Coronavirus COVID-19

Keeping IU School of Medicine Learners Safe and Informed

Last Updated May 29, 2020, 9:00 a.m. EDT

***If you keep this website open in your browser, please periodically refresh to see the most current information.

Our Medical Student Education team is working closely with campus leadership, Dean Hess’s office and healthcare facility leadership to monitor the rapidly changing situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We will share information to keep you updated of any changes that would affect your studies or clinical training. Our goal is to keep you informed, safe, and to suggest ways to best protect yourself, your loved ones, and your patients from harm.

The purpose of this page is to provide information unique for undergraduate medical school learners at IU School of Medicine.

Coronavirus.iu.edu provides the latest updates for the entire IU community.

Please remember steps to take if you are not feeling well or have a COVID-19 exposure:

  • Limit your exposure to others by staying home from class or clerkship duties and let the course or clerkship director and/or your campus leadership know you will be away.
  • Access the free IU Health virtual screening tool here, which is free to all individuals across the state of Indiana.
  • If you are screened and the process suggests your symptoms are more severe and that you should seek further evaluation at your local Emergency Department or physician’s office, make sure to call the Emergency Department or doctor’s office in advance of your arrival so they can be prepared to see you and confirm that they can provide testing. Often, COVID-19 infections can have mild symptoms and you may be directed to simply stay at home, rest, and monitor your symptoms over time.
  • If you are evaluated and test positive COVID-19 or other infectious agents, please report your results to your course or clerkship director and/or your campus leadership.

If you are told to self-quarantine because of a positive direct exposure to a case of COVID-19 OR are screened as positive for infection even if you are without symptoms:

  • Contact your course or clerkship director and/or your campus leadership.
  • Contact Campus Health- 317-274-8214 and report your name and your circumstances.

And finally- if you are planning on returning to work after being out of the country or to an area of the U.S. with a heavy amount of COVID-19, you are required to:

  • Complete the secure IU Traveler Information Form.
  • Communicate with your course or clerkship director and/or your campus leadership regarding the details of timing of your return.
  • Contact the Infection Prevention Specialist at the clinical care site(s) you plan on returning to.

It is important for the returning student  to  communicate with their course or clerkship director and/or campus leadership and the Infection Prevention Specialist (or their designee) – whether or not they are symptomatic or asymptomatic and whether they are aware of any direct contact with individuals with known or suspected Coronavirus infection during their travel.


Special Edition Communication from Medical Student Education

Please see below for the latest special edition communication sent from Dean Brad Allen, MD, PhD, and other Medical Student Education leaders for students regarding COVID-19

May 29, 2020, 9:00am EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

As we continue to adapt educational plans, we want to update you on a new grading policy. This decision was made to account for adaptations in your curriculum based on recommendations from the Phase 3 Clerkship Working Group, a subcommittee of the Curriculum Council Steering Committee, which is charged with oversight of the IU School of Medicine curriculum. We sought input from residency program directors, reviewed IUSM grading data and collected information from other medical schools.

Change in Grading Policy

For the 2020- 2021 academic year, all Phase 3 courses (clerkships and electives) will be graded on a Satisfactory / Fail / Incomplete (S/F/I) grading scheme. This is a change from the H/HP/P grading system. The effective date for this change is the beginning of this academic year.

We will clearly mark the transcript to indicate this change and that all post-COVID-19 Phase 3 courses are graded on a satisfactory/fail grading system. The MSPE (Dean’s letter) includes only Phase 2 core clerkships and will continue to reflect the full distribution of grades (H, HP, P, F) earned in those clerkships. 

Traditionally, a 4-week clinical rotation allows students sufficient opportunity to learn how to operate within a new healthcare setting and team. While many students will be able to demonstrate their skills within a 2-week clerkship or elective, other students will need more time to adjust to certain settings prior to reaching their expected level of clinical performance.

A S/F/I grading plan will give you increased opportunity to develop the skills you need prior to entering residency without the risk of being inappropriately assigned a “Fail” if more clinical experience is needed. Instead, “Incompletes” may now be assigned, and students can make up that time later in the year with the opportunity to receive a “Satisfactory” grade. 

Remediation of an “Incomplete” 2-week clerkship in Phase 3

If a student receives an “Incomplete” in this setting, they will take another 2 weeks of the experience to allow sufficient opportunity for feedback and improvement to demonstrate the expected level of clinical skills. This may occur later in the year. This policy does not apply to egregious incidents such as violation of the IUSM honor code or breaches of professionalism expectations.

Rationale for Change

We have put much thought into this decision and will explain below why we will be transitioning away from the H/HP/P grading system in Phase 3. 

1. A 2-week experience does not reliably provide sufficient time for students to demonstrate mastery and for faculty to accurately and fairly assess whether a student should be assigned a Honors vs. a High Pass vs. a Passing grade. 

2. We want to encourage students to take 2-week electives in order to explore other career options since we realize that the time for this exposure has been lessened due to COVID-19 induced changes in the curriculum. 

3. We considered the possibility of having 2 different grading systems during Phase 3 (one for 2-week experiences and one for 4-week experiences). This would be confusing for residency programs when reviewing your transcripts. Such parallel grading systems would appear arbitrary and could lead one to wonder, for example –  why a student achieved a “Pass” or “Satisfactory” in a required Phase 3 clerkship or elective but a HP in other electives.

4. Transitions to a “Pass/Fail” type grading system are being implemented increasingly across the country. When we asked AAMC schools, we received multiple replies from medical schools that have gone to P/F in the fourth year, and sometimes even third year due to placing higher emphasis on faculty comments and increased concerns about generally high rates of grade inflation. Example comments included:

“Our experience has been that residencies make a cursory glance at transcripts but more want to know what comments were made about a student. Transcripts tell very little. Seeing “IMED 999 Special topics in IMED S” really tells you little. Who knows what that was?! But if we list that elective in the MSPE with any comments made, it can help you much more than an entry on a transcript that residencies barely glance at.” 

”We have been pure pass/fail for all M4 courses for probably the last 20 years.  Our 3rd year clerkships are graded ABCDF, but the 4th year is all pass/ fail.  We have honestly not experienced any particularly negative effects from it.” 

5. Fourth year clerkship grades are widely known to be highly inflated at IU School of Medicine and across the country. IU School of Medicine data from 2018-2019 revealed this breakdown: 73% Honors, 21% High Pass, 6% Pass.

6. IU School of Medicine Program directors from the most competitive specialties have told us:

“4th year grades are majorly inflated with it seems about 80% or so being honors so I think all PDs realize that and don’t place a ton of emphasis on the actual grade other than it makes non-honors grades stand out.  We often don’t see fourth year information in the MSPEs anyway. I think letters from those rotations such as sub-Is carry more weight.”

“I do not see this as a problem.  We do not look at 4th year grades that much anyway unless someone failed a clerkship during 4th year.”

“Bottom line is that P/F on sub-I doesn’t matter. Many didn’t have their sub-I grades on their MSPE anyway in years prior, so I am not worried about that. 

“The primary issue for them is to have long enough experiences to get good letters and to have a good grasp of the specialty and its challenges.”

“We don’t place much, if any, emphasis on those grades, honestly. I think there are already other schools that only assign a Pass/Fail. If the rotations take place later in the year, we don’t even see those grades on their transcript anyway. So, the bottom line is that I don’t think this will hurt them and it certainly won’t at our program.”

“Pass/Fail grading is consistent with previous discussions about expectations during the residency selection process and the (low) value programs place on various school’s schemas.”

7. We firmly believe that this schema change is in your best interest and in line with national trends and feedback from competitive specialties. With 2-week clinical experiences, our clerkship directors have told us that it would be very hard to differentiate student performance beyond a Passing or Satisfactory grade. When contrasted with a history of concerns about widespread grade inflation, a tiered grading system would potentially put you at a disadvantage.

Focus on Letters of Recommendations

Instead of the previous tiered grading system, we will focus intense efforts on the importance of faculty comments for the Letters of Recommendations (LoR). 

Dr. Rusk and our Career Mentoring team have given presentations to departments to educate them on how to prepare extremely strong letters for students. We will continue to provide education and assistance to faculty in writing better LoRs and also to instruct students in the best way to obtain impactful LoRs.

We will support you, advocate for you and help you set up your Phase 3 schedule to allow you to work in your chosen specialty early in Phase 3 to obtain appropriate LoRs.

Update on Away Rotations

In addition to news about the change in grading schemes, we want to clarify frequent questions about away rotations. The Coalition for Physician Accountability and Dean Hess have released previous statements on away rotations.

In general, IU School of Medicine will not sponsor away rotations or out of state experiences during this academic year. The only exception will be for students who receive orders for a military rotation. Students who are applying for away rotations within these guidelines should follow usual procedures for submitting a special elective request and provide documentation of their orders.  

Please note that rotations within the state of Indiana and the IU School of Medicine system are not considered away rotations. For example, taking an elective or clerkship outside your home campus is a great way to gain additional clinical exposure in a discipline and since these are IUSM rotations, they are not restricted. 

Some programs across the country have announced plans for “virtual away” rotations. These are conducted entirely online and require no travel. You may see some of these opportunities in VSLO over the next few weeks, and these present good opportunities to interact with faculty at other institutions. In general, these types of rotations may be permissible through the special electives process and subject to IUSM policies on away electives.

We recommend discussing these options with your lead advisor and faculty career mentors prior to applying.

In conclusion, please know we are here for questions as the grading change rolls out, and our hope is that the rationale provides transparency regarding our reasoning behind this decision. Please reach out to askMSE, and we look forward to you being able to re-enter the clinical environment.

Sincerely,

Daniel Corson-Knowles, MD
Director of Clinical Distinctions, Phase 3
Paul Ko, MD, MEd
Associate Dean for Curricular Development and Oversight
Emily Walvoord, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Abigail Klemsz, MD, PhD
Assistant Dean for Academic Advising
Debra Rusk, MD
Assistant Dean for Career Mentoring
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

May 22, 2020, 5:33pm EDT Message, Class of 2022

Thank you for the feedback given to our MSE curricular and student affairs teams over the last few weeks. Your Medical Student Council and Class Officers have done an excellent job of bringing all of your thoughts and concerns to our attention. These are unprecedented times for you as students and for us as a school — an experience shared nationally. Our team has been working nonstop since March to react and adapt to the pandemic in a way that will optimize the learning environment for our students as best as possible. Our goals continue to be:

  1. Keep our students safe and supported in challenging times
  2. Keep students on track in the curriculum — in readiness for residency application and graduation
  3. Ensure adequate medical knowledge exposure to prepare students to excel as they enter the clinical phase of training in the face of an altered clerkship experience due to the COVID pandemic

We are overjoyed that our IUSM leadership has helped secure reliable USMLE testing to be delivered here in Indianapolis during June and early July. We hope you share that same appreciation for the work that is going on behind the scenes by your MSE team. We realize that this brings some new concerns about timing of testing as you attempt to put the final touches on your long road of preparation and take Step 1 prior to starting clerkships on June 29 if at all possible. We are aware of some additional Prometric cancellations that continue to occur.

Taking these concerns into account, we have been working closely with clerkship directors who have worked very hard to create and adjust lectures/case-based learning to prepare you well, be mindful of your time, and also deliver the knowledge you need to be successful in your clerkships. They have reduced the footprint of this material maximally and are delivering it in a format that is best — based on the time constraints brought on by the pandemic and the pressures they face as working clinicians. The content and delivery method may not be viewed as ideal by some students but it is what we can deliver. We ask for your tolerance, patience and respect for our faculty who have worked tirelessly to make this material available for your benefit.Unlike the Fundamentals of COVID-19 course, the same level of flexibility is not feasible for further changes in the content and delivery at this time.

KICC Course Flexibility
Based on your feedback, and the new USMLE Indianapolis testing opportunities now available in June, we are creating the potential for all students to choose up to five days of the KICC program that they can be excused from in order to have focused preparation for their Step exam preparation
 (five days off inclusive of the excused exam date). This flexibility, along with the weekends and intentional free time for parts of each day should help you be able to now focus on the final stages in your preparation that you all have been working incredibly hard on since classes ended in February. Please work through your Lead Advisors for any additional individual support and guidance in your preparation. Please use the Phase 2 Time Away form to identify the days that you choose to take for Step 1 preparation. Depending on the period of the time away, there may be some assignments that you may need to make up prior to the end of the course. If you have already taken Step 1 or the timing of your exam does not require additional days away, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of KICC as scheduled. 

CCSE Exam Flexibility
The CCSE exam at the end of the KICC Course is scheduled for June 26. For those who have their Step exam close to that date, we will offer two alternative dates (July 11 and July 21) to take the CCSE exam. This formative exam will be good preparation for the upcoming clerkship NBME exams, and give feedback on areas of strength and opportunities as you start the clerkships. If you desire one of the alternative dates email Elizabeth Kappes and include your Lead Advisor.

Step 1 Scheduling
We hope that these adjustments will be helpful to you. For those of you who have not yet taken advantage of scheduling an Indianapolis Step 1 test date in June, we encourage you to do so at this time while the opportunity is available (deadline Monday May 25 at noon).

