School of Medicine Updates on COVID-19
This webpage contains links to content about COVID-19's impact upon the UCR School of Medicine, including an archive of messages to SOM students, staff and faculty. It will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.
This page was last updated: April 10, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.
UCR Health COVID-19 Hotline
UCR Health has established a hotline, (844) 827-6827, for all UCR faculty and staff who are concerned they might have contracted COVID-19. In addition, health care personnel and other employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should report to their supervisor or can call the hotline to report for the purpose of addressing employee and patient safety.
List contains only those events for which a determination has been made.
- The MolMed Conference scheduled for March 24, 2020 has been postponed. A new date will be announced in the near future. For information contact: Pica Preston at email@example.com or at (951) 827-6087.
- The Second Annual Modern Psychiatry Symposium scheduled for April 4-6, 2020 has been rescheduled to October 2-4, 2020. For more information, visit their website
Messages to the SOM Community
Listed below are recent emails to the School of Medicine community pertaining to COVID-19. We will update this as new information becomes available. Please note this is not updated in real time and there may be a delay in posting them online.
Please click on the tabs on the left side of the screen to see the individual messages, which are listed with the most recent at the top.
- 4/24/20 - Curriculum Update from Dr. Willis - Extension of Suspension of VSAS Activities
- Update on COVID-19 Safety for our Patients and Employees From Dr. Larsen
- 4/8/20 - Curriculum Update from Dr. Willis
- 3/26/20 - Email Security Notice: COVID-19 Phishing Awareness
- 3/25/20 - Curriculum Update from Dr. Willis
- 3/23/20 - Paid Administrative Leave Guidelines
- 3/23/20 - Working Remotely Update
- 3/20/20 - From Dean Deas - Update and Match Day Celebration
- 3/20/20 - Curriculum Update from Dr. Willis
- 3/20/20 - Telework Guidelines from Compliance Advisory Services
- 3/17/20 - Action Plan for Medical Education Processes during the COVID-19 Response
- 3/16/20 - Match Day Update
- 3/12/20 - School of Medicine COVID-19 Update
- 3/10/20 - Important Travel Requirements for Students, Facutly, and Staff
- 3/10/20 - Teaching Online Workshop
Curriculum Update from Dr. Willis - 4/24/20
Happy Friday, everyone!
First I would like to extend my congratulations to all of our students engaging in online learning. Across the board, the results of examinations during this difficult time have been excellent. Despite the obvious challenges, you all are doing an amazing job of adapting, and succeeding. Continuing your education is the noblest thing you can be doing right now, as making sure the supply of amazing young physicians like yourselves is not disrupted is our number one priority. Obviously, shout out to all of our faculty and staff as well who have been scrambling to put together a good curriculum. I have heard so many inspiring stories, from creative use of telemedicine, to Zoom small group sessions, to online OSCEs….really well done. I know it is not perfect, but if we all work together as we have been, we can continue our success and can build upon it. I again also want to express my admiration for the student-faculty interaction around all of this. It has been so positive and professional. We all have the same goals, making sure you all have a top quality education, and I think that this is clearly at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Of note we are also actively at work on creating and improving curricula for our rising 3rd and 4th years, to help them get ready for their clinical rotations. From what I have seen so far, it is going to be great.
I would like to also highlight here some of the myriad volunteer efforts in which our students are engaged, helping during this crazy crisis. See links below to a few stories written about it. Well done.
I also wanted to provide some interesting COVID related information I received from the county as part of a discussion on how to move forward and begin opening society again. First, as of now it seems like a massive surge in our area was averted, thanks to the social distancing measures. Second, almost all of our clinical sites are doing much better from a PPE perspective, and none of them have overwhelming patient numbers. See attached graph of the estimates of case increases over the next few weeks should varying degrees of social distancing occur / not occur. Compared to where we would have been without the distancing, it is really good news.
What this says to me, and after discussions with the county and our sites, is that there is a very high likelihood that we will be able to have clinical rotations beginning on time or nearly so this summer. This is very important, as any more of a gap in clinical integration of students would result in a much higher likelihood of effects on progression and graduation. What it also means is that when we do return, we will all be working clinically in an environment where coronavirus is still around, and we need to begin to come to terms with how we will deal with that, both emotionally and logistically.
On another COVID note, shout out to one of our very own ED docs, Samuel Zidovetzki, who has just today arrived in NYC to work in EDs still struggling with staffing due to huge case numbers. Way to go, Sam.
