The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education (OME) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of December 16, 2020.
Students in the class of MD'21 started completing applications for residency when they became available for programs across the country on October 21, and students are actively engaged in virtual residency interviews. Students have also been participating in mock interviews and extensive one-one-one advising through the Office of Career Development in the Office of Student Affairs. Students are able to reserve interview space at the Medical School to ensure professional Zoom backgrounds and reliable internet access. The majority of interviews take place in November and December, with some extending into January, while students await Match Day on Friday, March 19, 2020. In addition to completing their remaining curricular requirements for graduation, fourth-year students continue to participate in volunteer efforts related to the pandemic including planning to engage in statewide efforts at field hospitals that have been established in response to Rhode Island’s rising COVID-19 rates.
Students in the class of MD'22 are fully immersed in the clinical environment, functioning as valuable members of patient care teams; providing care to all patients in need. They are classified as health care workers and, like fourth-year students, have been provided with full and consistent access to personal protective equipment (PPE). They will soon participate in a class-wide meeting to discuss plans for next year which will include participation of fourth-year students and faculty across various disciplines, who will provide guidance and support related to specialty selection, rotation lottery selections, timing of the USMLE Step 2 licensing exam, and maintaining health and wellness in the final year of medical school. We await updated guidance from our colleagues at the AAMC and the Coalition for Physician Accountability on the anticipated impact of the pandemic on elective and away rotations for members of MD’22. We will continue to review and share this information with students so that we can provide them with the best possible mentorship and support during a continued time of uncertainty.
Students in the class of MD'23 students have been participating in twice-weekly asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 since August 2020. The class has successfully completed four blocks with corresponding examinations through a combination of virtual and in-person components of the curriculum. Since Thanksgiving break, the curriculum is being delivered remotely and students are expected to return to campus for the resumption of classes on January 4, 2021. Per CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines, all students who traveled for the winter break will be expected to obtain a negative COVID-19 test to be cleared to return to in-person components of the curriculum. Year 2 students also are beginning the planning process for the USMLE Step 1 licensing examination which will take place during April, May and June 2021, following a six-to-seven week dedicated study period for most students.
Students in the class of MD'24 have also been participating in twice-weekly asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 since August 2020. The class successfully completed the Integrated Medical Sciences Exam #5 the week prior to Thanksgiving. The curriculum for the remainder of the Fall semester is being delivered remotely and students are expected to return to campus for the resumption of classes on January 4, 2021, for the Spring semester. In accordance with CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines, all students who traveled for the winter break will be expected to obtain a negative COVID-19 test to be cleared to return to in-person components of the curriculum. In the Spring, students will learn more about research opportunities and can apply for summer research assistantship funding to explore their research interests over the summer.
August 27, 2020
The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education (OME) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of August 27, 2020.
Students in the class of MD'21 continue to take sub-internships and elective rotations. These sub-internships reside in almost every one of the Medical School’s clinical departments. Students are required to take at least one sub-internship as a graduation requirement. While visiting programs have been suspended, students have been able to participate in virtual rotations and other programming offered by the various specialties. Students are also preparing materials for their residency applications which are due to programs on October 21, 2020.
Students in the class of MD'22 continue their clerkship rotations, with most students beginning either their second or third clerkship. These clerkships include family medicine (4 weeks), internal medicine (8 weeks), clinical neurosciences (neurology and psychiatry, 8 weeks), surgery (4 weeks), obstetrics and gynecology (4 weeks), pediatrics (4 weeks) and surgery (4 weeks). Students also have 12 weeks of elective time in their third year. The Medical School was able to accommodate all students who wanted to take Step 1 during Phases I and II of the USMLE testing pilot and those students who made the decision to delay testing will be able to complete this at the conclusion of their third year.