Expectations of Phase 2
With your transition into Phase 2 and clinical instruction, the expectations of students change. This has been true in past years and will continue to be true — even in the post-COVID-19 era. This is a natural and necessary progression of your career as a healthcare provider. Phase 2 is not Phase 1 and the methods, pace, time commitment and individual responsibility for your learning are different. This includes juggling multiple priorities at once to build your knowledge base and skills while also applying that knowledge to the care of patients. This includes the critical information being supplied to you now through your virtual radiology and anesthesia experiences and the KICC series. In exchange for the flexibility offered to you for Step 1 preparation, we are depending on you as adult professional students to master the materials you miss during any time away before the start of clerkships on June 29.This will mean extra work to catch up, but we know you are capable of these efforts — especially because it is important for your performance heading into the face-to-face clerkships.

We hope that granting this extra flexibility is a welcomed change. None of us asked to be placed in our current situation, but believe this plan helps us meet the overarching goals expressed above. Although we are unable to act on all the suggestions from your class, we have made significant alterations in our plans to accommodate as much as possible. We will not be able to make any additional changes.  

We ask now that you focus on what lies ahead — your studies for Step and your clerkships. We are here to support you as individuals through this process and have confidence in your success — both individually and as a class

Sincerely,

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education
Paul Ko, MD
Associate Dean for Curricular Development & Oversight
Jennifer Schwartz, MD
Assistant Dean of Medical Student Education, Phase 2
Emily Walvoord, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Antwione Haywood, PhD
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

May 21, 2020, 9:30am EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

Road to Re-Entering the Clinical Practice Environment

Stages 1 and 2 of your revised Phase 3 schedules will be posted next week. This will include your core rotations – EM, Critical Care, and Sub-I. You will receive an email from the Registrar with instructions for viewing as soon as final reviews and verification are complete. 

Guiding Principles for Rescheduling

  • Ensure that you have an early rotation in your first choice of career areas.
  • Provide you with equal opportunities for electives and rotations from July – September prior to the opening of ERAS. This requirement for all rotations will be reset for these months.
  • Preserve as much of your schedule as possible later in the year.

How July-September “Priority” Rotations Were Assigned

Early rotation priority assignments were developed to maximize availability in the face of significant ongoing clinical changes, including changes in clinical rotation availability over the upcoming months due to COVID-19. The combination of elective changes and the importance of providing equal opportunities required resetting all rotation schedules for rotations 1-3.

How Your Required Rotations Were Assigned

In general, your required rotations were dropped to 2 weeks duration and may have been rescheduled in order to ensure a working schedule for all students. You should find at least 2 weeks each of critical care, emergency medicine, and Sub-I on your schedule.

In your July-September months, you will find additional clinical rotation time in one of these rotations or in an elective based on your stated specialty interest. Priority assignments were based on career preference and can be seen here, along with recommended electives that offer similar experiences in each specialty.

When You Check Your Initial Schedule Assignments:

  • If you have at least 8 core weeks of requirements on your schedule (EM, CC, and Sub-I), then you can move on to selecting electives (see Stage 3, below).
  • If you have 6 core weeks of requirements on your schedule, please email the Registrar to request the additional 2 weeks of required enrollment in your preferred rotation (EM, CC, or Sub-I).
  • If you have 8 core weeks scheduled but would like to change the way they are scheduled, you may submit requests to the Registrar. As always, we will do our best to work with you based on availability.
  • As a reminder, with the change to 8 weeks of required core clinical rotations, all students will complete at least 2 weeks of Critical Care. Advanced Clinical electives are no longer a substitute for these curriculum requirements.

Up Next: Stage 3, Elective Requests for Rotations 1-3 (July – September)

Starting next week, as planned, students will be able to request new electives for July – September only. You may begin seeking permission for new electives from designated elective coordinators once your schedules are published. You will receive specific instructions from the Registrar when it is time to submit elective requests. This will be very similar to prior rounds of electives requests. We ask that you please wait until the designated time to submit elective requests to the registrar.

The Electives Catalog and Critical Care Selectives catalog are updated on a daily basis with the latest information from our clinical educator teams. 

As a reminder, rotations on campuses that use a “by permission only” registration system through the campus coordinator will continue to work with the coordinator to make your schedules; you will need to add your electives to E*value once you have confirmed them with your regional campus coordinator

Away Rotations

Along with schools across the country, IU School of Medicine will follow the guidelines from the Coalition for Physician Accountability. We will provide a specific update for your class on the Dean’s policy for away rotations once it is published. Many specialties have released position statements regarding the 20-21 away rotations, application requirements, and the Match.  These statements are available on the MedNet Career Mentoring, COVID-19 Updates page.   

Vacation Requests 

If you foresee major schedule conflicts, we will work with you. We ask that you please work closely with your lead advisor to explore your options, needs and preferences so that we can be most effective in helping all of our students navigate these challenging times.

Updates on the Landscape of Clinical Environments

We are on track to resume clinical education statewide as planned on June 29 as we transition to the “new normal.”

This is a very dynamic time to practice medicine. The landscape of clinical practice has changed dramatically in the short time since the nationwide pause on clinical rotations in early March. Elective surgeries and procedures were cancelled, outpatient practices transitioned to telehealth and carefully consolidated clinics for essential visits, and hospitals cohorted areas into COVID vs non-COVID.

The next phases of response will vary between regions and hospital systems as each responds to developments in local healthcare needs, supply chain variation and local patterns of the pandemic. Your online courses over the next few weeks are designed to prepare you to reenter this rapidly changing environment and we are so excited to welcome you back into clinical care.

We thank you for your work with us as we address and adapt to COVID-19. Our goal is to be transparent with you throughout this time as we develop plans to ensure that you are best-prepared.

Most Sincerely,
Your Phase 3 Curricular Team

May 18, 2020, 9:30am EDT Message, Class of 2022

Dear Class of 2022,

Step 1 Options

We realize that this has been an extremely difficult situation that continues to be anxiety producing and without good solutions despite everyone’s best efforts.

Our guiding principles during this time have been to:

  1. Keep you all safe and healthy- mind, body and spirit.
  2. Provide you with outstanding medical education to prepare you to be resident physicians in two years.
  3. Continue to keep you on track to graduate on time
  4. Fulfill LCME requirements.
  5. Respect your individual needs and circumstances.
  6. Utilize our collective experience and best pedagogical practices.

We have been in conversation with many of you and have talked to all of the lead advisors across the state to make sure that we understand the many and varied issues right now. What we hear are the following themes noted below. Many of these themes are divergent, but represent the broad range of reactions and situations that we are all trying to address:

  • Pushing through to take Step as scheduled in the next few weeks.
  • Feeling less prepared now than you felt a month or two ago.
  • Unable to study at all since the Prometric closures and uncertainty in March.
  • Holding steady with studying a few hours every day.
  • Having difficulty studying for what feels like a “moving target.”
  • Feeling settled into this current situation and less stressed/resigned to the situation as it stands.
  • Continually second guessing yourselves.
  • Wanting to just get Step over with ASAP.
  • Wanting more time to study for Step.
  • Unable to decide whether to postpone Step until a vacation month.
  • Difficulty studying due to multiple distractions at home.

The bottom line is that one size will not fit all in terms of how we can best help each of you right now. We know that a large percentage of you have Step scheduled in May and June, but no matter when you have your test scheduled, we realize that individualized solutions are needed. We continue to hope that more testing options will become available, but also know that for some of you, solutions are needed now.

As much as we wish that we had more ability to change students clerkship schedules, we are unable based on multiple factors including the compressed time frame and having fewer clerkship spots than usual because of COVID-19 related clinical capacity issues across the state.

At the same time, we realize that many students have individual issues that they are confronting and we want to help them. Therefore at this time, students who need an adjustment in their current schedule should reach out to their Lead Advisor to plan for how and when we can pause their schedule to allow them to be healthy and move forward with a solid Step 1 plan.

We will do the best we can to adhere to our guiding principles, with your health being our number 1 goal, while working in our current environment to help you each determine the appropriate path for you. Thank you for your partnership and input and please start by reaching out to your Lead Advisor to initiate the discussion about this option.


Phase 2 Curriculum

We have met with your class representatives who raised some concerns regarding the Phase 2 curriculum on your behalf and we want to take a moment to inform you that we have heard these concerns and want share some information on steps we can take to address several of them. In order to optimally consider potential solutions, the curricular leadership team discussed these concerns not only with our student representatives but also with the course management teams for the May and June courses, clerkship leadership, and our student affairs team to ensure that we account for all perspectives and allow you to excel in your clinical training.

  1. Viewing pre-recorded lecture: Anesthesia is committed to having interactive sessions. However, due to an unanticipated faculty absence, this pre-recorded session was necessary Monday. Moving forward, any pre-recorded content will not be mandatory to attend in real-time and can be viewed asynchronously.
  2. PowerPoints: During phase 2, review and familiarity with the readings, pre-work and lecture content are all required to be successful. To provide you a framework to facilitate taking notes, slides will be provided moving forward.
  3. Pre-Work: There is pre-work in these courses that is critical to learn the material. If you are struggling with balancing your course work and other demands on your time, please reach out to your lead advisor and the course management team so they can help you be successful and support you through it. This pattern of preparation for clerkships will be important for your success in all clerkships as you move through your Phase 2 and Phase 3 training.
  4. Course Exams: The anesthesia and radiology examinations come directly from the materials you are asked to review. There will be no surprises and the feedback from previous years’ students on the exam have been positive. 
  5. Lecture Attendance: This content delivered in the courses in May and June will be critical to your success with your shortened clerkship exposures and summative exams delivered at the end of each clerkship. The course teams have worked very hard to make these live sessions as interactive as possible. Your attendance is required but we understand that there may be extenuating circumstances for why you cannot attend. To alert your course leadership of these needs for time away, please fill out a time away request as you will do on any clerkship or elective in Phase 2 and Phase 3. We will do our best to honor these requests during these unpredictable times.
  6. CCSE Examination: We know that for many of you, Step 1 studying is occurring concurrently with your classes. The CCSE exam is required for all students, but the results will be used in a formative manner to help guide your studying and focus in your clerkships. If you feel that you can’t take the CCSE exam on June 26th in order to accommodate your step studying requirements, please contact the course director to discuss your concern so an alternate date can be determined. Remember that you must take the CCSE exam to meet KICC start course requirements, but a specific score is not needed to pass the course. Please be aware that currently we plan on starting the clinical clerkships on June 29, 2020.
  7. Professionalism: We recognize that this has been an extremely stressful time for all of you. It is the goal of each and every one of our faculty to provide you with the knowledge and skills you will need to be successful and prepared for your clinical rotations. We know that the virtual nature of these courses can make it feel differently, but you are still in a professional training environment.  Please appreciate that all of us are operating under high levels of stress and therefore ask that you treat your colleagues and your instructors with the respect they deserve and deliver feedback in a considerate manner and through the appropriate channels. The sessions and chat boxes are meant to facilitate your education and thus should be used with that in mind. All communication should be approached with an understanding that all parties are well-intentioned, doing their best and that professionalism is expected. Tone and language are critical as we communicate with each other and we appreciate your thinking about this now as you join the clinical workforce.
  8. Your Well-Being: We know that these times are tough and for some, overwhelming. Please reach out to your lead advisors, Mental Health Services and/or the Student Affairs team if you need help. We are here to help you if changes need to be made to ensure your success and mental health during this time.

Jennifer Schwartz, MD
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education, Phase 2

Paul Ko, MD, MEd
Associate Dean for Curricular Development and Oversight

Antwione Haywood, PhD
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

Emily Walvoord, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

May 7, 2020, 8:31am EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

We are adapting the scheduling process to ensure that students will have plenty of opportunities in their intended career preferences in the early months of Phase 3. We are working closely with clinical departments to provide equitable scheduling for all students, while recognizing that our flexibility will be impacted by the changes in our COVID-adjusted time frames.

The scheduling process will look like an accelerated version of the request system we went through this winter, with a new addition:  in the first stage, the schedule update process will reserve designated rotations for all students based on your stated career interest in MSAS.

Here are the broad bullet points for prioritizing schedule updates:

  • On most campuses, your regional coordinator will work with you directly to revise your schedule. We have asked regional coordinators to notify the Registrar if you have a rotation that you need to prioritize in Indianapolis early in the year. 
  • For students and rotations based in Indianapolis, we are working with HTS (formerly CAITS) to develop a custom scheduling algorithm to rapidly optimize student rotation schedules for the first three rotation months using the staged process below. We will start by rescheduling July through September rotations with a focus on ensuring career preference opportunities for all students. We will attempt to preserve your previously created schedule from October 2020 – April 2021 whenever possible based on the selection stages below.

The only action you need to take at this time is to ensure your career preferences are up-to-date in MSAS by May 8. Detailed instructions from the Registrar will be provided at each stage.

If you are unsure of your career preference, just enter your highest priority based on the outline below. Your preference will affect your priority rotation assignment. 

NEW! Stage 1

Assign one “career priority” rotation from July – September 

  • Each student will be assigned one “career priority” rotation during July to September based specifically on the career preference recorded in MSAS. This will ensure that all students have an early rotation in their first choice of career areas. (Note: You will be able to request additional electives to fit your needs during that early time period in subsequent stages.)
    • We worked closely with departments, elective directors, campus leaders, and clerkship directors to ensure opportunities for career exposure and letter of recommendation opportunities in each and every specialty.
    • We anticipate that most students who have a career preference of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, OB/GYN and General Surgery will be assigned a Sub-Internship in these specialities, and that students whose career preference is EM will be assigned an EM clerkship. Students with other career preferences will be assigned electives as prescribed by the specialty leaders.
    • For students who desire a priority rotation at an Indianapolis site, we are targeting the week of May 18 to finalize the career priority rotation. Regional campus coordinators will continue to manage rotation requests for regional campuses
    • Many specialties are providing more 2-week rotations to maximize opportunities for earlier rotations. This will give everyone the chance for early career exposures and opportunities for additional letters of recommendation in their stated specialty of interest.
    • You may update your MSAS career preferences until Friday, May 8. Please keep your career preference up to date if you would like priority assignment to a Stage 1 rotation. You will receive detailed instructions for requesting priority rotation assignments within your declared specialty next week.