As a COVID related opportunity, please see the link below to a call for Letters to the Editor of Academic Medicine for accounts from trainees on how this crisis has affected them:
“Academic Medicine is seeking original submissions for our Letters to the Editor feature from medical students, residents, and fellows on the topic of courage, connection, and COVID-19.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 reached the United States in January 2020, and people throughout the world have been affected by this virus in some way. Education of health professionals has shifted quickly and dramatically, and academic health centers where we all learn, discover, and serve patients and society are on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. In this unprecedented time, we want to hear how COVID-19 is contributing to positive transformation in health care and health professions education.
The editors will be looking for letters that have a particular emphasis on transformation related to courage and connection in the context of COVID-19. Letters to the editor can use personal experience to illustrate a point, but the purpose of the letter should be to communicate a broader issue or idea. Submissions that are strictly narrative will not be considered for publication.”
This could be a really nice opportunity for communication of something that has really affected you, plus a nice publication.
A couple of quick process and testing type updates.
1. VSLO has extended the time during which aways will not be scheduled, until May 11. See attached VSLO announcement. I very much understand how important it is to figure this out for our rising 4th years, and am in communication with national leadership. There is still a huge amount of discussion about how to work this out. I will continue to advocate for schools like ours who need aways, especially for subspecialties that we may not have at our sites. I also continue to discuss with our partner UC schools for possible special arrangements in a regional type format.
2. USMLE has announced new information on testing. Link here: https://www.usmle.org/announcements/?ContentId=267. USMLE has been considered an essential service, and testing seems to be resuming in May. That said, availability will be limited due to new testing procedures, so we will work with everyone if your particular testing date is affected by changes in availability.
OK, well that ended up being longer than expected. I have obviously moved to once a week on frequency for these, but let me know if more communication is needed. We are also very open to class or all-school meetings or town halls if people think they are needed at any time.
OK, now for what you have all been waiting for…
What are the only types of jokes allowed during the COVID crisis??
Sorry it’s a pun-demic out there.
Stay strong and let me know if there is anything I can do for any of you.
Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Professor of Pediatrics
Message for Deans and Medical Education Community:
Extension of the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) Suspension of Activities
Last week we alerted you to our decision to suspend—for two weeks—access to the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) system through which applications to away rotations are managed. We originally planned to suspend access until April 29, and today we are announcing an extension of that suspension to the week of May 11.
This suspension was put in place as stakeholders across the medical education community discussed how to approach away rotations in this current and next academic year. Since the suspension, the AAMC has been collaborating with various organizations to accommodate for the impact of COVID-19 on VSLO users. The Coalition on Physician Accountability (Coalition), a cross-organizational group in medical education, has convened the Current Practices of Student Movement Across Institutions for the Class of 2021 Work Group to consider the impact of COVID-19 on away rotations and to develop recommendations to address those concerns. Although discussions are well underway, the work group will not conclude its work by April 29. As we believe these national recommendations will provide guidance, clarity, and a path forward for the visiting student community, we wish to avoid re-opening VSAS before the Coalition releases its recommendations.
As we prepare to support the decisions regarding away rotation policies that will result from these national discussions, it remains critical that all schools and clinical sites adhere to the recommended approach, both inside and outside the VSLO network.
Acknowledging how fluid the medical education landscape is during this time, we appreciate your patience and understanding as the process moves forward in the coming weeks. We will send you another message with the specific date and time that VSAS will re-open.
Please contact Jenny Samaan, Ph.D., Senior Director of VSLO at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to discuss this delay, or any other matters.
Update on COVID-19 Safety for our Patients and Employees From Dr. Larsen
Throughout UCR Health and the School of Medicine, the continued safety of our employees and patients is our paramount priority. In alignment with this, we are following the UC Health guidance as set forth by Dr. Carrie Byington, Executive Vice President of UC Health, in the attached letter and summarized below as it is being implemented at UCR:
The following guidance applies to UC health care personnel (HCP) - defined as all paid and unpaid personnel at UC medical centers and affiliates, clinics, student health and counseling centers who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or infectious materials.
1. To better protect employees and patients, HCP who test positive for COVID-19 at an outside facility (e.g., Kaiser, private MD, etc.) are required to immediately self-report the positive COVID-19 test result to their supervisor or to the UCR Health COVID-19 Hotline (844) 827-6827. This information will be kept separate from employees’ personnel files. The information may be used exclusively to perform contact tracing or other activities as directed by Occupational Health or Infection Prevention teams to address employee and patient safety; and to perform other permissible health care operations.
2. UC Health will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) non-test-based strategy to determine when HCP with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 can return to work in a healthcare setting. HCP working in high risk patient care areas (e.g., transplant, cancer) may be subject to additional criteria before returning to work in those settings. HCP should check with their local Occupational Health for additional details on specific work practices (including self-monitoring) and/or work restrictions.
