know the sacrifice was justified. Societal changes can be frightening and unsettling, but ignoring injustice will not make it disappear. Ending oppression for everyone does not mean sacrificing freedom for anyone. It does mean a better life for all of us.

Halfway to Yellowstone my wise parents engineered a trade in places between me and my sister. A window seat was nice. It soothed my impatience. It did not eliminate it. Accepting the requirement to wear masks in our building will not remove the inconvenience of a face covering or make it more comfortable, but it is a start. Listening to each other, acknowledging others’ viewpoints and committing to work together will not replace the need for constructive action in our society, but it’s a place to begin.

We’ve set our sights on important destinations. Getting there will require effort, patience and sacrifice. It will be worth the trip.

Until next time.


Updated: June 15, 2020 (9:05 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • Class meetings  – Class meetings for the class of 2023 will occur monthly through the summer. Class of 2022 will be Monday June 15th from noon-1pm and the Class of 2021 will be Monday June 15th from 4-5pm.

  • Racism and its impact on health – To add to the multiple statements put out by AAMC, Dr. Good and UUSOM, the UUSOM administration and elected student leaders are partnering to draft a joint statement. Please contact your class co-presidents and student body officers for details and to make sure your voice is heard.

  • Newly Available Resource: MedEdPORTAL Anti-racism in Medicine Collection - The new Anti-racism in Medicine collection within MedEdPORTAL provides students and educators with practice-based, peer-reviewed resources to learn and teach anti-racist knowledge and clinical skills, elevates the educational scholarship of anti-racist curricula, and aims to convene a community of collaborators dedicated to the elimination of racism within medical education.

  • Virtual Away Rotations database – The AAMC Committee on Student Records (COSR) has created a national opt-in database for virtual away rotations. (Note that your AAMC sign will be needed.)

  • Changes to Critical Care Course – A proposal is being delivered to the Curriculum Committee on Wed June 17th that will allow the 4th year required Critical Care course to move to a 2-week clinical and 2-week simulation/virtual format. This will allow more students to be enrolled in each block and open up options for student scheduling.

  • Rising MS3’s should complete the Specialty Interests for Career Day survey by June 15th - If you haven’t yet completed the Career Day survey to indicate your 4 specialty interests, please do so by Monday June 15th.  This information will guide our efforts in finding physicians in student interest areas to participate in the networking piece of Career Day on July 10th.

  • Length of Medical School Proctoring of USMLE exams –  As part of their Phase 2 of testing expansion, the NBME is exploring a national one-day testing event at local medical schools for administration of both Step 1 and Step 2 CK. While they initially announced these tests would be two hours shorter than usual due to sample questions being removed, this policy and plan has been reversed and all exams timing will be the same for all administrations.

  • Scheduling priorities for MS3’s – Our top priority in scheduling is getting required clinical courses for our own students. The small number of visiting students remaining will not be offered positions until all of our students needs are filled. Current MS3’s scheduling priorities are below with a goal to complete these four bullet points by 6/15

    • First, finalize postponement of clerkship requests (Completed)
    • Second, reschedule clerkship that were postponed (Completed)
    • Third, reschedule rotations that were cancelled in Block 1 (ongoing)
    • Fourth, reschedule rotations that were cancelled from the end of third year (ongoing)
  • Scheduling deadline for MS2’s – Once the current MS3 class has all of their clerkship needs addressed, we can reschedule the clerkships for MS2’s. The scheduling process for MS2’s to re-run their Clerkship Scheduler is as follows:

    • 5/26 – Brittany Wonsor emailed MS2 students with clerkship preferences survey
    • 5/26 - 6/22 –Tom, Brittany and Dr. Stevenson are advising students on preferences
    • 6/22 – Clerkship preferences survey deadline
    • 6/22 - 6/24 – Clerkship Scheduler is run
    • 6/29 – Brittany shares student schedules on Tools 
    • 7/13 – Clinical clerkships start

Updated: June 10, 2020 (1:20 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 8 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 9, 2020 (10:35 AM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 8 at 4:00 PM. To listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 8, 2020 (9:35 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

We had a difficult week. Maybe our toughest one yet.

We were warned that SARS-CoV-2 was coming. Even though most of us have not contracted it, fear of its impact has changed us forever. We live along a fault line. Once a year we practice for earthquakes. Despite preparation, when one happened it surprised and frightened us. It was unnerving. Its aftershocks kept us on edge for many days.

The human ability to treat other humans badly resides in all of us. It rises with us every morning and we take it to bed with us every night. When unspeakable abuse was committed by a police officer, we were stunned but not surprised. We didn’t see a wave of brutality coming because it was already here. The ability to commit atrocity abides in all of us. Perhaps that is why it is so frightening when we recognize it in someone else.

We witness acts of violence and depravity perpetrated by people against people with shock and abhorrence. We reassure ourselves. Surely, we would never do such a thing. There is something flawed in the perpetrators. There must be something wrong with those people, some sort of defect in them, some misstep in their upbringing that makes them the way they are. Perhaps there is something programmed into their DNA that codes for cruelty. Certainly, there is nothing like that in us.

We live in a society of laws. There is a rulebook that defines things we must do and declares other things we cannot do. For the most part, that rulebook works. It prescribes consequences for infraction and penalties if in violation we injure others. Laws provide a level of comfort in possession, a sense of safety in interaction. But they only define a minimum standard of behavior. There is no societal incentive for self-control above the proscriptions of the law. How do you feel when you are late for an appointment and are stuck behind someone who is carefully adhering to the posted speed limit? Do you give them a ‘thumbs up’ as you pass, or do you use another digit?

There is another human ability that we all possess but use infrequently. It demands effort and is rarely rewarded. It is a component of our best selves. It involves treating others the way we would like to be treated, or perhaps not treating others in a way we would not like to be treated. It’s a simple concept, one that we know from childhood. We are all capable of adhering to it. However, the effect of its practice and the impact it makes hinges on how each of us defines a single word of that maxim.

The word is others.

For many, The Golden Rule rests on the perception that the ‘others’ referred to are just like us. That makes it easy. Since they are like us, we know how they want to be treated. From there it is an easy jump to only treating people who are like us, and another quick hop to not treating those who aren’t like us at all. Just like that, a principle endorsed by every major religious and ethical tradition in the world can be perverted to justify any behavior. We only have to treat people who are like us with consideration. If they are not like us, are they really people? Do we have to treat them at all?

Are there exceptions to The Golden Rule? Does it really only require that we treat people who are like us the way we would like to be treated?

We are sickened by the senseless and brutal acts that have played across our news channels. We feel sympathy for the victims and their families. But these horrible things happened to individuals who don’t look like us. They are different. You can see that on the color of their skin. Do they count as ‘others’ under The Golden Rule?

How do you respond to someone who ignores you when you urgently want to be recognized? Do you get their attention by ignoring them back? No, you raise your voice and do whatever it takes to get them to notice you. That is programmed into our DNA.

We don’t have to endorse destructive and dangerous behavior in order to treat others as we would like to be treated. But we do have to recognize that social deafness is a disease more contagious and pernicious than the COVID-19 infection. It is apparent that we have been suffering from this disease for a long time. It shouldn’t surprise us when those we ignore raise their voices to be heard.

There are difficult conversations ahead of us. We owe it to our students, our community and to each other to have those conversations. They need to be conversations, not shouting matches. If we listen well, others will not have to shout. If we shout back, others will not listen. I suggest we start by carefully examining our definition of the word ‘others’. 

Please take care of yourselves – and others.


Updated: June 5, 2020 (2:30 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • Class meetings for Classes of 2021 and 2022 – Class meetings for the class of 2023 will occur monthly through the summer. Class of 2022 will be Monday June 8th from noon-1pm and the Class of 2021 will be Monday June 8th from 4-5pm.

  • Racism and its impact on health – Multiple individuals, groups and organizations have released statements concerning racial inequality including Dr. Michael Good (attached), the UUSOM (attached) and the AAMC. Additionally, a large number of students have submitted an op-ed (attached) to the Salt Lake Tribune calling racism to be declared a public health crisis. Dr. Cariello in partnership with the Wellness Program has scheduled two Town Halls, (one last night and one this morning at 8am). Additionally, students, staff, residents and faculty are encouraged to participate in the #WhiteCoatsForBlackLives moment of silent reflection and commitment occurring today at 11am. For more details, please click here.

  • Access to ICU for Critical Care Course – Student access to ICU’s at institutions outside the University system continue to be limited. This has significant implications on the resources available for the required 4th year Critical Care course. In order to preserve educational quality and allow students to meet their graduation expectation, limitations in the number of students per block will need to adjusted. More details to come.

  • Scheduling priorities for MS3’s – Our top priority in scheduling is getting required clinical courses for our own students. The small number of visiting students remaining will not be offered positions until all of our students needs are filled. Current MS3’s scheduling priorities are below with a goal to complete these four bullet points by 6/15

    • First, finalize postponement of clerkship requests (Completed)
    • Second, reschedule clerkship that were postponed
    • Third, reschedule rotations that were cancelled in Block 1
    • Fourth, reschedule rotations that were cancelled from the end of third year

  • Scheduling deadline for MS2’s – Once the current MS3 class has all of their clerkship needs addressed, we can reschedule the clerkships for MS2’s. The scheduling process for MS2’s to re-run their Clerkship Scheduler will be as follows:

    • 5/26 – Brittany Wonsor emailed MS2 students with clerkship preferences survey
    • 5/26 - 6/22 –Tom, Brittany and Dr. Stevenson are advising students on preferences
    • 6/22 – Clerkship preferences survey deadline
    • 6/22 - 6/24 – Clerkship Scheduler is run
    • 6/29 – Brittany shares student schedules on Tools 
    • 7/13 – Clinical clerkships start
  • Medical School Proctoring of USMLE exams –  As part of their Phase 2 of testing expansion, the NBME is exploring a national one-day testing event at local medical schools for administration of both Step 1 and Step 2 CK. Students and medical schools have received an optional survey to help the LCME indicate availability and interest.

Updated: June 2, 2020 (1:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 1 at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 2, 2020 (1:00 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom on Monday, June 1 at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: June 1, 2020 (11:35 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

My daughter Joanna lives in New York with her husband and toddler son. Celebrating her birthday on April 10th was difficult. Our attempts to send presents were frustrated at every turn. No one, not even Amazon, could or would deliver to her address in Manhattan. The local post office had to close because of illness. There weren’t enough healthy employees to handle all the delivery routes. We couldn’t even send cards. We’re a pretty close-knit family, so this was very frustrating for us. Joanna’s sister Elizabeth came up with a great solution. We would record a song for Jo.

Liz is a professional violinist, so a musical birthday present was definitely in her wheelhouse. She wanted the whole family to participate. We chose a song – ‘Joanna’ by Kool and the Gang (obvious choice). We all got assignments. There was to be piano, strings, flute, guitar, vocals, and me on saxophone. Everyone, including siblings, nieces and nephews recorded their tracks at home and forwarded them to Liz for mixing. We had just about 48 hours before the birthday.

I played in the school band from 2nd through the 9th grade. It was fun, and for a while I fancied myself a jazz musician. When I reached high school, I gave up band so I could take German. A few years ago, Marianne gave me a very nice instrument that I play once in a while in an upstairs bedroom when I can be sure no one is listening. I hadn’t touched my horn for over two years when I received the assignment to record 8 measures from the chorus. (My musician daughter wanted only eight measures? That should have been a clue.) I practiced those measures for hours during the two days we had to prepare. I finally got to the point where I felt like I had it down. We recorded those measures three times, and finally sent off the best track. To my ear while playing, those eight measures sounded the way they would have years ago when I was at my best. Joanna texted her thanks when she received the finished product. She said it made her cry.

I didn’t hear the final recording until after the birthday. I enjoyed the talent from the musicians in my family and the enthusiasm from the rest of them. When it came to my part, I realized that my eight measures weren’t half bad. They were completely awful.

Was I that bad before? When I thought I was good?

I spent all day Saturday working on a small construction project in our backyard. I marvel at how much heavier an 80 pound bag of cement is now compared to years ago. A good friend of mine, a competitive skier in his younger days, describes the phenomenon this way: “The older I get, the faster I was”.

Our next steps in dealing with the pandemic will include many of us returning to our old workstations. There will be changes and procedures to be followed. We’ll be confronted with new frustrations and additional protocols. None of us know how long we’ll be living with these disjointed circumstances. I hope you don’t spend much time longing for the “good old days”. They’re gone, and we won’t get them back. And let’s be honest. There were a lot of things about those “good old days” that weren’t all that great. There are some adaptations forced upon us by our current circumstances that are actually improvements. I hope we never go back to having the guy at Costco actually draw a line on your receipt as you leave the store. Touchless pizza delivery is a good thing. For that matter, the whole curbside pickup for take-out orders gets two thumbs up from me.

Let’s face forward and greet the coming transition with optimism and determination to hold on to what’s good and find good in what’s new. We’ll be able keep the most important things. I’m sure of it. Don’t let nostalgia for bygone days artifactually exaggerate recollection of pleasantness and erase memories of adversity and inconvenience that should have taught us something. My father once told me, “Things aren’t the way they used to be – and they never were.” He was right.

Like you, I’m shocked, sickened and saddened by the recent events in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The fact that violence, evil and anger have spread across the country and reached our own city reminds us that now more than ever we need more people who do good – to everyone. At the end of the day, isn’t that what our work is all about?

Please stay safe. Until next time.


Updated: May 29, 2020 (11:35 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • Class meetings for Classes of 2021 and 2022 will restart on June 1st – Class meetings for the class of 2023 will occur monthly through the summer. Class of 2022 will be Monday June 1st from noon-1pm and the Class of 2021 will be Monday June 1st from 4-5pm.

  • Requests for postponement of Clerkships for MS3’s completed– Appeals to postpone clerkships have been completed and announced to both students and clerkship directors.

  • Transition to Clerkship shortened to July 6-10th – Transition to Clerkship content has been assigned a July 6-10th schedule. A detailed schedule will be released soon. The start of clinical rotations is confirmed for July 13th
  • ERAS opens for medical students on June 8thOn June 8th medical students will be able to do more in ERAS than just assign Letters of Recommendation – the entire ERAS program will be open to students to begin to create an application. The Longitudinal Preparation for Internship Course will take you through all of the detailed steps of creating this application with a deadline of Oct 21st. We are re-arranging the Longitudinal schedule to match up with the current application deadline changes and will release that schedule next week.