Stage 2

Remaining core clinical rotations (EM, Critical Care, Sub-I) will be assigned for rotations through the rest of the year based on availability. 

  • A reminder that as a result of the required update to Phase 3 requirements for COVID, every student will complete at least 2 weeks each of EM, CC, and Sub-I, with an additional 2 weeks from any of those three rotation types.  ACE’s are not part of the requirement due to this change.
  • We are targeting the week of May 26 to have these first two stages of scheduling completed.

Stage 3

Students will be able to fill in requests for electives in July – September

  • We are targeting the week of May 26 to begin taking elective requests for the rest of the July-September rotations that remain open on your schedule. 

Stage 4

Students will fill in electives for the remainder of the year. 

  • We are targeting the end of June to begin taking elective requests for any remaining open gaps students have in the rest of the academic year from October to April, 2021.
  • This scheduling system is intended to allow students to keep the majority of their electives late in the year as they are currently scheduled. 
    • The exception will be the early July-September rotations and the later placement of remaining core rotations (EM. CC. Sub-I) that will be scheduled over/replaced during Stage 2 core scheduling. For example, if a student needs to complete some of their core clerkship requirements in the spring, they might be assigned a required clerkship during a previously scheduled elective, and in that case the student may wish to reschedule that elective elsewhere in their schedule. 

This outline represents a starting point. You will receive detailed instructions from the Registrar at each stage of this process. We will continue to work with you throughout the year if you need to change your schedule. We appreciate your patience in this process as we help you rework your schedule due to these changes brought about by the COVID-19 pause.

Vacation requests

Due to the short timeline from now through the residency application cycle, we strongly recommend students plan to use as much of their early rotation time as possible for clinical experiences and be in position to obtain strong Letters of Recommendation through at least October. Vacation requests during this time frame should be carefully considered in light of your personal needs and in consultation with your lead advisor and career mentor. 

Looking forward

Detailed instructions for moving through your schedule updates will be coming soon. We will continue to make any modifications as needed to adjust to any additional changes in our plan to return to rotations. These would include adapting IU School of Medicine policies or requirements if necessary, to help you navigate your fourth year: your educational goals, licensing exams requirements, and your transition to residency.

We are working closely with clinical departments and faculty to ensure we maximize opportunities for a great clinical experience in your first months back on rotation and throughout the rest of the year. We are committed to your safety upon re-entry to clerkships. We will be continuing work on your MSPE’s to highlight your strengths and distinguishing characteristics. We are collaborating closely with our Indiana and national residency program leadership to tailor your experience to put you in the best possible position for residency applications in this time of change.Sincerely,

Your Phase 3 Curricular Team

April 30, 2020, 8:12am EDT Message

Dear Students,

The IU School of Medicine leadership team has been receiving updated information on the Step exam process, and we share your frustration and disappointment in how this is being handled, particularly since it has added more undue tension to an already stressful period in your academic careers.

We want to be as transparent as possible in our communications with you. Unfortunately, we are not receiving much more additional information than what you are receiving at this time. In this message, we will share with you what we know, and our plans moving forward.

Step 1: Many of you have had your exams cancelled and some rescheduled at random locations and for random dates, some after the prior June 28 school deadline for excused absences. 
Step 2Many of you have had your CK exams rescheduled, and we are all still awaiting news on CS.

We recognize that these changes are happening without your control or input and hope that the system for scheduling exams returns to some sense of normalcy.  We continue to encourage that exams be taken as soon as possible.

Rest assured, however, that if your exam is rescheduled during a required clerkship, you will be provided an excused absence to be able to take the exam. Students will be able to make up any time missed in order to gain an appropriate clinical exposure to that subject area and complete the clerkship, which are already shortened in length due to the COVID-19 pause.

We know that Phase 3 students are concerned about the impact the pandemic has on residency applications.  Rising fourth year students across the country are facing similar situations, including uncertainty about interviews, travel, and access to the Step 2 CK and CS exams. 

Accordingly, residency programs are modifying their expectations based on the realities we all face. We encourage you to take CK and CS as soon as you are able. Drs. Allen, Ko, Walvoord and Wallach attended the IU School of Medicine GME Program Directors meeting last week to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students across the country.

Program directors were able to share the amount of intense attention this topic is receiving at the national level as residency programs look for ways to adjust their application processes so as not to disadvantage applicants. Many disciplines have already come out with changes to their residency application and recruitment guidelines and recommendations, and we expect nearly all specialties to continue to develop student-focused solutions.

The GME group has invited us back for further discussions on this evolving topic so that we can advocate on behalf of our students and help keep our IU School of Medicine residency leadership informed of challenges you all are facing. 

With all of your studying for either Step 1 or Step 2, you have learned a considerable amount, and please know that this preparation will pay off beyond the exam. This improved readiness will significantly help you to shine when you do your Phase 2 clerkships, Phase 3 Sub-I, EM, Critical care selective, electives, etc. This concentrated period of study you have been through, coupled with hard work during rotations, will result in positive evaluations and letters of recommendation.

We will be helping students to plan ways to capture those positive rotation experiences in letters from faculty. In terms of your interim study plan, continue to shift into marathon mode – take days off, study a little every other day, with the goal of long-term retention. We will continue to provide tutoring and work with you to consider how we can support additional resources. 

The Medical Student Education (MSE) team will continue to advocate for you. In terms of Step rescheduling, we have not heard any further details beyond what was released by the USMLE program on April 27, 2020. The Prometric centers are independent entities that, as noted in a recent email, have millions of test takers a year and hundreds of organizations that they serve. The USMLE program is but one of the exams provided through Prometric. However, it is the USMLE program that is relevant to our students, and to which we actively advocate in your behalf.

Since the initial closure of Prometric, we have been in close communication about USMLE testing with Dean Wallach, who is well acquainted with the NBME leadership, and is advocating on behalf of medical students. As you know, Dr. Wallach is a huge student advocate and agrees that the current situation is extremely frustrating and needs to be addressed expeditiously. We share your frustration in how testing and related communication has been handled during this emergency. Please know that we are listening, share your concerns and are elevating ideas for solutions to the highest levels on your behalf.

We hope that this helps in a small way to allay some of your concerns, but please reach out to any of us to let us know how you are doing and for further conversations.

Thank you.
Emily Walvoord, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Paul Ko, MD, MEd
Associate Dean for Curriculum Development & Oversight
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education
Paul Wallach, MD
Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement

April 24, 2020, 1:08pm EDT Message, Class of 2022

Dear Classes of 2022, 

Prometric Update

As you are likely aware, the Prometric centers announced around noon yesterday that all centers will be closed until May 31, with the exception of “essential services programs.” 

USMLE is considered an essential program, and certain centers will still be able to resume testing in accordance with local social distancing guidelines on May 1, 2020. We would thus strongly encourage you to keep your currently scheduled test date while we all await more information. 

We understand that Prometric will be instituting changes at their centers to allow for social distancing, and that this will likely involve fewer tests being administered per session, while at the same time potentially expanding capacity by extending test center hours and days of operation. 

We are in close touch with the AAMC to try to obtain information for you as quickly as possible. Please remember that Prometric is an independent company with over 8,000 testing centers in 160 countries administering exams for 380 organizations to over 7 million test takers annually. As an individual school, we are not able to exert influence over their processes.

Please be sure to check your specific testing center for updates since each center has some degree of autonomy to determine their individual opening dates. 

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to express our sincere empathy during this difficult situation and navigation of constantly evolving updates. Please reach out to anyone on the MSE or mental health services team (dmhs@iu.edu or call 317-278-2383) for help or questions.

Phase 2 Schedule

You can now access your Phase 2 schedules with the new online courses added and with updated course dates. Please note that schedules are not updated in E*Value and will only be in MSAS this year.

You can go to MSAS Student to access. Once logged in, you can do the following:

  • Click on Course Work in the left-hand menu
  • Click on year 3 schedule to view updated schedule details

Thank you so much, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to askMSE with questions.

Sincerely,
Your MSE Team

April 24, 2020, 1:05pm EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021, 

Prometric Update

As you are likely aware, the Prometric centers announced around noon yesterday that all centers will be closed until May 31, with the exception of “essential services programs.” 

USMLE is considered an essential program, and certain centers will still be able to resume testing in accordance with local social distancing guidelines on May 1, 2020. We would thus strongly encourage you to keep your currently scheduled test date while we all await more information. 

We understand that Prometric will be instituting changes at their centers to allow for social distancing, and that this will likely involve fewer tests being administered per session, while at the same time potentially expanding capacity by extending test center hours and days of operation. 

We are in close touch with the AAMC to try to obtain information for you as quickly as possible. Please remember that Prometric is an independent company with over 8,000 testing centers in 160 countries administering exams for 380 organizations to over 7 million test takers annually. As an individual school, we unfortunately are not able to exert influence over their processes.

Please be sure to check your specific testing center for updates since each center has some degree of autonomy to determine their individual opening dates. 

In addition, All CSEC test centers for Step 2 CS are temporarily closed until at least May 31, 2020. Centers will reopen on a site-by-site basis, according to local public health practices and guidelines. When testing resumes, centers will institute measures to keep examinees and test center staff safe. As a result, examinees should anticipate some modifications to administrative procedures at CSEC test centers.

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to express our sincere empathy during this situation. We realize that it is stressful to navigate constantly evolving updates. Please reach out to anyone on the MSE or mental health services team (dmhs@iu.edu or call 317-278-2383) for help or questions.

VSLO Update

Today, the AAMC announced an extension of the nation-wide VSLO closure to the week of May 11.

The VSLO access suspension was put in place as stakeholders across the medical education community discussed how to approach away rotations in this current and next academic year.

Since the suspension, the AAMC has been collaborating with various organizations to accommodate for the impact of COVID-19 on VSLO users. The Coalition on Physician Accountability (Coalition), a cross-organizational group in medical education, has convened the Current Practices of Student Movement Across Institutions for the Class of 2021 Work Group to consider the impact of COVID-19 on away rotations and to develop recommendations to address those concerns. Although discussions are well underway, the work group will not conclude its work by April 29. The AAMC wishes to avoid re-opening VSAS before the Coalition releases its recommendations.

Visiting Student updates can be found on the AAMC’s Coronavirus Resource Hub and in the VSLO Coronavirus FAQs.

The announcement states that VSLO is expected to open sometime the week of May 11. We will immediately update you with the specific date and time that VSLO will re-open once we receive notification from the AAMC.

Thank you so much, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to askMSE with questions.

Sincerely,
Your MSE Team

April 17, 2020, 8:43am EDT Message, Class of 2020

Doctoral tam on left. Text: Class of 2020 Graduation in bold. Subtitle: We can't wait to see what's next

Dear Class of 2020, 

We are busy making plans for a terrific virtual graduation ceremony to be held on Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. EDT. In addition to showing a photo and reading the name and residency destination (if you have given permission) of each graduating student, we will be featuring student speakers, announcing student award winners and showing photos and videos submitted by your class.

Our hope is to offer you a really wonderful event to celebrate each of you and all of your accomplishments. 

Here are some great new updates we have in store for you!

A New Graduation Speaker for New Times

With consideration of our current pandemic and massive public health needs, we have engaged a new and highly recognized national graduation speaker. In the next week, we look forward to making this fantastic announcement. Stay tuned and get excited!

A Gift for Our Graduates

To make your virtual ceremony more meaningful, we are purchasing doctoral tams and tassels for each student to wear and keep. These tams and tassels will be shipped directly from Herff Jones to the address of your choice, where you will be celebrating your graduation.

To make this happen will need your address at time of graduation by April 20 at 12 p.m. EDT. Please fill out this form so we can send your items to arrive by graduation. No extensions will be possible, so don’t delay! 

In order to receive a full refund for your rented regalia, please return your gown, tam, tassel and hood using the return process here.

Black doctoral tam with gold tassel.

A Graduation Box and GQ Incentives

Each member of the Class of 2020 will receive a special IU School of Medicine Graduation Package that will include:

  • Graduation program
  • Match letter inside the official IU red envelope
  • Class Composite
  • Return envelope for mailbox key
  • Match Day shirt (for students unable to pick up prior to Match Day)
  • Gold Humanism Honor cords (for those receiving them)
  • An additional special gift if you qualified for a GQ incentive package/ gift 
  • A Class of 2020 IU School of Medicine stainless steel tumbler as a preemptive thank you to everyone in hopes that you will all fill out the GQ!

Your opinion matters, so if you have not already, please fill out the GQ. On Wednesday, April 1, the AAMC sent a reminder if you had not yet completed the GQ. The next reminder is scheduled for May 1. The AAMC sends individualized, private links in these emails. If you cannot locate the email and GQ link, please contact GQ@aamc.org directly, and they will send you a new link.

White tumbler with Indiana University logo. Text underneath: Indiana University School of Medicine Class of 2020

An Electronic Diploma

IU School of Medicine has also purchased e-diplomas for all students. This will allow you to directly download your diploma as a PDF that will make credentialing processes much easier than in the past when students needed to create these themselves from their paper diplomas. More information about these e-diplomas and how you will receive your real diplomas and red IUSM diploma tubes will be coming soon.