As situations evolve, we will update this guidance as needed.
Donald W. Larsen, MD, MBA, MHA, FACHE
CEO UCR Health
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
So perfect for right now. Keep your passion alive, have compassion for all, and keep your sense of humor. The style part I usually fail at, but I will try.
For 1st and second years, I continue to thank you for your persistence and flexibility. Online learning is not perfect, but I am impressed with what has been done.
Most questions right now are rightfully coming from the second year class, regarding Step 1 and the deadline to take it. This is a complex issue, but I have some points from Christina Granillo, and our plan after discussing it as a team between Student Affairs and Education:
We have all agreed on providing flexibility in testing dates. So our plan is that 2nd years can have until the end of their 3rd year to take their exam. So for this year everyone is eligible for Honors regardless of when they take Step 1. We will be getting approval for this from the MEC and from the Progress and Promotions committee. But just because the date is flexible in terms of promotion requirements doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to push your test date back.
First, as of now, NBME is only extending the eligibility window for free until December 2020, so you would incur additional cost to go past December of this year.
The expectation is that if you choose to push your exam into your 3rd year you will have to successfully pass your shelf exams and then pass Step 1. You will not receive any additional protected time to study for Step 1 during 3rd year. You will need to take all 3rd year exams (shelf, OSCE, etc) on time in addition to studying for Step 1 and/ or taking the exam.
If the exam is not successfully passed you would have to delay starting 4th year. We will be working out the logistics of that later.
Also, if you take the test at the end of May or in June of your 3rd year we would not receive scores until July. A failing score would result in you being pulled out of 4th year so you could re-study and take the exam again.
So, our advice is to take it as scheduled, if physically possible. If you cannot, we are extending the deadline. But be aware of the ramifications of a delay.
Also for second years, the question is coming up about if we think 3rd year rotations will start on time. I wish I could definitively answer this, but I can’t. I can say that I have very high expectations of rotations starting on time. Most projections for the COVID crisis has the number of cases dropping significantly by that time, and by then hopefully the PPE situation will be rectified. If PPE is available, the crush of cases is lightened, and sites will have you back, we will get you back on rotation.
For third years, as before our plan is to have you off of rotations until the end of May. Virtual curricula are complete for each clerkship, and plans should be sent out to students soon if they have not already. Most are a combination of iHuman cases, reading, videos, and seminars. The directors did a really nice job of curating good content. And then the plan is for everyone to have at least 3 weeks to study for their Shelf exams. As for grading, after discussion with the team and the class, the grading rubric will remain the same for this block as for others.
Plans for fourth years are nearly finalized. I would also like to recognize the fourth year team, for their creativity and flexibility in trying to figure out solid rotation options for everyone. We had to change things to an optional clinical curriculum for students, due to a lack of improvement in site availability and continued PPE concerns. Virtual curricula for most electives and the ICU rotation are nearly complete.
Again for early graduation, you need to meet three criteria:
- Your matched GME program must request you to start early.
- You must have completed all requirements and be in good standing.
- You need to choose to do it.
If these all apply, please contact us and we can work on it.
Reminder on universal masking. Basically, cover your mouth and nose if you are out of the house. Orange County and Riverside County now asking for this. For masking in the hospital, most hospitals are going with universal surgical masks. N95’s only for high exposure situations.
As for PPE, if you choose to work on a clinical rotation, we now have a lot of PPE if you need it. We also will have a lot more of the cloth masks available in the near future if people want them for themselves or families. I also obtained 100 3D printed acrylic face shields that were designed and vetted by folks at Rady Children’s. High quality acrylic, cleanable with Cavi-Wipes, etc. Also now at the school with Ariel if anyone needs one.
Again, a good website by the county on the current local situation:
And, again, a shoutout to your classmates’ effort in informing the public on COVID:
Daily corona humor:
What do you tell yourself when you wake up late for work and realize you have a fever?
Self, I so late.
Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Be on the lookout for COVID-19-themed phishing messages. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be careful with email attachments. Report any malicious messages using the “Report Phish” button in Outlook.
Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with COVID-19-related subject line, body, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
- Avoid clicking on links to unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Use trusted sources such as legitimate, government websites, for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19. (One site that you may find useful is Esri’s COVID-19 GIS Hub)
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
New scams and attacks are happening daily. For more, visit:
- The Internet is drowning in COVID-19-related malware and phishing scams – Ars Technica
- Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), US Department of Homeland Security
- Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus – Consumer Information, US Federal Trade Commission
Please know that I am a resource for you should you have any questions about this notice or need advice on a security-related matter.