  • Virtual Interview preparation – In anticipation of the majority of residency interviews being done virtually this year, the Student Affairs team is working on discussion, lesson, mock. Interviews and other content to help you prepare for these virtual interview. Additionally, we are working on securing logistic assistance for virtual interviews including dedicated, schedulable room with adequate lighting, sound and hard wired internet source.

  • USMLE Step 2 CS exam has been suspended for 12-18 months – The USMLE Step 1 examination has been suspended for 12-18 months. This automatically cancels all current CS exams. The exact date for return to testing is unknown as is the specific format. The Class of 2021 will, by definition, graduate without a CS exam.

  • Scheduling priorities for MS3’s – Our top priority in scheduling is getting required clinical courses for our own students. The small number of visiting students remaining will not be offered positions until all of our students needs are filled. Current MS3’s scheduling priorities are (specific deadlines for the below will be forthcoming): 
    • First, finalize postponement of clerkship requests (Completed)
    • Second, reschedule clerkship that were postponed (Mike has started this)
    • Third, reschedule rotations that were cancelled in Block 1
    • Fourth, reschedule rotations that were cancelled from the end of third year
    • Scheduling deadline for MS2’s – Once the current MS3 class has all of their clerkship needs addressed, we can reschedule the clerkships for MS2’s. The scheduling process for MS2’s to re-run their Clerkship Scheduler will be as follows:
    • 5/26 – Brittany Wonsor emailed MS2 students with clerkship preferences survey
    • 5/26 - 6/22 –Tom, Brittany and Dr. Stevenson will advise students on preferences
    • 6/22 – Clerkship preferences survey deadline
    • 6/22 - 6/24 – Clerkship Scheduler is run
    • 6/29 – Brittany shares student schedules on Tools 
    • 7/13 – Clinical clerkships start
    • Medical School Proctoring of USMLE exams – The NBME has announced two additional medical schools that will be allowed to pilot the proctoring of USMLE exams (UT Austin and UCSF) bringing the total to five. While the UUSOM aggressively petitioned to allow us to be a proctor site, it does not appear that we were chosen for this pilot phase. We will continue to aggressively petition for the UUSOM to be a proctoring site in the next phase of implementation.

Updated: May 26, 2020 (8:05 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

We had a series of meetings last week with the architectural design team for the new MEDX building. They’ve been working hard. They say they are on schedule with layout and building design. A construction team has been hired. They were Zooming with the rest of us as we worked on the complicated process of defining space and access in a large building. There’s a lot more to do. There will be more online meetings next month. It is exciting to think about a day when there will be a place for us to work and teach and interact with our students all under the same roof. There is a future out there, and it looks pretty good.

Our present also seems to be getting better. The return of students to clerkship rotations last week was a big event. Thanks to all of you who worked hard to make it possible. Our challenge now is to keep up with all the tasks necessary for our students to stay on the clinical services and to prepare the preclinical curriculum for the incoming and rising classes. I’m very proud of our team. You are true professionals. You are doing great work.

Discussions of a future building make me think of the past. Our school has a noble 115-year heritage. It began with 14 students on the second floor of the Cowles Building on what is now President’s Circle. The Salt Lake County General Hospital (characterized by Dr. Wintrobe as “an awful dump and even more badly run”) was its home before the ‘new’ Building 521, designed to be both a hospital and medical school, opened its doors in 1965. It’s a sign of my advanced age that I can recall being taught by some of our former faculty legends. Dr. Wintrobe retired as Chairman of the Department of Medicine long before I entered medical school, but he retained a large office in the Department from where he regularly terrorized medical students, me included. Dr. Louis Goodman had also long since retired, but he sometimes attended our Pharmacology lectures. We honor outstanding teachers with the Leonard Jarcho, MD Award. I remember Dr. Jarcho’s Neurology teaching sessions very well. I learned anatomy under the guidance of Dr. Hashimoto. I was informed by Dr. Tsagaris that my performance of the cardiac exam placed me solidly at the bottom of my class. I didn’t do a thoracic surgery elective, but classmates of mine who did held retractors for Dr. Russell Nelson.

Our school has made it through tough times before. From the early days until now, we’ve never had a surplus of resources. Years ago, as a result of a very public and critical legislative audit, our admissions candidate pool dropped below 900. We weathered that storm. We now receive approximately 4,000 applications a year. Later, without warning we lost a major portion of our education funding and were forced to shrink our class to 82 seats. We bounced back. Floods, chemical smells and earthquakes are mere footnotes to a battle-scarred but proud century-long history of the School of Medicine. We’re not thwarted by adversity. We thrive on it. We seize the pandemic crisis as an opportunity. We are revolutionizing our curriculum. We will teach and train our students better. Our future is bright and exciting.

Every year on the last Monday in May we honor those who gave what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” in defense of the values and freedoms we hold dear. It is also a day to remember loved ones who, while they walked with us, filled our lives with meaning and direction. I hope you enjoy the holiday with joy and gratitude and not sadness and mourning. There has never before been a time like this. We hope there never will be again.

We are not diminished by our trials. We are defined by our triumphs. And we are winning this battle.

Thanks for all you do. Until next time.


Updated: May 22, 2020 (1:55 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • Class meetings are postponed this next week due to Memorial Day– We will restart Class meetings for the MS2 and MS3 class on Monday June 1st. Class meetings for the MS1 class will occur monthly through the summer.

  • Optional postponement of Clerkships for MS3’s –Appeals to postpone clerkships that start any time after May 18th are due by noon today via this survey.

  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry for current MS2’s – The Curriculum Committee has approved the Clerkship Calendar for the 2020-21 Academic Year. This includes a Transition to Clerkship Course tentative planned for June 29th – July 10th, the start of clinical rotations confirmed for July 13th, shortened block for most clerkships, and a year-end date May 30th 2021.

  • Scheduling priorities for MS3’s – Our top priority in scheduling is getting required clinical courses for our own students. The small number of visiting students remaining will not be offered positions until all of our students needs are filled. Current MS3’s scheduling priorities for Mike Aldred are:

    • First, finalize postponement of clerkship requests (request due today)
    • Second, reschedule clerkship that were postponed into the fourth year
    • Third, reschedule rotations that were cancelled in Block 1
    • Fourth, reschedule rotations that were cancelled from the end of third year
  • Scheduling deadline for MS2’s – Once the current MS3 class has all of their clerkship needs addressed, we can begin to reschedule the clerkships for MS2’s The scheduling process for MS2’s to re-run their Clerkship Scheduler will be as follows:

    • 5/26 – Brittany Wonsor will email MS2 students with clerkship preferences survey
    • 5/26 - 6/22 –Tom, Brittany and Dr. Stevenson will advise students on preferences
    • 6/22 – Clerkship preferences survey deadline
    • 6/22-6/24 – Clerkship Scheduler is run
    • 6/29 – Brittany shares student schedules on Tools
    • 7/13 – Clerkships start
  • USMLE updates and Prometric sites – Unfortunately, cancellations are continuing for students across the country including our students. Cancellations are happening for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. Remember that all CS exams through August have been cancelled.

  • Medical School Proctoring of USMLE exams – The NBME has announced 3 medical schools will serve will be allowed to pilot the proctoring of USMLE exams (Brown, Indiana and South Florida). While the UUSOM aggressively petitioned to allow us to be a proctor site, it does not appear that we were chosen for this pilot phase. We will continue to aggressively petition for the UUSOM to be a proctoring site in the next phase of implementation.

Updated: May 18, 2020 (6:10 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 18, 2020 (6:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 18, 2020 (6:00 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS1 Town Hall over Zoom today at 11:30 AM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 18, 2020 (9:55 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • Continued class meetings this next week – Weekly class meeting lead by student leaders will continue next week. A google form for questions to be submitted in advanced will be shared. (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry for MS3’s – As the state designates a change to a “yellow” level of precautionary measures, we continue to diligently work on getting students back into the clinical environment. Several MS3’s started clinical clerkships on May 11th and most of the remaining MS3 class will restart clerkships on Monday May 18th. Safety goggles are being distributed to students in the Student Affairs office. Required online instructions/attestation have been delivered to students.

  • Optional postponement of Clerkships for MS3’s – Appeals to postpone a clinical clerkship for clerkship starting May 11th or May 18th have been processed and students/clerkship directors have been notified. Appeals to postpone clerkships that start any time after May 18th are due by noon on Friday May 22nd via this survey.

  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry for current MS2’s – The Curriculum Committee has approved the Clerkship Calendar for the 2020-21 Academic Year. This includes a Transition to Clerkship Course tentative planned for June 29th – July 10th, the start of clinical rotations confirmed for July 13th, shortened block for most clerkships, and a year-end date May 30th 2021. Once the current MS3’s have been scheduled for their postponed clerkships, Mike Aldred will be contacting MS2 students to input their scheduler choices and rerunning the scheduler for clerkships.

  • USMLE updates and Prometric sites – Despite Prometric having designated USMLE testing to be “essential” and an announcement that all batch cancellations were complete, some of our students continue to receive notices of cancellation for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. Some students have been able to reschedule their test for a new location and date while others are still not scheduled. Our advice is to continue to diligently work to secure a date and coordinate your study plan with the Academic Success program.

  • Medical School Proctoring of USMLE exams – The NBME is set to announce a small set (5-7) of medical schools will be allowed to pilot proctoring of USMLE exams. While the UUSOM aggressively petitioned to allow us to be a proctor site, it does not appear that we were chosen for this pilot phase. We will continue to aggressively petition for the UUSOM to be a proctoring site in the next phase of implementation See the attached response from NBME.

  • Coalition recommendations for away rotation – On May 11th, the “Coalition for Physician Accountability” made recommendations on major issues facing applications and training programs as they prepare for the 2021 residency application cycle.  The recommendations include changes to the ERAS/MSPE timeline, recommendations for virtual interviews, and changes to away rotations. Regarding away rotations, the specific recommendation was:
    • “Recommendation: The Working Group recommends that for the 2020-2021 academic year, away rotations be discouraged, except under the following circumstances:

-Learners who have a specialty interest and do not have access to a clinical experience with a residency program in that specialty in their school’s system.

-Learners for whom an away rotation is required for graduation or accreditation requirements.”

The UUSOM intends to fully comply with the Coalition recommendations and will enact the above criteria for both our medical students going out to other schools and well as for visiting medical students coming to Utah. This effectively cancels all away rotations for our medical students. This significantly changes the schedule and strategy for many students who anticipated using away rotations to strengthen their application. We will need to strategize individually and as a class about mechanisms to mitigate these effects. The Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) continues to be suspended until the May 19th but afterwards will reflect these changed. Please visit the VSLO Program Coronavirus FAQs to learn about program changes that may affect students.

  • Coalition recommendations for virtual interviews – The Coalition has made recommendations regarding interviews, specifically: “The Working Group recommends that all programs commit to online interviews and virtual visits for all applicants, including local students, rather than in-person interviews for the entire cycle.”  After meeting with our programs directors here, the UUSOM intends to comply with this recommendation and in our discussion with our Program Directors, anticipate that all of our residency program will have a strong online presence. Similar to away rotations being cancelled, this shift in routine procedure will need to be carefully discussed, planned and acted upon.

  • Changes to Match Calendars, MSPE and ERAS release – In accordance with the Coalition recommendations, many national services have begun to alter their timelines, including:

  • Class of 2020 has done it! - Congratulation to our Senior Students who formally graduated on Friday. We held virtual version of the Dean’s Reception and Commencement this week. Good luck in your residencies!

  • MS1’s complete their first year last week – Congratulation to the MS1 class who completed Host and Defense last week and will finish the End of Year 1 OSCE today.

Updated: May 18, 2020 (9:40 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

We held Commencement on Friday. It was a ‘virtual’ event, conducted over Zoom and YouTube. There was no marching, no hooding, no handing out of diplomas, no shaking hands, no photographs. Degrees were conferred. There were speeches. There was some applause. There might even have been some tears.

Graduation is a time of mixed emotions for me. I’m excited for our students to take the next step in their careers; become doctors, be accountable, take care of patients on their own. I’m proud of their accomplishments. I anxiously anticipate the impact they will have as people and professionals on colleagues, patients and the programs they join. And yet for me it’s also a day of profound sadness. Some of our graduates are starting residency programs here, some will return to practice in Utah, some will join our faculty. We will never see some of them again. Those we do see again will be different. They’re not our students anymore. They’re doctors. It’s a life change that happens over time but is marked in one day.

Our Graduation Day ceremony was a triumph of technology. It was expertly choreographed, directed and carried out with professional polish. I am very grateful to all of you who worked so hard and so long to prepare, plan and perform. It was a great ceremony – done outside the ornate surroundings of Kingsbury Hall and independent of the logistics of lining up, procession and pomp. There were many special moments. It had everything we needed.

In 1938, a play called Our Town premiered in Princeton, New Jersey. It subsequently enjoyed a successful run on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was written by an American playwright, Thornton Wilder. I read it when I was in high school (and no, I was not in high school in 1938).

The play tells the story of everyday life in a fictional town called Grover’s Corners. It is performed on an unadorned stage with almost no props. There are three acts: Daily Life (Act I), Love and Marriage (Act II), and Death and Eternity (Act III).

My wife Marianne loves concerts and the theater. My response to drama is less enthusiastic. I don’t have the best attention span for the stage. I tend to get caught up with watching the production and not the play. I’m more fascinated by special effects than dialogue, more interested in scenery and lighting than plot. I want to know if the costumes are authentic to the period and culture being portrayed. You can see why I would hate a play performed without scenery or props. But I don’t hate Our Town. I find it very moving.

In Act I we meet Emily Webb and George Gibbs as school kids, along with their families and their neighbors. In Act II we see George and Emily marry, and then in Act III we learn that Emily dies giving birth to their second child. We watch her take her place in the town cemetery with her mother-in-law and others who preceded her in death. They seem oddly disconnected from the living, something that confuses Emily at first. Against the advice of her mother-in-law and the others, she decides to return to experience her 12th birthday again. Her initial joy at being with family and loved ones is tainted by her knowledge of what will happen to them in the future. It is painful for her to realize how little people appreciate the simple joys of life.

Emily asks: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?” In Wilder’s script, the answer is no.

Quarantine changes our perspective. I’ve come to realize just how much I miss a simple handshake or sharing smiles in person with colleagues and people I care about. Just being in the same room with another person is a guilty pleasure. However, we have not lost everything, and we have learned some important things. For me, at least, I think I have been able to ‘realize life’ to a greater degree than before. The kind thoughts and expressions of concern I received from many of you when I recently experienced a personal loss are very meaningful to me. I thank you for them.