Graduation Photos

What are highlights of your four years at IU School of Medicine? Help us create a memorable presentation featuring photos from you and your classmates showing the fun times you’ve had. Submit them by emailing here.

Finally If you have not already, please fill out this grad details survey so that we know your information and can send you a graduation gift.

We are so excited to celebrate with you on May 15. “See” you then!

All the best,
Your Medical Student Education Team

April 16, 2020, 10:13am EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021: 

We realize that there are many unanswered questions regarding how the residency match cycle will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We are working to keep you updated as new information is released. Yesterday, we were notified that the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) will be closed from April 15-28 for all students nationally.

The early months of the fourth year in medical school have traditionally been the desired months for away, or audition, rotations. Away rotations have played an important role in the residency application process in prior years.

Many stakeholders within the medical education community are concerned about the continuation of away rotations due to COVID-19’s impact on education, patient care, learner safety, and travel. Travel restrictions and variations in rotation availability may also be creating inequity among students as they seek rotation experiences in the compressed timeframe caused by the removal of students from clinical venues.

For these reasons, the VSLO program will close today (April 15) and will put into place a short-term two-week suspension on applications to away rotations from April 15-28, resuming on April 29. This will allow stakeholders across the medical education community discuss how to approach away rotations in this current and next academic year.  

We appreciate your patience and understanding as the process moves forward, and we will keep you informed as we get updates. For more information, Visiting Student updates can be found on the AAMC’s Coronavirus Resource Hub and in the VSLO Coronavirus FAQs.

Most Sincerely,
Debra Rusk
Assistant Dean for Career Mentoring, Educational Affairs

April 9, 2020, 1:42pm EDT Message, Class of 2022

Dear Class of 2022: 

We wanted to give you updates through an FAQ based on active changes in your curriculum due to COVID-19. Please note that this is what we know at this time, and that changes are still developing.

See here for a proposed Phase 2 Schedule for 2020-2021, and note that this is subject to change due to COVID-19.

In addition to our regular email communication, we are also working on increasing face-to-face interaction (virtually!) during social distancing for students across the state. Dean Emily Walvoord, MD, will be holding twice weekly Zoom office hours every Monday from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EDT and Friday from 10 a.m.-11 a.m EDT. This will be a time to check in, ask questions, and/or offer suggestions. No need to make an appointment, just drop in. She will look forward to “seeing” you soon.

Zoom link here.

Please be sure to reach out to askMSE with any questions or concerns, and we will respond with the information we can currently provide. We thank you for your patience and resiliency during this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: When does T2 start?
A1:
 April 14, 2020.

Q2: In our May to June courses, what type of assessments will there be and what will the schedule be?
A2:
 The May and June courses will be similar to P1, with required content and ILT with assessments (exams) at the end of Anesthesia and Radiology courses. We anticipate 25 hours per-week on average.

Q3: What are the Anesthesia and Radiology courses?
A3: 
These new courses will allow students to learn about these specialties. They will fulfill the requirements for Anesthesia and Radiology and will fulfill the pre-requisite requirement to do advanced clinical electives in these specialties in Phase 3.

Q4: How do we submit time away for April, May and June?
A4: 
Time Away during T2 should be submitted to Dr. Ramirez. Details about submitting Time Away requests for May/June will be forthcoming, but all requests for taking Step 1 will be honored during this time period.

Q5: When will OTC be held?
A5:
 OTC will be held on June 26, 2020.

Q6: Will my current schedule stay the same?
A6: 
Yes, students will retain the current order of clerkships/vacation (with the addition of a vacation month instead of their Anesthesia/Radiology Clerkships), only the dates of these rotations are changing.

Q7: What if I’m required to attend a clerkship at a campus where I do not have housing?
A7:
 Housing will always be provided by the University to accommodate for this.

Q8: When will clerkship exams be given?
A8:
 Exams (NBME/Aquifer) will be given at the end of each clerkship.

Q9: Will we still have a day off of each rotation to study for the NBME?
A9:
 Since the clerkships are shorter with the new plan, there will not be time for a day off. However, you will have extra preparation in the form of KICC during the May/June curriculum that will be designed to help you prepare for NBME exams.

Q10: Will I be able to take a 3- or 4-week elective?
A10:
 Only 2-week CE and 2-week special electives will be available.

Q11: Will regional campus students be guaranteed to go to Indy for inpatient pediatrics?
A11:
 All students from Northwest, West Lafayette, Muncie and Terre Haute as well as some students from Fort Wayne and Evansville will go to Indianapolis for in-patient pediatrics. Only South Bend and Bloomington students stay at their campus for in-patient pediatrics.

Q12: I know during the old system that 1-2 absences were allowed per rotation as long we filled out the time-away form. Will that still be the case?
A12: 
Absences are always approved on a case-by-case basis. Absences for conferences are granted typically if presenting at a meeting.

Q13: When should requests for special electives be submitted?
A13:
 Paperwork for special electives for the first rotation should be submitted a month in advance.

Q14: What is the assessment/review block in April, 2021, that is shown in the example calendar on the email?
A14:
 That will be time to either complete Step 1 and/or study for and complete Step 2.

Q15: How will requests for Schedule Changes and Time Away be accommodated?
A15: We will do our very best to accommodate these requests, but please wait until all schedules have been updated. If students need a day off, that Time Away would go to the Clerkship/Elective Director. If students need a schedule change due to a significant life event, those will be handled by our Registrar, Amanda Ybarra, in consultation with Drs. Schwartz and Corson-Knowles on a case-by-case bases. 

Q16: How will tuition and financial aid be handled?
A16: Tuition and financial aid will remain the same during these months of curriculum adjustments.

Q17Could the information/data leading to these curricular schedule changes be shared with the student body? It would be encouraging to see the information that our administration is working with to enact these changes, as we will be trying to pass this along to our family and friends who will want to know why things are being changed so drastically.
A17: There are published models that project the impact of COVID-19 on hospital systems and communities. One of the most user-friendly models is from the University of Washington, where the faculty are tragically familiar with the impact of COVID-19. This model is update frequently and projections will change from day to day as new data is added to the model.

Additionally, multiple members of your curriculum team work on the ground in emergency departments, ICU’s, and infectious disease. Additional guidance comes on a frequent basis from the LCME and AAMC. You may note that the AAMC has been issuing short term guidance on a 2-week basis, and we anticipate that the guidance to restrict clinical rotations will continue until the situation on the ground improves considerably.

We are anticipating our surge in Indiana to occur over the next 2-4 weeks, and it could last several weeks. We can tell you that the situation is serious, that social distancing is the most effective tool to combat this virus, and that the shortages of equipment in hospitals are of grave concern. We are optimistic that this situation will improve after the surge and allow us to return to rotations on this timeline.

If you have missed previous communication, please refer to our MedNet page, which provides a log of all special editions sent out at this time to students. Coronavirus.iu.edu also provides critical information for the IU community regarding COVID-19. We hope you are staying well and safe.

Most Sincerely,

Jennifer Schwartz, MD
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education, Phase 2

Paul Ko, MD
Associate Dean for Curricular Development and Oversight

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD 
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

April 9, 2020, 11:33am EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021: 

We wanted to give you updates through an FAQ based on active changes in your curriculum due to COVID-19. Please note that this is what we know at this time, and that changes are still developing.

In addition to our regular email communication, we are also working on increasing face-to-face interaction (virtually!) during social distancing for students across the state. Dean Emily Walvoord, MD, will be holding twice weekly Zoom office hours every Monday from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EDT and Friday from 10 a.m.-11 a.m EDT. This will be a time to check in, ask questions, and/or offer suggestions. No need to make an appointment, just drop in. She will look forward to “seeing” you soon.

Zoom link here.


Please be sure also to reach out to askMSE with any questions or concerns, and we will respond with the information we can currently provide. We thank you for your patience and resiliency during this time.

Make sure that you update your career preferences this week in MSAS to ensure that your schedule reflects your true career preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Will we still be required to complete the End-of- Phase 2 OSCE?
A1
: Alternative plans are in the works, and we hope to decide prior to return to clerkships on how these will be rescheduled or modified. 

Q2: What does the curriculum look like for May/June?
A2: There are 3 online courses for May/June. These are Pass/Fail and are required for all students, thus they are NOT electives and will NOT count toward the 3 non-clinical electives requirement.

  • Fundamentals of COVID
  • Core Knowledge (EM, Critical Care, Radiology) – This will satisfy the Radiology requirement for P3. It is preparation for the clinical clerkships for EM and Critical Care. 
  • Transition to Advanced Clinical Practice 

Q3: Are the three courses in May/June simultaneous enrollments with each other, or are we also allowed to be enrolled in other non-clinical electives? 
A3:
 These courses will run in parallel, and are designed to allow sufficient time for other activities such as an additional online elective. We anticipate 20-25 hours per week on average.

Q4: When will the EM NBME be given?  
A4:
 The NBME for EM will be given at the end of the online course at the end of June.

Q5: What is the requirement for EM/CC/Sub-I?  
A5:
 Two weeks of each and then an additional 2 weeks of one.  

Q6: Who should sign up for an online elective in Apr/May/Jun?  
A6
: All students are encouraged to take an online elective during this time. Students who did not sign up for an April elective may want to sign up for a May or June online elective. Please note that only 1 elective will count toward your graduation credits.

Q7: What is the structure of the 3 online courses in May and June, and how flexible they will be for students to continue their Step 2 study during this time?  
A7:

  • We are currently working out the scheduling details of the 3 online courses. The intent is that there will be some synchronous content (approximately 2-4 hours max each day total), but the majority of the course work will be asynchronous. 
  • We will also have blocked self-directed learning time for students to be able to dedicate to Step 2 studying and completing the online modules. 
  • More details will be coming, but the answer is, yes, there will be time to study for Step 2 and complete other task during those blocks.

Q8: What if I took Radiology in P2?  
A8:
 Students who took Radiology in their P2 vacation month can apply for a waiver for the Radiology portion of the course, but they will still need to complete the online Core Knowledge course as it will be one course containing EM, Critical Care and Radiology and is not 3 separate courses. 

Q9:How will I get enough Letters of Recommendation (LORs)?
A9:
 Students should be seeking LORs from P2 as well as their P3 Clerkships. They should also ask for LORs from the clerkships/electives they schedule for JUL and AUG and possibly SEP.  Your knowledge base, skill in the clinical environment, ability to communicate effectively, and demonstration of being a team player is applicable to all specialties.

Q10:What will my schedule look like this year?
A10: All scheduled clerkships/electives for Apr/May/Jun will be dropped, with the exception of scheduled online electives. The scheduling process for Jul-Apr is still being worked out, and students will receive additional communication as soon as this is available. 

Q11: Will the time frames stay the same/differ with this schedule change?
A11: Ideally, rotation dates will remain very similar. We are analyzing other models to maintain an easy to use calendar.

Q12: When should I take Step 2?  
A12:
 All students should plan on taking CK and CS as soon as they feel ready and can schedule a date. The November 1 deadline is still strongly suggested, but obviously, we will not penalize those who do not meet it. The deadline serves as a reminder to get your scores in as soon as possible for applications.

Q13: Can I take an Away Elective in Apr/May/Jun?  
A13:
 No. Away electives can be scheduled after June 29, when IU School of Medicine clerkships begin.

Q14: How will I have time for interviews?
A14: The Time Away policy was updated last year to allow for more flexibility for residency interviews when students are enrolled in electives and clerkships during interview season. This policy will continue to be followed.

Q15: Is the Core Knowledge radiology section, the required radiology rotation? Or just supplemental online lectures?
A15: The Radiology Core Knowledge contains most of the Radiology clerkship content and will count as the graduation requirement.

Q16: What are the new elective requirements?   
A16:
 3 clinical practice + 3 others. 

Q17: Are ACE electives interchangeable with clinical practice (for example, could we do 1 ACE + 2 CP + 3 other?)
A17: Yes.

Q18: Previously, an advanced clinical elective would satisfy the critical care requirement. Is this no longer the case? 
A18: The goal is to provide every student with at least two intensive months of clinical experience that mirrors an internship. Ideally, this will be composed of experiences in a Sub-I, EM, and Critical Care for all students.

Q19: Will the policy “clinical electives must be from 2 different departments” be enforced?
A19: This is actually an LCME accreditation requirement, and we expect it will continue at this time.

Q20: I already did 2 weeks of the 4-week medicine sub-I in March before we were pulled, does that count as my two week sub-I?
A20: Yes, this will be incorporated into your graduation requirements as your 2 weeks of Sub-I.

Q21: Will electives taken in third year (Phase 2) still count in Phase 3?
A21: Yes, but students will be limited to the amount of vacation time allowed as they will need to meet enrollment requirements for all three semesters of their fourth year (Summer, Fall, Spring).

Q22: What if I’m off-cycle and still have Phase 2 clerkships to take?  
A22: You will be required to complete the May/June Phase 3 curriculum and may consider an online elective.  These unique circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Klemsz and your Lead Advisor will work with you to ensure you meet graduation requirements.

Q23Are vacation days/campus connection days that are planned still going to happen? Are we starting June 29 or July 1? If we’re starting July 1, does it make sense to just start after the Fourth of July weekend so there is less staff interruption and confusion during the holiday week?
A23
: We are looking at the impact of those dates on calendar schedules for the entire year.

Q24Is April 2021 going to be an available block now? Or is transitions 3 still happening in that block?
A24: Most of the content from T3 and Radiology will be delivered this summer, so April will be a rotation month. We would like to have an educational event for the class at the end of the year, but it will depend on the timing of the start of clerkships, as we want to ensure it does not interfere with the timing of graduation.