Matthew Summerville, MBA | CISSP | CISA
Information Security Officer
University of California, Riverside
Good afternoon, folks!
No major changes to plans for education today. Years 1 and 2 going strong, trying to provide some options for missing content such as ultrasound. Still sorting out clinical rotations for Years 3 and 4. Coordinators will be contacting students with individual plans regarding what each of you should be doing next week. If you cannot go to a particular site, reassignment or alternative curricula will be assigned.
All students should now have access to GibLib. Please check it out, and we will be working to integrate it into the curriculum as needed for virtual replacement. Let us know which parts you like, ideas for how it could be utilized, etc.
Third year students also have access to Online MedEd, and iHuman. These will also be utilized in creating virtual curricula for each clerkship as needed. Feedback on these would also be welcome, as we will be deciding which to continue to utilize going forward.
On a positive note, today at our all-UME meeting, we unveiled a new award to be given out twice a year to the Med Ed staff or faculty member who best embodies the spirit of our unit: getting what is needed to be done, done, despite the obstacles, and doing it with positivity and passion. It’s called the “Fabulous Character Award”, and was named in honor of Chris Miller. I have seen, since I have been here, his incredible dedication to the students and education, taking on responsibilities, roles, tasks, and even entire courses that he did not have to. He is a true team player, and an incredible colleague.
The award plaque is an homage to one of Chris’ favorite guiding set of principles, the Skunk Works. Congratulate Chris if you can!
Here is our quote of the day (more informational):
Everett Rogers defined skunkworks as an "enriched environment that is intended to help a small group of individuals design a new idea by escaping routine organizational procedures."
The term originated during World War II when the P-80 Shooting Star was designed by Lockheed’s Advanced Development Projects Division in Burbank, California, under similar circumstances. A closely guarded incubator was set up in a circus tent next to a plastics factory in Burbank. The strong smells that wafted into the tent made the Lockheed R&D workers think of the foul-smelling “Skonk Works” factory in Al Capp’s Li'l Abner comic strip.
And the Rules:
First Rule of Skunk Works: We critique everything, except the person.
Second Rule of Skunk Works: Nothing is sacred, except the pursuit of creating something great together.
Third Rule of Skunk Works: Listen, don't talk.
Fourth Rule of Skunk Works: A timely wrong decision is better than no decision.
Fifth Rule of Skunk Works: Don't half-heartedly wound problems - kill them dead.
Note please the Dean’s town hall this week, tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, 9-10 am. The Dean, our school’s leaders, and possibly the Chancellor will all be speaking. Let’s all try to connect for this. I will have the invitation sent to everyone for Zoom access.
Stay positive, and stay safe,
Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Professor of Pediatrics
Paid Administrative Leave Guidelines
This paid administrative leave is available to career, contract, limited, per diem, floater and casual-restricted appointments and may only be used for the following reasons, all of which relate to COVID-19:
- When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member;
- When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and/or the work site has implemented a COVID-19-related remote-work program or is under a shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely;
- When an employee is unable to work because a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.
- Any employee who is supporting critical campus functions who is asymptomatic, including but not limited to all such employees working in support of the University’s healthcare facilities, must continue to report to work.
Requesting Paid Administrative Leave
The employee should consult with their immediate supervisor and request the leave via email. The request will be reviewed by the employee’s immediate supervisor who may or may not grant such leave depending upon the potential impact on operational continuity/critical functions.
Determining Whether to Grant Administrative Leave
In making the determination as to whether to grant the leave, supervisors must take into account the operational needs of the University with special consideration given to the critical importance of maintaining the continuity of clinical operations. Supervisors are responsible for determining whether their staff are performing essential functions such as require staff to be at work on campus, clinics, or other locations.
Essential functions include, but are not limited to:
- Clinical services delivered by UCR Health
- Patient and animal care
- Critical ongoing research
Denying Paid Administrative Leave
When a supervisor denies a request to use this administrative, the supervisor should inform the employee the basis for the denial and inform SOM Human Resources of the employee’s name, job title, and reason for denial.
Reporting Paid Leave
Employees on approved COVID-19 paid administrative leave should record their time and attendance in the Time and Attendance Reporting System (TARS). The following new take codes have been implemented in Time and Attendance Reporting System (TARS) for both biweekly and monthly timesheets.
