Coronavirus updates

May 5, 2020,6:04 p.m., EDT - Segment 2 Soft-Return on July 6

Dear Class,

We are conscious of your desire to make future plans and also eager to safely reengage you in face-to-face sessions. Based on what we know now and the medical school leadership, we have decided to set the tentative soft-return date for Segment 2 students as July 6, 2020.

While we anticipate that most Cardiopulmonary course content will still be delivered online as we transition back to face-to-face sessions on campus, some activities like Clinical Experiential Clerkship (CEC) site visits are currently expected to begin in July.

Our plans are of course dependent of federal and state orders as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, we are providing our best direction to allow you to plan.

We will continue to keep you updated and inform you expeditiously if this return date extends beyond July 6, 2020.

Thank you,
Senthil

Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, MD, MMHPE, FCP, FAcadMed
Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Curricular Affairs
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201


April 28, 2020, 10:50 p.m., EDT - Prometric Cancellations

Physicians-in-Training:

We are aware of the many Step date cancellations sent out today. Thank you for keeping us informed. We are beyond disappointed with Prometric. There is quite a bit of anger nationally with Prometric's performance and lack of communication.

The National Board of Medical Examiners is discussing ways of administering the exams, but we do not have word on that yet, and it may not be of any help to us. For now, we will track the problem and continuously look for solutions, alternative plans, workarounds and other opportunities.

For the time being, stick with your date if you have secured one and look for an alternative date if you can find one. We know Prometric's website is brutal and that it has stopped answering calls. There seems to be a communication disconnect between NBME, Prometric and students. We do not know if the cancellations are done randomly with the thought of rescheduling, but after reviewing some of the notices it is clear that the company failed on its plan to matching cancellations with rescheduling in the same notice. That has left you and thousands across the country in a state of uncertainty.

We continue to work on solutions, and will send more information as it becomes available throughout the week.

We are confident in your knowledge and know that you will perform well as soon as you are called upon. You will all do the same when the exams are scheduled.

Please know that we will work through this with you to support your progression to clerkships ('22) and in your preparation for residency applications ('21).
 

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org

Margit Chadwell, M.D., FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
315 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201
Ph: 313-577-1463  Fax: 313-577-0361


April 14, 2020, 8:37 p.m., EDT - Update on VSLO Program
 

Dear Class of 2021,

We have been closely watching the developments for VSLO and providing active input on national discussions on this very important issue for your M3/M4 transition. While no final decisions have been made, here is what we have learned today from Dr. J Samaan, PhD, Senior Director of Visiting Student Learning Opportunities:

"The Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program will put into place a short-term two-week suspension on applications to away rotations from April 15-28, resuming on April 29th, as stakeholders across the medical education community discuss how to approach away rotations in this current and next academic year. We recognize that these away rotations play an important role in the residency application process. We are also aware that travel restrictions and variations in rotation availability may create inequity among students as they seek rotation experiences in a compressed timeframe."

For Visiting Student updates, please consult the VSLO Coronavirus FAQs

We expect that in the coming days, the medical education community will come to consensus on timely decisions needed regarding away rotation policies.  Your patience and understanding as the process moves forward in the coming weeks is necessary and appreciated. Please know that Mrs. Mayweather is your first point of contact for Away Rotations  and stands ready to support you through this unsettling time of M4 planning. 

In continued service to you,

Margit Chadwell, MD, FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
315 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201
Ph: 313-577-1463  Fax: 313-577-0361


April 13, 2020, 7:10 p.m., EDT  - Clerkship and Pre-Clerkship News

Class of 2022 Physicians-in-Training: Let me bring you up to date on a few things.

1. You will graduate on time.
2. We know that you are starting a course (Pre-Clerkship CRISP course) Monday and will be looking for a lot of things. You are officially starting the course Monday, but it will take some time to roll out all the assignments and readings, so don't fret yet.
3. After listening in on national calls with more than 100 other schools, and listening to all the problems we have in common, we are sitting pretty good as far as planning goes.
4. Although some of our affiliated hospitals are currently closed to students (and some are open to students and have adequate personal protective equipment) we expect that all hospitals and clinics will be open to students by July. The rotations and experiences will be different from last year, as we are entering a new era of medical practice.
5. The purpose of the preclinical course (Clinical Reasoning, Integrations and Skills for Practice, CRISP), April 13-June 30, is to keep you enrolled and to prepare you for the new world of medical practice and for clerkships. It combines several thematic areas:

a. Things we were going to do during orientation before it was cancelled.
b. Things we were going to do during the longitudinal days of the year-long clerkship.
c. Things we identified the last month as vital to practicing in the new medical era.
d. Things to prepare you for selecting a career path.
e. Things common to all clerkships that can be introduced now, as they will be used throughout.
f. Some offerings (in development) that will lead to opportunities for special certification.

6. This course is being led by Chih Chuang, MD and Joshua Collins, MD; all hands in the Kado Clinical Skills Center; all the clerkship directors; Nakia Allen, MD, Heidi Kromrei, PhD, and Sonal Patel, MA, and the Office of Learning and Teaching; Margit Chadwell, MD, and Student Affairs; the educational resource group and Emergency Medicine; the individual clinical campuses; and everyone else in Medical Education. It is a big team effort and will sometimes appear complex, but it will turn out fine.
7. The exact order and schedule cannot be finalized at this time because we do not know what the governor, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Prometric or the National Board of Medical Examiners will do, but we expect:

a. Online activities through June b. A June schedule of in-person sessions at the School of Medicine. If the roads and the university are open, these will be required

8. We are fully cognizant of the fact that one-third of you still need to take Step one and want to take it as soon as Prometric says "go." We cannot predict when this will happen, but we will remain flexible in scheduling. However, if Prometric pushes it to June, some of you may need to fit in the test date between in-person activities. We will work to get everyone through it.
9. With that proviso, it would more of a challenge to take a June date, so take a May date if you can and when you can if at all possible. 10. The content of the CRISP course will be robust but not all consuming. If we had more time, we could certainly think of things that would make it all consuming, but it will not be. You can participate and make last-minute step preparations at the same time.
11. Some of you are ready to start building your knowledge base for clinical medicine. We will have clerkship-specific material in the CRISP course that will help, but starting to read a good old textbook can help. Kindle versions are acceptable and probably necessary these days. Internal Medicine is the key foundational knowledge for all of medicine. Reading "Step Up to Medicine" or viewing some online medical education videos of basic lectures would help. Medical knowledge is cumulative, and the better you prepare, the easier the shelf exams will be. And it does not really matter which clerkship you start with.
12. I am not sure which day, but this week we will hopefully have another town hall to get you started on the course and describe the clerkship year under the current plan. We will continue to hang in there and roll with the punches.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery
CFP-107 Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


April 11, 2020, 1:57 p.m., EDT - M3 Post-Shelf Update

Class of 2021 Physicians-in-Training:

Congratulations to those who finished their last Shelf exam!

Let me echo the praises from testing about how smooth the at-home testing went, thanks to everybody's professional approach and patience -- truly a tribute to all of you that we got through it without too many glitches. And kudos to testing for making this "moonshot" happen!

For those starting M4 rotations

Most clinical rotations have been cancelled, at least at Henry Ford, where May rotations have also been cancelled. Everyone needing to reschedule April has done so, and Records has been working overtime to get these changes done. We are now working on May reschedules. Hopefully we will not have to work on June. For those of you with later changes, please be patient.

Recognition

Give some appreciation to the faculty who really stepped up in creating online electives on short notice, which saved all of us: Dr. Ledbetter, who took everyone for Radiology and set up the course online; Dr. Drewry, who set up the Sports Medicine course very quickly; Drs. Allen and Kromrei and Ms. Patel, who set up the COVID courses very quickly; and Dr. K, who put most of Emergency Medicine online for the elective. Also thank the clerkship coordinators and clerkship directors, who have been working overtime to get the online clerkships in gear. And thank Amie Dozier and her crew, who worked to coordinate all of this online access and for helping all of us with our Canvas questions. Enrollment management, Student Affairs and everyone else in Medical Education have pulled together to keep this ship afloat as we all have the same goal: graduate everyone on time.

Rumors

It is possible and maybe likely that the Electronic Residency Application Service will be pushed back a month. We and every other school are advocating for this, as it will relieve the pressure (and the stress) of getting everything lined up for ERAS and interviews. CK and CS are still in the air.

The Visiting Student Application Service and all away rotations are a hot topic nationally. We don't yet know where the national organizations will fall on this issue.

Rescheduling

For those whose home electives were canceled, it should be easier to reschedule. We have heard from hospital partners that they will reschedule WSU students before allowing VSAS (if there is any VSAS), so that should help in getting some of those rotations completed.

Town Hall

We were waiting for news on the above topics to conduct another virtual town hall, but will schedule one sooner. We will try to schedule one next week, and will certainly share any news that we get before that. After participating in national teleconferences, we have decided that we are far ahead of many schools in our planning, but all the schools and students really are in the same boat.

For those on delayed clerkships starting April 13

You should have received information from your clerkships and from the Detroit Medical Center about your assignments. Clerkships will be a hybrid model. We are optimistic that there will be increasing amounts of opportunities for clinical exposure as the clerkships continue, though most will start with the online component.

 

Specifically:

Neurology and Psychiatry: Because these services are essentially closed at this time and we did not want to add more students for makeup time later in the year, we moved all to May and June. If this opened April in your calendar, you were contacted about moving/changing the elective to one of the online offerings so that you could build the credits. You will most likely be at the DMC for the rotation, but we will see what the situation is in four weeks.

Surgery: You are starting at the DMC on April 13,  mostly online at the start before it ramps up.

Internal Medicine: All starting at the DMC. You will start to have some clinical experiences early with telemedicine.

Obstetrics and Gynecology: You have all been assigned to the DMC and will start the online portion April 13. As clinical services ramp up, there will be hospital time.

Pediatrics: All students will start April 13 with online activities. There will be limited assignments to Children's Hospital of Michigan and the clinics after two weeks of online training.

Family Medicine: Those of you assigned will start as scheduled.

Safety: We felt comfortable assigning you to clinical services as we have reasonable assurance that you will not be seeing patients at risk without proper personal protective gear. We are confident that as finishing students you are well-trained to work with patients. An increasing amount of PPE is becoming available. COVID-19 will be here for a long time, and we need to get used to the safe ways of caring for our patients. We will continue to review the situation daily at our hospitals and adjust if necessary.

Wellness Days: Because all the clinical schedules will be very compressed with clerkships mostly online for the first few weeks, we may need to suspend the wellness half days. We are fighting for any clinical time so that you are fairly evaluated. Please sleep well during the at-home portions. You will find that with fewer patients, the schedules will be much less demanding than they were previously. Excused absences for medical care and other emergencies will remain as they are.

Expectations: You will be less busy on these rotations. Surgery schedules will take a few weeks to get to any appreciable volume. Many of your clinical activities may be conducted over the telephone. Sometimes you may come in less than daily or split time with another student. Your didactics will be mostly online.
 

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org

 


April 7, 2020 - To Our Graduating Medical Students, Class of 2020

After much careful thought and full exploration of options in consultation with our medical education administration, it has become evident that a live graduation event is no longer feasible given the surging pandemic in the heart of our beloved community. However, we are committed to marking this momentous occasion with you via a virtual and interactive graduation and commencement exercise June 2.

I fully understand the and share in your disappointment that, because of the COVID-19 crisis pandemic, that we must take this step. The virus, as you know full well, has forced us to embrace many adaptations of standard and ceremonial activities.

As with Match Day this year, we are moving to a digital commencement format out of an abundance of concern for the health of all involved: you, our graduating students, your family members, our faculty and staff, and the community as a whole.