Q25: How will requests for Schedule Changes and Time Away be accommodated?
A25: We will do our very best to accommodate these requests, but please wait until all schedules have been updated. If students need a day off, that Time Away would go to the Clerkship/Elective Director. If students need a schedule change due to a significant life event, those will be handled by our Registrar, Amanda Ybarra, in consultation with Drs. Schwartz and Corson-Knowles on a case-by-case bases. 

Q26: How will tuition and financial aid be handled?
A26: Tuition and financial aid will remain the same during these months of curriculum adjustments.

Q27Could the information/data leading to these curricular schedule changes be shared with the student body? It would be encouraging to see the information that our administration is working with to enact these changes, as we will be trying to pass this along to our family and friends who will want to know why things are being changed so drastically.
A27: There are published models that project the impact of COVID-19 on hospital systems and communities. One of the most user-friendly models is from the University of Washington, where the faculty are tragically familiar with the impact of COVID-19. This model is update frequently and projections will change from day to day as new data is added to the model.

Additionally, multiple members of your curriculum team work on the ground in emergency departments, ICU’s, and infectious disease. Additional guidance comes on a frequent basis from the LCME and AAMC. You may note that the AAMC has been issuing short term guidance on a 2-week basis, and we anticipate that the guidance to restrict clinical rotations will continue until the situation on the ground improves considerably.

We are anticipating our surge in Indiana to occur over the next 2-4 weeks, and it could last several weeks. We can tell you that the situation is serious, that social distancing is the most effective tool to combat this virus, and that the shortages of equipment in hospitals are of grave concern. We are optimistic that this situation will improve after the surge and allow us to return to rotations on this timeline.

If you have missed previous communication, please refer to our MedNet page, which provides a log of all special editions sent out at this time to students. Coronavirus.iu.edu also provides critical information for the IU community regarding COVID-19. We hope you are staying well and safe.

Most Sincerely,

Daniel Corson-Knowles, MD
Director of Clinical Distinctions, Phase 3 Curriculum

Paul Ko, MD
Associate Dean for Curricular Development and Oversight

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD 
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

April 7, 2020, 2:21pm EDT Message, Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020:

On April 2, 2020, we sent out a message which outlines the opportunity for you to voluntarily request early graduation. That survey will be closed tonight, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 12 a.m. EDT so that the School can work to verify all graduation requirements in the timeline needed to meet the early graduation date.

Any student who is interested in early graduation who did not yet complete the above survey should also reach out to Dr. Marti Reeser to see about being added to the list.

Please note that there was also a separate survey requesting information on placement options from the Indiana State Department of Health. As noted in that message, “Your information will not be shared with any facility without your consent, and Medical Student Education (MSE) leaders will help you work through this process.” This survey will still be open tonight and tomorrow.

As was shared with the entire Class of 2020 at the Transitions 3 orientation, completion of this course in an expedited manner to allow early graduation will require completion of all course requirements noted in the Canvas site by April 10, 2020. 

If you have changed your mind and wish to rescind your previous decision, please email Dr. Reeser at dreeser@iu.edu no later than midnight on Monday, April 13, 2020.    

Most Sincerely,
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD 
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education
Marti Reeser, EdD
Assistant Dean, Medical Student Education 

April 7, 2020, 1:54pm EDT Message, Class of 2023

Dear Class of 2023,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, locally and nationally, we wanted to provide an update on the Phase 1 curriculum and your educational timeline.

First, and importantly, it is imperative to us, your colleagues and family that you stay healthy. Please follow all healthy distancing guidelines set out by IU School of Medicine, Indiana University and Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). Many of you are, and others have expressed an interest in responding to local needs during the pandemic.  

For those of you interested in volunteering, there are opportunities available.P lease find the link to the ISDH Healthcare Student Volunteer Task Force Survey here.

Curriculum

Host Defense
We appreciate and and acknowledge that the change in delivery of the course content and exam administration occurred without much warning. We will look carefully at the course evaluations to learn what worked well and what needs improvement. We are happy to let you know that the exam average for Exam 3 was similar to those over the past 3 years and, based upon previous question statistics, the final exam average was also what the Course Management Team expected. 

Neuroscience and Behavior
As outlined in the course syllabus and session schedule, course content (didactic, small group) and exam delivery will occur remotely, with asynchronous as well as synchronous sessions. Your course evaluations will be an invaluable way for us to learn what worked well and what needs improvement. 

Foundations of Clinical Practice 1
As you are all aware, the course requirement to pass the summative OSCE has been waived for this year and has been replaced with a clinical reasoning exercise. Foundations of Clinical Practice 2 will start with a review of the History and Physical. 

NOTE:  To ensure that you are receiving the latest information please check Canvas Announcements daily and read the MD Student Newsletter. 

CITI modules
IU School of Medicine requires all medical students to receive training in human subject research. This is accomplished by taking The Biomedical Researchertraining which requires completion of 9 Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) modules. All Phase 1 year 1 students are required to complete the modules between May 18, and July 27, 2020. Once you complete the modules you will upload the completion certificate to MedHub. You will receive an email in the next couple of weeks outlining the process.

IMPRS
Currently, the IMPRS summer research program is continuing its preparations but with caution that there could be changes at any time as the state of COVID-19 continues to evolve. Program leadership is continuing to follow the guidance provided by Dr. Shekhar’s office (EAD for Research Affairs) as well as campus and IU’s policies. The School and University are re-assessing the situation regularly. The Program anticipates that many research experiences and lectures will be conducted remotely. If you have additional questions, reach out to the program leadership at IMPRS@iupui.edu.

We know these are challenging times in your education. If you have questions, please go to askMSE.  Working together with the considerable resources that we have available, we will all come out on the other side. 

Most Sincerely,

Margaret Bauer, PhD
Director of Foundational Science Integration, Phase 1
Jean Mensz, MD
Director of Clinical Integration, Phase 1
Maureen Harrington, PhD
Assoc. Dean, Medical Student Education

April 3, 2020, 3:47pm EDT Message, Classes of ’21, ’22, and ’23

Dear Class of 2021, 2022, and 2023:

At IU School of Medicine, our leaders are working closely with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to engage in a response due to the COVID-19 pandemic surge and executive order from Indiana Governor Holcomb.

The ISDH is asking professional healthcare students who may be willing to volunteer as part of the healthcare response to complete and return the survey below as soon as possible.

This will help the State and local employers to identify professional healthcare students who may be able to provide support or relief to those on the frontline of the pandemic.

This survey is completely voluntary. By filling it out, you offer no contractual agreement. It simply provides information for the Indiana State Department of Health to facilitate support for teams who are on the frontline.

You can indicate limited availability such as “one weekend a month,” in recognition that many of you will be fully enrolled in coursework by mid-April.

Medical Student Education (MSE) leaders will help you work through this process if you have interest in conjunction with the Indiana State Department of Health. Please note that this survey data goes directly to the ISDH and not IU School of Medicine.

We thank you for your resilience, and we understand that this option is an extremely personal and fully voluntary decision. We aim to support you and keep you safe, informed and prepared to become strong physicians.

Most Sincerely,
Paul Wallach, MD
Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

April 3, 2020, 2:39pm EDT Message, Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020:

We are working closely with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to gauge your preferences for potentially serving in facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic surge. If you have expressed an interest in graduating early on April 15, and want to provide care in Indiana prior to residency, please fill out the survey below as it will provide helpful information in connecting new graduates with health systems that have need.

This survey is completely voluntary. By filling it out, you offer no contractual agreement. It simply provides information for the Indiana State Department of Health to facilitate placements. Responses are requested by Sunday, April 5, at midnight.

Your information will not be shared with any facility without your consent, and Medical Student Education (MSE) leaders will help you work through this process.

Thank you so much for your time and leadership as future physicians. Our goal is to keep you safe and to ensure you enter our profession fully prepared and supported.

Most Sincerely,
Paul Wallach, MD
Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

April 2, 2020, 4:22pm EDT Message, Class of 2021

Dear Class of 2021:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and affect our country and the state of Indiana, we want to give you some updates of what the Phase 3 Curriculum will look like for 2020-2021. 

These plans have evolved with the changing landscape in our state, and indeed, across the globe. The following plan outlines our educational goals and allows some flexibility to change based on health system demands as we move forward through the pandemic. 

Based on public health modeling and current clinical experience, we anticipate that clinical activities for medical students will continue to be restricted due to severe limitations of PPE and the overload of the healthcare system through June 29, 2020. From April through June, your education will continue virtually in order to prepare you for success upon re-entry to your clinical rotations. 

April – June, 2020: Step 2 Prep and Virtual Learning

April: 

  • Step 2 study: We strongly recommend taking Step 2 as soon as testing becomes available and ask you to begin a study plan now.
  • Online electives: We currently have 27+ electives (and growing) offering 380+ available slots. You may take an available elective during these months to explore your interests.

May – June:

All students will be enrolled in the following three online courses during May through June, which will appear on your transcript as Pass/Fail courses. Although three separate courses, the content is less than a full month, making simultaneous enrollment possible.

  • Fundamentals of COVID-19: This course will cover essential elements of the current pandemic, from epidemiology, basic science background, public health issues, and clinical presentations of illness and other relevant topics. 
  • Core Knowledge (EM, Critical Care, and Radiology): This will prepare you for these intensive clinical experiences.
  • Transition to Advanced Clinical Practice: This is patterned after the Transitions 3 course and is designed to prepare you for your fourth year of medical school.

Thus, some Transitions 3 content and Radiology will be incorporated in these early months, rather than later in the year. Additionally, time will be available for self-directed study, research, and other important activities including volunteerism from April through June. 

We are planning to resume clinical rotations starting on June 29, 2020. To allow for more students to rotate through the core rotations during the revised rotation calendar, you will complete a minimum of 8 weeks of required “intensive clinical experiences.” 

These will include rotations in the Sub-I, Emergency Medicine, and Critical Care clerkships for a minimum of 2 weeks in each of these rotations. These new modifications and requirements will allow for an anticipated graduation date in May, 2021, and provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to graduate with the core competencies needed of a physician. The flexibility inherent in this design will allow us to make schedule adjustments as the situation demands.

July, 2020 to April, 2021 (10 months on rotation calendar)

  • Sub-I (minimum of 2 weeks)
  • EM (minimum of 2 weeks)
  • Critical Care (minimum of 2 weeks)
  • Choice of Sub-I, EM or CC (additional 2 weeks) 
    • Total: minimum of 8 weeks total from these 3 required clerkships
    • In the event that at the time of return to clinical rotations, EM or CC are unavailable, one may substitute with the other. An Advanced Clinical Elective may also be acceptable if both of these rotations are limited and with the approval of MSE.
  • 3 clinical practice electives
  • 3 additional electives from any category
  • Vacation (Maximum of 3 months. Due to the compressed time frame, we strongly recommend additional clinical electives to maximize your clinical exposure.)

Further details on the process for scheduling your clinical rotations will follow as we get closer to the start of clinical rotations phase. Unique circumstances (e.g. weddings, life events, off-cycle schedules) will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. We are working closely with clinical department leadership to ensure that every student has early exposure to clinical rotations in their fields of interest and necessary letters of recommendation needed for application for residency.

We are also in regular contact with educational leaders across the country to assure that your paths are in line with students nationally who are facing the same challenges.

Your Medical Student Council representatives have been working with us through the development of these plans and will continue to work closely with MSE as we move forward. Your MSC and Class President will assist with collecting your questions and comments so that we can respond to the needs of your class.

We recognize that these are unprecedented times and that all of our lives have been affected by the pandemic. We extend our empathy to you, your loved ones and friends who are experiencing great uncertainty right now. Our collective goals are unchanged: to help you become the best physician that you can be while keeping you safe and ensuring that you remain on the same timeline to join our profession as physicians.

Most Sincerely,

Daniel Corson-Knowles, MD
Director of Clinical Distinctions, Phase 3 Curriculum

Paul Ko, MD
Associate Dean for Curricular Development & Oversight

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

April 2, 2020, 3:50pm EDT Message, Class of 2022

Dear Class of 2022,

We hope this message finds you healthy and safe. We want to share the updated plans for your Phase 2 experience. COVID-19 has caused us to shift into a state of perpetual change, and our goal is that the plan we present below remains easily adaptable so that you can align your study plans in the face of a rapidly evolving clinical landscape.

Our primary mission as educators is to ensure that you are safe and that you become exceptionally well- prepared physicians. We also want to extend our empathy toward those of you who may have family, friends and loved ones facing great uncertainty during this time.

Due to continued health system restrictions, national recommendations and the exponential growth of COVID-19, re-entry into the clinical clerkship environment is being postponed until June 29, 2020.

We have developed an adapted curriculum to accommodate these changes, which is discussed in detail below.

What will happen in April?

Transitions 2: This will be presented with live Zoom sessions as well as online content.

IPE: You received a letter from our colleagues in IPE delineating the new expectations. Any questions should be sent to them directly.

Orientation to Clerkships (OTC): OTC will be delivered in the last week of June to prepare you to begin on the wards at the end of June.

Onboarding: As mentioned in the 03/30/20 MD Student Newsletter, FIT testing, BLS, TB Testing and VA Onboarding is not available at this time due to COVID-19. We will provide you with information when those become accessible again.

Intersession Days as previously scheduled will not occur this year. Content from intersessions will be integrated into other places including the COVID-19 and KICC Start courses.

What will happen in May and June?

