Important Updates

All UNM School of Medicine Learners

UNM Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is a great resource for tips on managing fears and anxiety around coronavirus, additional self-help tools and counseling services available for students by appointment (505.277.3136). An after-hours crisis counselor is also available for UNM students at 505.277.3136, option 3. You are not alone and we are here for you!

UNM Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is your best source for immediate student healthcare access and information. SHAC has an excellent website with resources for you, including COVID-19 information and instructions. If you think you may have been exposed and/or have symptoms of the Coronavirus, please contact SHAC at (505) 277-3136 and follow the prompts.

After SHAC Hours of Operation: Call 505.260.7070. (Or call SHAC at 277.3136; select option #2.) You will reach an answering service. The answering service will page a SHAC medical provider who is available for medical problems that can be addressed over the telephone.

If you have a health condition that puts you at high risk or have unique circumstances (e.g., caregiver for an immunosuppressed family member), you should work with the student affairs dean, student health center, and, as appropriate, disability service providers to identify educational experiences that reduce your risk while meeting educational requirements.

As of Friday, March 13, 2020, UNM Student Employment has stated that “the extended break affects students in regards to coursework only, not employment. Student employees may continue working up to 28 hours (20 hours for international students) per week. Additional guidance on COVID-19 related issues (such as spring break travel, sickness, etc.) can be found online at http://www.unm.edu/coronavirus/. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 277-3511 or stuemp@unm.edu.

Health Profession Students

Most clinical sites are no longer conducting student rotations, including all UNM Health System sites for MD students. For students in other programs who are still working in clinical settings, please remain in close contact with your program director and check your email frequently. Important updates, such as clinical sites who have made changes to accepting students, will be delivered by your respective program director or Clinical Education Program.  Your program curriculum will be adjusted accordingly to keep you on track for graduation. If you feel ill: Immediately contact your Program Director for further advice regarding monitoring for symptoms and consideration of self-isolation.

Even if our physical offices are closed, we are still working remotely.  Please contact Eddie Salazar or Janell Valdez

EMS courses are being moved to various online formats, and lab portions of courses will be moved to the end of the semester. You will be notified of any schedule changes in advance.

Please check your UNM Learn account for updates and additional learning resources during this extended break. Exams, lectures, clinics and rotations will be rescheduled when you return.

For the class of 2020, SCPE 6 starts June 1. Between now and June 1st, the PA program will be working to develop educational activities to help you prepare for the Final Summative Exam and other educational sessions to supplement your education during this time. The Clinical Team will be working on what your rotations will look like starting in June. Regrettably, this will delay your graduation into October 2020. We will be working on the exact date for each rotation and graduation. Lindsay Fox will communicate directly with your preceptors about this plan.

For the class of 2021, PA “2” series courses are postponed. GI and Nutrition begin June 22nd. CVPR and the associated PA “2” series courses will be completed following PA”2” and GI. Neuro remains scheduled for October to December. SCPE (Supervised Clinical Practical Experience) 1 and 2 is postponed until January 2021. Regrettably, graduation will be delayed to October 2021. There is nothing that you need to do at this time regarding course enrollment etc. We will provide you with guidance in the coming days.

For both classes, we are working with financial aid to ensure that there will not be a disruption in your financial aid and with Health Sciences Center leadership to ensure that you do not accrue any additional tuition costs due to the delay in the curriculum.

We have moved all teaching to virtual teaching and are live streaming instruction to our students. All psychomotor components of our curriculum are on hold. We have re-vamped some projects to be completed virtually. We have canceled our pro-bon clinic REACH. We are re-assigning clinical sites as needed.

OT faculty at this time are working hard to develop creative new fieldwork opportunities for our students. We are also preparing to expand our UNM Learn and other virtual activities for our classes are primarily based in UNM Learn.

As of March 17, 2020 approximately half of Radiologic Sciences clinic sites have closed for students due to COVID-19. At this time Presbyterian and UNMH are still taking students. We will monitor the situation and expect to return to clinic after April 6, 2020. However, the situation is fluid and changing rapidly. We will communicate plans as they are finalized. Every precaution is being taken to protect to the health of students in clinic. Students will not be working with or near a patient with or suspected of having COVID-19. At this time, classes and exams are scheduled to restart April 6. All class and exams will be delivered virtually.

At this time we are continuing virtual learning via blackboard through asynchronous class lectures. Students on clinical rotation are expected to continue the rotation unless otherwise notified by your Director and Clinical Rotation Coordinator. If you are sick, please stay home. Doctor’s notes are not required at this time, but you are required to notify your Director and Clinical Coordinator and/or Course Instructors. Please read all updates from your Director and Course Instructors sent via blackboard and email.

MD Students

PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAILS OFTEN. We are busy planning how to continue delivering curriculum that you need to progress through medical school during this uncertain time.