We have an ethical responsibility as physicians to place the community's welfare above our own interests. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise against large gatherings. We must plan for the virtual celebration now rather than wait to see if the effects of the virus diminish in time for the traditional ceremony. In fact, even the largest venues in the city have unanimously let us know that, given the executive order in place, they cannot commit to opening their doors to serve as our hosts, even for this wonderful occasion of graduating Detroit's newest, and the country's finest, physicians.

On June 2, we will celebrate via a live broadcast that will include an addresses by incoming Dean Mark Schweitzer, M.D.; WSU President M. Roy Wilson; Vice Dean of Medical Education Richard Baker, M.D.; and your class president, David Gelovani; and myself. Dr. Baker will administer the oath to the graduating physicians.

The Office of Student Affairs will ensure that each graduate receives a Class of 2020 Commencement Package, and that an upgraded version of your Doctor of Medicine certificate is mailed to you. Look for more information in future emails.

The circumstances forced upon us in no way diminish your accomplishments. Our pride in educating the Class of 2020 is made particularly special because of your maturity and professionalism in these trying times. We will be honored to call you colleagues and fellow Warrior Medical Doctors.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine

 


April 6, 2020, 2:17 p.m., EDT - Health insurance tips for COVID-19


Dear students,

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we here at WSUSOM want to ensure that our students are well informed regarding your health insurance coverage and options.

For students enrolled in either of our student health insurance plans provided by Blue Care Network/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, please note that BCN/BCBSM offers various ways to speak with a health care professional from the comfort of your home, so you can keep yourself and others safe. These resources include but are not limited to:

While you will still need a doctor's recommendation to receive testing for COVID-19, BCN/BCBSM will fully cover the cost of lab tests for most of its members in accordance with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, the company is also covering the cost of lab tests for those on Medicare Advantage and those who have Medicare Part B coverage. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the company will waive most prior authorizations related to coronavirus testing and treatment to ensure you receive care as quickly as possible.

More in-depth information regarding COVID-19 and coverage through BCN/BCBSM can be found both in the attached resources provided by the insurance company and by visiting the BCBS website.

For students enrolled in Medicaid, please note that Medicaid has provided its members with a resource detailing its Coverage and Benefits Related to COVID-19. Members may also have access to Medicaid Telehealth which allows for face-to-face consultations or examinations between providers and patients via electronic communication means. In light of the pandemic, read additional information regarding coverage provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Should you need to enroll in health coverage either through WSUSOM or Medicaid, links with information on how to do so are listed below:

Personal inquiries regarding your individual health needs should be discussed either with your primary care physician (PCP) and/or your health care provider. Should you have questions or concerns regarding any of the information provided above, please do not hesitate to contact us at records@med.wayne.edu.

Wishing you all health and safety!

Office of Records, Registration & Scheduling



April 5, 2020, 2:39 p.m., EDT - Physicians-in-Training clerkship news
 

Class of 2022

Due to the pandemic situation as it now stands, the School of Medicine will adopt a different model for clerkships in the 2020-21 academic year. Clinical clerkships will begin in the hospitals and clinical sites July 1, 2020.

We are preparing a compressed schedule of clerkships ending in March-April 2021, similar to what we have done the last few years during transformation to the new schedule.

This delay in the start of clerkships will give our clinical partners time to reconfigure services and preparation, and will give the School of Medicine time to prepare you for entrance. This is not really a delay in the start of M3, but rather a frontloading of instruction that in the original model was to be spread throughout the year.

Starting April 13, you will be enrolled in the CRISP preclinical course, which will continue through June. Much of this will be content that was to be offered during the 12-month clerkship year delivered up front. We expect that in-person sessions will begin in June at the school. More details will be provided as learn more of the day-to-day situation.

There will be a compressed and very crowded clerkship year, so there will not be an opportunity for you to take Step 1 (if you need to) after starting clerkships. Taking the test before the start of clerkships July 1 is required, pending further information and possible changes from Prometric and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

What you need to know now:

  • Plan to start working online April 13. The load will be light initially, so you can continue to prepare for Step 1 if needed.
  • Plan to be in town by June.
  • Plan to start a busy year July 1.

If you need to take Step 1, continue planning to take it as soon as possible so that it does not interfere with the pre-clerkship course and so that you retain everything you already learned. Grab that date in May or when Prometric test centers re-opens.

There will be much more detail to come. We will conduct another town hall to roll out the curriculum. The purpose of this email is to act as an initial communication to allow you to plan the next few months as we continue to deal with the changing and challenging national situation.

We appreciate your patience and professionalism during this ever-changing situation.

 

Class of 2021

For the next week, the priority for enrollment management will be to assist students who have had their electives cancelled and who need to have their delayed rotations adjusted, resulting in complex schedule changes. Requests for other changes later in the year will be set aside as priority goes to students most affected by the changes. We realize that as the Step exams change you may want to adjust your schedule to the new dates. Those with away rotations cancelled will be looking to reschedule. All of these issues will be addressed in order of immediacy.

For those with electives starting April 13

We have identified 50 of you who are in possible need of rescheduling your course. All Henry Ford Health System and Veterans Administration electives are cancelled. All away electives are cancelled.

Those at the Detroit Medical Center and other campuses are still in doubt. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is working to determine whether the preceptors will be offering.

If your elective is cancelled, you have several options

  • Leave the month blank (vacation)
  • Sign up for an online elective (limited availability)
  • Sign up for an independent research elective if you are already involved in a project (preceptor approval and School of Medicine pre-approval required)

At this time there is no plan to cut the required 11 months of coursework for the senior year. However, we reserve the right to do this if this continues and there are changes in the Electronic Residency Application Service.

Online electives available (to the group displaced only at this time)

  • Health systems (unless you are scheduled later in the year) 
  • Radiology at Henry Ford (limited seats available)
  • Emergency Medicine online elective (limited seats available)
  • Sports Medicine (Family Medicine online limited seats available)

For those with delayed clerkships

We are delaying the start of CLS22 in the hospitals until July 1, which makes finding capacity for you to finish clerkships is a bit easier.

These will be completed before June 30. Look for details in future messages.

Some of you will start April 13. If this is you, you will be at the Detroit Medical Center.

Some of you will start at individual clinic sites (Family Medicine) April 13.

Some will start with an online model for the first two weeks and then move into the hospital.

Those in Neurology and Psychiatry will have your schedule changed to May and June, respectively.

The clerkships are still gathering information and making plans, taking extraordinary measures to ensure that you complete these before June 30. We have review each of your schedules to determine how the schedule change would affect your other elective plans.  We have found that only a handful has electives that are problematic in your schedule. We will give priority to your rescheduling.

Expect more news as the week wears on. 


Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


April 4, 2020, 8:15 a.m., EDT - Status update on 2CS testing

Dear Students,

I'm sharing the message received below from Dr. Peter Katsufrakis, NBME President and CEO:

Yesterday, the USMLE program announced that the Step 2 CS test centers in the U.S. will be closed through at least May 31, 2020. This decision was based on a number of factors, among them the current federal social distancing restrictions as well as other possible longer-term implications on travel and movement throughout the U.S. due to COVID-19. 

Many students from LCME-accredited medical schools are scheduled to take Step 2 CS during this shutdown period. We are aware of the importance of the examination to students' future goals and obligations. Given the unique human-to-human delivery mode of the Step 2 CS exam, however, it is important to extend our test center shut down in order to protect the health of examinees, as well as the test center staff, e.g., standardized patients (SPs).

Furthermore, USMLE has temporarily suspended the scheduling functionality on the Step 2 CS websites.  As we work toward operational recovery of the Step 2 CS exam, we are keeping annual capacity targets in mind. Working with organizations in medical education and medical regulation, we hope to address the unprecedented environmental challenges we face currently to provide your students the best experience possible under the circumstances. 

Please see additional information about eligibility period extensions, as well as score reporting changes at: USMLE COVID-19 Updates and Resources Visit the COVID-19 page for information and FAQs about USMLE responses to the pandemic, including information for examinees whose examination dates have been suspended or rescheduled. The information on this page will be updated as the situation changes.

We realize that this is very frustrating and causing a lot of uncertainty on your end. Please know that we are not just watching this situation but also informing it weekly in the national conversations with the AAMC and will make adjustments from our end on deadline dates as needed pending evolution of the pandemic. Together we will take this step by step and keep moving forward to your successful transition to residency during this important final phase of your medical education at the WSUSOM.

In commitment to you,

Margit Chadwell, MD, FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development


April 2, 2020 - To the School of Medicine Family


All designated Critical Infrastructure Workers involved with key functions related to facility environmental health and safety, minimal critical laboratory operations, animal care and other activities as defined in the governor's executive order have now been identified and have received an authorization letter.

The responsibilities of these designated employees cannot be performed remotely and requires limited periodic on-site activities restricted to maintain minimal, critical research laboratory facilities and related support platforms for safety considerations in accordance with guidance issued by the WSU Office of Vice President for Research.

Those of you designated as Critical Infrastructure Workers must complete the daily screening questionnaire, in accordance with the Wayne County Department of Health, Human, and Veterans Services directive Local Public Health Emergency Order #20-02. This will help ensure your safety and the safety of others who may come in contact with you or share the same workspace.

The health and safety of all of our employees remains a priority. While you are on campus, please practice all of the social distancing and other precautionary measures prescribed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact:

Linda Hazlett, vice dean for Research and Graduate Programs: lhazlett@med.wayne.edu
DeShaun Harris, director of Medical Student Services: ddharris@med.wayne.edu
Janice Timchuck, chief of staff, Office of the Dean: jtimchuc@med.wayne.edu

Thank for your commitment and dedicated service to the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine 


March 30, 2020 - Shiffman Medical Library Research and Teaching Support Services 

As a valuable partner of Wayne State's campus community, Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library continues to provide online services and resources to support your research and teaching during the physical library closure. Among other services, we provide:

Our expert librarians and professionals are available Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Call us at 313-577-1094 or send an email to askmed@wayne.edu


March 29, 2020, 6:05 p.m., EDT - Class of 2021 Update Before Town Hall

Physicians-in-training

A quick word on several points of importance before the town hall tomorrow:

1. You will not be returning to your clinical settings April 1, though you may be required to participate in clinical duties online. You will be expected to continue to be enrolled in all clerkship activities virtually through the end of the clerkship and participate to receive credit.
2. There will be makeup time in the M4 year that will be outlined at the town hall.
3. Shelf exams will be given around April 10 in a new safe format -- details still being worked out with the National Board of Medical Education.
4. Students on elective have already received instructions. You will graduate on time.

We will go into detail at the town hall tomorrow. There will be time for questions.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799  W Grand Blvd. Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 29, 2020, 5:50 p.m., EDT - Class of 2020 Update Before Town Hall

Physicians-in-Training

A few items as we approach April 1.

1. We will have a virtual town hall Tuesday after the Emergency Medicine exam. There will be a Q&A component.
2. Everyone will graduate and start residency. And do not worry, you will not need to graduate early.
3. Those of you whose rotations were interrupted March 18 will receive full credit for the month. Any help in tracking down evaluators to complete the evaluations is appreciated.
4. We are in a sticky situation with April and May rotations, especially those required for graduation:

a. Emergency Medicine: 43 of you still need Emergency Medicine and we are working on it. Senthil Rajasekaran, M.D., has much online content, but we are working toward a clinical solution as soon as the hospitals are prepared and have sufficient personal protective equipment. This may bleed into May as we need to get creative with clinical time. The clerkship will contact you with details and the plan.
b. Subinternships: 11 of you still need these. I am in the process of seeing where these can be completed in April, and if not, in May. Nearly all are in Internal Medicine. The site may be changed depending on local circumstances.
c. The remainder of the clinical rotations are up in the air. Most will not be able to be completed as planned. Most of you will need to switch to the residency prep course, which will be online (at least until we are allowed to leave the house and congregate again in Mazurek). This course will be done only in April and will end April 30.
d. For those already registered for residency prep or Advanced Surgical Skills, you are set to go. If possible, we will do skills training in the last week or two of the month. But you can get credit for the online part of the course.