You will take part in four specific elements during this time. They are as follows:

COVID-19 Course: To ensure that you are educated about this disease and ready to practice in a post-pandemic healthcare system, all students will be enrolled in this online course.

Radiology Clerkship: You will complete this requirement through participation in virtual live sessions and by completing online content.

Anesthesia Course: This course will also be delivered through virtual live sessions as well as online content.

KICC Start Course: Knowledge in Clinical Clerkships (KICC) Start will provide you with key medical knowledge and orientations to all your Phase 2 clerkships. Your participation in advance of the clerkship will help better prepare you for your clinical environments and will allow for more direct patient care time and less interruption of your clinical work than in the past. Participation in these courses will be similar to your experience in Phase 1 due to the need for virtual delivery. You will have required sessions each morning and ILT each afternoon to work on assignments and study for Step 1 (if needed).

What is planned for the clerkships?

The schema below shows the adapted Phase 2 schedule (sample).

Schema for Phase 2 schedule. Left to right: April: Vac/Onboarding May-June: COVID, Anesthesia/Radiology/KICC Start. July: Family Medicine 3 weeks. End of July, August, and beginning of Sept: Medicine - 6 weeks. Sept: Elective/Testing/Step 1 - 3 weeks. Oct and Nov: Surgery - 6 weeks. Nov and Dec: Elective/Testing/Step 1 - 3 weeks. Dec: OBGYN - 3 weeks. Winter Break. Jan - Psychiatry - 3 weeks. Jan and Feb- Neurology - 3 weeks. Feb and March - Pediatrics - 6 weeks. April: Review/Assessment.

It is currently planned that your clerkships will begin on June 29, 2020. Your clerkships will still be scheduled in the sequence that you were originally assigned, including your vacation month.

It is possible that due to COVID-19 staffing situations and capacity across the state, campus placements may need to be changed. This is outside of the control of the medical school, and you will be notified as quickly as possible. We thank you in advance for your flexibility should this situation arise. Your clerkships will now be 3-weeks in length and 6-weeks in length. Your KICC start course will make sure you are prepared to hit the ground running for each of your clerkships and will allow you more time for direct patient contact.

You will still have a 3-week vacation/elective block that was part of your original schedule. The second 3-week vacation/elective block comes from moving Radiology and Anesthesia to May/June. You will be able to schedule 2-week Career Exploration or Special Electives during these blocks. You can also take Step 1 (if needed).

We are currently creating the new school calendar which will soon be posted. You will have connection days scheduled and you will see your winter breaks and other statutory holidays noted. Time-away requests for unique circumstances (e.g. weddings, life events, off-cycle schedules) will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

Can I request a schedule change for Step 1?

We have worked to arrange multiple opportunities for you to take Step 1. These include all of April, May and June; two vacation/elective blocks; and time at the end of Phase 2. Remember that you will be excused to take Step 1 at any time prior to June 29, 2020.

Due to the compressed clinical clerkship schedule that must be created for this year, time away from your clerkships to take the Step 1 exam will not be possible. Additionally, changes to elective timing for the purposes of taking Step 1 will not be accepted.

We are working to create new and adaptive ways to maintain optimal clinical education during this global pandemic. Our leadership is in regular contact with schools and residency program leaders across the country, who are facing similar challenges, and we have made sure that your path is in line with students on a national level.

The clinical phase of training is an exciting time, and we know that when you enter our hospitals and clinics, you will be ready. Congratulations on beginning Phase 2, and we are here to steward you through this changing process.

Any questions on the specifics of these changes can be directed to AskMSE.

Most Sincerely,

Jennifer Schwartz, MD
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education, Phase 2

Paul Ko, MD
Associate Dean for Curricular Development & Oversight

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

And Your Clerkship Teams

April 2, 2020, 9:18am EDT Message, Class of 2020

Class of 2020,

As we preliminarily covered in Transitions 3 yesterday morning, on Monday, March 30, Governor Holcomb announced that the State of Indiana is creating accommodations to allow senior students in medical, nursing and other health professions schools to graduate early. This positions our early graduates to voluntarily become involved in opportunities to bolster our workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic surge in Indiana.

In response to this new early graduation option, IU School of Medicine has prepared a pathway for our senior students to volunteer for this opportunity, with an early graduation date of April 15.

This optional early graduation date will allow early graduates to make themselves available for filling clinical needs around the state. These early clinical opportunities would not be in association with your residency program nor the medical school and would mean you would be temporarily employed by a healthcare facility who has reached out to the State of Indiana and/or IU School of Medicine indicating a need.

Students who prefer to continue on their current schedule for graduation can do so and do not need to take any additional steps.

Please note key points to consider below:

  • Students who are interested in this early graduation program must be in good academic standing and complete an expedited version of the Transitions 3 course that will allow them to finish this course by April 10.
  • Early graduation would entail a number of important considerations for students who choose this option, and our IU School of Medicine Student Affairs leadership team and Financial Aid office will be available to make sure each student interested in this pathway is aware of the impact of this decision.
  • The virtual graduation celebration on May 15 is currently being planned and will be available to all graduates regardless of the time of their graduation.

Again, the decision to graduate early is a completely voluntary and personal decision. IU School of Medicine and Governor Holcomb appreciate and understand that this option is not a possibility or consideration for all students.

While we, as MSE leaders, are dedicated to assisting in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority is to the safety, well-being, and ultimate success of all of our graduates.

If you are interested in pursuing the early graduation route, fill out this form, which provides further details about how you can formally apply for consideration of the pathway.

Once your application is complete, one of our Student Affairs Deans, Emily Walvoord, MDDebra Rusk, MD, or Abigail Klemsz, MD , will reach out to you to answer questions and finalize the process.

Most Sincerely,
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD 
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

March 31, 2020, 8:44am EDT Message, All years

Dear Colleagues:

This afternoon, Gov. Holcomb issued an executive order supporting the Indiana State Department of Health’s need to quickly mobilize volunteer medical and nursing students in an attempt to bolster our state’s health systems on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indiana University School of Medicine and the School of Nursing recognize the outstanding work of the Indiana State Department of Health in contributing to the state’s response to the current health crisis. IU supports opportunities for our medical and nursing students to provide aid to our fellow Hoosiers during this time of tremendous need. We wish to lend our expertise in assisting our fellow health care providers in this crisis, while also ensuring our students are in safe situations that are matched with their skills.

I understand that this announcement creates questions for many of you. We are still working through the details and will share more information soon.

The health of our patients and of our students remains our top priority.

Sincerely,
Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA
Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine
Indiana University

March 26, 2020, 1:15pm EDT Message, Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

It is hard to believe that just last week, you were eagerly anticipating your Match results. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to celebrate with you, and once again send our congratulations! Here is the link to the compilation video recapping this special day and a story if you would like to share with family and friends.

We want to express our empathy for the continued disruptions associated with the evolving situation with COVID-19. Unfortunately, on March 20, at 1:30 p.m., IU’s President McRobbie announced the postponement of all Spring Commencement Ceremonies, which includes IU School of Medicine graduation. We wanted to provide you some space to enjoy your Match and regather before sending any further news during this time, during which updates come by the minute.

Our Medical Student Education (MSE) team has begun formulating a plan to make commencement meaningful through a virtual celebration. We will keep you updated as we formalize these plans and will provide information on logistics, such as details regarding your Herff Jones cap and gown and diploma. This will come through a special edition email communication and the graduation MedNet site.

Thank you so much for your flexibility, creativity and collegiality. We are eager for helpful input on what students would like to see on this special day. Details on how to share your thoughts will be included in the upcoming communication.

Please direct any questions to askMSE and keep healthy! 

Most Sincerely,
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD 
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

March 24, 2020, 12:36pm EDT Message, All years

Dear Students, In yesterday’s executive order, Indiana’s Governor Holcomb required that all Hoosiers stay at home starting today, March 24, at 11:59 p.m., unless involved in essential activities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.Recognizing the importance of flattening the curve and avoiding further spread of the virus, we ask that students study at home or your current residence and not come to campuses.

Please see:

Please askMSE for questions.

Stay safe everyone,
Paul M. Wallach, MD
Executive Associate Dean for Education and Institutional Improvement

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Medical Student Education

March 19, 2020, 12:43pm EDT Message, Class of 2020

Dear Learners,

We are so excited to share Match Day with you and incredibly proud of all your hard work.

Also, we have good news!! We just learned tonight that the NRMP agreed to sending you your matches at NOON! Thus, we will start the party sooner.

Please log into Zoom at 11:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, March 20, in anticipation of your email receipt of your Match results from the NRMP at 12 p.m.

JOIN HERE!

(**Because of quick change in time, this Zoom link might be subject to change, and we will send out tomorrow, if so.**)


There will be messages from your class president Zain Abedali and Deans at the school which will lead up until 12:00 p.m. In addition, we will have a virtual countdown, and then invite you to share in the Zoom Chat where you matched so we can announce to everyone as they come in.

We also invite you to share your Match! The school’s communications team is putting together a video of students sharing their excitement and experience on Match Day. There are a few ways you can share your photos and videos to be included in the video:

DM photos and videos to @iumedschool on Instagram or Twitter

Add photos and videos to a shared Google photos album

Be sure to tag @iusmmatch2020 and @iumedschool on Instagram or Twitter and use #IUSMmatch2020 to share the joy on Friday!

The student-created @iusmmatch2020 Instagram account has templates and filters to use in your posts, and there is a geofilter on snapchat.

We are so proud of you, excited to share in your joy and take time to acknowledge your incredibly important accomplishments.

March 17, 2020, 12:35pm EDT Message, All years

Medical students, as junior colleagues, play an important role in the care of our patients and are valued members of our healthcare teams. The current COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly transforming the environment of care, calling for tremendous flexibility and creativity as we work together to make necessary adaptations.

Information from our clinical partners and educators indicates that there is a need to reallocate resources and personnel to serve the health of our communities. 

This morning, Dean Hess, Dr. Wallach, Dr. Allen, along with the entire IU School of Medicine COVID-19 Rapid Response Team met and determined that our school will temporarily suspend all medical student participation in direct clinical care activities.

This suspension is anticipated to last 2 weeks, and may need to be extended. We will be transitioning to virtual learning and telehealth opportunities. We will continue to consider alternative approaches for education and clinical care in the best interest of our students, faculty, and patients. 

Phase 1 Students

All learning has moved to an online format. Clinical experiences are temporarily suspended. Students should plan on being available to take exams at their respective campuses. We are looking into alternatives options for testing. 

Phase 2 Students

All direct clinical care is suspended for the next 2 weeks. Please be prepared to engage in online learning and other alternative experiences as instructed by your clerkship teams. Exams will proceed in-person, however, schedules may need to be adapted to ensure that we remain compliant with all social distancing precautions.

Phase 3 Students

All clinical electives/clerkships will engage in online learning and alternative experiences. Please follow course director directives.  Exams will proceed in-person, however, schedules may need to be adapted to ensure that we remain compliant with all social distancing precautions.

Mobilizing Action

IU School of Medicine continues to look at ways for our learners to engage in meaningful ways to contribute to the needs of our communities and the healthcare system responses to the pandemic. We are inspired by the large numbers of students who have reached out with offers to help in any way needed. We will provide follow-up communications regarding these existing opportunities for you which will remain updated on a regular basis as information becomes available.

Mental Health Services

Our Mental Health Services team continues to be available to support you during these very stressful times. They can be reached by emailing dmhs@iu.edu to set up a Zoom appointment. This is true for new and established patients. Staying connected with family and friends through virtual platforms is also important for your well-being at this time, and we will continue to send other suggested resources in the MD Student Newsletter.

The Medical Student Education (MSE) team continues to be available for you via email and Zoom as well. 

Most Sincerely,

Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA

Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine

Paul Wallach, MD

Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement
Professor of Medicine

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA

Senior Associate Dean | Medical Student Education
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases

March 15, 2020, 11:54pm EDT Message, All Years

We are witnessing rapid and dramatic societal changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as its impact continues to grow throughout the world. Most recently, please see President McRobbie’s message that went out tonight at 8:15 p.m. EST. 

Every person across the globe is impacted by these social changes, particularly those who are most vulnerable among us.

We have the opportunity as healthcare professionals to confront this crisis in a caring and innovative manner to address the acute needs of our communities and effectively prepare, you, our future physicians.

We are working with our statewide clinical partners to mediate the curriculum implications of these changes. Every medical school across the nation is facing the same challenges. Importantly, we also want to be mindful of our own wellness and health during this time and provide support for one another. 

Town Hall Details

Medical Student Education (MSE) leadership will host a general information session at 5 p.m. EST, Monday, March 16, for students of all phases.

The overall session, with presentations by Dean Wallach, Dean Allen and Dean Walvoord, will be followed by four break-out Zoom sessions that you can join to hear specific discussions regarding Phase 1 Year 1; Phase 1 Year 2; Phase 2; and Phase 3 related topics with the ability to submit questions.

Overview for All Students (For first 30 minutes) 

Breakout Zoom sessions after general presentation scheduled for first 30 minutes, beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST:

P1Y1
P1Y2
P2
P3

We, as a school, are rapidly adjusting to serve the needs of our state, country and world. Our primary mission is to prepare you, our future healthcare leaders, to tackle and lead in this crisis.   

We look forward to hosting these sessions regularly and hope they will help us all develop and communicate a path as you continue your training and prepare yourself for the changes that will come.

For latest updates on COVID-19, please check in on coronavirus.iu.edu and our page with information unique for IU School of Medicine learners.  

