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Program Director Bulletin for COVID 19 (March 25, 2020)

Program Director Bulletin for COVID 19

March 25, 2020

This PD Guide will be published weekly on The current week’s edition will be under Announcements and prior editions will be posted under Program Leadership.

Weekly Zoom PD Q&A session on Thursday nights at 6pm-7pm

               March 26, 2020- Institutional Leadership  and Bill Powderly MD from ID will address questions


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! Describes new categories of institutional response to COVID 19.

We are currently operating as Stage One, “Business as Usual,” with ongoing disaster planning preparing for when we may move to Stage Two.


ACGME Duty Hour Clarification: on under Program Leadership and House staff

Duty Hour tracking in NI:

New categories added for those house staff working from home

At home clinical/patient care

At home learning/education

Block Schedules in NI:

Utilize COVID quarantine for all house staff not on their usual blocks due EITHER to

Personal illness or quarantine for exposure

Working remotely at PD direction (above categories are for Duty Hour reporting ONLY)


Aquifer and Box Resources available for training 3/27/20

Online refresher for common clinical problems

To be made available to all residents and fellows and for use by those programs who choose to use it

PDs to receive invitation March 25, 2020 as several have asked to review it ahead of the house staff release.

House staff to receive invitation Friday 3/27/2020

Resources for house staff ill with COVID

BJC employed residents and fellows should continue to look at the website for the most updated policies around COVID-19. If trainees have specific questions related to HR policies, they should reach out to their employer’s HR department.

WU paid fellows may also contact WU HR to report COVID related illness questions.

Areas with active planning by institutional leadership: Over the weekend, BJH/ SLCH/ Wash U stood up a combined incident command center. This center is responsible for monitoring in real time the operations of our hospitals, implementing emergency needs, and planning for all potential needs related to the COVID-19 epidemic. The teams are working 7 days a week and around the clock. Here are some of the priorities being addressed immediately:

  • Clear, transparent and combined daily communication to inform our community of what is happening. This includes developing mechanisms to be transparent about current COVID- related illness in our hospitals, clinics and workforce while ensuring HIPAA compliance.
  • PPE policies, education, supply chain and compliance both now and in anticipation of a surge (expect communication about this in the combined communication)
  • Staffing of hospitals at each stage of a potential surge including when and how to effectively engage housestaff in a safe and appropriately supervised fashion
  • Emergency housing for all healthcare workers (more to come on this very soon from joint communication)
  • Access to food and nutrition for all healthcare workers


From the Group on Resident Affairs in the AAMC, the following resources:

Dear GRA Community:  Please see below for links on four areas of GME interest and relevance.

ACGME Response To Covid-19: Clarification Regarding Telemedicine

Residents and Telemedicine

ECFMG Webinar on VISA processing amidst COVID-19 – Monday, March 23, 2020

Statement of Need

Form DS-2019

J-1 Visa Issuance

J-1s already in the country

Passport renewal:

Electronic signature

COVID-19 coverage

Moonlighting: J-1 physicians

Residents in quarantine

Board Exams


ECFMG|FAIMER Press Release on 2020 Residency Match:


Microsoft Teams available: We have created a Microsoft Teams site for all program directors. This will allow you to customize and create sub-teams for your trainees to work on projects or broadly share resources for things like curriculum, wellness activities, how you are communicating and staying in touch with your residents, and other creative ideas without clogging up everyone’s email inbox. The site is quite intuitive. You do need to login or download and enter teams to see what’s happening there. Inside the teams site, there are instructions for how to use it under the help tab.

Resources from Dominique Cosco: In addition to navigating changes in the clinical environments for residents and fellows, GME leadership realizes that physical distancing has drastically changed the way most of us deliver educational content to our trainees.

In order to continue to deliver high value educational content during the COVID-19 pandemic, a work group has formed to collate, disseminate, and highlight best practices in education and focus on educational continuity for residents and fellows.  Each week, innovative approaches to education will be included in the PD bulletin.  The online platforms of Zoom and Microsoft Teams are included in this week’s bulletin.  Each of these platforms are immediately available to faculty and house staff free of charge.  Please see the Educational Resource document (attached to this email and located on under Program Leadership and in PD Microsoft Teams files) with information on how to operationalize Zoom and MS Teams.  IT has well developed information for those of you unfamiliar with the platforms; in addition, IT can provide support to answer questions.

If you would like to share an educational innovation you are using in your program or if you would like to be part of the work group, please email Dominique Cosco directly at


  • Please encourage your trainees to go to the GME Wellness Website  for wellness tips and resources. We are updating this on a regular basis. If you have suggestions or needs related to wellness for your trainees, please feel free to send those to
  •  Raquel Cabral, GME Psychologist, is still available to see trainees. Online scheduling is still not working, but she can be reached at 314-285-3667. If you are worried about a trainee please call Raquel and she will work to get them in as quickly as possible.
  • If you are interested in a facilitated group session for your trainees to help manage stress or debrief acute events, please send your requests to and we will work to determine whether Raquel can manage those or whether we will use additional psychology staff on campus to assist.
  • We are conducting group support sessions via Zoom twice per week. They are currently planned for:
    • 3/27 at 3pm
    • 3/30 at 1pm
    • 4/2 at 8am
    • 4/6 at 1pm
    • 4/9 at 5pm

Login information for these sessions are posted in New Innovations – links are at the very top of the home page when trainees login. We are also working to post this information in a Box folder and will share those links with you and your program’s wellness champions.

  • We will be meeting weekly with your Wellness Champions and are actively working on additional ideas for support of both the PDs and all of the residents and fellows – more to come in the days and weeks ahead.
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