5. Courses in May, the very few that there are, will hopefully go as scheduled.
6. Enrollment management will help to determine if the April courses will be held and switch you to the online courses as necessary.
7. Don't worry if the April courses start a day or two late -- we are working on this as we go.
8. Remember the town hall and bring questions. Look for more emails from me, course directors and enrollment management regarding the last months of medical school.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799  W Grand Blvd. Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org 


March 29, 2020, 5:06 p.m., EDT - Mental Health Support and Crisis Care Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched and tested health care systems and hospitals. It has done the same to the mental wellbeing of many, whether they are caring for patients in those hospitals, coping with stay-at-home orders or enduring the juggling of classes.

The Wayne State University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, recognizing the strain, is enacting an innovative new program to offer free assistance for members of the WSU campus community who may require assistance coping with the demands of the pandemic.

The program, called Warriors Strong Together, provides free mental health intervention to all faculty, staff and students of Wayne State University, and physicians and staff of the Wayne State University Physician Group, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added convenience, the services are available by telephone or videoconferencing per the caller's preference.

"We know that everyone has their hands full during this crisis," said David Rosenberg, M.D., professor and chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. "Our department has been deeply humbled and inspired by our colleagues on the front lines and what their efforts have meant working to keep our community and neighborhoods safe. We have also been motivated and inspired by the larger Wayne State University and UPG response and pulling together during the pandemic. Extraordinary times require unique approaches. Our department is trying to do whatever we can to support our university and UPG colleagues during this time."

Those seeking assistance can reach the dedicated call center at 313-577-1596 seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., beginning March 30. Callers will be scheduled for a phone session or teleconference with trained professionals that day, within 45 minutes or less depending on call volume.

There is no charge for the first telephone or videoconferencing session.

If a caller does choose to enter into further treatment, Dr. Rosenberg said, insurance would be accepted and all co-pays waived. If a caller's insurance does not cover further service, he or she will not be billed. If a caller decides to enter into further treatment but is concerned about confidentiality, Warriors Strong Together will provide outside referral information.

"During the period of the pandemic, our goal is not to generate revenue. We have been humbled and inspired by our colleagues on the front lines, and the way the whole Wayne State University community has pulled together underscores the Warrior spirit and resolve," Dr. Rosenberg said. "We have considerable experience with telepsychiatry, videoconferencing and mobile crisis programs, and this Covid-19 special program is modeled on our experience and expertise in ongoing programs in the state of Michigan for other health care systems and first responders that has received national attention."

Assistance provided during calls and teleconferences will vary based on the need of the caller, from supportive to crisis intervention. "Our goal is to make this as user-friendly for the recipient as possible and help them avoid long car drives, delays and inconvenience. In-person meetings and referrals will be available for those whose situation warrants this."

The length of teleconference sessions will vary based on the caller's needs. "We plan to be as accessible as possible," Dr. Rosenberg said. "If the need and volume of requests becomes very high, we will hire additional personnel and increase the hours of operation."

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine
 


March 27, 2020, 5:39 p.m., EDT - Updated Guidelines for Community Service/Volunteering

Dear Students:

Many of you have asked about the School of Medicine's policy regarding participation in volunteer and community service activities. We would like to praise your continued commitment to the community. Your exhibition of altruism and resilience highlights your alignment with the SOM mission.

The SOM supports students participating in opportunities that facilitate meeting community healthcare needs. We strongly encourage students to take personal protection precautions and make their own health a top priority. Please do not engage in community service if you feel that your health or your loved ones' health is at risk.

Please note that while we truly applaud students who choose to volunteer during this time, the SOM does not sponsor any of these activities.

Please reach out to Dr. Rajasekaran (senthil.rajasekaran@med.wayne.edu) and Dr. Mendez (jmendez@med.wayne.edu) with any questions.

Thank you,

Erika Roberts, MPA
Manager | Academic & Student Programs
Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Medical Education Commons
eroberts@med.wayne.edu | 313-577-6005
 


March 27, 2020 - To the School of Medicine family


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life – at least for the foreseeable future – but it has not changed the Warrior spirit of our students, our faculty and our staff.

The natural focus on the tragic and the unknown commands our attention, but amidst this anxiety and confusion are ongoing stories about efforts by the School of Medicine community to pitch in when and where it can to address the pandemic, whether it's on the front lines in our affiliated hospitals or behind the scenes in many other ways.

Our faculty physicians are to be saluted for their tireless work to provide care for patients, toiling in emergency rooms, medical wards, intensive care units and pathology labs. Their committed service to medicine and the people of greater Detroit despite concerns for their own safety and that of their families is emblematic of who we are and what we do at Wayne State University.

Our research faculty donated vitally-needed personal protective equipment from their labs to be distributed to the hospitals in which we serve and train. They also worked with researchers across the campus to produce more than 45 gallons of hand sanitizer, which was then distributed to the Wayne State University and Detroit Police departments on March 24. Linda Hazlett, Ph.D., vice dean of Research and Graduate Programs, has been working endlessly to coordinate efforts to ramp down research if that decision comes about, as well as coordinating PPE donations from our researchers.

Faculty also stepped up to volunteer for two drive-through COVID-19 testing sites provided by the Wayne State University Physician Group, in partnership with ACCESS. That effort, led by Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., chief innovation officer of WSUPG, professor of Emergency Medicine and assistant vice president of Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation for Wayne State University, and Teena Chopra, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and corporate medical director of Infection Prevention, Hospital Epidemiology and Antibiotic Stewardship for WSU and the Detroit Medical Center, has so far tested more than 1,300 police officers, firefighters and health care workers at no cost. Charles Shanley, M.D., president and chief executive officer of WSUPG, and vice dean of Clinical Affairs, has wholeheartedly supported the free testing for first responders, providing both people and equipment, because he deeply understands the importance of keeping these vital and essential personnel healthy as they serve the community. Testing continues at WSUPG's headquarters at 400 Mack Ave. and at the ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, 6450 Maple St. in Dearborn.

In addition to the medical demands placed upon her, Dr. Chopra has been a one-woman powerhouse in terms of public affairs, giving untold interviews with local, statewide and national media, providing important factual information to millions of readers and viewers about the virus and necessary precautions.

Professor Cynthia Aaron, M.D., and her staff at the Michigan Poison Center have also provided critical factual information about the inherent dangers of taking certain anti-malarial drugs in an attempt to ward off COVID-19 and the need to not hoard those drugs to the detriment of those who need them for prescribed purposes. They have also provided safety precautions about the proper use of disinfectants, because the center has seen the number of calls related to exposure to such chemicals double in the last two weeks.

Margit Chadwell, M.D., associate dean of Student Affairs and Career Development; Christopher Steffes, M.D., assistant dean of Clinical Education; and Senthil Rajasekaran, M.D., senior associate dean for Curricular Affairs and Undergraduate Medical Education, and their staff members have been working around the clock to keep students apprised of changes in guidelines for clinical rotations and adaptations they are incorporating to ensure medical education continues in the face of the pandemic. In addition to numerous communications, they, with the assistance of university web developers, have created a webpage to keep students and faculty abreast of the latest guidelines and changes. Tsveti Markova, M.D., associate dean of Graduate Medical Education and chair of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and her staff have kept pace doing the same in advising the residents in our programs about this new frontier.

As if he wasn't busy enough, Dr. Levy, along with Brian O'Neil, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine, are now collaborating with colleagues at Henry Ford Health Systems, Ascension Michigan, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center to bring large-scale COVID-19 drug trials to southeast Michigan.

And, we all are rightly so proud of our students, whose lives have perhaps been most affected by this virus. In true Warrior M.D. spirit, they have looked for avenues to assist in many different ways. While current guidelines from the Association of American Medical Colleges required us to pull students from clinical rotations in the hospitals, they continue to volunteer their services in roles others may not have thought of, including offering to provide day care for the children of exhausted physicians, all while working to continue their educations, juggling exam dates and locales, and worrying about their own families. They not only continue to seek out opportunities to assist, they are utilizing this pandemic as a frontline educational experience as valued members of the nation's health care team.

I could not be prouder of all of your efforts in our community's time of need.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine


Thursday, March 26, 2020, 9:27 p.m., EDT - Message about orientation

Class of 2022 Update

Physicians-in-training:

The first step of Orientation is to get everyone onboarded at the Detroit Medical Center. Even if you  are assigned to another campus, you will spend time at the DMC for Pediatrics and possibly other rotations.

Please complete the online registration and follow the link below to get access to the EMR at the DMC.  If for some reason you have research access, you must still fill this out.

Don't forget the town hall on Friday, March 27 at 2pm.

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@hfhs.org


Thursday, March 26, 2020, 4:07 p.m., EDT - Class of 2023 Re-Examinations

Dear students:

The Wayne State University School of Medicine leadership team is working on many fronts to support your learning needs. A key component of this is re-exams.

As stated in my earlier email, we plan to deliver these during the Segment 2 curriculum. Unfortunately, there are many unknowns at this point, which undoubtedly can be very stressful on your end. Rest assured that we promise to do several things to support you.

First, we will be in immediate contact with you as plans are finalized.

Second, you will be given at least two weeks' notice before taking your exam(s). We highly recommend that you use this time to continue studying for the exam(s). Please reach out to your course directors for any clarification on material that you might need.

Finally, don't forget to relax and take some downtime.  We want you coming back to school relaxed and well prepared.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jason Booza, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Continuous Quality Improvement and Compliance
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of MedicineLande Building
550 E. Canfield, Suite 313
Detroit, MI 48201
313-577-3889
 


March 25, 2020 - From the Office of the Dean

Wayne State, Wayne State Physician Group and ACCESS have resumed testing of symptomatic health care workers and first responders for coronavirus.

The organizations reopened drive-through coronavirus testing for symptomatic first responders and health care workers after briefly pausing to adjust staffing in the wake of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home executive order.

The Wayne State University Physician Group, in partnership with Wayne State University Health Sciences and ACCESS, are providing drive-through testing for police officers, firefighters, medics and health care workers with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).

"We fully support the governor's order and its goal of keeping our community safe," said Charles Shanley, M.D., president and chief executive officer of WSUPG and Vice Dean For Clinical Affairs at Wayne State School of Medicine. "We briefly paused screening to determine the impact of the stay-at-home order on our voluntary staff, adjust our schedule accordingly and proceed with a plan that is compliant with the stay-at-home order. We are eager to resume our important mission of protecting those who protect our community."

Drive-through testing resumes March 25 at 400 Mack Ave. in Detroit from 1 to 6 p.m. for symptomatic health care workers and first responders. Testing will continue five days a week from 1 to 6 p.m. on the following schedule until the end of March, and may be extended based on community need and resource availability:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday – WSUPG headquarters, 400 Mack Ave. in Detroit
  • Tuesday and Thursday - ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, 6450 Maple St. in Dearborn

During four days of operation, March 20-23, the program tested a total of 865 health care workers and first responders.

The testing includes collecting brief background and medical histories, followed by a simple and quick nasal swab test offered at no charge to participants. Those tested are notified of the results and care instructions through a private and secure text message.


