With many communities across the country in need of additional frontline health care workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMA is announced guidance to help medical schools and health systems make responsible decisions about how to safely incorporate medical students.
Specifically, the new guidance aims to ensure medical schools and health systems are taking proper precautions when engaging medical students in direct patient care and offer best practices to institutions that are considering implementing early graduation to allow students to join the workforce during the pandemic.
“Our medical students and residents are important members of the health care workforce in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. As many physicians-in-training will be enlisted to provide direct patient care during this time, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are being protected and have the support they need to safely navigate the pandemic,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D. “This guidance is intended to keep medical students healthy and safe as some health systems may rely on them to care for patients on the front lines of the pandemic.”
While there are many opportunities for physicians-in-training to care for patients without making direct physical contact, some hospitals and health systems may have workforce needs great enough to consider including medical students in direct patient care during the pandemic.
Additionally, some medical students are being permitted to graduate early and may begin providing direct patient care during the pandemic as part of a medical staff prior to beginning their residency training.