Most Sincerely, 

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA
Senior Associate Dean | Medical Student Education

Indiana University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Emily Walvoord, MD
Associate Dean | Student Affairs

Indiana University School of Medicine
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

March 13, 2020, 11:54pm EDT Message, All Years

Coronavirus now spans 112 countries and regions and is classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This has prompted countries across the world to take rapid and substantial actions to limit additional spread of COVID-19 to flatten the curve. 

These steps have dictated the changes taken by IU School of Medicine to follow and respect the federal and state directives. Hospitals and clinics in which we train have been asked to rapidly begin emergency response planning to prepare for large numbers of admissions.

Although we are seeing only a few cases in Indiana at present and are limiting your involvement with COVID-19 patients, medical students may play an increasingly supportive role to our care teams if the number of severe cases expands. This necessary institutional transition time leaves you, our learners, along with our statewide teaching faculty in a difficult position as we work to avoid interruption of your training in all phases.  

As IU President McRobbie announced today regarding the restrictions, “The measures we are taking will undoubtedly cause inconvenience and disruption, yet the risks of not acting now far outweigh the foreseeable inconvenience and challenges of these actions.”

We recognize the resiliency required to adapt to quick and sometimes conflicting messages due to hour-by-hour updates coming at a national, state and local level. Our statewide Medical Student Education (MSE) team is working around-the-clock on multiple fronts to answer questions, make contingency plans and deliver the educational experience that we all want for you, given the circumstances.

We appreciate your patience and collegiality as we respond to an unprecedented, global situation. We are attempting to send the most up-to-date information that we have, while recognizing that these updates might change by the hour. 

We realize the incredibly high stakes of your education as well as the health and safety concerns you may have right now. We are taking measures to help keep you safe while also recognizing the critical educational value of participating in the clinical setting.

It will be important to balance your training with the safety of other learners, healthcare teams and the patients we serve. All medical students across the country, and world, are facing similar challenges right now. 

We will do everything we can to keep you all safe, on track, and prepared to contribute to our COVID-19 response as needs arise! Please submit questions (and search for previously asked questions about your topic) to ASK MSE and continue to check coronavirus.iu.edu and the IUSM COVID-19 website (these sites have up-to-date FAQs and helpful links).

We will continue to send frequent major updates directly AND update these living sites on a daily basis. We are also exploring options for quicker and more interactive communication.

Thanks again for your patience, understanding and willingness to work with us in preparing for what could be a pivotal time for healthcare in Indiana and globally. 

Below please find specific details for each level of training as of Friday, March 13, 2020. These may change.

Phase 1 Year 1

  • We are making plans for all online education for the Neuroscience and Behavior Course in case the restriction of in-person teaching continues beyond April 6, 2020. Currently, students should plan to take all course exams in person.
  • The Host Defense Exam 3 and the NBME exam are to be taken in-person as planned. 

Phase 1 Year 2 

  • Prometric testing sites for USMLE Step 1 appear to be closing in certain areas of the country. Please check the individual Prometric sites for the most up-to-date closures and guidance.
  • If we need to extend the April 6 deadline for taking Step 1 due to widespread test site closures, we will determine a new plan. We want you to start clerkships on time as much as you do!
  • IPE Activity in April will be delivered virtually. Please maintain your current time slot.  
  • Orientation to Clerkships (OTC) will be delivered virtually. The full agenda and information will be posted on the Road to Phase 2 Canvas Site in the next couple of weeks.
  • Transitions 2 (T2), statewide, will be delivered virtually, with details to follow.
    • We will be adding discussions on how to approach the clinical setting optimally during this pandemic.
    • The full agenda and information will be posted on the Road to Phase 2 canvas site in the next couple of weeks.
  • It is possible we will need to modify clerkship plans, depending on how long restrictions last and the status of our community and hospital systems. 
  • Onboarding and FIT testing: Please see MedHub or MEDnet for the full list of on-boarding requirements to prepare for your clinical rotations. Please note that FIT testing is suspended because of potential shortages of N95 masks for now. You will be notified when testing requirements resume. You should not participate in any encounters or procedures that require an N95 mask (airborne precautions or aerosolizing procedures) if you have not been fit tested in the past three years.
  • We will reschedule the headshot/composite photos for another time. 

Phase 2

  • Your health and safety is a priority while you are also an important part of the overall health care team. The COVID-19 pandemic will provide a critical learning experience. Like other medical schools nationally, we are following the AAMC guidance for clinical training at this time. We all need to protect ourselves from a host of communicable diseases (ex. HIV, TB, influenza) while caring for patients, and COVID-19 is now a new pathogen to add to the list. However, because of the limited data about transmissibility, morbidity and mortality, we are restricting students from caring for known or suspected COVID-19 infected patients at this point in time. If you have a specific situation that you are concerned about, including individual health concerns, please contact Dr. Paul Ko, Associate Dean for Curricular Development and Improvement. 
  • Today the USMLE announced they are suspending Step 2 CS exams from March 15 until April 13, 2020. We will work with students to make sure that you all can take CS at a time that works for your overall educational plan and career goals. USMLE is listening to concerns as they arise and is working with schools to create contingencies for students nation-wide.
  • There may be times when you are excluded from the clinical environment. The current transition to emergency response mode by facilities and faculty may be contributing to this exclusion, which we anticipate to resolve for your interactions with most patients. However, the forecast of critical shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gowns and masks (based on experiences noted in Seattle, Italy, and China) are currently leading to student restrictions regarding caring for patients with requirements or locations that require use of this PPE equipment (isolation rooms, operating rooms, procedure rooms etc.). We are working on solutions to adjust for these limitations in your clinical experience but hope you can see the need to conserve these supplies which are in short supply and very difficult to restock based on the global demand. However, if you are being excluded from other experiences in the clinical setting please reach out to your Statewide Clerkship Director or Dr. Jennifer Schwartz so that alternative plans can be made for you.
  • With the restriction on rotations outside the state impacting most students in the United States, conversations at the national level are happening as to how away rotations will need to be modified. Remember, you are in the same boat as every other medical student in the country. We would recommend that you still apply/ schedule these away rotations as best you can, starting no earlier than July, 2020, in hopes that travel restrictions may lift by then. We also recommend having a backup plan in case you need to reschedule a rotation in Indiana. 

Phase 3 

  • Due to the highly communicable nature of COVID-19 and restrictions placed by the state on gatherings of individuals over 250, Match Day celebration is cancelled. We are working with your student leadership on plans for an alternative Zoom-based event to still allow your class to share in the excitement of finding out your residency training destination. We will not be able to hand out envelopes as we had hoped. The event will start by at least 12:45 p.m. on Match Day in anticipation of your email receipt of your match results from the NRMP at 1 p.m. 
    • The Match Day party is truly a student-led event, organized and funded by your class officers. We have spoken with your class officers, and sadly, the party needed to be cancelled due to state restrictions.
    • Match Day T-shirts will be available in Long Hall room 400 for pick up all next week. We will plan later pick up dates as needed.
    • We are making plans for how you will get your “official” IU School of Medicine Red Match Envelope and NRMP Match letter in the upcoming weeks, either for pickup or by mail.
  • Graduation planning is still in progress! We very much hope to hold this momentous occasion, but this will depend on state and federal regulations closer to that time.
  • Transitions 3 is being moved to online experiences at this time. We will keep you updated, and we are anticipating in-person activities hopefully will resume after April 5. 
    • March 31: The Kickoff Event at the NCAA Hall of Fame has been cancelled.  
    • April 1-5: All sessions for this period will be delivered online. The earliest check-in date at Candlewood for students traveling to Indianapolis has now been changed to April 5.
    • We may be able to bring you all to Indy to complete the remainder of the course on April 6, but the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and we are preparing to deliver all course content online, if needed.  

For All

  • Developing or reinforcing coping skills to build resilience during this time is important. The Mental Health Services (MHS) team will continue to be available for everyone and schedule appointments. However, all appointments will be conducted via Zoom. Please do not hesitate to reach out to MHS or any MSE leader if you need support.
  • A number of IU School of Medicine administrators/Deans will be present in Gatch and/or Long Hall from March 16 to April 6. Others will be working remotely and available by Zoom. Please call or email if we can assist you in any way and we will arrange to meet in person or remotely. 
  • We would advise that you not make any travel plans, including conferences, for the rest of the spring. However, if you do, please buy refundable tickets and be aware of the ever-changing travel restrictions that could impact your return or lead to a quarantine period. IU has amended its travel policy to require self-quarantine by only those travelers returning from countries under a CDC Level 3 warning. Any student, faculty member, or staff member returning from a country subject to a CDC Level 3 warning must self-quarantine off campus for 14 days before returning to any IU campus. There will be no exceptions. This requirement currently applies to China, Iran, South Korea, and the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area; however, the CDC may add additional countries to the Level 3 list with little warning.

Sincerely, 

Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA
Senior Associate Dean | Medical Student Education

Indiana University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases

March 10, 2020, 8:45pm EDT Message, All Years

IU School of Medicine Follow-Up from IU President McRobbie’s Coronavirus Message

This afternoon, you should have received a letter from IU President McRobbie regarding the latest guidance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These precautions aim to limit spread of COVID-19 and enable us to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our communities. It is heavily influenced by the directives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies.

You will receive more details regarding your curriculum based on the new expectations set forward by IU. We want to offer timely clarification on some of the facts provided as they uniquely apply to IU School of Medicine courses, clerkships and student activities for all students and campuses. We appreciate your understanding during this fluid situation.

Changes in delivery of our IU School of Medicine curriculum for all years commences on Monday, March 16, until at least April 5. This period could extend depending on the evolving status of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Phase 1, Year 1 courses will transition to remote delivery of material. We are developing contingencies for testing that falls within the timeframe impacted.
  • Phase 1, Year 2 students should continue their study and testing plans. All study resources will remain available during this period. Any updates will communicated by the USMLE.
  • Phase 2 clerkship rotations will continue as scheduled, but adjustments will be made on delivery of group lectures, and we will keep you informed of these changes.
  • Phase 3 rotations/electives will continue as planned, except for the discouragement of out-of-state rotations and halt on international rotations and adjustments to group activities. These restrictions have been previously shared, and more details can be found here.
  • Planning is underway for contingency plans for Orientation to Clerkships, Transitions 2, and Transitions 3 to meet the expectations of the new IU directive and still deliver needed content for your training.
  • Due to IU’s strong recommendations and similar situations across the country, Match Day at the Campus Center must be cancelled. We are working with Class of 2020 class officers to find creative ways to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our colleagues. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding while your campus leadership works through the logistical planning of these changes. The goal of these efforts is to decrease spread of the COVID-19 agent, particularly for vulnerable populations, while still achieving the goals of our student training programs. Please regularly check our page on MedNet, email updates, and Canvas messages for important and more detailed announcements over the next few days

March 9, 2020, 3:15pm EDT Message, All Years

All International Elective Rotations Put on Immediate Hold

With the rapidly evolving status of the COVID-19 epidemic, please review the most recent important update regarding approval for medical student travel. This information is being regularly updated on a MedNet site set IU School of Medicine learners here.  

After careful deliberation with IU School of Medicine leadership, the following regulations and recommendations will be effective immediately for all IU School of Medicine students: 

International Rotations

All international travel for IU School of Medicine student elective rotations will be placed on immediate hold. There will be no exceptions. These restrictions have the potential to stretch into the Summer and Fall of 2020. 

Domestic Rotations

Travel for clinical rotations or electives within the continental United States is strongly discouraged. Students must consider the potential risks to their academic progress due to increased risk of exposure during their travel or clinical experience outside of Indiana and the risk of mandatory quarantine upon their return to campus.

Despite our best efforts to help with schedule changes, we will all need to work together and be flexible in order for all students to complete graduation requirements. There could be additional stronger restrictions on domestic travel that will come to pass in the next days and weeks. Therefore, we want to give students the chance to plan ahead for alternative options with their advising resources. 

International and Domestic Meetings

International travel for educational meetings and conferences is also placed on hold at the present time due to the risks of travel. Domestic travel for educational meeting and conferences is also strongly discouraged. Many upcoming conferences are cancelling or transitioning to a virtual meeting format. New time-away requests from studies for educational meetings and conferences will not be granted while the current travel restrictions are in place. This restriction may be appealed to the relevant Phase Dean/Director or to Dean Bradley Allen, MD, PhD. 

Personal Travel

IU School of Medicine students should carefully consider the degree of importance of any personal travel and understand the risks of travel delays and the potential of a 14-day quarantine, even if feeling well, upon return from travel to areas of high COVID-19 risk. 

Potential Impact of Rapid Changes

We have seen rapid updates in the areas considered high-risk over the last few days and expect these will continue to change over the next several weeks. Traveling students could become subject to quarantine upon their return due to health department guidance updates while traveling. Return travel arrangement could be complicated or delayed related to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak. Strong consideration should be given to delaying any domestic personal travel due to the potential for further changes. 

A reminder that IU School of Medicine students will be asked not to deliver direct care to those patients with a high suspicion, or proven COVID-19 infections, in order to minimize exposure. The COVID-19 infection continues to cause the majority of severe disease and death in elderly patients or those with other chronic illness, however children and healthy adults may serve as asymptomatic carriers of the infection. 