Beginning at 5 PM Wednesday, March 18, all UNM medical students will be excused from participating in clinical care experiences and rotations. This pause will remain in effect for at least the next six weeks.

Learning Communities will continue using virtual house meetings.

CVPR: You have already heard from the block chairs.  UME will continue to support their efforts.

Doctoring 1b: 3/25 & 3/26 Large Group Session – Session to be delivered remotely with pre- and post-work. April Small Group Sessions – We are working on a plan to deliver some of this content remotely.  Teaching the physical exam online is a challenge!

Continuity Clinic: Start date of continuity clinic is currently postponed until April 30.  More information will follow. Please check your emails frequently.

Clinical Reasoning:  Plans are developing to have Clinical Reasoning be done completely on-line.  There will be no small group in-person sessions.

 

Transitions block (March 30th – April 23rd) converted to on-line learning except for Basic Life Support training

New on-line Public Health elective for Class of 2023 from April 27th – May 22nd 

First block of Phase II begins May 25th.

You have heard from Dr. Alden already about Transitions plans. These plans have not changed based on the Curriculum Committee’s decisions.

What has changed is the start date of your clerkship year. Since the current 3rd years have had to be removed from patient care for 6 weeks, we will need to create time for them to return to clinical clerkships for 4 weeks. You will start clerkships 4 weeks later than previously planned; you are scheduled to begin clerkships on May 25.

Between April 27 – May 22, you will be enrolled in a public health elective that Drs. Lawrence and Rohan-Minjares are developing. The course will involve online activities related to COVID-19 and the public health response. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service activities that will allow you to be a part of the response to the current health situation facing the globe. You WILL receive Phase III credit for this course, so you will have one less Phase III course requirement to complete when you do begin Phase III.

Students released from clinical duties as of Wednesday March 18th should continue online learning/home studying until March 27 as directed by your clerkship directors.  You will receive credit for completion of the first half of the 8-week clerkships.

Students taking Psychiatry and Neuro clerkships will complete this 4-week block with online learning/home study and take the NBME Shelf Exams on March 27.

All Phase II students will be enrolled in a new Public Health block the last 4 weeks of block 6.  This block will count as a 4th year elective.  It will have an online didactic component as well as a service component that will allow students to become involved in the response to COVID-19 in a variety of different ways.  Drs. Lawrence Rohan-MInjares are developing this block and will be in touch with details as soon as possible.  (March 30th – April 24th)

After the Public Health Block, students should plan to resume the clerkships they were previously on and complete the second half.  Students who were in Psychiatry will switch to Neuro and students who completed Neuro will switch to Psych. (April 27th – May 22nd) As this is a fluid situation, please monitor your email closely in case this plan has to change.

Please review / revise your Phase III schedule proposal to reflect this change. 

Reach out to Drs. Hickey, Vigil or OMSA if you have any questions about this.

You should work on activities online to continue learning on the rotation you are currently assigned.  Your clerkship directors are working very hard to provide you with high-quality online learning at this time.  Please continue to stay engaged and take the opportunity to further your learning on your current clerkship.

Elimination of clinical activity for the remainder of block 12

The eighth course requirement for any students registered for block 13 has been waived. Students who have complete 7 out of 8 of the requirements for graduation will be deemed eligible for graduation.

Non-clinical Options for completing the remainder of block 12 (3/19 – 3/29/20)

You should work on activities online to continue learning on the rotation you are currently assigned.

  • For CAC students, please continue working on your capstone projects and continue to plan to participate in Zoom seminars. Course directors will be in touch with more info.
  • For Med in NM, please continue to work on your projects with guidance from Dr. Clithero-Eridon. Course director will be in touch with more info.
  • For those of you on other rotations/electives, please communicate with the rotation directors. If they are unable to provide you with online learning activities, please contact Dr. Rohan-Minjares directly. We will be providing additional direction.

New Optional block 13 elective

For Block 13, you will have the option to enroll in a new Public Health elective. We are in the process of creating this elective to include learning activities that will allow you to learn more about COVID-19 and public health response in a pandemic as well as participate in service activities that will give you a chance to be a part of the response to our current health care situation. We will be sending information out about this very soon. This elective will be optional.  Be on the lookout for more information.

If you have completed 7 of the 8 requirements by the end of block 12, you will have completed sufficient requirements for graduation.

Even if our physical offices are closed, we are still working remotely.  Please contact OMSA at or HSC-OMSA@salud.unm.edu for assistance.
Even if our physical offices are closed, we are still working remotely.  Please contact Eddie Salazar or Janell Valdez

Medical Resident & Fellow

UNM Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) offers Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) to residents. TAO is a great source for information, assessments, and tools about stress, anxiety, relationship issues, communication, problem solving, and substance use.

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers services to students, faculty, and staff of all genders, including counseling.