- New Admin Code
“Administrative –Paid Special” has been established for Biweekly and Monthly timesheets
- For Monthly Timesheet:
The code is listed under the Sick Leave column (ADMSPC-Administrative-paid special)
- For Biweekly Timesheet:
The code is listed under the Sick Leave time/leave type dropdown (Sick Leave –Administrative-Paid Special)
Note: Administrative –Paid Special leave will not decrement an employee’s sick leave balances
Supervisors will update the leave time for employees on TARS timeclock.
For detailed user instructions, please review the user guide on the Accounting Office website under Payroll Coordination.
- Employees may still use accrued sick, vacation or paid time off in order to address their own illness or the serious medical condition of a family member.
- The 128-hour allotment may be used consecutively in one block or incrementally.
- The paid administrative leave may be used prior to usage of accrued leave.
- The allocation for employees with less than full time appointments (e.g., student employees) shall be prorated based on appointment percentage.
- Subject to the University’s ongoing operational needs, the paid administrative leave provided pursuant to the Executive Order must be used during the period from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 for the reasons stated in the covered categories only. All hours must be used by December 31, 2020, or any remaining hours in the allotment expire.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: If there is only enough work for a non-exempt/hourly employee with a 1.0 FTE appointment to work remotely six hours per day, may the employee take two hours per day of paid administrative leave (PAL)?
A: Yes, the employee may take PAL in hourly increments.
Q: If an exempt employee with a 1.0 FTE appointment has less than 40 hours of work per week, can they use PAL?
A: UCOP Policy PPSM-30 states the following; “For compensation purposes, the workweek for a full-time exempt employee is generally considered to be 40 hours, although greater emphasis is placed on meeting the responsibilities assigned to the position rather than working a specified number of hours. During the workweek, an exempt employee is expected to work their regular schedule and to generally be available as business requires. To establish an appointment percentage for a part-time exempt employee, the number of hours the employee will generally be expected to work on a weekly basis as part of their regular schedule will be divided by 40 hours”. Exempt employees are expected to work a full schedule during the closure or use appropriate leave, which may include PAL.
Q: If an employee’s appointment is at .50 FTE, are they still eligible for up to 16 work days of PAL?
A: Yes, but the leave is prorated according to their percent of appointment i.e., .50 FTE or up to 64 hours of PAL.
Q: Our undergraduate student is scheduled to work 2 hours/day or 10 hours/per week; however, we have no work for them to perform remotely. How do we determine the amount of PAL they are eligible for?
A: The student is effectively working 25% time; consequently, the leave should be prorated at 25%. The student would be eligible for up to 32 hours of PAL.
Q: If an employee is currently in the Employee-Initiated Reduction in Time (ERIT) Program, are they eligible for PAL?
A: Yes, but PAL should be prorated based on their reduced appointment percentage.
Q: What categories of employees are eligible for this leave?
A: Employees in career, contract, limited, floater and casual-restricted appointments are eligible for this leave.
Q: What happens if an employee is ill and stays home from work longer than the paid administrative leave period?
A: Once an employee has exhausted the paid leave, departments should follow the appropriate leave of absence provision in the PPSM or collective bargaining agreement. COVID-19 may qualify as a serious health condition under FMLA if complications arise. Employees may also be eligible to apply for disability income for their own serious health conditions.
Q: Can an employee unilaterally make the decision to not work and take the administrative leave?
A: No, employees who need to use this paid administrative leave must obtain prior approval from their immediate supervisor.
Q: Are employees age 65+ entitled to the paid administrative leave under the President’s Executive Order?
A: Employees 65 or older who are asymptomatic and who are performing essential functions, including but not limited to all such employees working in support of the University’s healthcare facilities, must continue reporting to work. As the Executive Order makes clear, any employee seeking to use paid administrative leave for one of the covered reasons must first consult with their supervisor who may or may not grant such leave depending upon the potential impact on operational continuity, particularly clinical services delivered by UCR Health. We have been expressly advised by the State that employees 65 or older who are asymptomatic may continue reporting to work at the University’s healthcare facilities.
Working Remotely Update
The Office of Information Technology (SOM IT) has noticed significant complaints about the VDI environment's consistency. We will admit it appears things have been a bit rocky with users having issues with the HTML 5 web client for the VDI environment. Microsoft has a client software that should solve most of these constancy issues logging in and staying connected.
Going forward, SOM IT recommends using the Desktop Client over the web client if you are experience issues staying connected. If the Web client is working for you, then continue to use it.
For Windows users, please follow the guide below to install and configure Desktop Client
For Mac OS Users, please follow the guide below to install and configure Desktop Client
- Can I print from home using the VDI? No this is not allowed
- Can I copy and paste from my computer to my VDI session? No this is not allowed; you can use Copy paste within the VDI Session
- If you are having trouble staying connected, please use the Desktop Client to log in over the web browser client
- Please run a speed test from speedtest.net. If you experience high latency or slow download/upload speeds, please reset your router and or Modem. Do not contact SOM IT to help troubleshoot this step. Please contact your ISP tech support.