March 25, 2020 9:35 p.m., EDT - Segment 2 Update

Dear Class,

We hope you all are finding ways to enjoy your break from school amid the current predicament. Following the discussion at the Pre-Clerkship Education Subcommittee meeting yesterday, we have various updates to relay. This is what we know to be true today, and we will continue to communicate any changes as they occur.

In-person classes cancelled 

As a reminder, in-person classes are cancelled through the end of April. Courses will begin on April 13 as scheduled and your course content will be delivered online. All lectures, labs, CBL sessions, P4 small groups, Clinical Skills sessions, etc. will all take place online through the end of April. Faculty and staff are actively making plans and adjustments so that we are prepared to deliver course content online through Canvas and other platforms like Zoom. The Segment 2 Orientation will also take place online as mentioned in my previous email.

P4/SL and Clinical Skills

P4 small group sessions will occur online as synchronous breakouts through Zoom or another platform. Service-Learning is exploring virtual opportunities for students to engage with the community. Clinical Skills is also planning on synchronous online sessions, along with virtual interactions with standardized patients.

Assessment

We are preparing for all assessment to be done remotely in the Foundations course. The summative exam may or may not be an NBME exam and will depend on NBME's remote assessment policy at that time.

Housing Some of you have questions about renewing your lease versus going back home. We ask that you remain local, so that we stand ready for your re-engagement and mobilization with all educational and clinical activities as soon as feasible. The SOM leadership has made the same commitment and links with you in anticipation of your ready return.
 

Town Hall

A Class of 2023 Town Hall is being organized to discuss our plans in-response to Covid-19 and address student concerns. We are looking to host this mid to late next week. The date, time, and Zoom link will be forthcoming.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding these items.

Best,
Erika Erika Roberts, MPA Manager
Academic & Student Programs Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Medical Education Commons
eroberts@med.wayne.edu | 313-577-6005 
 


Monday, March 23, 2020, 10:14 p.m. - Status of Medical Campus and SOM Operations

Dear Students:

I'm writing to let you know that all Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Offices have fully transitioned to working remotely with no on-site presence as of tomorrow. This includes the Office of Student Affairs, Testing, Academic & Student Programs, Enrollment Management, Admissions & Records & Registration, Financial Aid, CQI, OLT, and others. Accordingly, the medical school campus and buildings will not be accessible to our student body until further notice.

Please know that all UME services will continue remotely with a goal to maintain operations and provide seamless support to each of you. Individual offices will be reaching out to you (some already have) to provide you with specific instructions on how best to access specific services. Let us know how we can assist you in navigating your medical education during this challenging time and we will do our best.

As it is no small feat to transition administration of the biggest medical school in the country to primarily on-line portals, we very much appreciate your patience as we all adjust to our new off-site work arrangements. The entire UME team has been working in tandem to accomplish this in anticipation of the evolving Covid crisis and is prepared and committed to supporting your needs during this unusual time.

Please note that the remote operations of the school are not, in any way, a green light to leave town. In fact, we ask that you remain local, so that we stand ready for your re-engagement and mobilization with all educational and clinical activities as soon as feasible. The SOM leadership has made the same commitment and links with you in anticipation of your ready return.

We very much miss our daily interactions with all of you and hope that each of you is staying well.

Richard S. Baker, MD
Vice Dean for Medical Education
Professor of Ophthalmology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
540 E. Canfield St., Rm 1207 Scott Hall
Detroit, MI 48201
Office: 313 577-5196
Fax: 313 577-6474

DeShaun D. Harris, MBA
Director of Medical Student Services
Wayne State University School of Medicine
540 E. Canfield | 1201 Scott Hall | Detroit | MI | 48201
(p): 313-577-1075/ ddharris@med.wayne.edu

Margit Chadwell, MD, FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
315 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201
Ph: 313-577-1463  Fax: 313-577-0361


March 23, 2020 - Message from Vice Dean for Research Linda Hazlett, Ph.D.

To all School of Medicine faculty:

The university's response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic now requires that we initiate the next step in preparation for ramping down and managing research operations as we react to a rapidly-evolving situation.

We must prepare now for the full transition to limited minimal research operations so that plans are in place if and when this decision is made. This requires the identification of designated key personnel for minimal lab operations, as defined in the language below, if we get to that point this week.

This is critical for all departments, both clinical and basic science.

Please know that your department chair is identifying personnel essential to maintaining all research enterprises in your department. If you can assist your chair in developing this list, please do so.

The departmental lists of these essential employees as defined in the language below must be drafted and sent to Linda Hazlett, vice dean for Research and Graduate Programs for the School of Medicine, by noon Tuesday, March 24. This action and deadline is imperative.

Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D., and I will review the lists for approval before submission to the vice president of Research for the university.

Again, the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing and requires quick action of all of us. I appreciate your dedication and commitment to the School of Medicine, your department and your research enterprises.

Linda Hazlett, Ph.D.
Vice Dean Research and Graduate Programs
The Robert S. Jampel, M.D., Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology,
Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair Ophthalmology, Visual and 
Anatomical Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
 

Research

In emergency situations impacting university operations and access to campus, access to specific research facilities may become limited to critical research operations.

Key (essential) employees: Individuals indispensable to emergency service functions for university operations and required to assist the university in meeting its operational needs during declared emergency situations.

Action

For research laboratories with on-site operations or operations in university-leased research space, at the request of the vice (associate) dean for Research, each department should identify key (essential) personnel and plan for critical research operations, including plans for individual labs as needed.

The list of key (essential) personnel and operational plans must be approved by the vice (associate) dean for Research and the school/college dean, and forwarded to the vice president for Research for review and approval.

Such key personnel must be minimal in number, operationally essential and familiar with required critical tasks.

Such individuals may include research faculty or designated technical staff involved in essential lab maintenance, animal care, working with materials or instrumentation that require refrigeration or inert gas, regulatory affairs and/or maintenance of critical laboratory operations and designated clinical studies.
 


Saturday, March 21, 2020, 9:38 p.m. - Class of 2021 Update

M3 Physicians-in-Training:

Some updates on the COVID-19 situation:

  1. You were able to finish the shelf exams in Neurology, Psychiatry and Family Medicine this week. Shelf exams in three weeks will be similarly dispersed and the schedule will be a bit different than planned, but we will get them done.
  2. The Class of 2020 achieved a 97% Match rate and many of our post-grads (in preliminary positions) also did well.
  3. Situations at the hospitals have changed greatly in three days. There are many cases of COVID-19, the intensive care units are full and there is nearly no non-emergency surgery. As we learn more each day about the disease and its risks to health care workers, the policies and procedures for personal protective equipment are being refined. The testing capability of the hospital labs is increasing greatly.
  4. We have a return date of April 1 for clerkships. What/where/how is in evolution and will be changing. Most of you are anxious to get back and help, and we appreciate that. As we identify new roles for clinical clerks, we will work to include these. The practice of medicine has changed greatly in a week. The roles of the student and resident have also changed. Even the faculty roles have changed as many of your preceptors are swamped with patients. They are even talking about physicians helping by providing care outside of their specialties.
  5. The physician community admires those of you volunteering to help out in some way. But at this time, official approval of such activities by the university does not exist for your protection.
  6. As we move into scheduling in April, The Class of 2022 is starting clerkships May 4 at the earliest. We are still planning that all delayer students will finish clerkships as scheduled, starting April 13 or whenever they were scheduled.  This will leave you alone for three weeks before the Class of 2022 starts.
  7. M3 electives:  The point is moot now for those of you starting March 23. We don't yet know if it will be possible for you to start these services April 1. Nonetheless, there is the critical appraisal assignment that is part of this course that everyone should start working on. I would expect a 100% acceptance for publication for this month's group.
  8. M4 electives: The Veterans Administration has already canceled some M4 electives in April as it is closing down some services.
  9. Away rotations: These are not allowed at this time and Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) is allowing locations to cancel. We will try to keep you updated. There will be some openings locally as out-of-town students do not show up, so some rescheduling will be possible.
  10. Graduation: You will graduate on time.

Now for the business at hand:

  1. You are still in clerkships and in a course. Keep working on mastering the material. The clerkship committee met Friday to discuss the activities in place. Each clerkship director is putting in overtime to help, so look for additional assignments and guidance from your clerkship directors, coordinators and Canvas communications.
  2. We are trying to gather evaluations for the clinical time that you have completed so far.
  3.  Those of you in Continuity Clinic Clerkship (CCC), make sure that you are finishing your assignments during this down time.
  4. Additional resources:
    1. Online med ed: We enrolled everyone in this Friday.  You should be getting an email. Don't email me if you do not yet. I got mine and did a case today on "CASE X" feature.  We will make sure everyone gets their link and instructions. As most of you know, there are some good lectures on this site -- not 100% up to date from my sampling -- but pretty good if you like the dry erase board.
    2. Aquifer: We have assigned cases for most clerkships (some of the course directors will be assigning cases in Online med ed). We have free access to the Radiology course in Aquifer, which will be open for all by Wednesday. You can work on this at your leisure for now.
    3. Zoom: We would like to set up "rounds" on your service with attendings and residents as much as possible. Hopefully, we can keep some semblance of the teams together with this tool.
    4.  COVID course: We are working on a specialized course on Canvas with assigned reading. We are trying to distill the knowledge down to a manageable amount.
    5. Touch Surgery: For those of you on Surgery, there is an app called "Touch Surgery" that takes you through some basic operations (some you need to pay for -- don't -- out of general app purchase principles).

Finally, learn as much as you can about COVID-19 from all angles -- virology, public health, critical care and human behavior. There is no doubt that as it has several times in our careers, this phenomenon of a pandemic will occur again. Based on what you experience now and learn along the way, your generation will lead us out of the next one. One of you will need to be the next  Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx or Dr. Adams.

 

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 20, 2020, 7:16 p.m., EDT - Resources and Support for You from Your WSUSOM Student Affairs Team

Dear Medical Students,

These last 2 weeks have been filled to the brim.  Switching gears from initial medical discussions about COVID19, to the announcement of an epidemic and then a pandemic.  It has left us filled with many emotions as we care for our health and safety, that of our family, and for many of us, our patients.  We have witnessed such kindness, resilience, and strength from students in the face of tremendous challenge.

As you each continue in your role as a physician-in-training, we know this has impacted your training and your life.  But there is a large group of people working almost nonstop to make sure that your education continues, that support is here, and that you graduate as well-trained physicians, ready for what comes next.

We wanted to write and let you know that you are not alone in this and that as a medical community at WSUSOM, support still stands.  There may be much fewer people in the physical building of the medical school as we each follow the CDC recommendations for social distancing.  But we are here for you.  What follows below are:

  • Ways to contact your counselors
  • Additional services in this area
  • A long list of resources for information about COVID19 and
  • Resources/ideas to help as you continue to take care of yourselves

Contacting your counselors:

All 4 of your counselors are available for you!  They have quickly moved to zoom to continue to provide services in a safe way for everyone.   Some of you make regular appointments, some may not have checked in since the annual check-in -- either way, it's good to talk to someone about these past two weeks.  Recently, you may have felt so many emotions -- worried, scared, angry, sad, lonely, overwhelmed – and you may have questions about your training, schedule, and career plans.  Your counselors have a wealth of insight, experience, and are good listeners.  You may make an appointment with your counselor via email at the addresses below and they can arrange either an online or a phone appointment with you.  In the future, your counselors will be using a remote way to schedule appointments and we will send information once this is available.

