Dear second year students:
I want to acknowledge that the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, and the uncertainty of its impact is creating much stress for all of us and that is normal. I want to assure you that we in administration are maintaining a pulse on events as they occur, are huddling daily to determine the best next steps for our students and our staff. I will continue to forward updates from UW Medicine’s The Huddle, https://huddle.uwmedicine.org/news/covid-19-update, and the CoVID-19 response team at UW, to keep you informed on key information. If members of the UW community are diagnosed with COVID-19, including students, information will be shared with you to ensure your safety while protecting the privacy of the community member who has fallen ill.
We realize that many of you are busy studying for Step 1 and want to encourage you to stay focused on your studies while still attending to personal safety around this epidemic.
A few things that we want to bring to your attention include:
* All shadowing experiences are suspended in Seattle.
* Service learning activities across the entire region are also suspended until further notice. Please look for updates from Leonora Clarke.
* Some of you will be starting clerkships as early as March 30. Be aware that students are not allowed to participate in the care of known COVID-19 infected patients.
Please read the guidelines on this website regarding travel and other measures to avoid infection and community spread of the infection.
* Avoid travel if at all possible
* Stay at home if you are sick
* Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. See KOMO News story with Dr. Paul Pottinger, UW School of Medicine allergy and infectious disease specialist, on the proper techniques for hand washing.<https://komonews.com/news/coronavirus/yes-there-really-is-a-right-way-to-wash-your-hands-to-avoid-transmitting-diseases>
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
* Avoid contact<https://huddle.uwmedicine.org/news/covid-19-update> with people who are sick.
* Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
As you progress through your training, we want to assure you that we are committed to your education and to you graduating on time. You will likely be asked to follow precautions and safety procedures at the institution or clinic where you are rotating. When on a clinical rotation, if you are sick, check in with your supervisor; you may be given specific instruction for testing if indicated or you may be sent home from your rotation and asked to follow up with your health care provider. If you have any questions about how to proceed, about how to get tested, about being absent from the rotation and how it impact your ability to complete the rotation or fulfill graduation requirements, please contact Dr. Maestas, adminsa at uw.edu<mailto:adminsa at uw.edu>, as soon as possible. Your health comes first and then we want to work to get you back to the rotation as soon you are safe to do so.
UW President Ana Mari attended the ASUW senate meeting on March 3, to discuss the UW’s COVID-19 response. Here is a recording of that discussion: https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/03/05/president-cauce-dr-geoff-gottlieb-discuss-uw-covid-19-response-at-asuw-senate-meeting/
For daily updates please go to the COVID-19 page specific to your class on the UW School of Medicine Intranet<https://education.uwmedicine.org/> (education.uwmedicine.org).
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your College mentors and Heads, local site leadership, the counselors, and your colleagues to ask for (and share) support during this uncertain and challenging time for all of us.
Raye Maestas, MD
Associate Dean, Student Affairs UW SOM
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
1959 NE Pacific Street | Box 356340 | Seattle, WA 98195
Assistant: Meryl Yang, adminSA at uw.edu
Pronouns: she, her, hers