- Restart your computer
As a reminder, Campus hosted applications are available through the VDI environment. If users notice an application that cannot be accessed, you will need to let SOM IT know by submitting a ticket through https://somit.ucr.edu/create-ticket and provide the application name, details about the application, and who the application owner is on campus.
I would like to say thank for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
SOM IT Team
Update and Match Day Celebration
Dear UCR SOM family,
As you know, on Thursday, March 19 Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order which will remain in effect until further notice. This order is consistent with measures we have already taken at UCR and within the UCR School of Medicine following the order from the Riverside County Public Health Officer.
This morning, I was thrilled to be able to participate in the on-line Match Day celebration for the students in the Class of 2020. It was wonderful to see the celebrations going on with families and friends.
Of the students who matched, 77% matched into primary care and shortage specialties, which is so important for our mission and our region. In addition, 75% will stay in California, 60% in Southern California and 28% will complete residencies in the Inland Empire. You can see a YouTube video here of the on-line festivities, and a UCR news article here.
I continue to be so proud of our faculty, staff and students and your individual and collective responses in the face of this global pandemic. I know that so many of you are juggling work, personal and family responsibilities, and your ability to do so in these challenging times is truly commendable.
Finally, our clinicians and clinical staff in UCR Health, as well as all of those who support them deserve our gratitude as they continue to serve our community.
I wish you all rest and recuperation this weekend.
Deborah Deas, MD, MPH
Vice Chancellor for Health Science
Mark and Pam Rubin Dean
Once again, a very brief update.
First, congratulations to our seniors who had an amazingly successful Match. Very proud of everyone!
Second, in general it looks like we are on track to get students back on rotation by April 1 (4th years April 6). Most sites are on board, and we are working on plans for students if particular sites are not able to accommodate them back. Be prepared to possibly be in a modified role if PPE is not generally more available. Likely LACE will remain suspended for first and second years, but we will work to get LACE for third years back up and running.
Our fabulous clerkship team is also working earnestly on a virtual curriculum, and we are creating new remote electives. As I said before, all 3rd years should have or will very soon have access to both Online MedEd and iHuman. They are also organizing weekly check in meetings for students on each clerkship. Look for info on these.
I also secured access for all UCR students for 60 days to an app-based patient case simulator, called Insimu. I don’t feel it is as robust as iHuman, but I was curious to see if all of you could try it out and see what you think. To activate your account, follow these directions: https://pages.insimu.com/insimu-coronavirus-2/. Let me know if it doesn’t work.
A bit of really good news is that the LCME just sent out guidance on how to handle missed time for students, in relation to graduation. See the attachment, but it basically says that we can be creative and generous in figuring out how to manage lost time, and it seems to mean that we will not have any problem getting everyone to graduate on time!
I also wanted to commend all of you and your leadership in getting so involved with efforts to help in this crisis. Opportunities at RUHS and UCR are actively being implemented, mainly in call center work. Great work.
Town Hall will be scheduled next week. I am not sure of the time exactly yet, but will send out an invite when we do. Likely Monday or Tuesday.
Quote of the day:
Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place - that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realise the great life.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Corona link of the day. I liked this WHO site with its “MythBusters” section. Kind of interesting what people are trying…hair dryers to the rescue!!
Proud of all of you, and have a safe, sequestered, distanced weekend!
Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Many have begun working remotely, some for the first time. This is a great transition and I’m hoping that the following guidelines will help each of you better understand what the privacy and security expectations are in this turbulent period.
UCR SOM Telework Guidelines
It is the legal and ethical responsibility of all UC Riverside Health workforce members to protect the privacy, confidentiality, and security of all patient, proprietary, and/or other confidential information relating to the University and its business.
The following information is provided to assist you with protecting all types of confidential information when working from a remote location:
Patient, proprietary, and other confidential information should not be taken home/off-site whenever possible. However, if it is necessary to take documents home, only the minimum necessary documents may be removed. The confidentiality of paper documents should be maintained outside the workplace.
Designated home/off-site workspaces should be set up in a secure environment to maintain confidentiality.
Work-related conversations must be undertaken in a confidential manner to prevent unauthorized disclosure to anyone.
Any and all patient information must always be secured. Paper documents should be stored confidentially – they should not be left out at home or visible to unauthorized people. Any electronic sessions or devices should be logged off and/or stored when not in use.