Kathleen Connors, L.M.S.W., Class of 2020: kconnors@med.wayne.edu
Loretta Robichaud, M.S., Class of 2021: lrobicha@med.wayne.edu
Mike Webber, Ph.D., Class of 2022: mwebber@med.wayne.edu
Jennifer Crystal, Ph.D., Class of 2023: Jennifer.crystal@wayne.edu

Treatment Options (Not Associated with Medical School and Confidential):

Tolan Park Medical Building (takes multiple insurances):

Has psychiatry and psychotherapy services with some providers offering tele-medicine.
(313) 577-1396 to make an appointment

Start My Wellness (takes multiple insurances):

Offices in Detroit and Troy, and now has tele-medicine (you can be at home!!)
Diverse group of psychotherapists
startmywellness.com
(248) 514-4955 to make an appointment

CAPS (free): 

Is in process of transition to tele-services.  Currently they offer phone consultations: (313) 577-3398 between 9am-4pm
caps.wayne.edu

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255

Your counselors also have lists of many different medical and mental health providers in the area and can share contact information.

Also, please see below resources for gathering information about the evolving COVID19 response, how to cope as a person and a health provider, and resources for families.  We will send more resources and information as they become available.

 

Take care,

Eva Waineo MD
Psychiatry Clerkship Director, CNS Course Co-Director
Medical Student Health and Wellness Director
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Mike C. Webber, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling Services
Office of Student Affairs
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Richard J. Mazurek MD Medical Education Commons

Margit Chadwell, MD, FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
315 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201
Ph: 313-577-1463  Fax: 313-577-0361

Name

Source & Link

"Coping with Stress"

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

"Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19"

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

"Taking Care of your Emotional Health"

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

"Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health During an Infectious Disease Outbreak"

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

"Resources and Tools for Addressing Coronavirus"

National Council for Behavioral Health

RedBook Online COVID-19 Outbreak page

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Q&A on coronaviruses

World Health Organization (WHO)

Coronavirus & Mental Health: Taking Care of Ourselves During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

Coronavirus & Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks Response

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS)

Taking Care of your Family during Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS)

Research Information: Pandemics

American Psychological Association

Five ways to view coverage of the Coronavirus

American Psychological Association

Speaking of Psychology: Coronavirus Anxiety

American Psychological Association

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

"Helping Children Cope with Emergencies"

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

National Public Radio

Talking to Teens & Tweens about Coronavirus

The New York Times


March 20, 2020, 5:41 p.m., EDT - Reduced Custodial Services

Due to the current staffing and supply shortage in custodial services, effective immediately all WSU-owned School of Medicine buildings serviced by WSU custodians will have limited service until further notice. These buildings include Scott Hall, Mazurek, Lande, Elliman and the Mott Center.

During this time, custodial will only service the following restrooms regularly. Please use the restrooms listed for your building.

Scott Hall

  • first floor  - three restrooms along the south side of the building
  • Restrooms on the fourth, sixth and eighth floors

Mazurek

  • third floor restrooms only

Lande

  • Restrooms on the first floor only

Elliman

  • One men's restroom and one women's restroom on the first floor only

Mott

  • first floor restrooms only

Also, trash will be picked up from one location located near the freight elevator on the first floor of your building except for Mazurek, which will be near the third-floor restrooms.  We ask that you bring your tied-up bags of trash and deposit them in the grey gondolas at these locations BEFORE 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Some people have recently asked about getting into Scott Hall in the event of building closure. If buildings are closed, Scott Hall will continue to have a security guard on duty 24/7. You will be REQUIRED to have your OneCard to enter Scott Hall, but not encoded for access.

Remember that if you are working from home, mail is still being delivered and expected to be picked up. You should check your mailbox regularly. If you order something during this period, plan to be present to accept delivery. The security guard does not accept deliveries of any kind.

As of Monday, March 23, front doors of Mazurek will be locked. You will still be able to access Mazurek through Scott Hall or by card access.

Sheryl MacGillis

FACILITIES & SUPPORT SERVICES
1102 SCOTT HALL
(313) 577-1446


March 19, 2020, 5:41 p.m., EDT - Class of 2023

Congratulations to all of you on successfully completing the Segment-1 curriculum! This is a significant milestone in your medical education journey and we want you to take a moment to appreciate this accomplishment.

We have been overwhelmed by the resilience that our students, faculty and staff have demonstrated in times of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. We are Warrior Strong in the truest sense of the phrase. We request your patience and understanding as we all navigate this difficult time and determine the best course of action to minimize the impact on your education. We are committed to providing a high quality of education and below are important updates for Segment-2.

Please note that Segment-2 in-person classes are cancelled through the end of April and will be delivered online. While we hope that in-person classes will resume at the start of May, this period may need to be extended longer depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information regarding the adapted delivery of lectures, labs, small groups, etc. will be forthcoming very soon.

The Segment-2 Orientation scheduled for April 13 will be held online via Canvas and Zoom. We will have pre-recorded videos and materials posted to Canvas for review prior to the start of Segment 2. On April 13, we will hold 1-2 hour live component through Zoom that includes Q&A. An agenda will be sent out in advance.

Please reach out to me (eroberts@med.wayne.edu) with any questions and copy Dr. Rajasekaran (senthil.rajasekaran@med.wayne.edu) on your message.

Thank you,

Erika Roberts, MPA
Manager | Academic & Student Programs
Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Medical Education Commons
eroberts@med.wayne.edu | 313-577-6005
 


March 19, 2020, 12:08 p.m., EDT - Class of 2022 physicians-in-training

Included here are some recent updates you should be aware of. This is based on the latest information that we have.

1. Our current plan is to start M3 clerkships May 4, 2020. Orientation will be mostly online as we have been planning, but some tasks (badges, etc.) will need to be done in person. If we can get all the hospitals to do that toward the end of the week of April 29 we will try to do it as efficiently as possible. The only possible hitch is for Veterans Administration students. We are working on the details of onboarding, but we should be okay.

2. Even in starting three weeks late, we can still finish the year in April 2021 and you can all start M4 rotations in May 2021. Other than requiring one less month of M4 rotations, this keeps the curriculum intact.

3. Our current plan is that all of you will be enrolled beginning April 13 in the CRISP longitudinal course as originally planned. This will contain work for you in preparation for clinical duties, including COVID-19 curriculum, orientation modules, and assigned reading and writing assignments. Because this is online learning, you do not have to be in town.

4. We are aware of many factors on travel restrictions, closing borders and closing of Prometric.  We continue to work to address these issues.

5. There will be some friction with scheduling and reprogramming clerkships into the system. This is a continuing process. As long as we are able to start May 4, and current students (Class of 21) return to clerkships April 1, we do not see the need to change your clerkship sequence.

6. You may have heard that the School of Medicine, in compliance with Association of American Medical Colleges guidelines, pulled all students from clinical activity in our affiliated hospitals Wednesday with the expectation of returning April 1. These students are continuing clerkship learning with online didactics and COVID-19-specific training. This pause in clinical rotations is to help the hospitals and clinics prepare and cope with the epidemic. In case you missed our announcement on this decision, read this email.

7. Look for more communication via email and a virtual town hall soon.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 19, 2020 - School of Medicine fitness room closed

To the School of Medicine community:

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, the School of Medicine Fitness Room is closed and will remain closed indefinitely.

We will be in communication with reopening information when it is available.

Please stay safe and follow the CDC's instructions. We all need to do our part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.


March 17, 2020 - Message from medical education deans

To the School of Medicine community:

The Wayne State University School of Medicine has maintained the importance of the clinical training of our students during the current pandemic as it has for 150 years through many similar events. Our students in these weeks have performed admirably and professionally amid much confusion as the hospitals, health systems and the nation in general have struggled with the unknown, unpredictable and unprecedented.

Effective March 17, 2020, reluctantly, but in the spirit of what is momentarily best for our patients, and in compliance with the Association of American Medical Colleges guidance sent today, we will pause the in-person patient clinical experiences of all WSU medical students for a two-week period ending March 31, 2020. We will use these two weeks to restructure and optimize the clinical role of medical students as it relates to both patient care and educational experiences in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. All students will return to clinical settings April 1, 2020.

Although the pulling of students from clinical sites is unprecedented and undesired, we do so with the definite objective to continue with an increased role for student participation in the care of patients.

This pause will allow time for our clinical partners to define the clinical activities and clinical services. We will together institute procedures, protocols and protection for caring for this new group of patients while continuing to care for current patients with significant medical needs. And we will work with our clinical partners to define student roles with opportunities for both increased learning and service to patients.

From the AAMC Guidance on Medical Students' Clinical Participation:
 
Recognizing these extraordinary circumstances, starting immediately, the AAMC strongly supports our member medical schools in placing, at minimum, a two-week suspension on their medical students' participation in any activities that involve patient contact.

This recommendation is jointly issued by the AAMC and LCME.

The rationale for and goals of this temporary suspension are summarized below:
1. First and foremost, this temporary suspension will allow medical schools a window of opportunity to develop and implement appropriate programs to fully educate all their students for their return to clinical rotations with (a) up-to-date information on COVID-19; and (b) appropriate steps in place to ensure their own and their patients' safety.

2. Second, this temporary suspension will contribute to the conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE) across our institutions. The full extent and likely trajectory of COVID-19 will become better understood as more widespread testing is implemented.

During this two-week pause, the Wayne State University School of Medicine will work with our students and clinical partners to identify new opportunities for student involvement. Students will become expert in the science of the current pandemic and be a resource for clinical practices. With the stabilization of the medical care system, our students will jump into their roles as active members of the health care team.

We appreciate that this interruption and reorganization in student education raises concerns for students about timely graduation and progression through the curriculum. We will work with the rest of the university community, the LCME and national organizations to ensure that the timeline of our graduates joining the physician ranks is uninterrupted. But most of all we recognize that WSU students, with their energy, devotion and passion for the care of their patients and community, are disappointed and distressed by this pause. The mission of the Wayne State University School of Medicine remains focused on continuing our long tradition of seamless service and selfless contribution to our patients and communities.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Richard Baker, M.D.
Vice Dean of Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Herbert Smitherman Jr., M.D., M.P.H.
Vice Dean of Diversity and Community Affairs
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Margit Chadwell, M.D., FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, M.D., M.M.H.P.E.
Senior Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs and Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine


March 17, 2020 - Prometric update

Dear students:

Some of you may have seen the update from Prometric today. All Prometric test centers in the United States and Canada will be closed for a period of 30 days, starting March 18.

We understand this is crushing news for many of you who have been diligent in preparing to sit for USMLE Step 1. We hope that you can consider the bigger scheme of things and realize that some people are experiencing much worse during the current pandemic.

To recap the Step 1 Prep course requirement updates that were communicated yesterday, students who achieved a score of > 200 on a standard-paced, WSU Voucher, CBSSA and have not yet sat for the USMLE Step 1 Exam will receive a passing grade for the Step 1 Prep Course.

The Step 1 deadline was extended to May 4, 2020 and it is unknown if the Prometric test center closures will extend beyond the 30 day period. The course requirement has again been amended so that students who must delay sitting for the USMLE Step 1 Examination will be allowed to progress to Segment 3 (clerkships). We will work with each student who is impacted to establish an individualized plan to identify study time options before sitting for the USMLE Step 1 Examination.

More information will be forthcoming. We are here to support you and will ensure students completing requirements under the school's direction graduate on time.

If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Heidi Kromrei, PhD (hkromrei@med.wayne.edu) and copy Dr. Senthil Rajasekaran (senthil.rajasekaran@med.wayne.edu) on your email.

Thank you,

Erika Roberts, MPA
Manager | Academic & Student Programs
Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Medical Education Commons
eroberts@med.wayne.edu | 313-577-6005


March 16, 2020, 10:52 p.m., EDT - Class of 2022

This is an update on where we are in regard to the start of the M3 year. I have no definitive news yet, but will bring you up to date on what is happening.

