(L to R): Sheri G. Jordan, MD: Director – Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) / Jorge Oldan, MD: Co-Director – UME
When UNC School of Medicine (SOM) temporarily suspended clinical clerkships in the face of pandemic uncertainty to assure the health and safety of our students, our undergraduate Medical Education (UME) faculty advisor team worked closely with the SOM to participate meaningfully in our great medical students’ education. We are particularly proud to have contributed the imaging sessions to the Medical Management of COVID-19 Course for the entire UNC School of Medicine and North Carolina AHEC in March and April 2020, subsequently accepted by the AAMC collaborative.
When the students resumed their clinical clerkships in May 2020, our UME team placed student safety first and foremost, developing meaningful virtual didactics and assignments for our 2020-2021 RADY student courses. For general radiology (RADY 401), students read detailed “lecture of the day” chapters to engage in virtual learning and participation forums. Online learning widely ranged – resident-led RADY 401 lecture virtual symposia; faculty-led “Radiology Rounds”; virtual journal club; and new conferences (Neuro RadPath). Extensive, computerized resources developed by academics nationwide enriched online teaching, including the well-loved “Game of Unknowns” (Weill Cornell Medicine). Our Diagnostic Radiology (RADY 401), Pediatric Radiology (RADY 403), Investigative Radiology (RADY 411) and Bone Radiology (RADY 412) electives all incorporated hybrid elements. In RADY 403, COVID-19 screened students observed in the reading room twice weekly, in addition to virtual case conferences.
Course Director and Pediatric Imaging Division Chief Lynn Fordham, MD, noted: “The revised curriculum and increased online modules have created a more structured and comprehensive [RADY 403] course overall.” Our virtual students adapted to independent learning and virtual forums amazingly (no surprise!) over several months of removal from onsite clinical and classroom learning. Student performance on in-course midterms and finals was well in line for with prior numbers for AY 2019-2020.
In those RADY courses continued onsite, our students have played important collaborative roles in patient care. On Breast Imaging (RADY 413), we couldn’t have made the July academic year transition without the gifted students who filled their roles in acting intern manner. And away from patient care, UNC SOM students answered the calls to serve through shifting to supporting caregivers, assisting UNC Hospitals Infection Control outside the ED, accompanying paramedics to homes of COVID-19+ patients, and innovating face shields at UNC’s BeAM makerspace.