Students should reach out to their lead advisors, career mentors, or campus MSE leadership for coordination of these potential schedule changes. Students should also be aware of the regulations and safety procedures being implemented at their local hospitals where they will be rotating, which can be provided by clerkship directors, elective coordinators and hospital websites that we are attempting to summarize on our website

We understand that travel cancellation is disappointing and disruptive. The health and safety of our students and those colleagues, staff, faculty or patients they may come into contact with are our highest priority. Medical Student Education is working hard to assist students to deal with these schedule changes. We are developing procedures to address the academic impacts of these cancellations.

It is quite possible that locations in the United States could join the current international high-risk areas for COVID-19. Again, please keep in mind that unanticipated and unpredictable delays may occur with travel to developing high-risk COVID-19 areas and interfere with your planned schedule for graduation.

The situation related to COVID-19 is rapidly changing and the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Indiana State Department of Health, our statewide hospital affiliates and communities, will be reviewing these guidelines daily.

Guidelines may change, and we will communicate needed amendments to student regulations as they occur on this site, through the newsletter and through special edition emails.

March 4, 2020, 8:30pm EDT Message, All years

Coronavirus Guidelines for Students and Campus Leaders

The worldwide outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as 2019-nCOV, COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2) has impacted several countries beyond China. It is important that we all use reliable resources to stay on top of the latest guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, our Indiana State Health Department, our county health departments, the IU School of Medicine leadership, and the facility leadership in the hospitals and clinics in which we work and study. 

Our Medical Student Education team will plan to share updates/summaries periodically to keep you apprised of any changes over the next few days and weeks that would affect your studies or clinical training. IU School of Medicine’s overarching goal is to keep you informed, safe, and to suggest ways to best protect yourself, your loved ones, and your patients from harm.

There are ongoing discussions between our statewide IU School of Medicine campus leadership, Dean Hess’s office, and the healthcare facility leadership for all our statewide teaching facilities to monitor and potentially adjust the activities of our students based on the level of risk in the local communities from COVID-19.  

Please follow the guidelines below and keep updated at Protect IU and the CDC. Guidance continues to remind all that frequent hand washing, use of sanitizer, and keeping your hands away from your face are important habits during this season:

Staying Home if Ill
  • If you are feeling ill, stay home. Do not come to work or to class/clerkships. Call your medical provider or your student health clinic if feverish or you have other symptoms.  
  • Based on the emerging situation surrounding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 illness and even the usual seasonal round of colds and flu, it is critical that we all do our best to not put others at risk. 
  • IU School of Medicine provides a time away policy for times like this, and we understand that our students become ill. Please do communicate (call or email) and work with your course, clerkship, and campus leaders if you need to be home due to illness. We have communicated this with all faculty and staff on your behalf. It is okay to miss time from your studies. Really!
Traveling
  • Non-essential travel outside of the United States should be avoided during this time period if at all possible. If you have rotations or travel planned please check in with your advisor, MSE or campus leadership to discuss your approach to these plans.
  • If you do travel outside of the United States, please check in with your campus leadership and the Infection Prevention contact at the hospital to which you will be returning prior to starting a clinical service to assure you are safe to return to any patient care duties.
  • Any student traveling to high risk locations for COVID-19 (CDC Level 2 or 3 travel alert) should let their IU School of Medicine campus leadership know and, currently, should not return to school or work for 14 days after return.
  • Regarding any planned travel going forward, it is a good idea to consider refundable air fare and travel insurance in the upcoming weeks since conditions may change quickly in regard to your travel destination.

CDC Recommendations Link (updated daily) and Take-Home Points for Students in Clinical Settings 

  • Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat: 
    • It is currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
    • If you are a healthcare provider (including students in clinics or on hospital rotations), be on the look-out for: 
    • If you are a healthcare provider or a public health responder caring for a COVID-19 patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
    • If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure.
  • If you are a resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms.
    • For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.
    • If you have been in China or another affected area or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity for up to 14 days. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus.
IUSM Campus Closure Updates  

If cases begin to appear within Indiana communities, changes may be made from a public health/prevention standpoint to limit activities or close campuses.  You should refer to our website that offers information for each campus. 

Serving Patients With Suspected or Proven COVID-19 Infection

In the event that an IU School of Medicine student happens to be involved in the evaluation and management of patients with suspected or proven COVID-19 infection, we will refer you to resources that have been provided to IUSM residents and fellows from the accrediting body for GME, the ACGME. In order to recognize and care for these patients, students need to be both aware of and able to appropriately respond to this viral illness.

Clinical Facts Reminders
  •  The number of new cases of COVID-19 and the number of people still ill from this infection is starting to go down in the areas of China where the infection first started. 
  • The mortality rate remains in the 2-3% range, which may seem low – but compared to influenza is 20-30x higher in the rate of death (influenza mortality risk is typically at a rate of 0.1%). Most of the deaths have occurred in the elderly or in those with chronic diseases or for immunosuppressed hosts. 
  • Healthy individuals are not recommended to purchase or wear face masks in the general public. This step is not effective in stopping general community transmission and threatens to deplete the national supply of masks needed by frontline healthcare teams caring for COVID-19 patients. 
Use of Masks in Clinical Settings

Currently the CDC recommends the use of N-95 masks for those caregivers interacting within 6 feet of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Accordingly, it is key to have awareness of the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the importance of the proper fit of an N-95 mask.

Our MSE office has record of fit testing for most students. We believe it is important for all our students to have proper PPE available to them. Therefore, the MSE office will be contacting those who have yet to complete fit testing with information regarding where to have this performed as soon as possible.

Updating Your Knowledge

Please see the Indiana State Department of Health COVID-19 Webinar from 2/28/2020 to review clinical disease descriptions, current recommendations for screening, testing and the ISDH contact information to discuss issues related to conservation of PPE equipment

Also, see recent Table at bottom of email from CDC regarding Criteria to Guide Evaluation and Testing of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 (for more information see here.)

Thank you for your attention to this information and look for updates in the near future.



Traveling FAQ

CDC Travelers’ Health Update

Coronavirus Disease 2019

CDC is getting many questions about COVID-19. A lot are related to domestic travel. To help travelers make informed decisions, CDC has created a COVID-19 travel homepage and a COVID-19 Travel in the US page. This month we highlight three of the most frequently asked questions about domestic travel:

1. Should I travel within the United States?

Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. During the President’s 30 Days to Slow the Spread campaign, CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.

2. What is the difference between essential errands and essential travel? 
Essential Errands: These trips involve travel within your local area. As communities across the United States take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact, people are facing new challenges and questions about how to safely run essential errands to meet basic household needs, like: 

  • Grocery shopping
  • Getting delivery or takeout food
  • Banking
  • Getting gasoline
  • Going to the doctor or getting medicine

CDC provides advice about how to meet these essential household needs in a safe and healthy manner.

Essential Travel: These trips involve travel outside of your local area. Some travel may be essential, like:

  • Travel to provide medical or home care to others
  • Travel necessary for a job considered an essential service

3. How can I find out about travel restrictions in different states?

The COVID-19 outbreak in United States is a rapidly evolving situation. The status of the outbreak varies by location and state and local authorities are updating their guidance frequently. If you must travel, check with the state or local authorities where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination to learn about local circumstances and any restrictions that may be in place.

For updates and more information

What if I have an international or domestic meeting?

International travel for educational meetings and conferences is placed on hold at the present time due to the risks of travel. The Department of State raised its global travel alert to level 4, warning against all international travel due to COVID-19. New time-away requests from studies for educational meetings and conferences will not be granted while the current travel restrictions are in place. This restriction may be appealed to the relevant Phase Dean/Director or to Dean Bradley Allen, MD, PhD.

What is considered domestic travel?

Domestic travel is defined as travel to another state for a rotation or for a medical meeting. Intercampus travel within the state is currently allowed for all school-related activities.

Please see the current CDC guidance for domestic travel.

What if I have a personal trip planned?

The Department of State raised its global travel alert to level 4, warning against all international travel due to COVID-19.

What if I have traveled outside the United States in the past 14 days or plan to?

  • The Department of State raised its global travel alert to level 4, warning against all international travel due to COVID-19.
  • Please see the CDC guidance for domestic travel.
  • If you have traveled outside of the United States, please check in with your campus leadership and the Infection Prevention contact at the hospital to which you will be returning prior to starting a clinical service to assure you are cleared to return to any patient care duties. Please note that on March 17, all student clinic interaction was halted for 2 weeks.
  • Contact information is provided below this FAQ for each campus which has submitted information.
  • Please complete the secure IU Traveler Information Form.

Is it safe to travel within the United States?

The CDC offers guidance for current travel within the United States here.


General FAQ

How can I do my part to respond to COVID-19?

Students and staff are working together to find ways to help during this time! Please see this blog post which will be updated regularly for ways you can help. You can also subscribe to the MSSG newsletter for more regular updates on volunteer activities.

How do I access mental health services during this time?

If you have an urgent matter that can wait a few hours, and it is a typical business day, you can send a message to dmhs@iu.edu or call 317-278-2383. If it is after hours or an emergency, please use the crisis line at 317-278-HELP (4357). The Department of Mental Health Services (DMHS) will plan to shift their clinical services to telehealth services. Clinicians will be available for Zoom appointments. There will be no change in scheduling. The process for crisis, triage, and scheduling will remain the same. The DMHS voicemail and email will be monitored as usual.

How do I access wellness resources during this time?

Please check out resources here provided by our IU School of Medicine Wellness Coalition. We will be hosting regular virtual quarantales and workouts. The CDC also provides guidance for maintaining mental health and wellness during this time. Finally, IUPUI offers a helpful page with resources such as recommended apps to download.

What should I do about an event I am hosting as a SIG or planning to attend?

If your meeting involves 5 or more individuals, please try to host via Zoom. We are strongly discouraging meetings with over 5 individuals that are non-essential to your curriculum progression during this time. We encourage use of proper hand sanitation at all in-person meetings.

Will my IU-sponsored healthcare plan cover the cost of a COVID-19 Test?

Yes, if a medical professional orders a COVID-19 Test for you, it will be covered at no cost under all IU-sponsored healthcare plans. This means that all copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are waived only for the focused test used to diagnose COVID-19. Coverage for the COVID-19 Test includes employees, students and their dependents enrolled on an IU-sponsored healthcare plan.

Will my IU-sponsored healthcare plan cover the cost of treatment for COVID-19?

Yes. If you require an office visit for testing or treatment for a diagnosed case of COVID-19, you will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness, subject to the normal deductible, copay and out-of-pocket amounts under IU-sponsored medical plan you are enrolled. For additional coverage details, visit the Student Insurance Website.

Where can I find resources regarding my campus facilities?

Please see your local campus sites or emails from your campus leaders for information specific to your location regarding COVID-19 such as building closings and campus health. Not all information on these pages will be relevant. Please note that the primary advice right now is to stay at home for studying.

What are current hours for the Ruth Lilly Medical Library? (UPDATED April 17, 2:37 p.m. EDT)

The Ruth Lilly Medical Library has suspended its operating hours due to updated COVID-19 campus building mandates, including the 24-hour study area. They are offering chat hours for those who need assistance.

Where can I access WiFi? (UPDATED April 17, 2:40 p.m. EDT)

Can I get Fit Testing?

Fit testing is on hold for now while hospital systems conserve N95 masks for COVID-19. You will be contacted when Fit testing requirements resume. You should not participate in any encounters or procedures that require an N95 mask (airborne precautions or aerosolizing procedures) if you have not been fit tested in the past four years.


Campus Contacts Prior to and After Returning From Travel for Learners at Hospitals

If you are to travel outside of the United States, please call Infection Prevention at the hospital to which you will be returning prior to travel and prior to starting clinical service to assure you are cleared for patient care. It is possible that the level of risk of COVID-19 in a country has changed, leading to restrictions on your ability to work and need for furlough/quarantine.

Bloomington

Please contact your campus leadership or lead advisor for immediate needs related to travel.

Evansville

Deaconess Hospital, Evansville: Dawn Rogers, 812-450-2768

Deaconess Women’s Hospital, Newburgh: Sonya Mauzey, 812-842-4262

Memorial Hospital and Health Center, Jasper: Christopher Bunce, MD, 812-996-5932

Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes: Robin McDonald, 812-885-3476

St Vincent’s Hospital, Evansville: Kim Bellessa, Tammy Work

Fort Wayne

Lutheran Hospital: Lisa MacDonald, 260-458-3600

Parkview Health: Scott Stienecker, 260-266-9227

Gary

Please contact your campus leadership or lead advisor for immediate needs related to travel.

Indianapolis

Muncie

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital: Visit the Employee Health office on 7 west or call 765-747-3458. Open 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. When health office is closed call paging operator 765-747-3298 and ask for RESIDENT ON CALL.

South Bend

Elkhart General Hospital: (574) 523-3395
Goshen Hospital: (574) 364-2735
Memorial Hospital: (574) 647-6684
Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center: (574) 335-1030

Terre Haute

Terre Haute Regional Hospital: Myrna Dienhart RN, BSN, MS (812) 237-9289 or (812) 249-6250

Union Health System: Joe McKanna RN, BSN, MBA, CIC, CHSP (812) 238-7428 or (812) 238-7000 for paging.

West Lafayette

Franciscan Health Lafayette East: David Linn, MD, 765-775-2800

IU Health Arnett: Rachael Heathers RN, BSN, CIC, 765-838-5954 and West Central Region Infection Prevention at 765-414-4821 

Purdue University Health: Jamie L. Jackson, Director of Nursing, Purdue University Student Health Service, 765-494-1673


Have a suggested question for the FAQ?

Ask Medical Student Education is an online portal that will connect you with an answer.


Reputable Sources of Information