We have what we need. No virus can take that away from us.

Most of Utah is now moving to the Yellow Stage of recovery. Barring a resurgence of the virus, Salt Lake City and the University will follow suit. When we put this altered life behind us, let us not ever forget the simple things, the common but essential elements of human existence that make our lives rich and full and have helped us get this far. Better times are coming. Don’t let them make you forget the good from the trying times we have already had.

Be safe. Stay vigilant. Take care of yourselves and your families.


Updated: May 13, 2020 (9:00 AM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS1 Town Hall over Zoom on May 12 at 11:30 AM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 11, 2020 (7:15 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 11, 2020 (7:10 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 and MS4 Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 11, 2020 (10:55 AM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

I am the youngest of five children. I had a pretty idyllic childhood. I hadn’t been born when my father decided to give up a clerical job and its relative security go back to school. I hadn’t even been thought of when he loaded up the trunk of his car with sawdust and giant blocks of ice to make deliveries to people who still had ice boxes (it was the early 1940s). I missed the early days of financial hardship during which my siblings drank powdered milk because it was cheaper than fresh. My father’s long road to his PhD was frequently interrupted. He had to work to pay the bills (he had no student loans). By the time I came along the family was comfortable. Milk came from a bottle or a carton. We bought vegetables at the store that our garden couldn’t produce. We even went out to eat on special occasions.

One Sunday afternoon my parents piled four of us into the car (my second brother was in Germany serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and drove us to a vacant lot in Holladay. As we got out to stretch our legs, my father pointed to a pile of rocks and said, “I think this is where we’ll build our house”. My siblings nodded knowingly. I was surprised. Sure, we’d talked about getting a new house, but I thought it was just talk. Building a new house? By ourselves? Who does that?

My parents.

They’d done it before. My dad and mom built our first house during the shortages and rationing of WWII (toilet paper was in short supply then, too). I guess because of that they were not intimidated. This time would be easier. Lumber was plentiful. My oldest brother had skills (he had worked several years for a homebuilder). My aunt owned some apartments, so we had a place to live during construction. My parents had already prequalified for a building loan. It was to be a family project. My grandfather was available to help.

My grandfather was a kind old gentleman, soft-spoken and cheerful. He was the son of Swedish immigrants and had been a laborer all his life. His formal education had ended mid-way through the 6th grade, but he’d learned to do finish carpentry and painting. He was the only grandparent I knew.

The next time I saw the lot in Holladay there was a big hole in the ground. My introduction to the world of home construction began with a few lessons. Footings, as it turns out, are the concrete you put in the ground before you pour the foundation. Digging for footings is an important job, and even a 10 year-old can hold a shovel. More lessons followed over the next days, weeks and months. I learned about building forms for foundation concrete. Words like joists, ties, subfloor, studs and rafters crept into my growing vocabulary. Everybody, including my mother and sisters, got into the act. We worked nights and weekends. My father maintained his teaching load at the University. My brother was a pre-med student. My sisters were in junior high and high school.

Gramps and I had a lot of free time (I was in 5th grade, so my schedule was pretty open). We became a team. He and I worked together most days after school and all day on Saturday. He taught me to swing a hammer, use a hand saw and hold a paint brush. We talked a lot. That is to say he talked and I listened. His stories were captivating.

Gramps had survived the Great Depression. That’s not how he described it. He felt like he thrived during that tough time. He told me about his enormous good fortune in being able to get a job at the Brickyard hauling new bricks from where the clay was cut and formed to where they were dried before being taken to the kiln. The wet bricks were heavy, and the drying rooms where they were stacked were heated. There was a lot of turnover in that position. Most men couldn’t tolerate the combination of heavy labor and high temperature. When they collapsed, they were let go. Gramps didn’t feel the heat and he didn’t faint. The Brickyard was his day job.

In those days most office buildings were heated with steam generated by huge coal fired boilers. This process caused mineral deposits, called ‘clinkers’, to form on the inside walls of the boilers. The clinkers had to be removed on a regular basis, knocked off the walls and hauled out. It was dusty and disagreeable work, so much so that most laborers found it intolerable. Since the heat had to be shut off for this to be done, the boilers were serviced at night. Gramps’ nights were free (“I didn’t need much sleep”). He got himself hired to do boiler maintenance.

He spoke often of how blessed he was to be working when others were not so fortunate. Between these two jobs he earned only a few dollars a day, but it was enough. From time to time he’d get a chance to earn some extra money painting a house or doing some cabinetry or other odd job. His family ate every day. Others were not so lucky. Gramps made it through because he was a unique combination of strength, endurance, skill and grit.

I started to write this piece by describing how gold is refined. You know, the refiner’s fire removes impurities and all that. It just didn’t seem to fit. Pure gold is soft. You are not. You, like my grandfather, are a combination of essential positive qualities. You are an alloy, an amalgam of metals combined with other elements. An alloy retains the properties of a metal in the resulting material. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Stainless steel is an alloy of steel with chromium and sometimes nickel or molybdenum. It is practically immune to rust and corrosion. That was my grandfather. It’s also more like you. He withstood rust and corrosion. So do you.

Even though you are every bit as valuable, I tend to think of all of you not as gold but as stainless steel. There is no room for rust and corrosion right now. We need your strength, hardness and stability. Our students are returning to in-person patient contact. We and they must make up for lost time, deal with USMLE testing and incorporate safety protocols into our daily routines. We struggle every day to connect with each other while we are educating and being educated in new and different ways. This whole thing could be overwhelming. But it won’t be. Some might wilt or faint in the heat of this undertaking. Many already have. But we haven’t and we won’t.

When we look back on the COVID pandemic, we will know we didn’t just survive. We thrived. I’m counting on it.

Be safe. The Orange level has a lot of Red in it. Unless you are urgently needed as we bring our students back to the clinical environment we want you to continue to work from home. Take care of yourselves and your families.


Updated: May 8, 2020 (10:50 AM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 Q&A session over Zoom today at 9:00 AM to discuss students returning to clinical duties. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 7, 2020 (4:30 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • Continued class meetings this next week – Weekly class meeting lead by student leaders will continue next week. A google form for questions to be submitted in advanced will be shared. (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
  • Clinical Clerkship re-entry – Current MS3 students will be returning to their postponed clerkships May 18th-July 12th. Specific details have been emailed individually to the current MS3 class including the mechanisms to appeal to have a clerkship postponed. All 4th year clinical rotations originally scheduled during block 1 of 4th year have been cancelled in order to prioritize resources for clerkships. Required attestation and training documents in Canvas have been emailed to students. There is a specific Q&A schedule for Friday May 8th at 9am.

  • USMLE updates and Prometric sites – The AAMC has been aggressively advocating to NBME to allow schools to proctor step exams and have asked for a response from the NBME by May 15th

  • End of Year 1 exam – The NBME has not allowed for their End of Year 1 exam to be offered by remote proctoring. Hence our End of Year 1 exam will be a remote proctored internal examination (Exam Soft).

  • Virtual Commencement and Deans receptions next week – Both ceremonies will be streamed live and are open access. Commencement live stream on May 15th at 10am can be found here and the Dean’s Reception live stream on May 13th at 6pm can be found here. Congratulations to the MS4 students who completed their final Transition to Internship course and are now ready to graduate!

  • Visiting Student Application Services (VSAS) suspended - The Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) has suspended access until the “week of May 11th”. The UUSOM continues to suspend VSAS processes for visiting students coming to Utah until our own students have scheduled all of their clinical time.

  • Changes nationally to away rotations – Emergency Medicine has announced limitations to away rotations nationally. Similarly Neurosurgery has announced a cancellation to all away rotations for the 2020-21 academic year. We expect that other national specialty organizations will also change their policies and procedures.

  • Coping With COVID faculty and staff videos campaign – Faculty and staff have posted videos on Instagram and Facebook demonstrating how they are dealing with COVID. Check out Dr. Stevenson’s Super Hero Lava Ball video…

  • Daily COVID updates from UHealth - Daily updates on the UHealth clinical response including the COVID-19 dashboard and Dr. Good’s “3 Things to Know” may be of interest to students which can be found on Pulse.

Updated: May 4, 2020 (6:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS1 Town Hall over Zoom today at 11:30 AM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 4, 2020 (6:00 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 4, 2020 (5:55 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 and MS4 Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: May 4, 2020 (5:50 PM)

Please read the weekly email from the Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson below:

In 1686 Sir Isaac Newton published "Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis”. In it he presented his first three laws of motion. His First Law, also known as the Law of Inertia, states:  

“An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion in a straight line at a constant velocity unless acted on by a net external force.”

I like physics. I’ve been thinking a lot about inertia. 

Every morning I find myself at rest in bed until I’m acted on by an external force, usually my dog Gracie, who summons me for her morning walk. I don’t immediately jump up and head for the door. That’s just too hard. I sit up in bed, rub my eyes, check my clock, weigh the urgency of my dog’s pleadings (she’s old and her bladder is shrinking) and place a foot on the floor. Then, with great effort I put the other foot down and stumble to my closet to get dressed. I feel each step as I make my way down the stairs. By the time I have Gracie’s leash in hand, a couple of ‘mutt mitts’ (biodegradable plastic bags for you-know-what) and a doggie treat or two in my pocket I am more awake and am feeling less stiff. Depending on the day, we may walk a mile or two. I am always more comfortable at the end of our walks than I am at the beginning. We usually race the last 50 yards back to the house. Sometimes Gracie lets me win.

Long ago (March) I used to drive to work each day. I’ve got satellite radio and I enjoy listening to music while I cruise along the east beltway of Interstate 215. The fun part of the drive ends when I reach the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, where the Interstate merges into Foothill, and I have to use my brakes. A lot. Rush hour traffic on Foothill Drive is the price I pay for living in a really nice neighborhood in Sandy. Sometimes when I am sitting in what often becomes a multi-lane parking lot I wonder if the price is worth it.

 Newton wasn’t thinking about walking demanding dogs or decelerating from freeway speeds for idiot drivers when he formulated his First Law, but the principle of inertia still applies. It’s hard for me to get going in the morning after a nighttime of inactivity. It’s an unpleasant effort to decelerate from freeway speed, stop, start, accelerate and stop again on Foothill Drive. Getting moving is hard. Stopping takes effort. Repeatedly starting and stopping is the worst of both worlds. Welcome to the Orange Phase.

People talk a lot about ‘the new normal’. This isn’t it. This isn’t normal and it never will be. We’re stuck on the figurative Foothill Drive where the stop-and-go of maintaining a complex, high functioning professional school sucks energy and effort like a jet engine sucks fuel. And yet we do it, because we are professionals engaged in a noble cause.

What will the new normal be like? I hope it will include parties and lunch meetings, handshakes and hugs. Masks will only be necessary for sterile procedures and Halloween. Stores and businesses will be open. Concerts, movies, lectures and sports events will happen and be more treasured than ever before. Students will be able to take care of patients again. 

Some of these changes are close. Others will take a while. There will be ups and downs. Newton’s First Law has not been revoked. Inertia is a real thing. Starting and stopping will continue to be draining. We will create the ‘new normal’ and it will be much better than what we are now enduring. The effortwill be worth it. We will be satisfied when we get there. 

Take care of yourselves and have a good week. There’s a lot of work ahead of us!


Updated: April 30, 2020 (6:25 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • Continued class meetings this next week – Weekly class meeting lead by student leaders will continue next week. A google form for questions to be submitted in advanced will be shared. (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry – As the state designates a change to an “orange” level of precautionary measures on May 1st, we continue to diligently work on getting students back into the clinical environment. We are cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a return to clinical experiences in the next 2-3 weeks for rising 4th years. We continue to emphasize that this re-entry will be safe, cautious, deliberate and will likely be iterative. We currently plan to give all students at least 2 weeks advance notice for when they would be expected to return to the clinical curriculum. We commit to sharing our progress regularly and giving you as much advance notice as possible for when your return to the clinical curriculum will commence. We are finalizing training materials for MS2021s to complete prior to returning to hospitals and clinics to keep students safe and informed of clinical policies and procedures.  Be on the look out for communications with more details in the coming few days. 

  • USMLE updates and Prometric sites – Prometric has designated USMLE testing to be “essential” though some of our students are now receiving notices of cancellation for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. Some students have been able to reschedule their test for a new location and date while others are still not scheduled. Student leaders have created optional Google spreadsheets where students can note if their Step 1 or Step 2 exams have been cancelled. Our advice is to continue to diligently work to secure a date and coordinate your study plan with the Academic Success program. (See updates from NMBE and Prometrics.)

  • Petition to allow UUSOM to proctor USMLE exams – The UUSOM petitioned to allow us to proctor USMLE exams. The NBME is considering “remote proctoring, delivery at alternate sites… and additional solutions to address testing backlog” but state on their website that they will not be able to implement these until June 30th. To read the NBME's response to the SOM's petition, please click here.

  • Visiting Student Application Services (VSAS) suspended - The Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) continues to be suspended until the “week of May 11th”. Please visit the VSLO Program Coronavirus FAQs to learn about program changes that may affect students.

  • Scholarships have been awarded – Thanks to Wendy Clark and our IT team for helping get scholarships out. If you have any questions about your scholarship please contact Wendy Clark.

  • A reminder that Academic Medicine is seeking original submissions for letters to the editor from medical students, residents, and fellows on the topic of courage, connection, and COVID-19 - Editors are seeking letters about how COVID-19 is contributing to positive transformation in health care and health professions education. The deadline for submissions is June 1 by 5 p.m. ET. Read more here...

  • Daily COVID updates from UHealth - Daily updates on the UHealth clinical response including the COVID-19 dashboard and Dr. Good’s “3 Things to Know” may be of interest to students, which can be found on Pulse.

  • Weekly Dr. Samuelson letter – Dr. Samuelson has written a weekly letter to Dean’s Office staff that we feel would be helpful to share with students as well. Past letters will be posted on our COVID website. To read Dr. Samuelson's latest letter, please click here.

Updated: April 30, 2020 (3:30PM)

The School of Medicine updated the Commencement web page to include more information and frequently asked questions regarding the virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2020. 


Updated: April 29, 2020 (1:40 PM)

The Vice Dean of Education, Dr. Wayne Samuelson, sends out an email each week to the Dean's Office while the School of Medicine telecommutes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see below to read Dr. Samuelson's weekly emails:

Email from April 26, 2020:

On Friday I was in the middle of a telehealth visit with one of my asthma patients. Just as he was describing a very serious attack that had happened that morning his screen image froze. There was no sound and then the screen went black. Consistent with my belief that computers respond to threats of extreme physical violence, I hurled invective at my device in a loud and most unprofessional way. The screen remained black. I exited the program, returned to the “waiting room” and attempted without success to connect with my patient again.