Students in the class of MD'23 will finish their Cardiology Integrated Medical Sciences course this week. They will begin Pulmonology next. Students in the MD’23 class were required to read “How to Be an Antiracist,” by Ibram X. Kendi over the summer and small group discussions about this book began last week and will continue throughout the semester. Students also started their Doctoring course (Introduction to Clinical Medicine) a few weeks ago and will start working with their clinical mentors next week. Students will be enrolled in twice-weekly COVID-19 testing through the University-based program in conjunction with active symptom tracking.
Students in the class of MD'24 successfully completed the first ever virtual orientation to medical school and will finish the first block of medical school this week. Students are taking Integrated Medical Sciences I – courses include Health Systems Science, Histology, Anatomy, Pathology, and Scientific Foundations of Medicine. Students also began the Doctoring (Introduction to Clinical Medicine) course during Block I. These students will begin working with their clinical mentors in late September. Students will be enrolled in twice- weekly COVID-19 testing through the University-based program in conjunction with active symptom tracking. Plans are underway for a Virtual White Coat Ceremony which will be held next month. Additionally, an in-person White Coat Ceremony is tentatively planned for 2022, prior to the class transitioning to the clinical years.
The administration continues to meet regularly with all MD classes via Zoom to ensure ongoing communication and address students’ concerns promptly. We are also placing an even greater emphasis on student wellness and resilience, and exploring programming to foster and promote a safe and supportive environment for our entire student community.
- A Letter from Deans Elias and Tunkel to the Warren Alpert Medical School Community: An Update on Academic Planning, Testing and Health Practices for Fall 2020
- A Letter from Deans Elias and Tunkel to the Warren Alpert Medical School Community: Reopening Plan
- Q&A: Frequently Asked Questions about the Medical School's 2020-21 Reopening Plan
- In the Media: The Warren Alpert Medical School on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Healthy Brown Website: University's Plan for a Safe Re-Opening for 2020-21
July 30, 2020
The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education (OME) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of July 30, 2020.
MD'21 students resumed clinical rotations on May 26 and are fully integrated into their sub-internships and clinical electives. The Career Development Office in OSA has been working hard, alongside the Council of Specialty Advisors, to prepare students for the 2020-2021 residency application cycle, which will look and feel quite different this year. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) has officially opened and students are able to begin to upload their application materials for residency in preparation for a release date to programs on October 21. All incoming and outgoing visiting student programs have been suspended for this academic year, but many of our students are completing virtual rotations in addition to their in-person clinical experiences at Brown. Approximately 40 students completed Step 2 CK at AMS as part of the Phase I NBME pilot. AMS has now entered Phase II event testing via remote proctoring and several MD'21 students have signed up to take Step 2 CK on August 27. Plans for a dual commencement celebration for MD'21 and MD'20, expected to take place the weekend of April 30, 2021, are underway.
MD'22 students officially started their third year of medical school on June 22 and completed their first clerkships on July 17. Students have been thriving in the clinical environment with administration receiving overall positive feedback about their experiences as it relates to PPE access and education amidst a pandemic. Over 60 students completed their Step 1 licensing exam during the Phase I NBME pilot at AMS as of June 28. We also have some MD'22 students who have signed up to take Step 1 at AMS on July 30 as a part of the Phase II testing.
Many MD'23 students have been busy completing their summer research projects and are gearing up to return to campus on August 5, 2020. The curriculum has been thoughtfully created in an effort to maintain physical distancing, student and faculty safety while preserving critical components of in-person medical education. The Medical School has been de-densified such that the pre-clerkship students from years 1 and 2 are not present in the building at the same time for in-person components. In-person attendance at lectures is not required and all lectures have been converted to appropriate virtual platforms including Zoom, Panopto and Brainshark. At student request, we have preserved the ability for in-person attendance at lectures for those who choose this option, and students are able to select this option via a sign-up system which ultimately limits room capacity to a total of 40 students. The first in-person Doctoring session will be on August 6.