Control of devices. Do not leave laptops, mobile devices, and/or documentation unattended anywhere, not even your car!
Technology and resources:
Any equipment, software, data, supplies, and/or furniture provided by the University is limited to use by authorized persons and for University business only. Do not let anyone else use these resources for any purpose (e.g. family or friends.)
If using non-University devices (e.g., a laptop, cellphone, tablet, etc.) please refrain from downloading, transferring to, or otherwise maintaining any University non-public, confidential, or protected health information on said device.
It is best practice to not connect to a public, wireless network. If it is necessary to connect in a public location, and you are using SOM provided laptop, the University VPN service should be used for remote access. Please contact OIT for more information about VPN and remote access.
Remain vigilant when checking email, especially on mobile devices. There are criminals trying to take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to trick people into clicking on false links or opening false documents. If you receive a questionable communication, please promptly use the Outlook “Report Phish” function for a security review.
Only store patient, proprietary, and other confidential information on UCR SOM devices, OneDrive account, or unit-approved University network location.
You should confirm with IT and/or your management before you use any free tools that you may use for personal reasons like Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs, etc. before using them to store University information.
If using a non-University device, automatic backup to cloud storage locations should be disabled if these devices are used to view documents that contain patient, proprietary, and/or other confidential information.
Patient, proprietary, and/or other confidential information must not be stored on external media – like USB drives, disks, etc. – that are not approved by the University.
Patient, proprietary, and/or other confidential information saved on laptops and/or mobile devices must be permanently deleted when the information is no longer needed.
Disposal of confidential information must only occur in approved shredding containers. When working remotely, it is not appropriate to place confidential information in the trash. Confidential documents should be retained in a safe place until you are able to return them to SOM to a confidential/shredding location.
Resources – If you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out:
School of Medicine Updates on COVID-19
Compliance Services Department
Help Desk – Office of Information Technology
Phone: (951) 827-767
If you would like to submit your own ticket, visit https://somit.ucr.edu/create-ticket and complete the form.
Please know that I am a resource for you should you have any questions about these guidelines or need advice on a security-related matter.
Matthew Summerville, MBA | CISSP | CISA
Information Security Officer
University of California, Riverside
School of Medicine
University of California Riverside School of Medicine 3/17/2020
Action Plan for Medical Education Processes during the COVID-19 Response
After discussion between all leaders in Medical Education at UCR SOM, and based on guidelines disseminated from the AAMC, the following action plan was developed.
- In general, all non-clinical group activities for students will be replaced by online or distance learning options.
- All required in-person activities (gross anatomy lab functions, simulation, in-person proctored assessments such as OSCEs and NBME Shelf exams, etc.) will be postponed until the curtailment is finished.
- All student clinical rotational duties are now suspended until 3/31/20.
- No travel to international sites or sites with known outbreaks will be approved for student rotations.
Specific Action Plans for Medical Education Subunits
Lectures: in-person session content will be assigned as an online video-conference (Zoom), a contemporaneously recorded podcast, a slide review or review of other online material, or an archived (2019) podcast and distributed through iLearn. For Zoom connections, 10 “placeholder” Zoom Pro Accounts (using UCR Net IDs) will be set up and instructions for establishing connections at home or in PBL rooms will be posted.
PBL: Cases will be presented by facilitators (from their homes or PBL rooms) to small groups via online video-conferencing (Zoom), and may be supplemented or replaced with additional Self-Study assignment (short reading, follow-up questions, online content regarding the clinical case or learning issues).
Assessments: Online weekly quizzes will continue. End-of-block exams may be postponed or will be conducted via online proctoring.
Clinical Skills / Doctoring: Content will be presented via online pre-recorded or contemporaneous podcasts (distributed through iLearn) or by video-conferencing (Zoom), and may be supplemented with additional Self-Study assignment. Panopto video recording equipment in Med Ed G650 could be used for podcasting. OSCEs will be postponed.
LACE: in-person session content will be assigned as an online video-conference (Zoom), or a contemporaneously recorded podcast, or an archived podcast distributed through iLearn. Sessions with LACE preceptors in community clinics may be postponed or limited, or in some cases replaced by online content. LACE activities are now suspended for all students at all sites until at least 3/31/20. The exception is PIP projects, on which work can continue online, electronically, and virtually.
Clerkship: Students are an integral part of the care team on their clerkships, and learning that caring for patients is the highest priority should be a core educational principal at every medical school. As of 3/17/2020, all students are now removed from clinical duties at least until 3/31/20. We will work to get students back on clinical rotations ASAP. We will also work to develop virtual and online instructional options to help replace lost time and content if possible,
4th year: As with the 3rd year, students are removed from clinical duties until at least 3/31/20. We will also work to develop virtual and online instructional options to help replace lost time and content if possible.