After repeating the process twice, each time raising the volume of my voice and the level of threat to my laptop, I picked up the phone and called him. He had an explanation for the disruption of the video feed. “Hey, no problem Doc,” he said, “I’m square in the middle of the earthquake neighborhood. My internet goes out every time we have an aftershock, and this one was bigger than usual.” He then resumed his description of his asthma attack and we finished our virtual visit without further mention of geology.

It’s interesting how a larger context affects our interpretation of events. I’m pretty sure both my patient and I would have been much more alarmed and frightened about the disruption of our clinic visit had that small earthquake been the first and not one of the more than 1500 shaking events that have occurred since March 18th. We have been through a real earthquake. We know aftershocks happen. We expect them. We don’t look forward to the vibrations, but we accept their annoying occurrence because we have no alternative. And, having survived a bigger shakeup, we know we can get through these smaller tremblors.

The U.S. Geological Survey website reports the following:

“Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. They are smaller than the mainshock and within 1-2 rupture lengths distance from the mainshock. Aftershocks can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years. In general, the larger the mainshock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.”

Wikipedia adds that aftershocks are:

“caused as the displaced [earth’s] crust adjusts to the effects of the main shock.” 

Our world is still shaking from the mainshock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as with the aftershocks that accompany earthquakes, we will have more challenges from this virus in the days ahead. When we get over the peak, and our society starts returning its attention to other serious conditions, there will still be ‘aftershocks’. Some of them will be serious and will remind us of the very worst days we have experienced. But none of them will be as devastating, nor will they hit us as hard as the initial wave of the disease. We are now stronger than we were. We are more resilient than we thought, and we have learned many critically important lessons.

Thanks to your determination, endurance and professionalism we are getting through a world-wide pandemic, a crisis so big that it turned an earthquake into a minor footnote. We even make jokes about it. (Did somebody really schedule an aftershock on April 16th for The Great Utah ShakeOut?)

We’ve had to learn to work from home. That was an early aftershock. We wash our hands so often that our skin is red and cracked. Aftershock. We meet each other through computer screens and not in person. Aftershock. Our curriculum has gone online. Aftershock. We’ve had to change the way we do student assessments. Aftershock. You’re all doing things you’ve never done before and not doing some things that were usual parts of your job. Big aftershock.

I’m honored to work alongside you as we revise, strengthen and perfect what we do while we adjust to the effects of the pandemic mainshock. I don’t think there is any challenge too big or too complicated for us to overcome. We’ve gotten used to aftershocks. 

Have a good week and make sure you’re taking care of yourselves and your families. We can do this. We are doing this.

 

Email from April 19, 2020:

“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

I’m not afraid of heights. Really. I find the view from an airplane window awe-inspiring. I enjoy looking out over a city from an upper floor hotel room. I love the wide-open vistas seen from observation platforms in our national parks. That said, I’m quite afraid of falling from heights. There’s a difference. I think that’s why I don’t enjoy rollercoasters.

To make up for having been out of town on her 14th birthday, I offered my oldest daughter an entire day to go wherever she chose, to do whatever she wanted. She chose to go to King’s Dominion, an amusement park in Virginia.

At the time, I did not realize that my oldest daughter was a crazed thrill-seeker. I thought this would be a relaxing comfortable time for daddy-daughter conversation, eating too much junk food and playing on some safe and tame rides. Was I ever wrong.

We arrived at the park well before it opened. We were first in line at the ticket window. Mere moments after we walked through the gate, I blew whatever bonus points I had earned getting us on the road from our home in Durham, NC in pre-dawn darkness. I headed to the family fun area. She detoured me quickly in the direction of something called ‘The Anaconda’.

Named after a predatory serpent, this ride was not designed to instill feelings of warmth and comfort in its victims. Its very appearance was intimidating; a long steep climb, followed by a near vertical drop into a lake, emerging out of the water into a series of inverting loops, another climb, and finally a slow descent back to the platform. Fortunately, it was out of order. My daughter was devastated. I was elated.

We began our day with a ride called the ‘Apple Turnover’. It seemed safe enough. Seats in small compartments, close to the ground. It looked like a mature merry-go-round. When it started, it actually did move in a circle. An elevated, undulating, shrieking high speed, upside-down circle. I was glad I hadn’t eaten breakfast. It would have been a shame to waste it on the pavement underneath the Apple Turnover.

The rest of the day was like that. We skipped the tame ground level stuff. If riders weren’t screaming, we didn’t get in line. Kings Dominion is a big place. There are a lot of insane rides there. We rode them all. Except for the Anaconda. We checked back often. It was still out of order. Thankfully.

The sun was beginning to sink in the west and the crowds were thinning when we agreed that we would check on the Anaconda one last time. If it was still out of order, we’d hit the water rides, change our clothes and head home. I felt that I had accomplished a master stroke of negotiation. We’d already checked on that ride six times. It was late in the day. No way they were going to open it. When we got there, just as had been the case all day, there was no line. There was, however, a park maintenance employee standing at the turnstile. I stepped up to him, putting on my best imitation of anticipatory disappointment at the news he was about to give me. I said, in a voice brimming with conviction and loud enough that my daughter could hear every word, “This ride’s out of order, right?”

He looked at me for a moment and then replied. “Follow me,” he said.

I grabbed his sleeve. “Wait,” I said, “I just need you to tell me it’s out of order,” I said. A bad feeling was developing in my already churned insides. “It is not working, right?”

“Follow me,” he said again.

I realized he was leading us up to the loading platform. We were about to be test subjects for a dangerous ride that had been broken all day long! Had they tried it out yet with crash dummies? Five or six other hostages were already seated. He put us in our compartment, pulled down the shoulder bars, and told us to keep our arms and hands inside the car at all times. The ride started to move.

The initial climb was higher than it looked from the ground. The only way I could tell we were at the top was when the car slowed down a bit, and then almost seemed to stall. The descent was a free-fall, steeper than I thought it would be. Fortunately, there was a tunnel through the water. The centrifugal force in the loops was strong enough that my wallet and keys stayed in my pockets while we were upside down. The final up and down was every bit as numbing as the first. Literally. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes. And then it was over.

Even though surviving the Anaconda gave me a sense of accomplishment, I determined not to make a family tradition out of that day at Kings Dominion. Turns out I’m the only one in my family who doesn’t like rollercoasters. Even my wife deserts me on this one.

We’re getting closer to the peak of this crazy rollercoaster pandemic. Thankfully, public health measures seem to be lowering it, but there are almost certainly more ups, downs, and upside-down loops ahead of us. You are all doing great work. I appreciate your courage and perseverance as we ask you to do things you have never done before. (“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did” – Newt Gingrich). We need you to keep at it.

As we continue this wild ride, remember to keep your hands and arms inside the car at all times (by that I mean stay safe and take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health). Thanks to the good work you’re doing we’re going to feel good about ourselves when we’re through this.

But we won’t make it a family tradition.

 

Email from April 12, 2020:

A couple of evenings ago Marianne and I were waiting outside a restaurant for our curbside dinner pickup. The restaurant manager walked by the waiting cars and while keeping appropriate distance confirmed orders and thanked the customers for supporting the business in these troubled times. When he got to our car, he said, “Hi doctor, your food will be ready in a few minutes”. Since I was wearing blue jeans and a sweatshirt, I was surprised that he knew what I do for a living. Then I recognized him as someone our students have been taking care of at the clinic they run for uninsured patients in Midvale. It reminded me why the work we do is so important.

I’m inspired by the tributes and public expression of gratitude for the front-line providers and first responders who are keeping the rest of us safe, taking care of patients who have contracted the COVID-19 infection. They are truly heroes and certainly deserve praise and recognition. It looks like their work and the public health measures we are following are having a real and positive effect. We may yet get this pandemic under control.

But it will still be some time before we can safely congregate, go to movies, dine in restaurants and readjust our personal space without fear of spreading disease. Like other disasters before it, the pandemic has changed our lives forever (some of us can remember a time when 911 was just a number to call in an emergency). Even after we are allowed to start shaking hands again, there will be the risk that COVID-19 virus could return. If it does, who will protect us?

Our medical students.

We are preparing the corps of physicians that will meet the next wave of the COVID-19 virus or whatever infection, illness, earthquake or other disaster comes our way. As the restaurant manager from Midvale demonstrates, our students already know how to serve. A careful and diligent admissions process selected for that. Our students are very intelligent and capable learners, but it requires a meticulously refined curriculum, delivered with skill and efficiency in settings from the lecture hall to the bedside to focus their capacities and assure that their time learning is well spent. A devoted student affairs team leads students from matriculation to graduation, dealing with both the mundane and the complicated; from financial aid to wellness to academic success. We design, test, proctor, simulate, remediate and retest. We study ourselves and strive to improve continuously. We use, refine, and create new technology. We evaluate ourselves by very strict standards. When our accreditation site visit team visits us in July, they will confirm that we meet those standards.

Yogi Berra, a Hall of Fame baseball player for the New York Yankees and master of the malapropism, said, “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be”. He also said, “the future ain’t what it used to be”. He was right on both counts.

Adversity is not a bad thing. We will never be the same as we were before we locked our office doors and moved our work stations home. We will be better, and our students will be more capable physicians because of it. The pandemic has pushed us to adapt and innovate. Thanks to all of you, thanks to your focus, diligence and professionalism, we are succeeding in a very noble and necessary endeavor. Which brings me back to something I say all the time, but mean now more than ever. You are important. We need all of you. Take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

Have good week!

 

Email from April 5, 2020:

I watched a marathon a number of years ago. I had gone to cheer for a good friend, a bona fide track star who was attempting to qualify for the Olympic trials. I was struck by the athleticism and intensity of those who crowded the starting line, but I was even more impressed by the large group that brought up the rear. They didn’t look athletic at all. In fact, some of them were at least as overweight and uncoordinated as I was. They were the very antithesis of intense. They were laughing and joking. Many were wearing costumes. They looked like they’d all shown up for a party – one that would last 26.2 miles. This looked like fun. I decided to try it.

I did some reading. My sources said that anyone in reasonably good health can run a marathon (be careful what you trust from the internet). The secret is training and preparation. My friend helped me work out a training schedule, advised me on the selection of shoes and gave me some tips on diet. I set out to become a marathoner.

Let me be clear. I am not now, and was not then, a runner. True distance athletes have a grace and efficiency about them that makes each stride a thing of beauty to behold. They are truly poetry in motion. My running style could best be likened to a bad limerick recited poorly. I call what I do running simply because that’s easier to write and takes less space than ‘bouncy, shuffling waddle’. I am very slow. The only people I ever pass are running in the opposite direction.

My training schedule included runs of increasing distance, interspersed with shorter jaunts and trips to the gym for resistance exercise. It was gradual enough that for the first few weeks I even thought it was easy. My neighborhood in Sandy is nestled against the foothills. It’s pretty hard to go a significant distance in any direction without encountering hills. It was on my first run of six miles that I faced the inevitable. I would have to run up a hill.

I had covered an easy three miles on a training run when I made a turn and saw what looked like a mountain looming in the distance. I knew from having mapped out my course that the top of that hill roughly coincided with the four-mile mark for this run. That was just about as far as I had ever gone. If I made it to the top, I would still have to go two more miles to get home. The mere sight of that hill in the distance made me feel exhausted.

I reached the base of the hill with more gas in my tank than I expected. I was determined not to break stride and walk until I couldn’t go anymore. Halfway up the hill I was almost at that point – almost, but not quite. As I neared the top of the hill, I realized I could make it. It was an incredible feeling. In that moment, I christened that spot ‘The Hill of Joy’. Even now when I drive by there I think of it by that name.

The really wonderful thing about hills is that after you go up one side, you can go down the other. Going down is a lot easier. My training schedule brought me back to The Hill of Joy many times after that. As I progressed in my running, I encountered other hills and named each one for the feeling it gave me. There was The Hill of Concern (could I make it up and over in time to get home and off to work?), The Hill of Doubt (a steep one; could I get to the top alive?), and finally, at the end of my longest runs, Aw s#*t!! Hill (it was a long hard climb; no additional explanation needed).

I renewed my relationship with The Hill of Joy this past week. I’m older now and not nearly as fit as I was when I did marathons, but I knew my shuffling and waddling gait would get me over the top. I knew that because I’d done it before. Since that first time I’ve succeeded at even harder things.

Our work in the Dean’s Office reminds me of heading up The Hill of Joy. You have demonstrated that you are capable of more than anyone anticipated. Even though we haven’t yet reached the top of the hill (the ‘surge’), you seem to have enough gas in the tank to keep climbing. That said, I hope you’re all looking after yourselves. Let us know if you need some relief. Don’t hesitate to break stride and walk or to use wellness resources. You’re important. Your families need you at your best (and so do we).

We will get through this crisis, and when we’re over the top we’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. We’ll feel joy. Then we’ll catch our breath and do even greater things.

Winston Churchill said, “It is not enough that we do our best: sometimes we must do what is required.”

I’m honored and grateful to work with people who understand that. Have a good week and please stay safe!

 

Email from March 29, 2020:

This should have been the week after LCME. Right now, we should be celebrating a successful site visit and the return to normalcy (anybody remember what that is?) Rest assured, our survey team is coming in July, and the awesome work you all did to prepare for their visit will not be wasted. After they leave we will celebrate.

Language is a funny thing. It changes and adjusts itself as we invent new words and as we find new uses for words that have been around for a long time. Take for example, a word that we have all used during the last few weeks. Let’s look that word up in the dictionary: 

Zoom   (verb)

Intransitive verb

1.  a: to move with a loud low hum or buzz

     b: to go speedily

2. of an airplane: to climb for a short time at an angle greater than that which can be maintained in steady flight so that the machine is carried upward at the expense of stored kinetic energy 

Transitive verb

1. to cause to zoom

2. to meet with others without the necessity of being in the same room

a: to break off conversation or other activity in order to participate in an online meeting; to announce participation an upcoming scheduled session, as in ‘I’m going to zoom’ 

We’ve been ‘zooming’ a lot lately. Thank heaven for the technology that has allowed us continue our work while maintaining the physical distance critical to containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. I’ve enjoyed seeing many of you in this way. The settings from which you choose to join our conversations send a reassuring message that you are carrying on with life. How else could we have pets, spouses, children and other members of our households walk through meetings without disrupting them? Thanks to everyone who makes these meetings possible; those who do the work of organizing and scheduling them, those who assure that we have the necessary access and those who make certain our computers all function. The School of Medicine is in business – and will stay in business because all of you continue to do your work, even if you don’t appear on our computer screens.

