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Resources for Medical Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic and disruptive changes to medical education. The AAMC has curated critical documents to support medical schools during this challenging time.

Included below you will find guidance and resources from the AAMC and its partner organizations. You will also find ways to connect with the AAMC and your colleagues across the country to share best practices and lessons learned through open webinars and calls for submissions. We will continue to update this page as resources are made available.

This page is a part of the AAMC’s efforts to provide the most up-to-date information to members. For information about other areas, visit the COVID-19 Resource Hub

Latest Guidance from the AAMC on Medical Students’ Educational Activities

AAMC Guidance on Peaceful Protests by Medical Students and Residents

The AAMC has developed guidance in support of medical student, resident, and applicant participation in demonstrations and other forms of peaceful public protest against police brutality and systemic racism. This guidance is intended for medical school administrators, the admissions community, and residency program directors for their consideration as they review and refine their communications and processes for the upcoming selection cycles. (Last updated July 7, 2020)

Medical Student Away Rotations for Remainder of 2020-21 and 2021-22 Academic Year

The Coalition for Physician Accountability, of which the AAMC is a member, released updated recommendations on away rotations for medical schools and non-U.S. medical school applicants for the 2021-22 academic year. (Last updated January 25, 2021)

Medical Students’ Participation in Direct Patient Contact Activities

The AAMC issued guidance on medical students’ participation in the clinical setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Last updated Aug. 14, 2020).

Role of Medical Students in Volunteer and Paid Clinical Work Settings Beyond Their Medical School

The AAMC in a joint statement with the LCME issued guidance on enrolled medical students’ participation in volunteer and paid clinical activities beyond the purview of their medical schools. (Last updated April 3, 2020)

Updates from Key AAMC Services

Several AAMC services that support learners have issued special information about COVID-19.

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Latest Guidance from Partner Organizations on Accreditation, Assessment, and the Transition to Residency

On Accreditation

On Assessment

On Graduation and the Transition to Residency

On Workforce Issues

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For Teaching and Learning

Virtual Learning Resources during COVID-19

This special MedEdPORTAL collection features peer-reviewed teaching resources that can be used for distance learning, including self-directed modules and learning activities that could be converted to virtual interactions. 

Clinical Teaching and Learning Experiences: A Resource Collection to Support Innovations in Health Professions Education

Initially launched in March 2020, this resource collection was built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s significant impact on the teaching and learning of health professionals. Designed by diverse educators, this working collection features clinical learning experiences, which can be readily used or easily adapted for specific, local settings, without the need for physical patient contact. The collection is actively used by thousands of medical educators around the world.

Building Better Curriculum Webinars: COVID-19

Special editions of the Building Better Curriculum Webinar series highlight innovative and new approaches to the curriculum as schools try to respond to the pandemic and work to ensure high-quality learning experiences.

Learn more about the series and register for upcoming webinars

Managing Medical Curricula In the Pandemic: A Special Collection from FASEB BioAdvances

Many medical schools have now had time to fine-tune the changes they implemented last spring to shift from face-to-face instruction to virtual learning. In this Special Collection, the approaches taken by several medical schools are described.

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For Supporting Your Learners

Collaborative Student Volunteer and Service Projects

Launched in April 2020, this resource collection was built in response to the upsurge in student volunteer and service projects to provide additional support in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on communities, medical schools, and health systems. Largely student-initiated, this working collection features volunteer and service experiences that are responsive to local needs, do not place additional burdens on local systems, and prioritize student, patient, and community safety. These experiences can be adopted or adapted for local use and have helped inform student-led projects around the country.

Medical Student Well-Being

This page offers personal stories of resilience, resources for maintaining well-being, and programs, practices, and strategies that student service providers, faculty, staff, and current medical students have found to be effective in building student well-being. 

Conducting Interviews during the Coronavirus Pandemic

This toolkit helps medical school and teaching hospital faculty effectively conduct all interviews with potential students, residents, and faculty in a virtual setting, either by phone or through video conferencing. 

US Medical School Pass/No Pass Pandemic Policy Self-Report Document

This admissions-related resource for medical schools was developed by Christian Essman, senior director of admissions & financial aid, Office of Admissions, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. It offers self-reported information from AAMC member medical schools on their updated grading policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Other Resources

AAMC Recommendations for COVID-19 Testing: The Current State and The Way Forward

The AAMC Research and Action Institute issued testing recommendations and a call to action. A commitment to increasing the number of tests and suppressing the virus requires dedicated funding, continued investment in technology and test development, and smarter, more strategic use of resources.

The Way Forward on COVID-19: A Road Map to Reset the Nation’s Approach to the Pandemic

This set of 11 evidence-based actions – both immediate and long-term – set forth a comprehensive, coordinated plan based on AAMC experts’ understanding of the pandemic as doctors, scientists, and medical educators, as well as the work the AAMC has done to help its member medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health systems respond to the pandemic on the frontlines.

Consensus Guidance on Face Coverings

With no national policy regarding face masks, this document is a consensus statement designed to provide national guidance for the public on wearing face coverings to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

The AAMC Research and Action Institute has provided guidance and best practices for wearing face coverings both indoors and outdoors.

Academic Medicine

This collection of free-to-read articles published in Academic Medicine explores the COVID-19 pandemic from multiple perspectives, including early lessons learned from physicians in the initial epicenter of the outbreak in the US, how the pandemic is affecting students and residents and how they are filling new roles, the financial impact on academic health centers, physician well-being, and more. This collection will be updated as new articles are published. For more on how Academic Medicine is handling submissions on COVID-19, read this AM Rounds blog post from the editorial team.

For more on COVID-19 from the journal, listen to the Academic Medicine Podcast. In this episode, Dr. Alison Whelan joins to discuss how academic medicine is responding and the impact the crisis has had on health professionals at all levels. 

COVID-19 Annotated Bibliography

The Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) Medical Education Research Scholarship and Evaluation (MESRE) Section developed a special COVID-19 annotated bibliography. Journals listed in the bibliography either have special calls for articles or are accepting COVID-19 related pieces and highlighting them on specially curated pages.

Resources to Support the Health and Well-Being of Clinicians During COVID-19

The National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, of which the AAMC is a part, compiled these resources to support the health and well-being of clinicians during public health emergencies, including COVID-19.

Clinical UME Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

These checklists are intended to be a living document identifying the more important considerations regarding medical students in the clinical learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. As circumstances change, the document will evolve. Please send edits or questions to Kate McOwen, AAMC Senior Director of Educational Affairs, at kmcowen@aamc.org.

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