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In this edition:
 
Message from the Chair
CFAS Societies Respond to COVID-19
CFAS Engagement During the Pandemic
Society Profile: The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Addresses the COVID-19 Pandemic
AAMC COVID-19 Resources
AAMC Organization of Resident Representaties (ORR) Community Service Recognition Award

Message from the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

I’m hoping that you and your families are well as I write today to update you on the activities of the CFAS Administrative Board in the unprecedented and difficult environment created by the ongoing pandemic.

Coronavirus Response: Understandably, everyone’s first concern is the safety of those in our care and responsibility: our families, patients, students, and trainees, as well as our own wellbeing. We are grateful to our clinician colleagues who are on the frontlines of this crisis and are fighting for every life. We are also grateful to our educator colleagues who succeeded in rapidly moving entire courses online while meeting educational goals and standards. And we are grateful to our many scientist colleagues who are already testing therapies and vaccines, and developing rapid new methods to identify those who are infected or immune. There is no question that these are trying times. Yet I hear from many of you that you are meeting the sudden challenge with creativity and even with gusto. I’m so proud of our response!

The AAMC is continuing to provide daily updates on the coronavirus impact on AAMC Professional Development Events and Services. The AAMC also has published a collection of resources to help us stay well and do our best work.

Continuing Committee Work: At this time, all CFAS committees have shifted their activities to support you and all the faculty you represent in coping with the added responsibilities imposed by the ongoing pandemic.

Mona Abaza, MD, Chair of the CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee and a member of the CFAS Administrative Board, has set up a closed Facebook page, COVID19Wellbeing, for all faculty in academic medicine to share support and resources on how we can best cope. All CFAS reps are invited to join the page. Also, if you use Twitter, please tweet your wellbeing resources, thoughts, and ideas using #COVID19Wellbeing.

VJ Periyakoil, MD, Chair of the CFAS Diversity Committee, and Alan Dow, MD, Chair of the CFAS Communications Committee, will be collaborating soon to initiate a Twitter conversation on diversity. Stay tuned for updates on details so you can join.

If you are not already active in CFAS committees, please consult information on our webpage to let us know how you want to become involved or email Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org.

Strategic Planning: The AAMC is continuing its Strategic Planning efforts and we will soon be invited to provide feedback on Phase 2, which will delineate future projects. For now, CFAS has paused its strategic planning process out of consideration for the many demands placed on our time and energy.

I do wish that you and your families stay well, stay safe, and don’t take unnecessary risks. Please continue to send us your feedback and suggestions. We love to hear from you.

Gabriela K Popescu, PhD
CFAS Chair, 2019 - 2021

CFAS Societies Respond to COVID-19

Academic societies have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic given that so many of them have lost revenue from cancelled conferences, professional development, and a range of other activity crucial to their operation. CFAS has created a webpage that tracks and highlights efforts from AAMC- and CFAS-member societies to address the pandemic and will continually update the content based on new information as it is available. Please send any resources, web content, or other information about how your society is addressing COVID-19 to Alex Bolt or Eric Weissman so we can add it to this growing directory.

CFAS Engagement During the Pandemic

As the pandemic continues, CFAS is continuing with one of its primary missions: building community among faculty members in academic medicine. We have started an ongoing conversation on Twitter using #COVID19Wellbeing to give faculty members a platform to discuss how they are managing their own well-being during this crisis.

CFAS Ad Board Member and CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee Chair Mona Abaza, MD, also has launched a closed Facebook group where faculty members can discuss how they are handling the crisis in more depth. Any CFAS rep, along with any of your colleagues is free to join. Just search for “COVID19Wellbeing” or email Dr. Abaza at MONA.ABAZA@CUANSCHUTZ.EDU. Additionally, CFAS Chair-elect Adi Haramati, PhD, created a five-minute guided meditation video, which has been posted on the CFAS website.

As noted in Dr. Popescu’s Message from the Chair, other CFAS committees are planning upcoming activities related to the CFAS and AAMC response to COVID-19. We are open to your ideas, and encourage you to send them to us. For more information on how you can engage with your fellow CFAS reps during this time, or to propose something CFAS could do in response to the pandemic, please email Eric Weissman or Alex Bolt.

Society Profile: The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Addresses the COVID-19 Pandemic

Emergency physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and staff are on the frontlines of care for individuals at risk of COVID-19 infection and often evaluate and treat these patients prior to the availability of any diagnostic testing results. Due to the extent of the pandemic and limited available evidence, COVID-19 has resulted in significant disruption in both emergency care education and research, and more importantly, disruption of usual emergency department operations.