Which brings to mind a number of other words: dedication, dependability, adaptability, commitment, professionalism, service and loyalty. Their definitions haven’t changed. They’ve just become more meaningful to me as I watch you do your work.

Be safe and have a great week!

 

Email from March 22, 2020:

Another week begins. I almost started to count our days in ‘captivity’, but I don’t think that’s who we are. Our curriculum has turned on a dime and we continue to educate our students, thanks to an amazing group of administrators, staff and devoted faculty. We had a very successful and innovative Match Day celebration where many of you participated in a gratifying show of support for our students. That didn’t just happen on its own, either. It was the result of incredibly creative and diligent work, again from administrators, faculty and staff. Our IT team is not only keeping us and our students running, they are supporting and sustaining many clinical departments and a large portion of the University as a whole. In the middle of all this, we have admitted our next class. We’re keeping up with and honoring our obligations and commitments everywhere – and that is only because ALL of you are hard at work, doing your job under different, difficult and challenging circumstances. 

Oh yes, and then there was the earthquake…

Please know how much you are appreciated and how valuable you all are. For that reason, I remind you of how important it is that you take care of yourselves and each other. Social distance means physical separation. It’s there for a good reason and we must maintain it during this difficult time. Let’s not misinterpret sound public health practices as a reason to weaken the ties that really bind us together as a community. I love to see how and where you’re working at home. Let’s share what we’re doing to keep ourselves healthy while we’re maintaining our distance. Recipes, exercise regimens, hobbies, talents, jokes, news, worries and reassurances can all be shared. With all the hard work you’re doing, I worry that you’re not getting enough rest and relaxation. Read a good book. If you find one you really enjoy, share the title. I just finished reading The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson. It’s a good narrative non-fiction read about Winston Churchill and WWII. Larson also wrote two other books I enjoyed, Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts.

I am very proud of you and am honored to call all of you my friends. 

Stay safe.


Updated: April 27, 2020 (6:15 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 and MS4 Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 27, 2020 (6:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 27, 2020 (6:00 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS1 Town Hall over Zoom today at 11:30 AM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 24, 2020 (9:00 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • Continued class meetings this next week – Weekly class meeting lead by student leaders will continue next week. A google form for questions to be submitted in advanced will be shared. (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
  • Changes to USMLE Step Exam UUSOM deadlines – The curriculum committee has approved our proposal to temporarily adjust deadlines for Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS. To read the approved policy, please click here.

  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry – Dr. Good has designated some structure and process regarding re-entry to the clinical curriculum for students across health sciences. We continue to emphasize that this re-entry will be safe, cautious, deliberate and will likely be iterative. We currently plan to give all students at least 2 weeks advance notice for when they would be expected to return to the clinical curriculum. We commit to sharing our progress regularly and giving you as much advance notice as possible for when your return to the clinical curriculum will commence. To read the powerpoint presentation, please click here.

  • USMLE updates and Prometric sites – The USMLE posts a weekly announcement, which currently states Step 1 and Step 2 CK testing “are scheduled to resume on May 1st” and Step 2 CS testing is “suspended until at least June 1st”. The UUSOM has petitioned the NBME to inquire about the ability for the school to administer USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK at the UUSOM with in-person proctoring that would maintain safe physical distancing. Updates regarding our progress will be forthcoming.  Of note, while Prometric has stated that they will be closed for testing until May 31st for all non-essential testing, they have also reiterated that USMLE testing is considered “essential” testing. Clearly we will eagerly wait for more communication from Prometric and USMLE.

  • ACLS for MS4s –MS4 students who need ACLS will be granted a code from Curriculum to access online testing. The SBOs have found a clinical testing site for ACLS. Student Affairs will cover the costs for this test for those who have signed up. More details will be sent directly to those students.

  • Visiting Student Application Services (VSAS) suspended - The Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) has suspended access for two weeks beginning Wednesday, April 15 at 12 a.m. until Wednesday, April 29 at 6 a.m. ET. During this time, Home and Host institutions and students will not have any access to VSAS. Please visit the VSLO Program Coronavirus FAQs to learn about program changes that may affect students.

  • Class leader elections – Congratulations to the new elected student leaders. We look forward to working with this new group of leaders as we continue to transition our curriculum in response to COVID-19.

    • SBO Secretary - Sophie Janes 
    • MS2023 Class Co-Presidents - Presley Azarcon, John Anderson, Mariah Richins
    • MS2023 Class Council - D. James Barker, Derek Chang, Polly Creveling, Marshall Henrie
    • MS2022 Class Co-Presidents - Udit Bhavsar, Brian Anthony Parker
    • MS2022 Class Council - Madeline Foley, Matt Grover, Dallin Ollerton, Naveen Rathi
    • MS2021 Class Co-Presidents - Zachary Fica, Sierra McLean, Jessica Zhu
    • MS2021 Class Council - Jason Chen, Karl Heward
    • LOA Representatives - Rose Caston, Kendra Klag
  • Congratulations to MS2022 class on the end of the Phase 2 curriculum – We are so proud of your hard work and efforts to meet this important milestone.

  • Scholarships awarded soon – Our IT team is addressing some small coding issues with the scholarship application. Once the IT issue is addressed we anticipate scholarships can be quickly awarded.

  • Reminder for MS4 students to sign up for TTI sessions – Canvas is now live for the Transition to Internship (TTI) course. You should have received an email invite to join the Canvas TTI page. Please login and take the Pre-Course Quiz. The quiz leads you to schedule your sessions (Mock Pages, Virtual Sim, etc.) on Sched (https://ms2020transitiontointernshipay19.sched.com/). Remember each session has limited slots, which are available on a “first-come-first-serve” basis.

  • End of Year 3 (EOY3) OSCE dates – MS3s should please watch for upcoming Phase 3 Clinical Skills Assessment (aka EOY3 OSCE) Canvas announcements about some changes to originally scheduled exam dates, a training session for the remote format of the exam, and other potential updates.

  • A reminder that Academic Medicine is seeking original submissions for letters to the editor from medical students, residents, and fellows on the topic of courage, connection, and COVID-19 - Editors are seeking letters about how COVID-19 is contributing to positive transformation in health care and health professions education. The deadline for submissions is June 1 by 5 p.m. ET. Read more here...

  • A reminder of daily COVID updates from UHealth - Daily updates on the UHealth clinical response including the COVID-19 dashboard and Dr. Good’s “3 Things to Know” may be of interest to students which can be found on Pulse.

  • New electives – Two additional new electives are available:

New BMI course (starts Monday!!) and new RDLGY section

Catalog

Title

Start/End

View

BMI 7060 – Medical Informatics

04/27/2020 – 05/22/2020

View

RDLGY 7060 – Intro to Diagnostic Radiology Virtual Course

05/11/2020 – 05/22/2020

 

Still have openings available in:

Catalog

Title

Start/End

View

MD ID 6210 - Educational Scholarship as Quality Improvement: A primer for students

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6310 - Healthcare Organization Operations Specialization

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6320 - Patient Safety & Quality

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6330 - Epidemiology in Public Health Practice

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6340 - Palliative Care

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6350 - Integrative Health and Medicine Specialization

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6360 - Preventing Chronic Pain

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6370 - Clinical Research Basics

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

PED 6230 - Writing as Self Discovery: Using Literature to Prompt Reflection and Personal Insight

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020


Updated: April 20, 2020 (5:40 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS1 Town Hall over Zoom today at 11:30 AM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 20, 2020 (5:35 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS2 Town Hall over Zoom today at 12:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 20, 2020 (5:30 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 and MS4 Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 16, 2020 (8:00 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • Continued changes to the Zoom Class Meetings this next week – In order to allow the Classes of 2021 and 2022 to ask question about the approved clerkship proposal and proposed Step deadlines, the Zoom Class Meetings on Monday will focus on the following groups (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
  • Clinical Curriculum re-entry – We are continuing to be work with the hospitals and clinics on criteria and timelines for students to return to the clinical learning environment (clerkships/year 4 core curriculum).  We will currently plan to give all students at least 2 weeks advance notice for when they would be expected to return to the clinical curriculum. We commit to sharing our progress regularly and giving you as much advance notice as possible for when your return to the clinical curriculum will commence.

To read the MS3 COVID-19 Education Impact Dashboard, please click here, and for the MS4 COVID-19 Education Impact Dashboard, please click here.

  • Grades for current interrupted clerkships – Students who have had a 6 week clerkship that was interrupted will soon see a “T” grade posted for that clerkship block. The “T” grade is the University grade for “Work in Progress” and we hope has less stigma than the other alternative which is an “Incomplete” grade.

  • Prometric sites – Prometric centers remain closed through April 30th for CK testing and May 31st for CS testing.  The UUSOM is working on petitioning the NBME to inquire about the ability for the school to administer USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK at the UUSOM with in-person proctoring that would maintain safe physical distancing. Updates regarding our progress will be forthcoming.

  • Potential changes to USMLE Step Exam UUSOM deadlines – The administration has drafted a preliminary proposal regarding adjusting timelines for when students will be expected to take USMLE Step exams. This will be discussed at the Class Meeting on Monday April 20 (see schedule above). As per prior communications, MS2021 students currently are allowed to sit for USMLE Step 2 CK and CS prior to completing all core clerkships.

To read the proposal in its entirety, please click here.

  • Speakers have been chosen for the virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 15thReverend France Davis has been selected as the speaker for the 2020 Commencement. Reverend Davis is a longtime supporter of the UUSOM, has served as on the Board of Regent for the University, was our White Coat ceremony speaker in 2015 and was the speaker for the 2019 University General Commencement. Student speakers from the MD class and the non-MD class have been selected and notified.

  • Student Affairs will cover the individual costs of the electronic diploma – Paper diplomas will be printed and mailed to students by main campus. For students wishing an earlier version of their diploma, Student Affairs will cover the individual cost of ordering an electronic version. More details are available in an email to senior students from our registrar Helen Anderson.

  • The Dean’s Reception will be delivered remotely – This will occur at its normal date and time on Wednesday May 13th from 7-9 pm. Student and faculty awards will be announced during the ceremony and the Senior class co-presidents will have an opportunity to address the class.

  • Funds from the Commencement and Dean’s reception budgets – Unused, available monies originally budgeted for the Deans Reception and Commencement ceremony are being offered to the student leaders for use at their discretion with some stipulations. Potential uses that have been discussed are student scholarships, class gift, etc.

  • Clerkship OSCE’s and NBME Shelf exams are being taken remotely this week – Thank you to the students for your patience, hard work and willingness to be flexible. We also want to take some time to thank our dedicated faculty, senior students and especially our staff and standardized patients for working together to orchestrate the first offering of our virtual OSCE and shelf exams. This represents a huge team effort and we are grateful for everyone working together to make this successful.

  • ACLS for MS4s – The deadline to let the Rachael Smith (Rachael.smith@hsc.utah.edu) know if you need online ACLS training is Monday, April 20, 2020. This is paid for by the curriculum budget.  If you have already provided your name to Scott Eldredge or Rachael there is no need to resend your information.  All in-person skills testing for students (which is required for completing ACLS certification) have been canceled by the University.  Students needing skills testing can work with Scott Eldredge and Student Affairs who are working on finding local options for students. 

  • Student Feedback on clinical experiences during COVID-19 – We are happy to report on our feedback we have received from our MS3 and MS4 students about their adapted curricular experiences during this time of COVID-19.  Please see the dashboards that are attached. We are grateful for the students filling these out and for providing us with their candid reactions to their experiences.

  • Class leader elections – The new Student Body Officers have been selected: congratulations to Addie Langner, Taylor Brady and Sam Wilkinson. Elections for SBO secretary and Class Co-presidents are ongoing as are elections for Curriculum Committee representatives.

  • New electives – Fourteen new electives have come online during the COVID-19 pandemic and are currently running. Nine additional new electives are available to start on May 11th:

UPCOMING SECTIONS, 2019/2020 ACADEMIC YEAR

Catalog

Title

Start/End

View

MD ID 6210 - Educational Scholarship as Quality Improvement: A primer for students

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6310 - Healthcare Organization Operations Specialization

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6320 - Patient Safety & Quality

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6330 - Epidemiology in Public Health Practice

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6340 - Palliative Care

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6350 - Integrative Health and Medicine Specialization

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6360 - Preventing Chronic Pain

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

MD ID 6370 - Clinical Research Basics

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020

View

PED 6230 - Writing as Self Discovery: Using Literature to Prompt Reflection and Personal Insight

05/11/2020 - 06/05/2020


Updated: April 13, 2020 (5:20 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted an MS3 and MS4 Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 10, 2020 (6:20 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • The Curriculum Committee approved a proposal regarding clinical clerkships
    • For the class of 2021 the proposal allows for: 1) Shortened length for postponed clerkships, 2) Flexibility in timing of postponed clerkship, 3) Prerequisite waivers for some 4th year courses, 4) maintaining the routine schedule of the End of Year 3 OSCE which will be delivered online, 5) flexibility in Step 2 CS and CK timing and 6) a decrease of graduation elective requirement.
    • For the Class of 2022, the proposal allows for: 1) Shortened length for clerkships, 2) maintenance of the graduation elective requirements at 24 credits, 3) the need to re-run the clerkship scheduling process.
    • The specific schedules and academic calendars are currently tentative and are examples only. These may be adjusted depending upon epidemiologically based resource readiness that allows students to return to clinical experiences. We remind students that we will provide students 72 hours’ notice prior to the return to clinical duties.

To read the proposal in its entirety, please click here.

