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Issues Addressing Applicants & Training Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic

posted: May 15, 2020

On May 11, the Coalition for Physician Accountability — a cross-organizational group of national medical education organizations, of which the AAMC is a member — released its recommendations entitled Medical Students in the Class of 2021 Moving Across Institutions for Post Graduate Training. This document addresses the three major issues that applicants and training programs are facing as they prepare for the 2020 – 2021 residency cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Away rotations
  2. In-person interviews for residency
  3. ERAS timeline

To develop the recommendations, the Coalition convened a work group whose participants represented the full spectrum of stakeholders across medical education and the public. These recommendations are not limited to Urology applicants, and pertain to all students entering the residency match in any specialty in the 2020-2021 cycle.

Summary of Recommendations

Away Rotations: The working group recommends that for the 2020 – 2021 academic year, away rotations be discouraged, except under the following circumstances:

  • Learners who have a specialty interest and do not have access to a clinical experience with a residency program in that specialty in their school’s system.
  • Learners for whom an away rotation is required for graduation or accreditation requirements.

Individuals meeting these exceptions should limit the number of away rotations as much as possible. Students should consider geographically proximate programs, when appropriate, to meet learning needs.

Residency Interviews: The group recommends that all programs commit to online interviews and virtual visits for all applicants, including local students, rather than in-person interviews for the entire cycle and that the medical education community commit to creating a robust digital environment and set of tools that will yield the best experiences for programs and applicants.

ERAS Timeline: The group recommends a delayed opening of ERAS for residency programs and a delayed release of the MSPE. That date will be October 21, 2020.

In response, The Society for Academic Urology will be holding an important informational session on implementing the current recommendations on subinterships, the interview process, the match timeline and ERAS on May 27th, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST.

Submit Comment

Members will be able to submit questions prior to the upcoming meeting on the SAU we´╗┐bsite.

This follows the successful town hall session last month with membership that focused on  potential changes in the timing of the urology match. 

Innovation in education while maintaining quality is an important feature of the current environment. The SAU will additionally feature a panel led by Dr. Lee Richstone and Dr. Moben Mirza entitled ‘Implementing the Virtual SubInternship in Urology (vSIU): What You Need to Know’. A follow up email with registration details will be sent out next week.