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) supports not only physicians, learners, and staff on the front lines, but also patients, their families, and communities. SAEM’s mission is “to lead the advancement of academic emergency medicine through education and research, advocacy and professional development.” SAEM’s mission hasn’t changed, but "the society finds itself even more sharply focused for its more than 7,000 members on advocacy for clinical care, education and training, research, professional development, and member wellness," said Megan Shagrin, MBA, chief executive officer of SAEM.

Education and training are core to the SAEM mission. SAEM supports the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) suspension of accreditation-related activities and position that work hour restrictions remain unchanged during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect vulnerable physicians in training. SAEM believes interventions that minimize the impact of COVID-19 on emergency medicine education should be implemented for residents and medical students, including the use of remote learning methods, as possible in light of local resources and disease patterns.

Although learning about patient care during a pandemic is important, SAEM also supports the position of the AAMC that at this time, unless a locally critical health care workforce need exists, medical students should not be involved in any direct patient care activities in the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic. This not only limits the medical student exposure risk but also conserves the limited supply of personal protective equipment.

Emergency care research is also central to the SAEM mission. Although unfortunate, to protect physicians, learners, and research staff, SAEM currently supports the temporary suspension of human subjects recruitment in the clinical work environment except for in exceptional circumstances. SAEM does, however, support and strongly encourage discovery on the transmission, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 through both prehospital and emergency department studies, to the extent that risk to staff and researchers is minimized. To minimize the time from discovery to translation, both of SAEM’s journals, Academic Emergency Medicine and Academic Emergency Medicine Education and Training, are fast-tracking publications of articles related to COVID-19.

Normal academic activities for emergency physicians are now either delayed or entirely canceled, but these activities are essential for faculty advancement, so SAEM encourages institutions’ promotions and tenure committees to strongly consider the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic when evaluating faculty dossiers.

AAMC Updates COVID-19 Resources

The AAMC has updated its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Hub which now includes a clinical guidance repository, a link to guidance on medical students’ participation in direct patient contact activities, a link to the AAMC’s statement on testing capacity at academic medical centers, a status report on AAMC services, a sign-up form to subscribe to a science-focused COVID-19 newsletter from AAMC Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney, MD.

The page also features links to AAMCNews article that cover frontline health care workers battling COVID-19 and the perspective of CFAS rep Evelyn Granieri, MD, a geriatrician at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Also, CFAS Ad Board Member Arthur Derse, MD, JD, and AAMC Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney, MD, were interviewed about ventilator rationing and bioethics during the pandemic in the AAMC’s new podcast series, Beyond the White Coat.

In addition to updating its web resources on COVID-19, the AAMC has decided after a careful assessment to cancel or postpone all June meetings.

AAMC Organization of Resident Representatives (ORR) Community Service Recognition Award

Residents at AAMC member institutions and members of the AAMC’s Organization of Resident Representatives (ORR) are eligible to submit nominations to receive the ORR Community Service Recognition Award. The purpose of the award is to foster a service ethic among residents by recognizing contributions that go above and beyond the rigors of residency training to improve the local communities surrounding the resident’s training institution.

The service activity should have occurred during residency or fellowship training and any member of the AAMC community, including faculty, staff, administrators, residents, and students, can submit nominations. The award includes funded travel to Learn Serve Lead 2020: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, a recognition award luncheon, and a contribution to a community non-profit. The deadline for submissions is June 14, 2020 11:59 pm PST. For more information, contact Eric Wilkerson, Manager, Organization of Resident Representatives, at 202-862-6152 or ewilkerson@aamc.org.

Tell Us How You’re Doing in Response to Coronavirus

During this unprecedented public health crisis, we ask you to keep the lines of communication open so we can provide you with the resources and information that would be most useful. It is helpful for the AAMC to understand in detail what is happening on the ground at the medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies we serve. Please email Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org, or call Eric directly at 301-437-2572 with updates or feedback from your perspective. You can also reach out with questions or comments to CFAS Communications Specialist Alex Bolt.

We are especially interested in hearing what is happening on the academic society side. We invite all CFAS-member society executives to share your plans and strategic approaches for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are looking for information about CFAS, find what you need on our website, from the names of CFAS leaders, to updates on committee and working group initiatives, to upcoming offerings and meetings, and finally, current and previous editions of CFAS News.

Do you have an article or study coming out? A new promotion or professional accomplishment? Let us know and we’ll feature it in an upcoming edition of the CFAS Rep Bulletin.

Previous editions:
March 2020February 2020  |  January 2020

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