    • Changes to the Zoom Town Halls this next week – In order to allow the Classes of 2021 and 2022 to ask question about the above approved proposal, the Zoom Town Halls on Monday will focus on the following groups (LOA students are welcome to join the group that best reflects their standing):
    • MS1 Town Hall – Monday April 13th 11:30-noon (https://zoom.us/j/992379262)
    • MS2 Town Hall – Monday April 13th noon-1pm (https://zoom.us/j/702805862)
    • MS3/4 Town Hall – Monday April 13th 4-5pm (https://zoom.us/j/886349554)
    • Work is progressing for a virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 15thWe anticipate the online virtual ceremony will be at its normal time of 10am on Friday May 15th. Shawnee is working with administration and class leaders to create the event. More details to come.
    • The NMBE has cancelled all Step 2 CS exams through May 31st – This currently affects a very small number of our students, all who have been contacted.
    • NBME Shelf exams will be taken remotely next week – This is for the recent block of Internal Medicine, Surgery and Neurology clerkships. Students form the Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Psychiatry and Family Medicine clerkship may also opt in. Student must assure through the survey with Tom Hurtado that they have a device which meets the NBME technical requirements.
    • OSCE exams will be taken remotely next week for the recent block of Internal Medicine, Surgery and Neurology - These will be administered remotely via Zoom for Neuro (4/13), IM (4/14), and Surg (4/15) clerkships.
    • President Watkins has announced the University of Utah’s participation in an national anti-racism campaign called “Wash The Hate” – This social media campaign is aimed at preventing racisms associated with COVID-19 and we would strongly encourage all students to stand up to any racism or inappropriate behaviors that are inconsistent with our profession.
    • Daily updates on the UHealth clinical response may be of interest to students – The daily clinical video updates can be found on Pulse.
  •  
    • Academic Medicine is seeking original submissions for letters to the editor from medical students, residents, and fellows on the topic of courage, connection, and COVID-19 -  Editors are seeking letters about how COVID-19 is contributing to positive transformation in health care and health professions education. The deadline for submissions is June 1 by 5 p.m. ET. Read More

 


Updated: April 6, 2020 (7:50 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted the weekly all-class Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: April 6, 2020 (3:35 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted a Zoom Town Hall for the MS1s and MS2s today at 12:00 PM. To listen to the town hall and read the messages from the chat, please click here.


Updated: April 2, 2020 (12:00 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements: 

  • The student representatives on the Curriculum Committee are seeking student feedback on a proposal to manage the needs of interrupted/postponed clinical clerkships – This extensive proposal includes: (1) shortening the lengths of some clerkships, (2) allowing students flexibility in when to take Step 2 CK and CS, (3) re-running the clerkship lottery for MS2022 class, and (4) decreasing the elective credit graduation requirement from 24 to 16 for the class of 2021. MS2 and MS3 students can register for one of four small student-only zoom meetings to give feedback that are occurring on April 2nd and 3rd.

        The proposal can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

  • The Curriculum Committee has approved the proposal for MS3 students who have two weeks remaining on an interrupted clerkship (Peds, OB/Gyn, Psychiatry, and FM) to take their shelf exam in April – This will be a opt in/opt out shelf exam for students and will be administered remotely Friday April 17th at 9am along with the Neurology, Internal Medicine and Surgery shelf exams. The Academic Success Program (ASP) provides practice test voucher to assist students with shelf preparation.  Our research shows that these practice tests are good indicators of actual shelf performance when used appropriately.  As you prepare for your upcoming shelf exam on April 17th, we suggest that you take a practice test now, followed up by a second practice test 5-7 days before you take your exam.  ASP staff are available to answer questions you might have and to assist you with your preparation.
  • New electives are being created and are coming online every week – These will be announced by Mike Aldred via email and be available for signup in Tools. We would strongly encourage students to take advantage of these electives in these unique circumstances and maximize their educational opportunities.
  • OSCE’s for the recent block of Internal Medicine, Surgery and Neurology have been rescheduled - These will be administered remotely via Zoom for Neuro (4/13), IM (4/14), and Surg (4/15) clerkships. Students will have a brief opportunity to practice the Zoom OSCE format on 4/8 and 4/9
  • The LCME accreditation site visit has been rescheduled for July 12-15th – Specific agendas for each day including student participants is still being determined. OSR reps, student leaders and other student volunteers will be contacted for potential participation.
  • The NBME has announced all 2020 eligibility periods will be extended to have an end date of December 31, 2020 - Extensions will be processed in order of expiration date, with all extension processing expected to be completed by the week of April 13th. No fees will be charged for these eligibility extensions. Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action from examinees.
  • President Watkins has announced the University of Utah’s participation in an national anti-racism campaign called “Wash The Hate” – This social media campaign is aimed at preventing racisms associated with COVID-19 and we would strongly encourage all students to stand up to any racism or inappropriate behaviors as these are clearly inconsistent with our profession.
  • Daily updates on UHealth clinical response may be of interest to students – The daily clinical video updates can be found on Pulse.
  • The EHS Library has extended their closure date to May 9th – The library continues to offer multiple online resources and help through the duration of the closure.
  • 2020 Match Results are posted – The Remote Match Ceremony can be viewed here. Specific identified match results have been posted to the Student Affairs specialty exploration site.
  • Two mechanisms for petitioning for emergency funding for students – The first is through the Alumni Association Emergency Loan (contact Wendy Clark) and the second is through Main Campus Financial Aid which has announced an application process for additional emergency funding due to COVID-19 .
  • A reminder that Parking Services has opened up specific parking lots during the COVID-19 crisis – This includes the following lots: Guardsman Way lot, Stadium lot, Merrill Engineering lot, and Shoreline garage (all levels). Additional details, including pro-rated parking passes reimbursements, can be found here.

Updated: March 30, 2020 (5:20 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted the weekly all-class Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: March 30, 2020 (2:05 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted a Zoom Town Hall for the MS1s and MS2s today at 12:00 PM. To listen to the town hall and read the messages from the chat, please click here.


Updated: March 26, 2020 (12:45 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcements:

  • The Curriculum Committee has approved mechanisms by which current senior students can complete required courses scheduled in the final two blocks – This, coupled with the elective requirement changes previously announced, should provide a mechanism by which all senior students may have an opportunity to graduate on schedule. See the attached document for details. For students enrolled in required courses, please contact your course director/coordinator for specific details.
  • The Food Pantry in the EHSEB Common Student Lounge provides food for those who are in need – We would ask that students please use restraint and professionalism in taking food items. The EHSEB Common Student Lounge is also now temporarily open to faculty and staff who may be experiencing food insecurity.
  • The Main Campus AVP’s office has provided an opportunity for Commencement exercises to be delivered online/virtual on its original date (May 15th) – While the normal in-person event at Kingsbury Hall has been cancelled by the State, we are planning on a virtual platform to allow students to participate if they wish. Student regalia will not be needed and regalia orders can now be cancelled.
  • The EHS Library has offered multiple new resources – From now thru Sep 20, 2020 you can access the entire suite of Access products from McGraw-Hill. Please see the attached file for more details.
  • 2020 Match Results are posted – The Remote Match Ceremony can be viewed here. Deidentified match results have been sent to students and staff. Specific identified match results will be posted soon to the Student Affairs specialty exploration site.
  • Main Campus Student Housing appeals process has been announced due to Spring closures from COVID-19 – Specifics can be found here. Please let Student Affairs know if you have any problems or concerns.
  • Main Campus Financial Aid has announced an application process for additional emergency funding due to COVID-19 – This could, for example, help with additional funds needed for loss of spousal income due to COVID-19. The application can be found here.
  • Parking services has open up specific parking lots during the COVID-19 crisis – This includes the following lots: Guardsman Way lot, Stadium lot, Merrill Engineering lot, and Shoreline garage (all levels). Additional details, including pro-rated parking passes reimbursements, can be found here.
  • A reminder that students are no longer are required to report travel to Student Affairs  – Now that the prevalence of COVID-19 has increased, travel exposure is less informative than the presence of active symptoms. Students will be given 72 hours’ notice before being required to return to in-person or clinical course work.

Updated: March 26, 2020 (8:30 PM)

The University of Utah School of Medicine was fortunate to have Dr. Brandon Webb, M.D., from the Division of Infectious Diseases at Intermountain Health Care present a 90-minute webinar regarding the COVID-19 pandemic exclusively for University of Utah medical students. Dr. Webb has been one of the key public faces for Intermountain Health Care regarding communication about the pandemic and has served as a expert source of information to Utah clinicians, legislators and the public.

 To review the webinar that includes an extended Q & A session with Dr. Webb, please click here.


Updated: March 23, 2020 (10:55 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted the weekly all-class Town Hall over Zoom today at 4:00 PM. To read the chat, as well as listen to the recording, please click here.


Updated: March 23, 2020 (1:20 PM)

Student Affairs and Curriculum hosted a Zoom Town Hall for the MS1s and MS2s today at 12:00 PM. To listen to the recording as well as view the chat, please click here.


Updated: March 23, 2020 (12:30 PM)

The Curriculum Committee announced the following changes to clerkships:

The Curriculum Committee  has been diligently working to comply with the AAMC supportive practices to remove medical students from the clinical environment. They have also been balancing this restriction with the LCME requirement that clinical rotations must have a significant component of in-person patient exposure.  Hence, the Curriculum Committee has approved the attached proposal for MS3 students on clerkships.

To view the proposal in its entirety, please click HERE.

Please read the entirety of the proposal. A brief summary includes:

  1. The Curriculum Committee is committed to providing a curriculum that will allow students the opportunity graduate without a delay.

  2. Grading for clerkships impacted by COVID-19, including current clerkships, will change from H/HP/P/F grading system to a dichotomous system such as “Meet Expectations” (ME)/”Does Not Meet Expectations” (DNME) and these specific clerkship scores will not count toward AOA or MSPE calculations.

  3. Current clerkships of Surgery, Internal Medicine and Neurology have had sufficient clinical experience to render a ME/DNME grade once the OSCE and NBME Shelf exam are administered.

  4. The OSCE and NBME Shelf exam administration for the current clerkships of Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Neurology will be delayed until at least April 7th and will be administered remotely.

  5. Current clerkships of Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Psychiatry do not currently have sufficient clinical experience to render a ME/DNME grade.

  6. There will be an interruption/suspension of Phase 3 core clerkship curriculum effective 3/27/2020. This extends the Phase 3 beyond previously approved calendar.

  7. MS3 students will be allowed to pursue electives during the clerkship interruption period.  This allows for extended elective curriculum time in Phase 3 beyond that previously approved in the calendar/Phase 3 time.

There are many details to work out and many questions to be answered. These new procedures will require significant coordination with students, Curriculum, Students Affairs, IT , clinical departments and others.

We hope you will join us for our weekly Zoom Town Hall Monday’s at 4pm where we can answer any questions you may have.


Updated: March 20, 2020 (5:25 PM)

Dr. Michelle Vo from the Medical Student Wellness Program provided the following update:

I have some wellness program updates for you. As many of you are aware, with increasing recommendations to socially distance and maintain groups of 10 people or less, many of the wellness program staff are now working remotely. We have access to Zoom appointments and are in process of converting our wellness program appointments to Zoom. All of our providers have availability to meet with students who have established care in the wellness program, and if you have never been seen by a provider but would like to establish care, please email Teresa (Teresa.stocks@hsc.utah.edu) and Brittany (Brittany.meldrum@hsc.utah.edu) to be connected with someone for an intake appointment.

We have decided to suspend most of our group services to allow for adjustments to this transition. In lieu of the previously scheduled groups, we invite you to a group mindfulness exercise and wellness check-in led by our team of clinicians on Friday, March 27 from noon-1:00pm. RSVP information will be coming.

Please feel free to reach out to any of us if there is anything else we can do to support your well-being. In the meantime, now is a particularly important time to maintain the structure of good sleep hygiene, good nutrition, physical activity, and social connection in the context of safe physical social distancing. We are more than willing to help think through this process and transition with you during these uncertain times.


Updated: March 20, 2020 (5:20 PM)

MS2s please see the message below regarding shelf exams:

The NBME announced that they are willing to allow schools to do remote shelf exams. In light of this, we are looking at the feasibility of implementing this on our campus as it may be needed. We need to know if you have the necessary equipment including a computer with webcam and microphone as well as hardware, browser, and network capabilities to take exams remotely. Please review the attached NBME equipment specifications PDF. I also need to know if your internet provider is Centurylink. if you are NOT able to meet the above and attached requirements, please respond to this email by Sunday 3/22 end of day.

To sum up, respond to me if:

  • Your computer with DOES NOT have a functioning webcam and microphone
  • You do not meet the attached hardware, browser and network capabilities
  • Your internet provider is Centurylink 

Thank you all for your flexibility as we work through this option.

Feel free to contact Tom Hurtado (tom.hurtado@hsc.utah.edu) with any questions.  


Updated: March 20, 2020 (9:10 AM)

Please click on the link below to watch the Town Hall from Monday, March 16. 

https://zoom.us/rec/share/yOluCLPP2XNOa9Ln6U-EXLcBGJ_fX6a81HRM_KIImR4QZ43WWY5MGr9Vd2l3ZZbb 


Updated: March 20, 2020 (12:30 AM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force provided the following updates:

  • The Marriott Library and the Eccles Health Science Library will be closed as of Friday March 20th at noon – The EHSEB continues to remain in operation. For EHSEB to remain open,  students must comply with social distancing and proper hand hygiene - security patrols will be monitoring for compliance.
  • The Elective Participation Survey have been sent to all students currently enrolled in electives – Students must complete the survey and indicate their intention to continue in their electives. This will be matched with course directors’ determination whether their elective is currently feasible to continue.
  • The Utah System of Higher Education has announced that all commencement ceremonies and convocations for the Spring 2020 semester will be postponed statewide – Our 2020 School of Medicine Commencement is therefore on hold until further notice. More details to come regarding possible rescheduling.
  • The Curriculum Committee has voted that the Advanced Internal Medicine course and all Core Sub-Internships for the current Block 10 (3/3/20-3/28/20) and Block 11 (3/30/20-4/26/20) will change to Pass/Fail (see attached) – This is in effect only for these two blocks in the Spring 2020 semester. Transcripts will not be able to reflect that these courses are pass/fail only.
  • MS1/MS2 Zoom Town Hall this Monday March 23rd from noon-1pm – Course directors from H&D, LOM, CMC and SMBJ will be present as well as the Phase 1 and 2 Subcommittee to answer any questions specific to MS1 and M2 classes. This is in addition to the school wide Zoom Weekly Town Hall on Mondays at 4pm.
  • The Task Force wants to reiterate the importance of student’s remaining engaged in the curriculum – Even with distance learning and online modules, the material and objectives are not amenable to “cramming”. Please utilize Canvas, Course Directors, Academic Success and tutors as needed to stay on top of material and to meet course expectations.

Updated: March 19, 2020 (2:30 PM)

Please see the message below from the Eccles Health Science Library:

The Eccles Health Sciences Library Building is closed as of 12:00pm on Friday, March 20, 2020. During this time, library staff will continue serving our faculty, staff, students, and clinicians.