The hospitals are working through many issues now -- bed availability, intensive care unit space, drive-up testing, nursing and medical staffs, etc. We do not have definite protocols for student quarantines, returns, etc. We are not sure that you will be able to onboard at the hospitals on April 7 as planned.

Our M3 and M4 students are continuing in clerkships with close restrictions and monitoring. We realize that some schools have pulled students, but we expect our WSU students to be an integral part of the health care team. There are finite supplies of personal protective equipment that limit what we can do. We do not want our students directly caring for COVID-19 patients.

We are considering delaying the start of M3 clerkships to later in April or the first week of May. This will address your travel concerns give the hospitals a chance to get into a steady state. As we finalize things in the next day or two, we will give you a definitive starting date.

No matter the plan, you will remain on schedule to graduate in June 2022. There will be adjustments in the M4 requirements and schedule, but it can be done.

Finally, if we can get the technology established, we want to have an online chat this week. We are working to create a Zoom account. I will keep you posted.

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 16, 2020, 10:41 p.m., EDT - Class of 2020 physicians-in-training

It has been a busy day of developments. Here is the latest information:

  1. The School of Medicine is committed to continuing your training and service to the community by continuing your clinical clerkships and senior electives. Although other schools are pulling back their students, we have a unique mission. We have faith that at this stage of your training you can work, serve and learn in a manner safe for you and the patients, and that you can be helpful in this campaign. You are part of the battle against the pandemic, and are gathering valuable skills and knowledge that will help you care for future patients and in future pandemics.
  2. In this spirit, you may be called upon to fulfill new roles. This may differ by site and rotation, and may include helping with documentation, assisting in phone/internet triage, or simply talking to patients without problems who need information and conversation while the rest of the team cares for respiratory patients.
  3.  These commitments and intention to serve and learn may result in some friction.
    1. Hospitals are conserving personal protection equipment. We were aware of the decision to suspend the Emergency Room portion of the Emergency Medicine required clerkship today. This was made necessary by the clinical service conserving masks and PPE. Those of you now in Emergency Medicine will finish the clerkship this month and receive credit.
    2.  Some attending physicians are sending students home. In some cases, this is understandable because of patient risks. No one knows how long it will be before the hospitals will reach a steady state. In situations that lack opportunity for students to assist, we will adapt.
    3. The university and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education have requirements to receive a medical degree.  Ending clinical rotations now could leave some seniors short of sufficient credits to graduate and would delay M3 students from starting Year 4. This is unlikely to occur with the adjustments we are making.
    4.  We are uncomfortable pulling students from rotation without a firm answer on when they would return.
    5. Each hospital and site is different.
    6. We are aware of the border situation with Canada and will work with affected students as the situation evolves.
  4. We are working on and implementing plans to provide alternate assignments for student who cannot participate in clinical rotations.
    1. Clerkship directors are developing online orientations that we will test this week.
    2. Clerkships will assign more Aquifer cases and other assignments.
    3.  As is the case in Emergency Medicine, there will be changes in requirements of patient encounters, etc. Many hospitals are cancelling elective surgeries, so there may be fewer patients. We will adjust.

Here are some specifics:

    1. If you are sent home by your site, go home. Ask when you are expected to return. Report this to your clerkship director, your site director and copy me so that we can track and provide alternative assignments.
    2. If you are at risk, in quarantine, in self-quarantine or ill, notify your counselor. We are tracking excused absences and issues.
    3. No one knows the quarantine rules yet (how long, retesting, etc). We follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations daily.
    4. It is okay to be confused. The whole country is. At our level with the clerkship directors and sites, we will try to work out solutions. We had an hour-long phone conference today and will do so several times this week.
    5.  Neurology and psychiatry exams are ON for Wednesday, and Family Medicine is ON for Friday. You will be seated in different counties.
    6.  We plan to continue the "delayed" rotations in April, May and June. New M3s will start on a date to be determined.

Stay abreast of the science and developments. We are all in this together, now more than ever.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 16, 2020, 10:13 p.m., EDT - Message for Canadian students

Dear Canadian students,

Please know that we are monitoring the developing restrictions across the U.S.-Canadian border and confirming whether the restriction applies to the many health care workers who cross at Detroit daily.

Even if the restriction does not apply, we realize that the long backups are not feasible for commuting. For those of you on clinical rotations, we are looking into the feasibility of housing/hotel options for you on this side of the border.

We hope to have more definitive information for you tomorrow and appreciate your patience as we factor in the rapid developments on all fronts.

Margit Chadwell, M.D., FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
315 Mazurek Education Commons
320 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201
Ph: 313-577-1463  Fax: 313-577-036
 


March 16, 2020, 5:47 p.m., EDT - Message regarding USMLE Step1 exam

Dear students,

If you are scheduled to take the United States Medical Licensing Examining (USMLE) Step 1 in the next two weeks, please review the following information carefully.

Due to the challenges you are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are amending the requirements for the Step 1 Prep Course as follows:

Students who achieved a score of > 200 on a standard-paced, WSU Voucher, Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment and who have not yet sat for the USMLE Step 1 Exam will:

    1. Receive a passing grade for the Step 1 Prep Course
    2. Step 1 Deadline extension: Students who must delay sitting for the USMLE Step 1 Examination will be allowed to progress to Segment 3 and will be required to sit for the USMLE Step 1 Examination by May 4, 2020.

If you are scheduled to take the examination, we strongly encourage you to do so if your testing center is open and you are physically able.

Assignments for all students progressing to Segment 3 can be impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be confirmed at this time.

If you plan to visit a testing center for the USMLE Step 1 Exam, be sure to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus guidelines on "How to protect yourself"

You can find information about Prometric Test Center closings here: https://www.prometric.com/closures

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Heidi Kromrei, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Learning and Teaching, at hkromrei@med.wayne.edu, and copy Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, M.D., M.M.H.P.E., Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, at senthil.rajasekaran@med.wayne.edu.

Thank you,

Erika Roberts, MPA
Manager| Academic & Student Programs
Undergraduate Medical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
310 Mazurek Medical Education Commons
eroberts@med.wayne.edu |313-577-6005



March 16, 2020 - COVID: Containing the Contagion!

Teena Chopra, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and Nabil Al-Kourainy M.D., junior chief resident in the Department of Internal Medicine, presented "COVID: Containing the Contagion!" for grand rounds March 13.

View COVID: Containing the Contagion!

Dr. Chopra has been featured in a number of local and national media outlets, including TIME Magazine, offering her expertise on the virus and infectious diseases precautions. She serves on the Wayne State University Presidential Coronavirus Committee, assisting with preparations related to the virus.

 


March 15, 2020, 3:18 p.m. EDT - Update for students on clinical rotations

Class of 2020 Physicians-in-Training

We are aware that some students are being sent home temporarily from certain sites. We remain in discussions with the education leadership at all the sites.

We continually monitor the developments at our affiliated hospitals and clinical sites.  The hospitals are developing their own policies and procedures. Obviously, the hospitals need to concentrate on caring for patients, developing capacity, possibly cancelling elective surgery to free up potential intensive care unit beds, staffing their facilities and residencies, and preparing for a possible influx of patients, ranging from asymptomatic to the seriously ill. The education of medical students, for a few days at least, falls lower on the hospitals' priority lists.

However, your education remains our top priority. There is a delicate balance between the importance of your education for the care of current and future patients and the logistical (no masks) and safety considerations. We remain concerned for your health for obvious reasons, but also because you may unwittingly spread the virus to patients or other workers, or have to be quarantined.

As senior students, you are approaching graduation as a well-trained medical professional. You are a vital asset to the response to this epidemic. In the practical world, even if you stay away from patients with undiagnosed respiratory illnesses, you can take some of the burden off your team by taking the lead in other cases in which masks are not required. By learning the ins and outs of the disease as it progresses, you can help with the communication processes. In three short months, you will be the first doctors to see these patients.

As we work through this in the next few weeks, some students will have challenging experiences. Some may be placed in quarantine. Some may be sent home early. Others on low-exposure rotations will continue to attend patients. We must all be tolerant of the possible effects COVID-19 will bring. We are putting together study plans for those quarantined to keep everyone on track.

This is a gut check in professionalism for all of us. This is not the time to compare your situation to other students. Some may be tempted to take the "quarantine option" to stay away from the hospital. There will be a few who should not be in the hospital who will want to show up anyway, thinking that clinical honors are at risk. We must respond to this situation with maturity and the professional demeanor of a physician. I have already received reports of you displaying these attributes in a very positive manner.

This is another communicable disease that we as physicians will learn to work with and work around. We need to learn more about the disease and then become more comfortable with it.

There are many on the administrative side who are working around the clock to care for medical students. We are working on contingencies and plans. We continually monitor the situation and work to meet the challenges as they arise. Clerkship directors are working constantly to address questions and issues with the sites.

We all have many questions.  You also have concerns about your future schedules, away rotations, etc. Because we cannot conduct a town hall to answer those questions, we are attempting to establish a videoconference to start address some of these concerns.

One of the main concerns I've heard is the question of whether students will have sufficient credits to graduate. The answer is yes. Some of you are still must complete the required Emergency Medicine clerkship and sub-internship. Others are into non-patient care electives. We are committed to having everyone appropriately graduate on time.

For immediate concerns such as illness and exposures, work with our team and hospital sites to follow exposure procedures. The site directors and clerkship site directors are available. Your residents can help guide you. Inform the clerkship director and your counselor so that we remain aware and can track such issues.

Limit your exposure by avoiding patients under investigation. This helps the hospitals conserve resources. Use common sense in your daily activities and do not travel. 

I realize the information in this email may have a short shelf-life because the situation continues to rapidly evolve, so look for frequent emails.

Class of 2021 Physicians-in-Training: March 15, 2020, 11:56 a.m. EDT

We are aware that some students are being sent home temporarily from certain sites. We remain in discussions with the education leadership at all the sites.

We continually monitor the developments at our affiliated hospitals and clinical sites. The hospitals are developing their own policies and procedures, but will do so on different timetables. Obviously, the hospitals need to concentrate on caring for patients, developing capacity, possibly cancelling elective surgery to free up intensive care unit beds for potential patients, staffing their facilities and residencies, and preparing for a possible influx of patients, ranging from asymptomatic to the seriously ill. The education of medical students, for a few days at least, falls lower on the hospitals' priority lists.

However, your education remains our top priority. #1 on our priority list and on the priority lists of the educators, faculty and residents who you work with daily. There is a delicate balance between the importance of your education for the care of for current and future patients and the logistical (no masks) and safety considerations. We remain concerned for your health for obvious reasons, but also because you may unwittingly spread the virus to patients or other workers, or have to be quarantined. 

You are three-quarters of the way through your training to become a physician. You are well-trained medical professionals and can be a vital asset to the response to this epidemic. Even if you stay away from patients with undiagnosed respiratory illnesses, you can take some of the burden off your team by taking the lead in other cases in which masks are not required. By learning the ins and outs of the disease as it progresses, you can help with the communication processes.

As we work through this in the next few weeks, some students will have challenging experiences. Some may be placed in quarantine. Some may be sent home early. Others on low- exposure rotations will continue to attend patients without changes. We must all be tolerant of the different effects COVID-19 will bring. We are putting together study plans for those quarantined to keep everyone on track.

This is a gut check in professionalism for all of us. This is not the time to compare your situation to other students. Some may be tempted to take the "quarantine option" to stay away from the hospitals. There will be a few who should not be in the hospital who will want to show up anyway, thinking that clinical honors are at risk. We must respond to this situation with maturity and the professional demeanor of a physician. I have already received reports of you displaying these attributes in a very positive manner.

This is yet another communicable disease that we as physicians will learn to work with and work around. We need to learn more about the disease and then become be more comfortable with it.

