Fall 2020 Update
On June 18, University of Illinois President Tim Killeen announced overall plans for the fall term across the system’s three universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. The College of Medicine plan incorporates all the elements of this plan pertaining to instructional strategies, campus life, testing and notification, and campus safety as detailed in that message, and summarized below. We are also following to the extent appropriate to medical education the principles detailed by UIC Provost Susan Poser, which allow courses that “have been identified by the college deans … as having learning goals that require live instruction will be scheduled live on campus if at all possible.”
With these principles in mind, the educational leaders at all our campuses have developed the plans for each of the four medical school classes.
For the Class of 2023 (rising M2s), we can now confirm that we will be conducting significant portions of your M2 curriculum on campus in the fall. This will be a hybrid curriculum, with large group activities conducted online, but with significant portions of clinical skills education and various small-group activities conducted in-person. An explanation of how the various components of the curriculum will be conducted is available below:
The newly matriculated Class of 2024 will not be required to come to campus this fall. All curricular components will be available online, as detailed below. To the extent that the fall M1 curriculum has included clinical skills instruction requiring in-person interactions, these learning activities will be deferred until students are on campus. Meanwhile, the faculty and administration will attend to details of the online curriculum to ensure that there are many opportunities for community-building and acculturation to the College of Medicine. We do anticipate conducting the spring 2021 curriculum, beginning in January, on campus.
The Class of 2021 (the rising M4 class) re-entered clinical clerkship settings on June 8, and have as of last Friday completed a supplemental clinical experience to augment the clerkships they were engaged in during March-April and were interrupted by the pandemic surge. As of this week, the previously established Academic Year 2020-2021 calendar applies. There are several adjustments, as on the national level, to the usual conduct and calendar of the M4 year. There will be, for example, no extramural rotations available to our students or to students visiting from other schools at least through November 1. The Class of 2022 (rising M3 students) completed their Transition to Clerkships activities last week and began the core Phase 2 clerkships on Monday. As with the rising M4 students, adjustments to the usual rotation calendar have been previously communicated in detail to all students.
Throughout, in both classroom and clinical settings, we will ensure compliance with all COVID-related safety measures. Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily, and In-person courses and classroom schedules will be adjusted appropriately to ensure physical distancing and safer traffic flow. We recognize that the pandemic is still evolving, so our plans will be flexible and nimble, as emphasized by President Killeen in his message. We are actively monitoring conditions in all currently active clinical education settings, as well as in the community, and will remain vigilant through the fall as students return to classrooms as well. The safety of students, faculty, and staff remains our highest priority.
Extramural Rotations and Visiting Students
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted the conduct of medical education, on a global scale. While University of Illinois College of Medicine students usually explore a variety of domestic and international rotation opportunities during their final year of medical school, and the College likewise hosts a number of students from other schools on our campus, this year’s educational experiences must necessarily be approached very differently.
The College of Medicine endorses and will follow the recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which discourage away rotations for medical students, with limited exceptions. The AAMC recommendations can be found at https://www.aamc.org/what-we-do/mission-areas/medical-education/away-rotations-interviews-2020-21-residency-cycle.
Click to view the College policy.