We have finalized the class list for MD'24 and are excited to welcome a new cohort of truly exceptional future physicians to AMS. Students will return to campus in early August to start Orientation on August 3. Orientation will occur via virtual platforms this year, again in an effort to de-densify the Medical School and minimize large group gatherings. Students have all been assigned a Mary B. Arnold mentor who they will meet during Orientation, and this faculty member will serve as a longitudinal mentor across all four years of medical school. Similar to second-year students, MD'24 lectures will be delivered via virtual platforms. Anatomy has switched its entire course from dissection to prosection-based. Students will have an opportunity to participate in pre-clerkship electives as well as a robust student interest group virtual fair.
We have continued to meet regularly with students in addition to meetings with student leadership to ensure that our students are informed and actively engaged in conversations about our return to campus. To date, we have held 60 Zoom meetings with students and student leaders, compiling and disseminating minutes to the student body.
The health and safety of our students continues to be our top priority and our plans for a safe return to campus have been fully vetted by a number of committees within the University as well as the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH). Many of our students in MD'23 and MD'24 will be returning to Rhode Island from out of state and we are adhering to the governor’s and DOH guidelines with respect to quarantine and SARS-CoV-2 testing. Specifically, all students who are travelling from an international location will be required to quarantine for two weeks. All students are required to complete a mandatory online training for a Safe Return to Campus. Students returning from a state with a COVID positive rate greater than 5% will be required to quarantine for two weeks, or obtain a negative SARS-CoV-2 test 72 hours prior to their return or a negative test upon their arrival in Rhode Island. We have worked closely with University Health Services to develop a protocol for medical students related to COVID-19 should they have an exposure, develop symptoms, require testing or other medical guidance. Additionally, all students are required to attend a webinar led by the director and assistant director of Health Services, in addition to completing online training for a Safe Return to Campus.
May 27, 2020
The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education (OME) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of May 27, 2020.
Students in the class of MD'20 graduated on May 24, 2020. The virtual conferral of degrees ceremony was broadcast online and featured remarks from University leaders and students; and a live recitation of the Physician’s Oath as students wore their white coats in lieu of traditional regalia. The event was followed by live tweets and moments of celebration shared on social media by the graduates and well wishers around the world. We are excited for the graduates and wish them the best in their residencies or future endeavors.
Students in the class of MD'21 returned to the clerkships on May 26 (or will return to the clerkships on June 8). All students in MD’21 will begin elective and sub-internship rotations on June 22. Students are working closely with faculty, advisors and administrators at AMS to prepare for a COVID-impacted residency application cycle with anticipated changes including, but not limited to, virtual electives, fewer, if any, away rotations and virtual interviews.
Students in the class of MD'22 completed the Clinical Skills Clerkship, a transition clerkship between the second and third year on May 22. They will begin their third-year clerkships on June 22. The majority of the class has been studying for the USMLE Step 1 licensing exam since mid-February with most unable to sit for the exam due to closed Prometric testing sites across the country.
Students in the class of MD'23 have completed their first year of medical school, finishing up with the Microbiology/Infectious Disease course. A total of 85 students in the class secured research funding through the summer research assistantship program and the majority of students are able to move forward with their summer plans despite COVID related modifications. Students will return to AMS for their second year of medical school on August 5.
In response to the large backlog at Prometric testing centers across the country, the USMLE Program has announced a phased approach to expanding capacity to take the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations. The first phase involves setting up temporary Prometric testing sites at a small number of medical schools to boost regional capacity. The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University has been selected as the host school for the first regional pilot program in the country. Leaders at the Medical School are working together with colleagues at five other regional schools (Tufts, Harvard, the University of Massachusetts, Boston University and the University of Connecticut) and expect to initiate testing on May 27.
April 25, 2020
The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education-Continuous Quality Improvement (OME-CQI) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of on April 25, 2020.