Jeff Dunn, MD, (JeDunn@salud.unm.edu) is the psychiatrist available for 1:1 confidential and free counseling for residents.  He does not document in Power Chart.  Please contact him by e-mail if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Outcomes ,the employee assistance program for house officers, provides counseling, education, conflict resolution and other services for residents and fellows; 505-243-255.  They are available by phone 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

For the protection of your patients and colleagues, please take the following steps if you think you could have COVID-19 based on symptoms (dry cough, shortness of breath, OR fever greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees F). (Note: asymptomatic folks should not be tested.)

Let your program director, program coordinator, or other appropriate leadership person know your concerns.

For now, screening and testing is in BBRP 1500, open 24/7, which has been set up as the Respiratory Care Center. This is a walk-in service only, so no appointments.  The location of testing may be changing in the near future so be watching for updates.

The entrance is from the northwest side of the BBRP, by the patient parking structure (the usual doors on the east side of the room are locked to restrict access). If you need help finding the entrance, from the inside lobby, you can ask the people stationed at the front door, by the sparkly horse. Outside the main north entrance of BBRP you will see wolf paw prints which you follow to the right around the corner of the building to the triage area. 

Based on screening, they will determine whether you need testing, including for COVID19. If you do get tested for COVID -19, you will need to go home until the test results come back, which may take about 1 – 2 days.

If you do need to be isolated, there is a new category on New Innovations Duty Hour Logging system to use – COVID19 – so that we can track this. We are still working on the actual leave types that can apply and hope to have an answer this week.

Please work with your Program Director and GME about possible accommodations to your clinical service.  For guidance, UNMH has provided guidance on healthcare workers who are immunosuppressed or pregnant, available at the UNMH intranet Infection Prevention and Control Site at https://hospitals.health.unm.edu/ipcd/2020/03/13/coronavirus-2020/ (must access from on-site or via Citrix).
Please open all emails from Dr. Joanna Fair. Of particular help are the “GME COVID-19 Daily Digest” communications, which provide a full summary of things you need to know. These are being digested on the New Innovations home page at https://www.new-innov.com/Login/Home.aspx. Please also read all emails from UNMH Communications, Dr. Roth and Dr. McGrew.
Even if our physical offices are closed, we are still working remotely.  Our calls should be being forwarded – call us at (505) 272-6225.  You may also contact GME staff via email:

Research Education Program Students

As of April 3, 2020, the UNM Office of Graduate Studies has extended the Spring 2020 graduation deadline to April 30, 2020. Any students intending to complete Spring 2020 must have uploaded their manuscript, submitted all manuscript forms and Report of Examination must be received at Graduate Studies by 5 PM on April 30. The Summer 2020 degree completion deadline remains July 15. 

Graduate Studies has been updating their response to questions they are receiving on their website:
https://grad.unm.edu/about/coronavirus.html.

They will continue to update this website and recommend that you familiarize yourself with it.
Is my lab closed?

To assure the safety and well-being of our students, we have decided to temporarily restrict the presence of students in our research facilities; student access will need to be paused as they will not be allowed in research laboratories, working on clinical trials, or performing in-person community based research effective Monday March 23, 2020 at 5:00pm.  This will remain in effect through April 30, 2020

Students will continue to be able to work remotely.  We are committed to assuring that our students will complete their degrees, and we will be assessing the situation closely and providing additional guidance.

To ensure that you have the most current information, please refer to the HSC COVID-19 and Office of Research web sites frequently.

The UNM HSC Office of Research site can be accessed here. We have issued policies related to research during periods of limited operations and guidance on conducting clinical trials that are part of the standard of care of patients during limited operations.  Those full policies are available here:  Research Continuity Guidance Laboratories & Research Facilities and Research Continuity Guidance Clinical Trial Research Faculty & Staff).  The Health Sciences Center Office of Research contains information on specific research-related updates (including the Research Continuity Guidelines for both Laboratories & Research Facilities and Clinical Trial Research Faculty & Staff) and can be accessed through the following link: https://hsc.unm.edu/research/.

What do I need to know in general about classes?

Spring semester courses will move to a virtual format using Zoom meetings, off-site course work, and videos posted on Blackboard Learn as defined by individual course directors.

Please note that most courses will begin on March 23. Look for information from each course director on the format and start date of each course. Individual instructors will be communicating with students in their courses with specifics of how their courses will be run. For first year studentslightning talks will still be held on 3/24 using a Zoom meeting format.  Send your slides to SOMREO@salud.unm.edu by 3/23 at 5 PM so that they can be loaded onto the REO computer. Specific instructions will be sent to students and mentors on how to participate in this session.

In accord with the research office directive to reduce group work and face-to-face meetings, mentors will be asked to move as many assignments to off-site or virtual platforms. Activities such as data analysis, literature reviews and reports on completed studies can be used to complete rotation requirements. Remember that safety is our primary concern and we will be flexible in how students meet program requirements.

