HSC Education Days

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The AAMC recommended in March 2020 that medical schools suspend medical student involvement in clinical activities due to CoVid. In response, UNM SOM implemented a 4-week virtual course on COVID-19 for second- and third-year medical students and PA students. The course addressed the need for students to learn about public health, infectious disease, and social determinants of health. In addition, the new course provided ample opportunity for community service. The objectives of the course were lofty, but critical at this point in the students’ medical education. We wanted our students to develop leadership skills, learn about the novel Coronavirus, anticipate and prepare for the lasting impact of the pandemic on our society, understand the way underserved populations are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and develop tools to maintain well-being during this difficult time. A variety of teaching methodologies were utilized in delivery of the block. The block involved virtual large group sessions delivered by leading infectious disease and public health experts and by frontline clinicians, facilitated small group discussions, reflective writing assignments, a service requirement, and a capstone presentation. Over eight weeks, 242 students participated in the course and contributed over 11,000 hours of community service on projects such as collecting PPE for the Navajo nation, providing childcare to frontline providers, translating public health materials into Vietnamese, Spanish, and Navajo, and teaching about the pandemic in public schools. More than thirty faculty members from across the institution enthusiastically donated their time to teach and oversee service projects. The pandemic created the need for new medical school curriculum, and a group of dedicated faculty met the need with great success, as demonstrated by student evaluations, faculty feedback, and the breadth of contributions to the community.


This presentation was presented during the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Education Days.



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