David Caro, MD, associate chair of educational affairs and director of the emergency medicine residency program, created an institutional plan that details how faculty members and trainees at the college would be reassigned to address increased clinical care demands. However, no residents or fellows have had to be moved.
Caro and Edwards conduct weekly Zoom meetings with residency and fellowship program directors and associate directors to ensure communication remains strong during the pandemic. Those two — along with Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, dean of the college — also host weekly virtual town hall-style meetings with residents and fellows, giving them a chance to ask questions and hear directly from senior leadership.
“We know this is a challenging time for residents and fellows,” Haley said. “Our greatest concern is their safety and well-being. We want to help alleviate anxieties and attempt to maintain some semblance of normalcy while they continue in their training programs.”
Meanwhile, Edwards takes part in weekly Zoom meetings for designated institutional officials, held by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME. Its members discuss a host of key issues, such as fulfilling program requirements and helping ensure trainees remain adequately supervised and have access to personal protective equipment and other essential items.
Despite elective surgery cancellations, clinic closures and social distancing requirements, the College of Medicine – Jacksonville remains in Stage 1 for graduate medical education operations during a pandemic, as defined by the ACGME. Stage 1 indicates things are “Business as Usual.”
“But we recognize we are far from business as usual right now,” Edwards said. The second and third stages are “Increased Clinical Demands Guidance” and “Pandemic Emergency Status Guidance,” respectively.
Visit this link for detailed information from the ACGME about COVID-19’s impact on residency and fellowship training.