There are many on the administrative side working around the clock to care for medical students.  We are working on contingencies and plans. We continually monitor the situation and work to meet the challenges as they arise. Clerkship directors are working constantly to address questions and issues with the sites.

We all have many questions. You also have concerns about your future schedules, away rotations, etc. Because we cannot conduct a town hall to answer those questions, we are attempting to establish a videoconference to address these concerns.

One of the main concerns I've heard is the question of whether students will have sufficient credits to graduate. The answer is yes. Some of you still must complete the required Emergency Medicine clerkship and sub-internship. Others are into non-patient care electives. We are committed to having everyone appropriately graduate on time.

For immediate concerns such as illness and exposures, work with our team and hospital sites to follow usual exposure procedures. The site directors and clerkship site directors are available.  Your residents can help guide you. Inform the clerkship director and your counselor so that we remain are aware and can track such issues.

Limit your exposure by avoiding patients under investigation. This helps the hospitals conserve resources. Use common sense in your daily activities and do not travel.

I realize the information in this email may have a short shelf-life because the situation continues to rapidly evolve, so look for frequent emails.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education 
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 14, 2020, 7:47 p.m. EDT - Step 1 update

Dear Students:

If you are scheduled to take the United States Medical Licensing Examining (USMLE) Step 1 in the next two weeks, please review the following information carefully.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine values your safety. Your health and well-being are a high priority for us as you prepare for this important exam.

We are closely monitoring the closures of Prometric test centers in relation to the COVID-19 virus. In response to recent closures of some Prometric test centers in Michigan and testing centers in other states, the School of Medicine leadership team has established a plan for impacted students.

Any student who has achieved a score of 200 or more on the standard-paced, School of Medicine Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA) and is unable to take the USMLE Step 1 by the deadline of March 27, 2020, due to a closure of a Prometric test center will be granted a deadline extension to sit for the exam until  April 10, 2020. This will ensure affected students can transition to clerkships as planned. Affected students must notify the Office of Learning and Teaching of the Prometric site closure.

If you are eligible to sit for the USMLE Step 1 and feel that you are unable to do so due to restrictions related to the Coronavirus (i.e., need to self-quarantine, inability to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  guidelines at a testing center, suspected exposure to the virus, etc.), contact Heidi Kromrei, Ph.D., and Senthil Rajasekaran, M.D., M.M.H.P.E.,  via email so that they can assist you on a case-by-case basis. An undue delay in taking the exam may impact your clerkship structure. We will do our best to mitigate major disruptions.

If you are scheduled to sit for the examination and plan to visit a testing center for the USMLE Step 1 before April 10, follow the CDC Coronavirus guidelines on "How to protect yourself".

We are working with the Office of Enrollment Management to find ways to assign a grade for the Step-1 Prep elective course for students who need to delay the exam beyond April 10.

If you have any questions or need to request an exception, contact Dr. Kromrei and copy Dr. Rajasekaran.

Thank you,
Erika

Erika Roberts, MPA
Manager | Academic & Student Programs


March 14, 2020, 5:35 a.m. EDT - Clinical faculty update

Dear Wayne State University Clinical Faculty:

Due to the rapidly changing conditions of the COVID-19 situation and the effect on medical training, we have set up a list serve to communicate with you via your hospital emails. We have tried to include everyone who our New Innovations site has emails for but may have missed some.

At the current time (Friday afternoon) we are continuing to expect our medical students in the clinical clerkships and electives to continue to serve as part of the health care team.  We recognize that we are training future physicians, many of whom will be your interns in 3 months!  We also recognize that in the current environment there are necessary limitations on the student role brought about by practical and logistical matters.

  1. We do not want students to be directly involved in the care of COVID-19 suspected or diagnosed patients. We do this in recognition of the efforts of each hospital and clinic to limit the number of health care workers involved, the finite supply of PPE, and to temper the expectations of students.
  2. We are communicating with the students to stay home if they are ill, even if they are reluctant to. They will continue to get excused absences through our student affairs office, allowing us to track the illnesses and hopefully removing the burden of this from the clinical sites.
  3. We are converting most of our didactics to online or video modules. Our students have great online access to resources and simulated cases in many clerkships.
  4. We are in daily communication with our hospital partners and will defer to hospital rules, policies and procedures.
  5. If there are opportunities for the students to assist in any way, please allow them the opportunity to help.
  6. Any changes in SOM policy and practices will be communicated from the SOM. There will be changes.

We appreciate your teaching and care of our students. We will communicate further developments as they occur but will not bombard you with emails. You may also find SOM official communications on https://www.med.wayne.edu/coronavirus.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this matter.

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org



March 13, 2020, 8 p.m., EDT - Student physicians

This is an update of School of Medicine activities in relationship to the current Covid-19 situation. We would like to clear up misinformation that has unfortunately been spread via unofficial communication channels. Face Book rants should not be interpreted as school policy. Please note that this is the only official source for direction on Covid-19 and Undergraduate Medical Education activities for the School of Medicine.

Some background

1. This is an unprecedented situation that is rapidly changing. Our contingencies from one day are often outdated within 24 hours. Be advised that we are formulating and distributing information as rapidly as possible as it becomes disseminated by official organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. The administrations of the university, the School of Medicine and our affiliated hospitals are in constant communication. We are working our way through many different situations, both general and individual. We are online with national organizations and meeting with the campuses to gather data and work on the best solutions that remain consistent with national, state, university, Association of American Medical Colleges, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and hospital policies and procedures. We are preparing contingencies as quickly as conditions change.

3. As we work through scenarios, we are mindful of the timetable of your journey toward Year 4 and graduation. Academic situations are considered in every decision. This is best handled by the administration, as we want to ensure your path to graduation is clear.

Specific points

1. We continue to expect that while on clinical rotations and clerkships you will continue to be part of the health care team. There will be cases that you will not be involved with, as is the case with many infectious diseases.

2. We expect that you will not be directly involved in caring for COVID-19 cases personally at this time. The rationale is that hospitals and clinics are trying to limit exposures even among physicians and nurses, as is the procedure with newer diseases. Also, there is a finite amount of personal protection equipment in hospitals and we need to respect that.

3. We are in the process of converting much didactic material to online for the clerkships and will continue to keep you informed of this. We remain in compliance with guidelines from the proper agencies regarding limiting the number and concentration of people in a room.

4. When you are ill, you are to follow usual School of Medicine procedures in securing an excused absence through the Office of Student Affairs and your counselor. This allows us to track absences and the magnitude of the problem so that we can intervene if necessary.

5. We understand the difficulty in seeing a physician for medical documentation and will continue to monitor the situation and be understanding.

6. Do not travel out of the Detroit metropolitan area. We cannot predict the quarantine rules that may be rapidly established by the government or our hospitals Unadvised travel at this time could result in difficulty completing your clerkships.

7. For those in special family situations, a personal leave of absence is always a possibility, and the process will be streamlined.

We will continue to provide updates regularly. We are meeting and communicating with the campuses and have established a new listserv for clinical faculty to keep them informed of our communications to our students.

We ask that you, as future physicians, remember your duty to patients, now and in the future as you grapple with this situation with us. We will continue to keep the interests of the students and patients a priority at all times, and strike a balance when necessary -- which is exactly what society expects of us.

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
csteffes@med.wayne.edu

Henry Ford Health Systems
2799 W Grand Blvd.
Department of Surgery CFP-107
Detroit, MI 48202
csteffe1@HFHS.org


March 12, 2020, 12:25 p.m. EDT - Community engagement and service discouraged

Dear Students:

Due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, until further notice we strongly discourage all students from participating in community engagement and community service activities. This includes curricular and non-curricular community engagement/service activities that are voluntary. This does not include clinical rotations and interactions.

Student safety is our priority. We want to mitigate the chances of students coming into contact with and spreading the virus.

Please check with me (senthil.rajasekaran@med.wayne.edu) or Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D., (jmendez@med.wayne.edu) if you need further guidance.

Thank you,

Senthil Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, M.D., M.M.H.P.E., FCP, FAcadMed
Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Curricular Affairs

 


March 12, 2020 - 9:49 a.m. EDT - Match Day cancelled

To the School of Medicine Family:

I have had numerous meetings the last several days with our medical school leadership, university President M. Roy Wilson and his staff, the deans of the other five medical schools in Michigan, public health officials and our Student Senate leadership to determine how to responsibly handle our traditional Match Day celebration. I have listened to all concerns and feelings regarding this subject, and it is with a heavy heart that in the best interest of our students, their families and friends, and the community, we have decided to cancel our Match Day celebration.

Our ethical responsibility as physicians is to always place the patients' and our community's welfare above our own interests. To have 1,000 people, including family coming from all over the country, mingling with a fourth-year class that has traveled all over the world and worked in clinical settings the last year in a confined space places too many people at risk of exposure to COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly advises against gatherings of this size, and in the interest of our community we will abide by these recommendations.

I fully understand and share in your disappointment that at this time we cannot celebrate the culmination of the Class of 2020's medical education as we have in previous years. However, we are all medical professionals, and I expect us to all understand the special times and circumstances in which we are now engaged. Putting anyone's health at risk for Match Day is not an ethically sound decision. As medical professionals – and I include students in that description – our primary concern is for the patient and the community. This is the commitment we have made. We have dedicated ourselves to medicine and the advancement of medical science, and as such, we need to practice what we preach and stand as examples in the community.

This decision has been made out of an abundance of precaution to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 with the professional and considered opinion and discretion of experienced and practiced medical professionals. To allow our Match Day celebration to go on as planned could endanger our families, hotel staff and our community.

I know that you would still take pride in the accomplishments of our senior students and their residency match. I care deeply about this school, its students, faculty and staff, and encourage the Class of 2020 to safely celebrate with their loved ones.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine


March 11, 2020, 7:04 p.m. EDT - Update for students on clinical rotations

Dear Students on Clinical Rotations:

We have been in meetings all day regarding issues related to the coronavirus, and have important information to share:

1. We are physicians and will continue to take care of patients. We are in compliance and agreement with the Association of American Medical Colleges' guidelines on the topic.

  • From the AAMC: Clinical rotations and interactions: Students in their clinical years (on their core clinical clerkships and clinical electives) are members of the health care team and can provide meaningful care. These students, after receiving appropriate training, are regularly involved in the care of patients with communicable diseases like influenza, measles, tuberculosis and HIV. In these situations, student level of involvement is determined by school policies that consider well-established transmissibility data and morbidity/mortality data. How can we apply these principles to the current situation? For COVID-19, we do not have these critical data about transmissibility, morbidity and mortality, even as we need to make important decisions. Therefore, it may be advisable, in the interest of student safety, to limit student direct care of known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection until better epidemiologic data are available. We suggest that, other than limiting direct care of COVID-19 patients, clinical students continue their roles as part of the care team.

2. With this information and background in mind, we will remain in compliance with the procedures, protocols and requirements of our host institutions. For example, at this time (as stated in the AAMC guidelines), the hospitals would not have students directly caring for patients who are diagnosed or under workup (with high suspicion) of COVID-19 infection. This is because of practical considerations in limiting overall contact with the patient and the number of health care workers, access to personal protection equipment and other matters of usual safe practices, especially in a rapidly-evolving situation.

3. There is the practical issue of supplies of personal protection equipment, as masks and gown supplies are being carefully guarded -- and for good reason. We don't expect that this will interfere in a significant way in your education, but it may limit your access to high-acuity patients, some procedures, etc. We will continue to be in communication with our hospital partners regarding this issue.

