Virtual Clinical Experiences in the Emergency Medicine Clerkship: A Digital, Competency-Based Approach for ‘Clinical Contact’ in the Setting of COVID-19
The Emergency Department (ED) remains one of the highest-risk clinical learning environments (CLE) in the setting of the novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Given the recent mandate to remove medical students from the CLE to mitigate risk and transmission, it has been challenging to provide medical students in the Emergency Medicine (EM) clerkship meaningful clinical experiences that would meet clinical course goals and objectives for the course, as well as satisfy accreditation requirements for the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) for graduation. During the EM clerkship, students play an integral role in interviewing patients, formulating treatment plans, facilitating patient discharges, and counseling patients. Immediately available direct and indirect supervision are paramount to ensure student learning and safe patient care. In this document, we present a novel clinical educational experience for senior medical students in an EM clerkship that fulfills clinical course learning objectives, while still providing students the opportunity to interact, live, with patients. The authors designed a virtual clinical experience where students performed supervised callbacks on patients seen in the ED.