Librarians and information experts are available:

  • Mon-Fri:  8am – 6pm
  • Sat-Sun: 12pm – 4pm

You can reach us via email at ehsl-reference@lists.utah.edu or via live chat at: http://libanswers.med.utah.edu/

We are here for individual or group consultations by Zoom, Skype, or old-fashioned telephone!  We can help you identify appropriate resources for online teaching and answer questions about best practices for incorporating this content into your class.  Have technology questions? Need help crafting an assignment? Looking for quality multimedia resources? Ask us!

We're here to help you, even if we're not actually on campus. No question is too small or too big.

We're sad we don't get to see you in person, but we're committed to helping you through this tough time.


Updated: March 18, 2020 (4:25 PM)

Please read the following update from the Department of Public Safety regarding campus facilities and infrastructure:

  • Teams have completed assessments of all campus buildings. No injuries have been reported and all campus utilities (power, water and gas) are functioning normally.
  • While some buildings on campus have external cosmetic damage the only campus building closed to occupancy until further notice is the Browning Building (WBB, building 11). The campus store is closed temporarily due to a water issue.
  • Additional information about University of Utah Health building closures and patient care is available at https://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/2020/03/earthquake-statement.php.
  • Student and family housing units have been cleared for occupancy.
  • All online classes will resume tomorrow.
  • Further updates, if necessary, will be posted at http://alert.utah.edu

Updated: March 18, 2020 (3:10 PM)

Campus Community,
In alignment with a decision made collectively by members of the Utah System of Higher Education, and with clear guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraging travel and large gatherings, the University of Utah will be postponing all commencement ceremonies scheduled for the end of the Spring 2020 semester. This includes all graduation events, college convocations, and campus-wide commencement. This has been a unique and trying semester for all of us, and this decision was made with the health and well-being of all members of our campus community and their loved ones in mind.
We are working to determine when and how rescheduled events will take place and will provide more information as soon as possible. We know this news leads to many associated questions, and we will post answers as they become available on @theU. Please send questions to svpaa@utah.edu. We know this is disappointing for everyone, especially for you, our 2020 graduates, and your loved ones. While the ceremony that culminates graduates’ hard work and dedication will be different this year, we want you to know that your accomplishments are no less impressive.
Our campus members are strong, adaptable, and dedicated to each other and to caring for their communities. We take comfort knowing that in these uncertain times, you, our graduates, are leading us into the future. We appreciate your understanding and commitment to join together as a U community and as a nation to support our collective efforts to protect those most vulnerable to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 Sincerely,

Ruth Watkins
President

Daniel Reed
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Michael Good
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Updated: March 18, 2020 (9:20 AM)

Dear Students and Faculty of UUSOM, 
In light of the earthquake this morning and significant disruptions to power and internet access for students as well as faculty we are CANCELING class across the entire curriculum for TODAY March 18, 2020.  
All assignments will be due at a later date; all communications will be forthcoming re: updated due dates for assignments. 
Sessions that were previously scheduled to take place virtually for courses across the 4-year curriculum will be rescheduled and/or alternate learning strategies will be communicated to students by course directors/coordinators.  
We hope everyone is safe and well. 

Updated: March 18, 2020 (8:35 AM)

Students,
Please stay out of building 521 until told otherwise (“School of Medicine”).
EHSEB and Eccles Library are technically designated as emergency shelters but their doors are locked currently. I am awaiting notice of them being unlocked. Even then, my personal suggestion is to stay off of campus if possible.
Please check on each other and let us know as best you can of power outages, internet service being down, or other safety issues.
Stay safe… more to come.
 
 

Updated: March 17, 2020 (8:55 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force provided the following update:

  • The Curriculum Committee has approved a one-time exemption for the elective requirements for MS4 students graduating in May 2020 – Students who wish to continue on their current electives may do so, but will not be expected to as a condition of graduation. See the attached document for important details. 
  • In-person clinical experiences are expected to be suspended nationwide – Our local decision was made in partnership with our clinical affiliates and extends to other health science colleges. Now the LCME and AAMC have formally recommended removal from clinical experiences for all medical schools (see attached).
  • Student representation on the UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force – Scott Eldredge (SBO co-president) has joined the UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force. Most educational decisions around COVID-19 will continue to primarily be in the Curriculum Committee and its subcommittees. Student representation on these committees has been established at the beginning of the year through class elections.
  • Students are no longer required to submit travel outside of the Intermountain West to Student Affairs  – This now expired requirement was due to screening measures needed to assure safety upon return to the clinical environment. Now that the prevalence of COVID-19 has increased, travel exposure is less informative than the presence of active symptoms.
  • Students are no longer required to report symptoms to Student Affairs – This now expired requirement was due to student self-removal from clinical experiences. Now that all students are temporarily removed from clinical environment, there is no need to currently have symptoms self-reported. This requirement may return when the clinical experiences are re-opened.
  • Match Day celebration has been cancelled – The MS4 class has received notification of this change
  • Weekly Zoom Town Hall, every Monday at 4pm – Specific meeting details will be sent out by Tom Hurtado for this weekly meeting. Additional Zoom meetings may be held depending on decisions being made or changes in our information we receive. We hope to have the recording of the Zoom Town Hall from Monday March 16th soon.
  • CMC 2, CMC 4, Host & Defense and Skin, Muscle, Bone & Joint courses will not be used for any type of class ranking – These four courses, for the Spring 2020 semester only, will be excluded from calculating AOA scores or MSPE descriptors.
  • Prometric Centers closing for 30 days – US and Canadian Prometric centers have announced they are closing for 30 days from March 18th - April 18th. We are evaluating what impact this will have for our students, though currently this window does not contain any exam dates for our students scheduled to take Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 2 CS.

Updated: March 16, 2020 (2:30 PM)

Listed below are links to the AAMC website regarding Math Day, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and student safety guidelines:

Link to a document regarding creative solutions to Match Day at other institutions:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cqK0WQk-ZcW1CWCVv_y2pJnbMKN0WsERSfMF41Amy88/edit

Link to the AAMC response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/what-we-do-academic-medicine-mobilizes-prepare-covid-19

Link to student safety guidelines from the AAMC:

https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2020-03/Role%20of%20medical%20students%20and%20COVID-19-FINAL.pdf

The following is a google document from the AAMC Committee on Student Records regarding several institutions' status on accepting visiting students in light of COVID-19:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aLGSDyzguVuqBWU16uVhTJHFYxbVpnmYMDFpXV_-3AU/edit?usp=sharing


Updated: March 16, 2020 (11:55 AM)

Non-hospital staff will no longer be able to enter through the University of Utah Hospital, as well as access the cafeteria.


Updated: March 16, 2020 (11:50 AM)

The Eccles Student Life Center is now closed to students, faculty, and staff. The status will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. 


Updated: March 15, 2020 (8:15 PM)

Please see the message below regarding the All Student Town Hall on Monday, March 16. 

In light of today’s updates regarding in-person UUSOM clinical learning activities, we are holding an All Student Town Hall on Zoom tomorrow at 4pm. Below is the info:
 
Topic: UUSOM All Student Town Hall #2
Time: Mar 16, 2020 04:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
 
Meeting ID: 697 986 211
 
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Meeting ID: 697 986 211
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abRxODnncC 

Updated: March 15, 2020 (7:05 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force made the following announcement regarding clinical activities: 

After extensive conversations with our clinical affiliates we have reached the decision that effective Monday, March 16th, all in-person clinical learning activities are being suspended.

This removal of medical students from the clinical environment extends to all clinical placements for all four years of medical students (CMC, clerkships, rural rotations, Core-Sub’s, clinical electives, etc.)

This decision was made after extensive deliberations and considerations including educational requirements, safety of medical students, utilization of resources, exposure risks, the need to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community and more. 

We are continuing to discuss with the AAMC, the LCME and other medical school across the country to find solutions that will allow students to demonstrate clinical competency and satisfy the educational requirements that are inherent in our accreditation. There are many questions that remain unanswered at this time. We commit to finding solutions to these problems and communicating effectively and efficiently with students. 

Course Directors have been preparing for this eventuality for several days now and are continuing to work with us in the Dean's Office. Some courses will have alternate activities in place immediately, and some will be forthcoming (i.e. some are more amenable to remote/online/virtual learning and others are not). Your course directors are aware of this decision and you should refer to Canvas for changes that impact your activities for Monday, March 16th. Course directors and coordinators may also be reaching you via email with instructions. Your course directors and coordinators are your best contact for course specific information.  

We will be holding another Zoom Town Hall at 4pm on March 16th to answer questions you may have. You should be receiving an invitation to that meeting from Tom Hurtado soon.

Please remain safe, practice diligent social distancing, wash your hands, and be attentive to updates as they come forward.

We do not yet know how long this suspension from in-person clinical learning activities will last. We are hopeful it will be short-lived and will commit to communicating with you at least 72 hour in advance of getting you back into the clinical environment to continue your course work.


Updated: March 14, 2020 (12:40 PM)

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force provided the following update:

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force is continuing to monitor hour by hour changes in policies and practices from the University, our clinical affiliates, the State Health Department and other organizations. Based on these evolving policies as well as multiple questions from students, in addition to the policy announced on March 12th, we clarify and announce the following to be effective March 14th:

  • We are formally suspending, cancelling or altering multiple events to adhere to limits in meeting sizes policy:
    • The Roast and the Prom are indefinitely suspended.
    • We are working on Match Day options that would adhere to the intent of social. MS4’s should continue to watch their emails for ongoing announcements about Match Day.
    • The Dean’s Reception and Commencement are currently still scheduled for May 13th and May 15th respectively, though we are anticipating that further changes to these events may be needed.
  • Personal travel outside of the Intermountain region remains strongly discouraged:
    • Medical students must report any personal travel outside of the Intermountain region to StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu.  This is effective immediately and is a professionalism requirement that is needed in order to maintain student placement at our clinical affiliates.
    • Depending on location and timing, personal travel to endemic areas may require students to be home quarantined upon return.
  • Students on rotations at all University and Intermountain hospitals that involve the operating room will be allowed to observe but will not scrub in on cases:
    • This will allow our hospitals and clinical affiliates to preserve the supply of gowns and PPE.
  • Students who develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms must immediately report them to their course director/coordinator and StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu :
    • Self-reporting of ill students is a professionalism requirement that is needed in order to maintain student placement at our clinical affiliates.
    • Students who are ill must not interact with patients, faculty, residents, students or staff in the clinical/learning environment.
  • Medical students who are immunocompromised, pregnant or >60 years old (or who have direct household members who are immunocompromised, pregnant or >60 years old) should contact StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu in order to help determine additional precautions:
    • In addition to being restricted from caring for COVID-19 positive patients and/or patients suspected of COVID-19 positive undergoing testing, these students cannot participate in the care of patients with fever of unknown source or patients on droplet precautions.

In addition to the three in-person Town Halls we held this week, we held a Zoom teleconference Town Hall on 3/13/2020 at 4pm to answer questions and concerns. For those of you who participated we appreciate your sincere efforts to be understanding of the situation and flexible as things continues to unfold.   A recording of the teleconference can be found here for those who were unable to attend.

We recognize that while the measures put into place thus far are important to protect our most vulnerable community members, these efforts are also very stressful for students. We recognize that many of the celebrations, events, and community experiences that you were excited about are now cancelled, altered or postponed.

We are committed to preserving a high-quality educational experience while protecting your health and safety as well as that of our community. Please direct any additional questions that you may have to StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu and we can distribute to the appropriate individuals.

References and links

https://dps.utah.edu/coronavirus/

https://healthcare.utah.edu/coronavirus/

https://coronavirus.utah.gov/latest/


Updated: Marh 13, 2020 (4:30 PM)

The Medical Student Wellness Program communicated the following update:

During these extraordinary times, the Medical Student Wellness Program wanted to update you on how we are accommodating public health recommendations while helping you to prioritize your well-being during this transition.

We know that as physicians-in-training, you will continue to be vigilant about what you can do to protect yourself and the community from the spread of infection. Specifically, please continue to practice excellent hand hygiene and social distancing as recommended by our colleagues in public health leadership. If you or anyone in your household is ill, we recommend that you refrain from coming to campus for an appointment in the wellness program and take advantage of virtual services until you have recovered for 14 days. We also are supportive of students’ needs to protect their families and you may wish to engage with the wellness program virtually if someone in your household is in a high risk category for infection (e.g. over age 60, immunocompromised individuals, women who are expecting)

We are taking cues from other outpatient behavioral health clinics in the university system and as of today, the Medical Student Wellness Program remains open and we are seeing clients in person for counseling and medication management if clients are able to attend in person. If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable attending an in-person appointment, telephone appointments are available. We are setting up a Zoom platform that is HIPAA-compliant for virtual appointments for counseling and medication management and hope to have that up and running next week. Should you require a counseling or medication management appointment via Zoom or telephone, we suggest that you find a confidential space for this appointment in order to protect your privacy.

Following recommendations for social distancing for epidemic mitigation, the wellness program will cancel our lunch lecture series for the remainder of the semester. Thank you for your engagement in the lunch lecture series this academic year. Please stay tuned for some programs we are planning to offer virtually, such as mindfulness group and peer support training.

We will continue to hold groups such as Lean In, Men’s Group, LGBTQIA group, etc. at this time, though this will continually be re-evaluated according to public health recommendations. For our groups we will be providing individual box lunches and will no longer be serving communal or family-style meals for groups. We will also limit group size to 20, so please be sure to RSVP if you would like to attend. Again, please refrain from coming to campus for wellness program events if you are ill or if someone in your household is ill or high-risk for morbidity from Covid19.

In times of uncertainty, the wellness program is here to help with distress and well-being while remaining compliant with infection mitigation and public health recommendations. Please feel free to reach out to me or Teresa Stocks, LCSW (teresa.stocks@hsc.utah.edu) if there are additional ways we can support your education.


Updated: March 13, 2020 (3:13 PM)

Due to prevention measures for COVID-19, the School of Medicine is canceling all visiting students scheduled in clinical rotations between 3/16/2020 – 5/22/2020. The Registrar's office will drop and notify these students today. We are also denying all applications in VSAS that have applied for these dates.


Updated: March 13, 2020 (8:20 AM)

UUSOM Curriculum made the following announcement regarding the Skin, Muscle, Bone, and Joint Course:

Thank you for your attention to the ongoing changes related to COVID-19.  Given the mandate from the University of Utah and based on our discussions with the University of Utah School of Medicine leadership, we would like to update you with the current plan for Skin Muscle Bone and Joint.  We have been working diligently to prepare a plan that we believe will allow you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for the course and demonstrate achievement of the course learning objectives. Please keep in mind that this is an evolving situation and we will update you frequently. It is important that you check Canvas frequently as this is the official source of updates for you regarding any class changes that may continue to occur as our situation progresses.

