The pressures of the COVID-19 (SARS COV2) pandemic are mounting across the country. In response to this, the ACGME has developed a new modification to its Extraordinary Circumstances policy enabling Sponsoring Institutions to declare a Pandemic Emergency Status.
Significant numbers of patients are arriving at or being transferred to teaching hospitals. In contrast, some institutions are seeing very few of these patients, but are planning for the anticipated surge of patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
These circumstances, and their continued evolution, require a new conceptual framework from which graduate medical education (GME) can effectively operate during the pandemic. To explain this new framework and provide guidance and response to questions from the community, we have created a section of the website dedicated to information about ACGME Requirements during this pandemic. Please view those pages here.
Sponsoring Institutions and their participating sites are functioning at one of three stages along a continuum:
Stage 1 – “business as usual”
Stage 2 – increased but manageable clinical demand
Stage 3 – crossing a threshold beyond which the increase in volume and/or severity of illness creates an extraordinary circumstance where routine care education and delivery must be reconfigured to focus only on patient care
The ACGME trusts designated institutional officials, program directors, and faculty members to make the changes necessary to care for patients during this crisis, and to protect caregivers (residents, fellows, faculty members, nurses, respiratory therapists, physician assistants) and those supporting them as they serve the nation.
Finally, we recognize there may be ramifications for individual certification or on-time graduation for some individuals. We are working closely with the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association on these challenging questions.
Please continue your great work for your patients, each other, and yourselves.