COVID-19 Updates

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School of Medicine COVID-19 Updates

Education and Safety Considerations

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.

Resources

Contact

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

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