4. This is a great time to rededicate yourself to the level of hygiene and handwashing that is expected at all times.

5. As always and forever, our primary responsibility is to patient safety and patient wellbeing. If you are ill from any cause, you would take precautions out of safety considerations — you do not want to make your patients sick! Remember this when you come down with something.

6. In relation to classes, we plan to comply with the WSU president's guidance on class size and limiting gatherings to 100 students or less. This will change our testing processes in minor ways.

a. There should be no changes to the current schedule for the next round of shelf exams on March 18.
b. There may be a date change in the April 10 exams depending on how the situation evolves. Whatever the plan is, you will be guaranteed a study day. There will be no Saturday exams.
c. EM tests (for seniors) should not change.

7. As far as your senior schedules, please note that many schools are limiting away rotations, Visiting Student Application Service, etc. Look for notices from the schools that you plan to attend to determine if changes need to be made. Enrollment management will work with you in rescheduling, but please keep the 30-day limit for rescheduling in mind, and also note that the elective rotations here may be filled. We will have additional information as we learn more of what may be happening around the country.

8. Finally, stay loose and flexible, and roll with the punches. We got into this to take care of patients, now and in the future. This is the latest, but not the last, public health issue that you will face.

Christopher Steffes, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education 


March 11, 2020, 7:04 p.m. EDT -  Segment 2 re-examinations occurring as scheduled 
 

Class of 2022

Dear Students: Thank you for contacting us with your questions and concerns. We want to take this opportunity to address a few of the most common concerns related to assessment.

The Segment 2 re-exams will still be given March 20, 2020. Students absent from a re-exam will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We highly encourage all students to take their re-exam as scheduled.

Please keep in mind that the testing office is following all precautionary measures prescribed by the university. Additionally, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues are available in each testing room.

For students taking the STEP 1 exams at Prometric centers, there are no site closures in Michigan at this time. Prometric's website is updated regularly.
 

Class of 2023

Dear Students:

Thank you for contacting us with your questions and concerns. We want to take this opportunity to address a few of the most common concerns related to assessment.

The segment 1 Central Nervous System (CNS) integrative practical and National Board of Medical Examiners assessments will still be given Thursday and Friday of this week. Students are to follow their A/B assignments. Students will NOT be sequestered between sessions in compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and university precautionary measures. Please remember that the WSU and School of Medicine Student Code of Conduct still apply. You are not allowed to discuss the exam with other students.

The School of Medicine's excused absence policy is still in place. If you cannot take the exam on the scheduled day, contact your counselor. If an excused absence is granted, you will automatically be scheduled for a make-up exam on March 16 for the integrative practical or March 17 for the NBME. Students absent from a make-up exam will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We highly encourage all students to complete their CNS course requirements, including examinations, this week.

At this time, Segment 1 re-exams are still scheduled for the end of March and beginning of April. Please keep in mind that the testing office is following all precautionary measures prescribed by the university. No more than 100 students are assigned to a room. Additionally, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues are available in each room.

Please contact Jason Booza, Ph.D. at jbooza@med.wayne.edu if you have any questions regarding this matter

Jason Booza, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Continuous Quality Improvement and Compliance


March 11, 2020, 5:13 p.m. EDT - Clinical rotations update for rising M3s

Dear Students:

I had hoped to send you a nice schedule of all the exciting events for Orientation, which starts three weeks from today. However, all those plans got blown up today, so we are going back to the drawing board.

As a clerkship team, we will be reformatting and rescheduling parts of Orientation to be in compliance with the new guidelines from the university president and the Association of American Medical Colleges. This situation is evolving rapidly.

Some key points:

1. We will start clerkships April 13 and continue into the year as planned.
2. We will change the schedule and format for some of Orientation, still anticipating that it will occur from April 1-10. As we refine the schedule, we will supply more detail.
3. We will send probably too many emails updating you to keep you informed as possible.
4. Your schedules are available on Academica. I do not foresee any changes at this time.
5. The AAMC has issued guidelines for medical school clinical rotations as follows:

  • Clinical rotations and interactions: Students in their clinical years (on their core clinical clerkships and clinical electives) are members of the health care team and can provide meaningful care. These students, after receiving appropriate training, are regularly involved in the care of patients with communicable diseases like influenza, measles, tuberculosis and HIV. In these situations, student level of involvement is determined by school policies that consider well-established transmissibility data and morbidity/mortality data. How can we apply these principles to the current situation? For COVID-19, we do not have these critical data about transmissibility, morbidity and mortality, even as we need to make important decisions. Therefore, it may be advisable, in the interest of student safety, to limit student direct care of known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection until better epidemiologic data are available. We suggest that, other than limiting direct care of COVID-19 patients, clinical students continue their roles as part of the care team.

6. And finally, for those of you who have finished Step 1 and for all who will have a bit of free time to read non-science items, we recommend that everyone read the book "Grit" by Angela Duckworth. It costs $9 on Amazon (or 1 credit on Audible — my favorite format — read by the author), less in used or in e-format. It is a good read and will have plenty of great advice for year three and beyond.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact me at csteffes@med.wayne.edu.

Christopher Steffes M.D.
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education


March 6, 2020 - SOM COVID-19 communication from health officer

As news of coronavirus cases in the United States grows, there is a flood of information on the internet concerning the challenge before us. This communication is to help in processing these communications, hopefully in a way that will be of help to you and those you serve, including your family.

First, realize that the lead agency for this is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has a special area on its website dedicated to the coronavirus. While a lot of information is presented, we don't have much experience with this virus yet, so expect ambiguities and surprises. This should not cause you to lose confidence as people try to make the best decisions with the information they have. You may find information on the CDC website. Most helpful is a review of frequently asked questions, and "situation updates" noting cases in the U.S. There is also a special section for health care providers.

As you learn about the governmental response, you will hear terms like National Incident Managment System, Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Center. These are standardized protocols for what is going on behind the scenes to help keep everyone safe. These efforts try to ensure that key decision-makers have access to each other as well as access to real-time information so that they can develop adequate plans. Note that the Michigan EOC was activated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Feb. 28, 2020.. You can learn more about these terms through YouTube searches, but here are three links with a brief overview. It's important to be aware of these practices, as it will give you some idea of how you should be organized locally and interact with family members, who are likely looking to you for guidance.

1) EOC
2) Incident Command System
3) NIMS

One of the concerns for this virus is the mortality rate, which is significantly higher than other infections like influenza. At this time, it appears the mortality rate may be around 4%. This compares to influenza's mortality rate of about .1%. While this seems to be the case, remember that we are not testing all those who are symptomatic, testing mainly only those presenting for health care support, and likely sicker. This presumed mortality rate may change (and drop) as more people are tested. With regard to mortality rate, age seems to be a very important factor, especially for those older than 40. With so much information out there, you can help by filtering for information that allows us to tell the difference between those who live and those who die. Look not only for age, but the presence of co-morbidities like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease, as well as lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet and exercise. I have seen one report that noted a variance of mortality from .2% for those younger than 40 to 15% for those older than 80.

When it comes to protecting yourself and others, there are standard recommendations about frequent hand washing; not coughing into your hand; mindfulness of hands on surfaces and then to eyes, nose or mouth; isolating yourself if sick (which includes having needed supplies at home should you need to shelter in place). I would emphasize practicing care when interacting with those older than 60 given the elevated mortality rate in this age group. At the same time, be mindful of those around you older than 70 who might need your support.

This also a good time to remember those practices important for self-care that boost immune function, like stress reduction, adequate sleep, nutrient-dense foods and regular exercise. And what of masks? Realize that the virus is smaller than any mask that is readily available – even the N95 mask – can block. These masks can certainly filter out some droplets, but they cannot guarantee that the virus will not get through. Their greatest benefit may come from their ability to discourage nose and mouth touching. At present, the CDC is only recommending the use of masks in clinical settings where you are likely to encounter individuals with the disease.

You are living though a historic event that will be written about in the future. It is a time to be sober and diligent in those practices that will help both you and those you serve and love.

We at the university are determining the best way for us all to be on the same page and rise to the challenge. We have created a MS TEAMS group called SOM Covid-19 Taskforce. This is a public group that you can monitor. There is a channel called Questions and Issues where you can post your concerns. James E. Blessman, M.D., M.P.H. Health Officer Wayne State University School of Medicine

James E. Blessman, M.D., M.P.H.
Health Officer Wayne State University School of Medicine
 


March 6, 2020, 6:57 EDT - Coronavirus communication to students

Dear Students: The School of Medicine leadership wants to let you know that we have been closely following the evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are in daily contact with the greater Assocation of American Medical Colleges community to understand how medical schools around the country are responding and preparing for the evolution of this public health crisis and to share best practices. We acknowledge that this uncertainty can be stressful, particularly for medical students who are part of the health care community. To that end, we have assembled a Covid-19 Taskforce comprised of administrators, students and public health experts to stay on top of the situation, to keep you informed and to provide a forum to address your concerns. Your health and safety are our top priority.

Attached to this communication you will find a comprehensive information sheet prepared by your School of Medicine health officer, James Blessman, M.D., titled "Choosing Preparation Over Panic." It contains detailed public health information and important links for active updates on Covid-19.

Regarding the approach to the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum, we are following the AAMC guidelines (full document attached with excerpts below):

Nonclinical courses: Each school will make its own decisions in this area, following institutional policies and local public health agencies' recommendations. If a local outbreak occurs, local public health decisions must be followed, and schools will be obligated to not convene in-person classes, large group meetings, etc. Schools may choose to be more restrictive than local public health agencies require. Please know that we have started exploring contingency plans for classroom work/small-group work such as pre-record lectures and self-studies. Our aim will be to offer alternatives that will support your progress through the curriculum content.

Clinical rotations and interactions: Students in their clinical years (on their core clinical clerkships and clinical electives) are members of the health care team and can provide meaningful care. These students, after receiving appropriate training, are regularly involved in the care of patients with communicable diseases like influenza, measles, tuberculosis and HIV. In these situations, student level of involvement is determined by school policies that consider well-established transmissibility data and morbidity/mortality data. How can we apply these principles to the current situation? For COVID-19, we do not have these critical data about transmissibility, morbidity and mortality even as we need to make important decisions. Therefore, it may be advisable, in the interest of student safety, to limit student direct care of known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection until better epidemiologic data are available. We suggest that, other than limiting direct care of COVID-19 patients, clinical students continue their roles as part of the care team.

Based on what we know today about COVID-19, most medical students are not representative of a highrisk population for the virus. Current data suggest that those most at risk are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or underlying chronic medical illness. If you have a health condition that puts you at high risk or you have unique circumstances (e.g., caregiver for an immunosuppressed family member), please communicate this with your counselor and the Office of Student Affairs. We will work with the assistant dean of Clinical Education to help identify educational experiences that reduce your risk while meeting educational requirements.

Professor Teena Chopra, M.D., of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will present Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on COVID19 on March 13 at noon in the Green Auditorium - flyer attached. Grand rounds are video-taped and can viewed at home like any WSUSOM lecture.

For self-study, here is a link to excellent information about COVID-19 from the American College of Physicians and a learning (CME) module. As a student, you may need to join, but the CME activity is free. We will continue to share information as it becomes available and have created a MS TEAMS group called SOM Covid-19 Taskforce. This is a public group that you can monitor. There is a channel called Questions and Issues where you can post your concerns.

Margit Chadwell, M.D., FAAFP
Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development


March 4, 2020 - Wayne State University update

To answer questions about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Wayne State University's response and recommendations, the university has established a website.

The website contains official updates from the university, and links to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and the World Health Organization.

Another website is available through the Wayne State University Library System.

This site includes research information on the topic of COVID-19 from scientific publications such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine; general information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local health departments; an interactive web-based dashboard that tracks COVID cases in real time, created by Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University; and more.