Students in the class of MD'20 have either graduated (nearly one-third of our fourth-year class chose to graduate early, with effective dates of April 15 and April 22, 2020), or are almost cleared for graduation. The Virtual Degree Conferral Ceremony for all students will take place on May 24, 2020 (see below). Many of the students who have graduated early have done so to be available to enter their residency training early, or have volunteered to work as salaried residents in a non-accredited residency program at either Lifespan or Care New England for which they will receive temporary licenses to practice medicine in Rhode Island and be involved in direct patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students in the class of MD'21 are about to restart their last clerkship of third year, tentatively scheduled for May 26, 2020. Students will spend two additional weeks on either internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, surgery or obstetrics and gynecology. Students then will start their electives and sub-internships on June 22, 2020. We are working with students on rescheduling electives and sub-internships that were cancelled secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to ensuring that all students have full access to personal protective equipment (PPE), consistent with what is available for other members of the health care team.
Students in the class of MD'22 are still studying for USMLE Step 1. Students were originally scheduled to take this exam at Prometric test centers in late March/early April. Members of the administration have been advocating for either increasing access at Prometric centers, when they reopen on May 1, 2020, for the Step 1 exam, or remote proctoring of the Step 1 exam. Students in this class will begin their clerkships on June 22, 2020. We have modified the schedule so that students will have three electives in addition to all of their core clerkships during their third year.
Students in the class of MD'23 are about to finish their first-year curriculum, which is still occurring virtually. Students finished Supporting Structures (Rheumatology, Orthopedics) in April and are now in their Microbiology/Infectious Disease course. There have been several sessions within this course about the COVID-19 pandemic. Students also are continuing in the Doctoring course (their Introduction to Clinical Medicine course) and working in their small groups, with their small group faculty leaders, virtually through Zoom. As their semester draws to a close, first-year students are making plans for summer research and other scholarly opportunities. It was an exceptionally competitive year for summer research assistantship funding, but over 70 students were able to secure funding to support research and scholarly endeavors during summer.
Dean Tunkel and the deans from OME-CQI (Deans George, Dumenco and Warrier) and OSA (Dean Vrees) have weekly meetings with each class via Zoom, host a weekly all-class Zoom drop-in session, and also meet weekly with select members from each class to ensure that all student concerns are voiced and fully addressed. All AMS and University-based resources remain available to students at this time. Our psychotherapist, as well as our learning and accessibility specialist, continue to have student appointments via Zoom. Health Services remains open with nurse advice available 24/7 to all students, regardless of insurance coverage. Health Services also is offering telehealth support.
While academic support, career advising and mentorship are essential components of the medical curriculum, we recognize that during these truly unprecedented times, the emotional, physical and mental well-being of our students must remain a top priority. This week, each student received an individualized well-being check-in from the Office of Student Affairs and ongoing outreach efforts in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the Student Health Council and the Mary B. Arnold Mentorship Program are planned. Additionally, all students have received a comprehensive list of wellness resources including free online support communities, free 24/7 mental health hotlines, a comprehensive list of AMS and campus-based resources, and a variety of interactive exercise, mindfulness and meditation-based applications.
As MD ‘21 gears up to take the reigns as seniors, our MD’20 class is looking forward to the first-ever virtual conferral of medical degrees ceremony in AMS history. The program is certain to pull on the heartstrings of proud faculty and loved ones, and will feature a welcome by President Paxson, a musical offering by the Medical Records, remarks by Dean Jack Elias, remarks from a nominated faculty and student speaker; and finally, recitation of the Physician’s Oath.
As COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of our lives, we have had the privilege to watch our inspiring, resilient and selfless AMS students rise to the occasion. They have been pillars of our community in Rhode Island, coordinating volunteer opportunities at the local and national level, working with the Rhode Island Department of Health to develop best practice models for contact tracing, and some graduating early, eager to join the physician workforce and serve in local hospitals and established field hospitals to provide direct patient care during the pandemic.
