American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Current Article

Navigating the Educational Upheaval Due to COVID-19
(Posted June 2020)
Paul J. Schenarts, MD, FACS

The intended audience for this article includes general surgery program directors, general surgery clerkship directors, general surgery residents, medical students, and designated institutional officials. The specific learning objectives of the article are to:

  • Outline the educational impact COVID-19 has had on medical students and general surgery residents.
  • Summarize changes to the clinical experiences of medical students, the residency interview cycle, completion requirements for general surgery residency, and American Board of Surgery certification.
  • Provide guidance to educational leaders and learners about the recent changes allowed by regulatory agencies as a result of COVID-19

The article includes the following learning points:

  • In the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, the goals of national educational and regulatory agencies are to maintain patient and learner well-being, decrease learner anxiety, safeguard educational equity of resident applicants, and maintain requirements for medical school graduation and residency completion that ensure patient safety.
  • For medical students, COVID-19 has resulted in changes to the pre-clinical and clinical experiences, postponed USMLE testing, decreased opportunities for away, audition rotations, timing of the residency interview cycle, and how residency interviews will occur.
  • COVID-19 has resulted in modifications to the requirements for completion of general surgery residency, some ACGME, RRC regulations, and prerequisites for taking the American Board of Surgery examinations.

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