Special Edition e-Communication - April 6, 2020

ACGME Statement regarding Personal Protective Equipment
The ACGME has issued a statement regarding its expectations within the clinical learning environment amidst the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Read the full statement regarding PPE in the ACGME Newsroom

Early Graduation from US Medical Schools and Early Appointment to the Clinical Learning Environment


The ACGME has issued an updated statement that supercedes all other guidance regarding early graduation from US allopathic and osteopathic medical schools and early appointment to the clinical learning environment.

Read the full statement regarding Early Graduation in the ACGME Newsroom

UPDATED! Letters to the Specialty Communities


A new page has been added to the COVID-19 section of the ACGME website with letters to the specialty communities from the ACGME Review Committees and their staff and leadership. These will be added as they are developed and updated as needed. Letters to the following communities are currently available:

NEW! Dermatology
Emergency Medicine
NEW! Family Medicine
NEW! Pediatrics
NEW! Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
UPDATED! Preventive Medicine
Radiation Oncology
UPDATED! Surgical specialties and subspecialties, including Case Log Guidance
NEW! Transitional Year

NEW! Clarifications and Frequently Asked Questions
These FAQs are being developed in response to questions and requests for clarification the ACGME has received as it has communicated its response to the current pandemic crisis.

Resident/Fellow Issues
Q: A resident refuses to work in the ED or the ICU to care for COVID-19 patients. Does the ACGME have any guidance for this situation?
A: The ACGME confers accreditation to residency and fellowship programs and the institutions that sponsor those programs. As an accreditor, the ACGME cannot and does not intervene in disputes between individual residents/fellows and their programs. The ACGME does endorse the statement that the first obligation of every person in the United States is mitigation/control of the COVID-19 pandemic and the moral obligation of all physicians during the pandemic is to do their part in the treatment of its victims. Of course, any resident/fellow must have appropriate training, protective equipment (PPE), and supervision for any clinical role that they are asked to fulfill.

Q: What needs to be in place for a program’s residents/fellows to work in another hospital if that hospital has never been used by the program for required rotations previously?
A: If some of the residents/fellows from a program are assigned to work in another hospital, as described in the question, that hospital would become a new participating site for the program. Each participating site must have a faculty member appointed by the program director as the site director who is accountable for resident/fellow education at that site, in collaboration with the program director. The program must monitor the clinical learning and working environment in that hospital, including resident/fellow work hours, resident/fellow supervision, and provisions for resident/fellow safety. Should this site eventually become one that routinely provides an educational experience required for all residents/fellows for one month or longer in duration, the program director would have to designate that hospital as an additional participating site in the program’s record in ADS.

Q: Can a program’s residents/fellows be asked to give up or postpone vacation time in order to help with the pandemic?
A: Resident/fellow vacation time is dictated by the policies of the Sponsoring Institution, consistent with applicable laws, and is addressed in the contract/agreement of appointment. A decision to ask a resident/fellow to give up or postpone vacation would need to be consistent with institutional policy and with the terms of the contract/agreement of appointment.

Program/Institutional Requirements
Q: Can the FTE status of a program coordinator change from 1.0 to 0.8 during the pandemic?
A: Coordinators may play an extremely important role in their program during the pandemic, such as timely and reliable dissemination of information to the residents/fellows and faculty members, maintaining records of educational conferences that take place, and maintaining records of the actual clinical activity of residents/fellows who are re-deployed from their previously planned rotations and other clinical work. The requirement(s) regarding minimum support for coordinators remain in effect for all programs at Sponsoring Institutions that have not declared Pandemic Emergency Status.

"Well-Being in the Time of COVID-19" AWARE Podcast Available
In this 30-minute podcast, ACGME’s Senior Scholar for Well-Being Stuart Slavin, MD, provides well-being strategies for residents, fellows, and other clinicians from resources including psychology and psychiatry, peer support programming, the military and Veterans Affairs, and literature for support of first responders to mass casualty events.  Access the podcast and accompanying summary of tools and strategies in the ACGME’s online learning portal, Learn at ACGME. AWARE podcasts are also available on Spotify, RadioPublic and other podcast platforms; search for "ACGME AWARE" to locate and download the podcast.