Lehigh County Health & Medicine Spring 2021 - 11

L C M E D S O C .O R G

David J. Skorton, MD, president and
CEO of AAMC, commented on their
website: " The pandemic is spotlighting
the extraordinary services that physicians
provide on the front lines. It's heartening
to see that more students want to pursue
a career in medicine in order to serve their
communities and make a difference. " 1
In light of impending physician shortages, predicted even before the pandemic,
having more people aspire to become
physicians is undoubtedly a good thing.
But there is no doubt that COVID-19
has significantly impacted physicians in
training and their families.
Authors Catherine R. Lucey, MD, and S.
Claiborne Johnston, MD, PhD, in a recent
article in the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA) " The Transformational
Effects of COVID-19 on Medical Education, " 2 suggest that COVID-19 may be the
spark which ultimately transforms medical
education: " Despite the disruption of the
pandemic, medical students not only continued to learn but, in many circumstances,
accelerated their attainment of the types of
competencies that 21st-century physicians
must master to meet this pandemic and
address other complex problems in health
and health care...schools and learners pilot
tested new methods of instruction, rethought
their approach to assessment, identified
different methods to build community, and
adopted new strategies for recruitment and
admission in a travel-constricted world. All
of these new approaches have the potential
to catalyze the modernization of US medical
education that is underway, with faculty,
learners, and staff increasingly recognizing
that new approaches may be better than
the old. "
It's obvious the pandemic has created
significant challenges for tomorrow's physicians. Organizations which support them
have developed resources to help students,
residents and fellows navigate this unprecedented situation.
The American Medical Association has
developed a COVID-19 Resource Center3

and Physician's Guide to COVID-194 and experiences and frustration on various
collected resources for medical students, social media hubs, including our own
residents and fellows5. AMA's vice president Physician Family Community11 and AMA
for undergraduate medical education inno- Alliance 12 Facebook groups. The AMA
vations Kim Lomis explained in a statement Alliance instituted a series of Zoom calls,
released by the AMA6: " It is important to some for all members, some for state and
acknowledge that clinical students are more county leaders, featuring experts on various
than learners - they serve many value-added topics and connection amid the pandemic's
roles in the provision of care. As the U.S. isolation. More information can be found
health system responds to this challenge, we on the AMA Alliance website13.
may well rely upon our talented, dedicated
students as a critical element of our provider
Physician Family Magazine14 reached out
workforce. We have been preparing them on several social media platforms for more
for this. "
personalized information. A first-year medical student had this to say: " Doing gross
The organizations which represent the anatomy semi-virtually is difficult. Sure, we
nation's allopathic and osteopathic medical can look at a dissected cadaver online, but
schools and coordinate applications have you lose the perspective of seeing it in person
posted extensive resources. The American and in three dimensions. Another problem
Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has been technology and the fact that some
has developed a Coronavirus (COVID-19) of our professors, brilliant though they are,
Resource Hub9 while the American Associ- aren't entirely comfortable with the virtual
ation of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine platforms. We're also missing out on in-per(AACOM) has created a Coronavirus son 'patient' encounters, which we're doing
virtually, but it's not the same. Hopefully,
Resource Center10.
with the release of the vaccine, we'll be able
The Accreditation Council for Gradu- to get our educational experience back on
ate Medical Education, which regulates track by our second year. "
residency programs, devoted a section
A third-year student emphasized the
of its website to Well-Being in the Time
of COVID-197: " We take pride in how tremendous delay to take Step 1 and how
the medical community has risen to this clinical rotations have been shortened. Their
challenge with dedication, innovation, and class essentially had two months off at the
flexibility, delivering hope to those in need. end of MS2 as the schools and the nation
Nonetheless, this collective resolve in the adjusted. A COVID-19 diagnosis of someone
face of challenge does not immunize us from with whom the student had no interaction
the negative impacts of exposure to stress during a surgery rotation also upset the
and trauma. " Additionally, they've created schedule and caused additional remote work.
a Guidebook for Promoting Well-Being
Another third-year student said that the
During the COVID-19 Pandemic8. " The
residents and fellows who comprise a critical second year STEP test, which was supposed
part of the physician workforce shoulder to be in April, was delayed multiple times,
this responsibility alongside the rest of impacting the review and study process. The
the medical community, facing the same beginning of third year was delayed, causing
challenges and assuming the same risks. rotations to be changed and shortened.
While ready for the rigors of training, little Several rotations have been short of patients
has prepared them for the demands of the because of changes in outpatient health care
COVID-19 pandemic. Yet they answer the and patient reluctance to seek routine care.
call to care for those in need and are meeting Additionally, some hospitals are currently
this challenge with courage. "
not taking students at all because they don't
want extra outsiders on site.
Physician families are making their
Continued on page 12
own way through the pandemic, sharing
SPRING 2021 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 11

http://www.LCMEDSOC.ORG https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/physicians-guide-covid-19 https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/resident-medical-student-covid-19-resource-guide https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/resident-medical-student-covid-19-resource-guide https://www.facebook.com/groups/PhysicianFamilyCOMMUNITY https://www.facebook.com/groups/amaalliancemembergroup https://www.facebook.com/groups/amaalliancemembergroup https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-19-how-virus-impacting-medical-schools https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-19-how-virus-impacting-medical-schools https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/enrollment-us-medical-schools https://www.amaalliance.org/ https://www.physicianfamilymedia.org/ https://www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2770075 https://www.aamc.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resource-hub https://www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2770075 https://www.aamc.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resource-hub https://www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2770075 https://dl.acgme.org/pages/well-being-in-the-time-of-covid-19 https://dl.acgme.org/pages/well-being-in-the-time-of-covid-19 https://dl.acgme.org/learn/course/covid-19-well-being-resource-library/organizational-well-being/guidebook-for-promoting-well-being-during-the-covid-19-pandemic https://dl.acgme.org/learn/course/covid-19-well-being-resource-library/organizational-well-being/guidebook-for-promoting-well-being-during-the-covid-19-pandemic https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-19-2019-novel-coronavirus-resource-center-physicians

Lehigh County Health & Medicine Spring 2021

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