April 3, 2020
The following information has been provided by faculty and staff from the Office of Medical Education-Continuous Quality Improvement (OME-CQI) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and is accurate as of April 3, 2020.
- Students in the class of MD'20 are mostly done with their graduation requirements. Those who are not are working with OME-CQI faculty individually on independent study plans to finish the requirements. In addition, many students are volunteering their efforts with organizations such as the Rhode Island Department of Health and our health systems in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The class participated in the first virtual Match Day celebration in Alpert Medical School (AMS) history on March 20. Over 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators and loved ones were in attendance as Dean Tunkel opened the ceremony with a congratulatory message to the students and Alex Morang, the director of Career Development, announced a countdown to the opening of virtual envelopes. Students are now gearing up for a second milestone event in AMS history, a virtual Commencement.
- Students in the class of MD'21 are on pause from their clinical rotations, based on guidance from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Students had only one clerkship or elective left to finish before entering the fourth year and the current plan is for them to return to finish it. This return will be based on guidance from the AAMC along with a number of other variables. Faculty and staff from the OME-CQI and the OSA will work with students on rescheduling any elective rotations that were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the COVID crisis has paused clinical rotations, the process of preparing for applying to residency continues to move forward. Students are beginning to virtually engage with specialty advisors and select faculty members from their field(s) of interest to discuss the residency application process, including the impact of COVID-19 on their individual plans for their final year of medical school. They also are availing themselves of the shared experiences and wisdom of the class of MD’20.
- Students in the class of MD'22 are studying for the USMLE Step 1 exam. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prometric centers (where students take Step 1) are closed. Faculty and staff from the OME-CQI and OSA are working with students individually on how best to now approach their study period along with strategies around when to schedule this exam. In addition, the Clinical Skills Clerkship (a transition clerkship between second year and third year) is being delayed until May 12 with an anticipated start date of clerkships in late May. Clerkship schedules have been redesigned to ensure that students are able to complete all clerkships within the third year and to provide flexibility around elective scheduling. This class has been particularly hard hit with the uncertainties surrounding preparation for a high stakes licensing exam while testing centers across the country remain closed. In addition to individualized study plans and strategies, all students have been provided with a variety of wellness resources geared towards mitigation of stress, coping with COVID-19, and staying active during social distancing.
- Students in the class of MD'23 are taking a virtual curriculum. The OME-CQI team, through the use of Panopto, Zoom, and Brainshark are delivering lectures virtually in the Integrated Medical Sciences (Basic Science) curriculum. The Anatomy course was supplemented by the Complete Anatomy app to allow for virtual dissection. The Doctoring course (Introduction to Clinical Medicine) also is being delivered virtually, in small groups, through the use of Zoom. While the virtual curriculum has allowed the majority of our students to remain at home with family and loved ones, the AMS leadership team has worked hard to stay connected with students virtually. The ceremony of gratitude for the anatomy program has been postponed until a future date, however students have organized alternative means to express their gratitude to family members.
Dean Tunkel, Dean George, and Dean Vrees have weekly meetings with each class to ensure that all student concerns are voiced and fully addressed. All AMS and university-based resources remain available to students at this time. Our psychotherapist, as well as our Learning and Accessibility Specialist, continue to have student appointments via Zoom. Health Services remains open with nurse advice available 24-7 to all students, regardless of insurance coverage. Health Services also is offering telehealth support.
- April 25, 2020, email to all students from Roxanne Vrees, Associate Dean, Office of Student Affairs, The Warren Alpert Medical School
- March 24, 2020 email to all students from Allan Tunkel, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, The Warren Alpert Medical School
- March 20, 2020 to Division of Biology and Medicine community from Jack A. Elias, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences
- March 19, 2020 email to all students from Allan Tunkel, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, The Warren Alpert Medical School
- March 18, 2020 email to MD’22 Listserv from Roxanne Vrees, Associate Dean, Office of Student Affairs, The Warren Alpert Medical School