In regard to Skin Muscle Bone and Joint class requirements:

  1. We will have learning activities as posted on CANVAS on March 16 and 17
  2. Large Group Class activity information will be posted on CANVAS.  Lectures will be posted for your review. More details will follow about opportunities to engage with the speakers.
  3. Case Based Learning Groups: we will continue to meet as scheduled. We are planning to use ZOOM to allow you to convene your groups virtually with your faculty facilitators to engage in your small group discussions.  You will need to refer to CANVAS for instructions on “HOW TO CBL” (coming soon)
  4. Team Based Learning: we will continue to have TBLs as scheduled in the course calendar however these will occur virtually.  We will have a step by step “HOW TO TBL” guide for you (coming soon) that will be posted on CANVAS
  5. Patient presentations: we are likely to be assigning reading(s) for you to complete or videos to watch; we are likely to ask you to share your reflections on the discussion board in canvas (other alternatives are also being considered; updates will be in CANVAS).
  6. Labs: will continue as scheduled; we intend to post digital images and recordings as appropriate in CANVAS
  7. Clinical Skills Sessions: we are actively working on a plan for small group skills learning and practice. Stay tuned for further information in CANVAS. We do intend to continue these activities at present albeit with altered scheduling for in-person instruction at EHSEB to preserve adequate social distancing.
  8. Formative quizzes: we will be administering quizzes remotely and at the times currently posted for the course.  You will be asked to sign an honor code indicating you will not reference resource materials or copy questions; we trust you to be professional, honest and to not violate the honor code. Quizzes will continue to be administered via Examsoft and on your ipads.  More details will be in CANVAS. 
  9. Final Assessment - MCQ: We plan to administer the final MCQ exam remotely and at the times currently posted for the course.  You will be asked to sign an honor code indicating you will not reference resource materials or copy questions; we trust you to be professional, honest and to not violate the honor code. The final will be administered via Examsoft and on your ipads.  More details will be in CANVAS
  10. Final Assessment – Clinical Skills Currently the plan is to continue the exams as scheduled.  Stay tuned for details. This may involve schedule changes to preserve adequate social distancing practices and to accommodate adjustments due to students/or faculty who become ill or as changes to our situation arise.

The Skin Muscle Bone and Joint CANVAS site will be updated frequently, please refer to this page for real time information.

Finally, if you need to miss a virtual learning event (CBL, TBL, clinical skills practice) because of illness or emergency please contact your course coordinator, course director, and Student Affairs (Dr. Stevenson or Tom Hurtado) ASAP.  If you need non-emergent medical attention please contact your primary care provider or student health

For University of Utah School of Medicine COVID-19 updates please refer to:

https://medicine.utah.edu/students/current-students/student-services/co_vid_19.php

For Utah Health COVID-19 updates please refer to:

https://healthcare.utah.edu/coronavirus/ 


Updated: March 13, 2020 (8:15 AM)

UUSOM Curriculum made the following announcement regarding the Host and Defense Course:

Thank you for your attention to the ongoing changes related to COVID-19.  Given the mandate from the University of Utah and based on our discussions with the University of Utah School of Medicine leadership, we would like to update you with the current plan for Host and Defense.  We have been working diligently to prepare a plan that we believe will allow you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for the course and demonstrate achievement of the course learning objectives. Please keep in mind that this is an evolving situation and we will update you frequently. It is important that you check CANVAS frequently as this is the official source of updates for you regarding any class changes that may continue to occur as our situation progresses.

In regard to Host and Defense class requirements:

  1. We will have learning activities as posted on CANVAS on March 16 and 17
  2. Large Group Class activity information will be posted on CANVAS.  Lectures will be posted for your review. More details will follow about opportunities to engage with the speakers.
  3. Case Based Learning Groups: will continue to meet as scheduled. We are planning to use ZOOM to allow you to convene your groups virtually with your faculty facilitators to engage in your small group discussions.  You will need to refer to CANVAS for instructions on “HOW TO CBL” (coming soon)
  4. Team Based Learning: will continue to have TBLs as scheduled in the course calendar, however these will occur virtually.  We will have a step by step “HOW TO TBL” guide for you (coming soon) that will be posted on CANVAS
  5. Patient presentations: we are likely to be assigning reading(s) for you to complete and will be asking you to share your reflections on the discussion board in CANVAS (other alternatives are also being considered; updates will be in CANVAS).
  6. Labs: will continue as scheduled with materials and assignments posted in CANVAS. Pre-lab and in-lab assignments will happen as planned and remain part of your final grade. Pre-lab assignments must be completed prior to each session and in-lab assignments by the end of each scheduled session.
  7. Formative quizzes: we will be administering quizzes remotely and at the times currently posted for the course.  You will be asked to sign an honor code indicating you will not reference resource materials or copy questions; we trust you to be professional, honest and to not violate the honor code. Quizzes will continue to be administered via Examsoft and on your ipads.  More details will be in CANVAS. 
  8. Final Assessment: We plan to administer the final MCQ exam remotely and at the times currently posted for the course.  You will be asked to sign an honor code indicating you will not reference resource materials or copy questions; we trust you to be professional, honest and to not violate the honor code. The final will be administered via Examsoft and on your ipads.  More details will be in CANVAS.

The Host and Defense CANVAS site will be updated frequently, please refer to this page for real time information. Course directors are available by email and will have scheduled “office hours” to hold discussion boards on CANVAS (updated scheduled coming soon).

Finally, if you need to miss a virtual learning event (CBL, TBL) because of illness or emergency please contact your course coordinator, course director, and Student Affairs  (Dr. Stevenson or Tom Hurtado).  If you need non-emergent medical attention please contact your primary care provider or student health. 

For University of Utah School of Medicine COVID-19 updates please refer to:

https://medicine.utah.edu/students/current-students/student-services/co_vid_19.php

For Utah Health COVID-19 updates please refer to:

https://healthcare.utah.edu/coronavirus/


Updated: March 12, 2020 (8:50 PM)

Dr. Adam Stevenson and the UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force issued the following statement: 

The UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force is reiterating the following policies previously announced by President Ruth Watkins and Governor Herbert:

  • Limit mass gatherings to fewer than 100 people – This will take effect at UUSOM beginning Friday 3/13; the TBL scheduled for Host and Defense by Dr. Williams on Friday 3/13 will change to a lecture posted to canvas. (There will be no iRat/gRat.)
  • Moving our classroom-based curriculum to online and will be using electronic means to convene groups virtually – Because UUSOM has prepared well in-advance for this option, this will start Friday 3/13 for large classroom sessions and be complete for all sized classroom activities by Monday 3/16. (Layers of Medicine small groups will convene in-person as scheduled on Friday 3/13.)
  • Refer to canvas courses for specific messaging and updated information as they relate to course activities for plans beginning Monday 3/16 – Many sessions will be utilizing online, virtual meeting, modified scheduling to accomplish clinical skills training, and assessment.
  • All school related travel is suspended – This includes away electives and conferences. Approved clinical rotations in Utah and Idaho are still appropriate to travel to.
  • Personal travel outside of the Intermountain region is strongly discouraged
Additionally, under the intent to maximize the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty and patients, the UUSOM COVID-19 Task Force is also instituting the following:
  • Medical students may not participate in the care of COVID-19 patients – This includes patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of COVID-19 infection and are undergoing testing.
  • Medical students on clinical rotations, or those who will be entering the clinical environment as part of CMC, who develop cough, shortness of breath, congestion and/or fever should remove themselves from the clinical environment – Students should also immediately contact StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edutheir course coordinator and course director. Students should contact their own health providers if they feel they need medical attention.
  • Medical students must report any personal travel outside of Intermountain region to StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu – Depending on location and timing, personal travel in endemic areas may subject students to being excluded from returning to the teaching environment.
  • Medical students with personal, or household members with, underlying medical conditions (elderly, immunocompromised, etc.) should contact StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu – We will discuss how to best take specific protective measures including the possibility of seeking formal accommodations.
  • All medical student participation at free clinics is immediately suspended – This includes Maleheh, Midvale, 4th Street, Weigand, and other such clinics.
  • Student presence on clinical experiences in the Emergency Department is immediately suspended – We are working to move students currently on a Core Emergency Medicine Sub-Internship to an alternate Core Sub-Internship.
  • Carefully consider the necessity and public health risks of any gatherings of >25 people 
You can expect frequent updates from the Dean’s Office and your course directors so that we can help you navigate your coursework over the next several weeks. There are many questions that remain to be answered and the above procedures may need to be modified. We are committed to preserving a high-quality educational experience while protecting your health and safety as well as that of our community. In addition to the three Town Halls we held this week, we are working on an urgent Zoom teleconference Town Hall to answer questions you may have. Meanwhile please direct any additional question to StudentAffairs@hsc.utah.edu and we can distribute to the appropriate individuals.
 
References and links

 

Updated: March 12, 2020 (3:19 PM)

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Science Library (EHSL) made the following annoucement regarding the library's access to health science students:

EHSL will remain open with regular business hours and will be accessible 24/7 to health sciences students. We will have all our services functioning, so if you know of faculty who are struggling to turn their classes into online courses, we can help them get started in The Studio. For more information, please click here.

EHSL will also be available to answer questions, look up information, checkout equipment, and can be reached by clicking here.

 


Updated: March 12, 2020 (3:13 PM) 

Pre-clinical should be prepared to use Zoom in order to communicate with Layers of Medicine and Case Based Learning instructors. For instructions on how to access Zoom, please click here.


Updated: March 12, 2020 (2:28 PM)

Dr. Good provided a video presentation explaining the measures being taken regarding COVID-19.

To watch the presentation, please click here.


Updated: March 12, 2020 (12:36 PM)

Dr. Wayne Samuelson communicated changing class-based curriculum to an online format:

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached our community. Sound public health principles dictate that we alter our routines to accomplish social distancing and slow the spread of infection. We anticipated the need to make changes in the way we deliver educational content some time ago, and our faculty and staff have been meeting regularly to develop plans. In keeping with instructions from our University President, beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, we are moving our classroom-based curriculum to online and will be using electronic means to convene groups virtually. We have plans in place to continue our clinical skills instruction via a combination of online instruction and in-person small group sessions that minimize student-faculty gathering and preserve recommended social distancing practices.  More details about the primarily classroom based (pre-clerkship) curriculum will be forthcoming to those affected students and faculty from course directors and the Office of Curriculum.  Our colleagues on the main University campus are dealing with these same challenges.

The School of Medicine will remain open. Clinical rotations will continue with careful monitoring to assure the safety and well-being of students, patients and clinical staff. Please understand that our circumstances are constantly evolving.

We review our status at least daily and are coordinating with the other health sciences schools and colleges to provide the best possible experience for all learners under these challenging circumstances. We will do our best to keep you current with what is happening with rotations and other clinical experiences. Please watch for updates. There will be many.

Thanks for all you are doing. We appreciate your professionalism and commitment. We will get through this together.


Updated: March 11, 2020 (3:55 PM)

Mask Fit Testing Unavailable

The mask fit testing option on UMarket has been removed indefinitely. Mask fittings are being reserved for official hospital staff only. 


March 10, 2020 (4:42 PM)

President Ruth Watkins communicated the following regarding domestic and international travel:

Travel Guidance – Updated

Effective immediately, the University of Utah is restricting all university-related business travel for faculty, staff, and students through April 30, 2020 (i.e., the end of the spring semester).  If you are traveling for university-related business, whether in the United States or internationally, between now and April 30, you should cancel the trip. Any request for an exception to this restriction – for business-critical travel – must be reviewed and approved at all three relevant levels: (a) the department chair or manager, (b) the dean or vice president, and (c) the designee (see below) of the relevant Senior Vice President or Chief Human Resources Officer (Michael Good, Daniel Reed, or Jeff Herring, respectively).  

Following department and dean/VP sign off, final travel exception approval will be granted by:

We also encourage you to avoid personal travel outside the State of Utah. If you do travel, you may be restricted from returning to work, depending on your health and the risk of COVID-19 in the area you visited. We recognize this will cause inconvenience for some, but this decision has been taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our university community.  Most airlines are now waiving rebooking fees, and previously booked airline tickets can be reused for future travel.

If you have travelled domestically or internationally to countries with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) level three travel health notice in the last two weeks, we ask that you report (login required) the trip to your unit leader or dean.


March 9, 2020 (5:04 PM)

Dr. Good presented on COVID-19 updates. Presentation slides and audio recording below. 

 COVID-19 Presentation Slides

COVID-19 Audio File


March 7, 2020 (8:15 AM)

The current situation regarding the novel Coronavirus epidemic is evolving daily and even hourly. Friday March 6th Governor Herbert declared a state of emergency for Utah and the first Utah diagnosed case of COVID-19 has been made in Davis County (infected out of state). At this time, we still do not have a confirmed case of community spread.

While COVID-19 has not yet impacted UUSOM core clinical services and activities, we recognize that the epidemic has the potential to impact key areas related to our mission: patient care, medical education and biomedical research. Currently, UUSOM is operating normally, classes are still being held, students are still participating in clinical care and all activities related to our core clinical and educational missions continue. There are signs of institutions and hospitals making preparations such as changes in the entrance and traffic flow at the VA hospital and additional support tents going up at the University hospital soon. Additionally, the University main campus has recently announced travel restrictions that may impact student, staff and faculty travel.

To advocate for the safety of our students, UUSOM has formed a Task Force that is meeting frequently and regularly to discuss these issues. We are continuously gathering and assessing available information to inform decisions that may have broad implications on medical education and the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and patients. This UUSOM Task Force will utilize local, state and University policies and information to make future decisions affecting UUSOM students – e.g. when to cancel didactic classes, potential restrictions on clinical experiences, further travel restrictions, and potential limitations to local large scale meetings or gatherings. We are asking our fellow colleges in the Health Sciences (Dentistry, Nursing, Health and Pharmacy) to join with us so that shared decisions can be made for all students of the Health Sciences.

Our priority is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and patients throughout the Intermountain region. The Task Force is committed to reviewing new information and efficiently communicating relevant decisions and actions. We anticipate Dr. Michael Good addressing students in person on Monday March 9th with updates. We also encourage you to monitor your email for regular communication from Student Affairs regarding these ongoing decisions.

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For SOM related questions, contact the Student Affairs Office at 801.581.2711 or email: studentaffairs@hsc.utah.edu

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