What do I need to know in general about classes?

Please note that most courses began on March 16, 2020. Look for information from each course director on the format of each course. Individual instructors will be communicating with students in their courses with specifics of how their courses will be run.

What do I need to know about performing research?
To assure the safety and well-being of our students, we have decided to temporarily restrict the presence of students in our research facilities; student access will need to be paused as they will not be allowed in research laboratories, working on clinical trials, or performing in-person community based research effective Monday March 23, 2020 at 5:00pm.  This will remain in effect through April 30, 2020.

Students will continue to be able to work remotely. We are committed to assuring that our students will complete their degrees, and we will be assessing the situation closely and providing additional guidance.

To ensure that you have the most current information, please refer to the HSC COVID-19 and Office of Research web sites frequently.

The UNM HSC Office of Research site can be accessed here. We have issued policies related to research during periods of limited operations and guidance on conducting clinical trials that are part of the standard of care of patients during limited operations.  Those full policies are available here:  Research Continuity Guidance Laboratories & Research Facilities and Research Continuity Guidance Clinical Trial Research Faculty & Staff).  The Health Sciences Center Office of Research contains information on specific research-related updates (including the Research Continuity Guidelines for both Laboratories & Research Facilities and Clinical Trial Research Faculty & Staff) and can be accessed through the following link: https://hsc.unm.edu/research/.

SOMREO office hours are maintained using Zoom meetings Mon-Fri from 10 AM-3 PM. Instructions were sent to students via email about how to join the office hours Zoom meeting. The Zoom link is also hosted on our SOMREO website under walk-in hours. Emails to somreo@salud.unm.edu will continue to be answered within three business days. If there is an urgent request, use the office hours to communicate with SOM REO staff or send an email directly to Dr. Kanagy, Dr. Mishra (MSCR students), or Dr. Gillette (UPN students).

Dr. Kanagy and SOMREO staff will host a weekly Town Hall. Most weekly Town Halls are held on Tuesday’s at 11 AM, but days may vary depending on guest availability. Check your email and the SOMREO digest for exact dates and guest speaker details.
All current contracts will continue and students will be paid as normal until the end date which for most students is May 30. Department administrators will need to submit new contracts to OGS using the SOP on the BSGP website by the published OGS deadlines, which for summer 2020 contracts is April 20, 2020. Once finalized, please send a PDF of your approved contract to somreo@salud.unm.edu.
If you have questions or problems, contact SOMREO@salud.unm.edu or attend the Zoom office hours to get help.
The public portion of the defense should be held as a Zoom meeting. Let SOMREO know if you need help with setting up a Zoom meeting for your defense. Please include the Zoom information on your Defense flyer that you send to somreo@salud.unm.edu. SOMREO will include the Zoom information in the weekly SOMREO Digest that is sent out on Fridays.
Use email to connect with your mentor. Please be patient for a response.

A Few Words From Interim Dean Martha Cole McGrew, MD

Dear School of Medicine learners,

I am reaching out to you as interim dean to let you know that you are among our greatest priorities right now. We know you may be anxious and have many questions. Particularly about how the COVID-19 response effects your education experiences here at the School of Medicine.

While we may not always have definitive answers, as things change from moment to moment, we are continuing to stay in close touch with LCME, ACGME and AAMC to follow their guidelines as well as the public health guidelines set for our state. Students all over the country have the same worries that you do about requirements and graduation and we will keep closely on top of that. 

We are working day to day, hour to hour and even minute to minute to ensure that the information we are providing is the timeliest and most accurate we have. Please know that our goal is to do the very best we can to protect, advise and inform our learners over the coming months. Our highest priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of you, our patients and our UNM Health Sciences community.

Your associate and assistant deans in your area are the best supervisors for you to contact with questions. They will elevate for answers if they don’t have the answer.

We care very deeply about you and your education and will be doing everything in our power to support you. 

My request is to support each other, be kind, know that many people are working many hours and may be exhausted. I expect all of us to be respectful to each other and follow the guidance and policies set forth by the Incident Management Team at the HSC (Dr. Amy Levi, Associate Chancellor for Academic Affairs is our liaison on that team, Dr. David Pitcher leads that team under Dr. Roth) and Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) for the health system (led by Dr. Michael Chicarelli).

Your program leadership and Deans are working diligently. Stay in touch with them. Keep checking your email and the HSC Covid-19 wenbsite for announcements and updates. We want you to know again that we will work to have answers for you and to implement the best outcomes possible for your education. 

Keep wearing your masks, washing your hands and following good social distancing habits.

Best,

Martha C. McGrew, MD
Interim Dean
UNM School of Medicine
Office: 505-272-2321
MMcGrew@salud.unm.edu
som.unm.edu