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Great Lakes Health: Student and Resident Clinical (Hospital) Training Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic

Published March 14, 2020

In light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, leadership at Kaleida Health, ECMC and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are working to limit exposure to diagnosed or probable COVID-19 patients as well as maintain efficient patient care and conserve vital personal protective equipment (PPE).

While there are currently no COVID-19 cases at our hospitals, that is certain to change, and we want to take proactive steps to protect our medical students, residents and fellows:

  • Only essential caregivers should come into contact with any diagnosed or probable COVID-19 patients
    • Students should NOT be directly involved
    • Residents and fellows are to be involved as they are normally part of the care team, but only as needed to limit exposure and preserve PPE
  • In treating patients in isolation, for whatever reason (MRSA, C. diff, etc.) on the units and in the ICU, the fewest possible providers needed should treat the patient
  • For all our patients (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) in procedural suites and in the operating room, residents and fellows in their roles as physicians and trainees are to be involved as needed for patient care and education
    • In these areas, medical students may be involved in surgery and procedures on non-COVID-19 patients as needed as part of the care team and as students in training
    • Not all students need to be in every case
    • The surgical leadership, clerkship directors and surgical faculty are tasked with determining which cases will benefit from the involvement of students as part of the care team, as well as determining which students need to be involved in which cases as part of their medical education

The situation is dynamic and subject to change. Further restrictions may be placed on medical students and residents if the situation escalates. Their will be an update if PPE availability, stress on the healthcare system, or other changes require reassessment of the role of medical students and residents in the hospital.