The San Juan Bautista School of Medicine sent their students home for social distancing purposes effective March 16, 2020. During this time, our student associations and administration took on the role of promoting wellbeing while social distancing. On the same day students were sent home, our counselor and Office of Student Affairs assured students that, although social distancing was being enforced, they would be available via e-mail, calls, and other communications at a distance.
Furthermore, our counselor made herself available providing words of support and understanding to encourage students to seek help during these times as it was understandable that students would be facing the challenge of being away from family and friends and may feel the need to share their emotions and consider ways to channel them. Regular e-mails are being sent to our students from the Counselor’s office encouraging them to adhere by our government’s social distancing request and to practice time management that includes study time, exercise, time to rest, sleep, eat healthy, and communicate with family members. Likewise, students are sent online activities they can be part of such as: watching musical concerts held online, participating of student interest groups activities via online platforms and providing contacts and links to wellness activities.
Student interest groups have also risen up to the challenge where students from MS1-MS4 have been participating generating material to support their peers while social distancing. In particular, our school’s Surgery Interest Group has continued to hold their monthly journal clubs online via Google Hangouts providing students a setting to integrate their learning with up-to-date research. Likewise, they took an opportunity to host a journal club to discuss issues on women and minorities in medicine and surgery. Furthermore, the Surgery Interest Group has used their Instagram and Facebook page story settings to share informative videos on the coronavirus pandemic and have used our e-mail server to share available educational resources, phone hang outs and stress management sessions for students from the American College of Surgeons.
Our Psychiatry Interest Group and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Groups share videos and resources to practice wellbeing via at home exercises, yoga and providing tips to manage our emotions in these difficult times.
These groups have all used our shared e-mail server and social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) to share resources with student peers from all programs at our institution (i.e. Nursing, MPH and MD). We continue to support non-clinical activities for our students as a way to promote social distancing and help flatten the curve.
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