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      Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director Experience Adapting Emergency Remote Learning During the Onset of COVID‐19 Pandemic

      , MD, MSEd , 1 , , MD, FAAEM 2 , , MD, MEd, FACEP 3 , , MD, FACEP, FAAEM 4 , , MD 5 , , DO, FACEP 6 , , MD, MS 7

      AEM Education and Training

      John Wiley and Sons Inc.

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          The recent outbreak of the COVID‐19 altered the traditional paradigm of clinical medical education. While individual clerkships have shared their curricular adaptations via social and academic networking media, there is currently no organizational standard in establishing a non‐clinical, Emergency Medicine (EM) virtual rotation (VR). The primary objective of this study was to describe EM clerkship directors’ (CDs) perspectives on their experience adapting an EM VR curriculum during the onset of the COVID‐19 pandemic.


          A 21‐item survey with quantitative and qualitative questions was disseminated between June and August 2020 to EM CDs via the Clerkship Director of Emergency Medicine (CDEM) Listserv to describe their experience and perspectives in adapting a VR during the spring of 2020.


          We analyzed 59 out of 77 EM clerkship survey responses. Among respondents, 52% adapted a VR while 47.5% did not. Of those who adapted a VR, 71% of CDs had 2 weeks or less to develop the new curriculum, with 84% reporting usual or increased clinical load during that time. Clerkships significantly diversified their asynchronous educational content and utilized several instructional models to substitute the loss of clinical experience. Reflecting on the experience, 71% of CDs did not feel comfortable writing a standardized letter of evaluation for students based on the VR, with the majority citing inability to evaluate students’ competencies in a clinical context.


          A crisis, such as COVID‐19 necessitates change in all facets of medical education. While EM educators demonstrated the ability to create emergency remote learning with limited time, this was not equivalent to the formal development of pre‐planned VR experiences. Future faculty development and curriculum innovation are required to fully transition an in‐person immersive experience to a non‐inferior virtual experience.

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          Author and article information

          AEM Educ Train
          AEM Educ Train
          AEM Education and Training
          John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
          04 March 2021
          [ 1 ] Department of Emergency Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester MA USA
          [ 2 ] Department of Emergency Medicine Vanderbilt University Nashville TN USA
          [ 3 ] Department of Emergency Medicine University of Washington Seattle WA USA
          [ 4 ] Department of Emergency Medicine Loma Linda University Loma Linda CA USA
          [ 5 ] Department of Emergency Medicine University of Missouri‐Kansas City Kansas City MO USA
          [ 6 ] Department of Emergency Medicine Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Danville PA USA
          [ 7 ] Department of Emergency Medicine Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia PA USA
          Author notes
          [* ] Corresponding Author

          Ronnie Ren, MD, MSEd , Assistant Professor, Dept of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

          Email: ronniekuoren@ 123456gmail.com

          This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

          This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

          Page count
          Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Pages: 21, Words: 582
          Original Contribution
          Original Contribution
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