Back to Basics: All sessions in Back to Basics will be converted to online offerings.
Block courses and review/grant writing courses (BMSC 260A-C) and BMSC 254 will be replaced by online or distance learning options. BMSC 252 will be postponed until the curtailment is finished.
Dear Class of 2020,
Since my earlier communication to you, we have continued to be in contact with our UC and UCR parent organizations, and have been weighing our plans for MATCH day in line with the rapidly evolving guidance from national and state public health agencies. Your health and safety and that of your families and our community remain our number one priority.
Today, we, along with all other UC medical schools, have determined that we will have a virtual MATCH day event. This means that we will not meet in person in the HUB, but will instead everyone will be celebrating with their family and loved ones in the place of your own choosing. We are still working on finalizing the zoom sign in details and logistics for the group virtual connection which we will provide to you early next week. We will of course provide your gifts to you at a later point.
We remain so very proud of each and every one of you, and are grateful for your understanding and resilience in the face of this public health crisis. You have chosen to enter the field of medicine at a historic and challenging time. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Emma Simmons, M.D. M.P.H.
Salma Haider Endowed Chair for the Thomas Haider Program
Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs
I first want to thank all of you for your efforts as we respond to the challenges related to the many impacts of the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation. There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 within the UC Riverside Community.
It is important for all of us to remember that as a school of medicine, we serve not only students, but our patients and community. We must continue to uphold our responsibility to all of these components of our mission, and the health and safety of our SOM and broader community is our number 1 priority. The steps we are taking outlined below are aligned with those of our UC medical school colleagues and we will continue to review and update as this situation continues to evolve.
We will are also creating a web site to supplement the UCR site on COVID-19, and will provide an update once this is available.
The campus and School of Medicine remain open. While the undergraduate campus has elected to move to full remote education through the end of the quarter (April 3), there are aspects of medical and graduate biomedical education that require a different approach.
For medical students:
Dr. Brig Willis announced on Monday, March 9 a plan for continuing education for medical students. These guidelines will be in place immediately and will be regularly updated:
• In general, all non-clinical group activities for students will be replaced by online or distance learning options.
• All required in-person activities (gross anatomy lab functions, in-person proctored assessments such as OSCEs and NBME Shelf exams, etc.) will be postponed until the curtailment is finished.
• All student clinical rotational duties will continue as scheduled, and students will follow the policies and procedures of their clinical sites. The only exception to this is the guidance that students should not participate in the care of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 until further notice.
• No travel to international sites or sites with known outbreaks will be approved for student rotations.
We will post the full action plan for Medical Education and Subunits on the website as soon as we can. You can also reach out to Dr. Willis for questions. He is also scheduling town halls today and tomorrow to address questions.
For graduate students:
Dr. Willis and Dr. Byron Ford announced a joint plan for graduate education as noted below.
• The changes to classroom delivery do not affect lab attendance or small group lab meetings.
• Research activities will not be suspended during this time.
• BMSC 252 seminars have been postponed until further notice.
• Block 4 will begin as scheduled on March 16, but could be replaced by online or distance learning options, if indicated.
• Review/grant writing courses (BMSC 260A-C) may be replaced by online or distance learning options if indicated by the course instructors or when the quarter begins.
• BMSC 254/Pizza Friday will continue as scheduled at this time but may be replaced by online or distance learning options if indicated by the course instructors.
Working from home or remotely: In line with other UC schools of medicine, at this time, the option to work remotely should be reserved for those who are ill, may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or who are caring for family members. However, all staff members should check with their respective supervisor directly regarding concerns and/or required accommodations, in order to obtain the official approval to work remotely. In addition, please keep in mind that we are the medical school and have many units which need to continue operations. To the best or our ability, we will need to ensure necessary support. Please see below for UCOP and UCR guidelines on remote work and instructions for those who have roles where remote work is not operationally feasible:
• Staff and faculty unable to work due to their own or family members’ COVID-19 illness should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave). Employees without sufficient leave time will be granted up to 14 days of paid administrative leave.
• Staff and faculty unable to work due to a COVID-19 day care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible; if remote work is not operationally feasible, employees should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave).
• Staff and faculty unable to come to work due to public health or University-required quarantine or self-isolation measures may work remotely if operationally feasible. If remote work is not operationally feasible, employees should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave). Employees without sufficient leave time will be granted up to 14 days of paid administrative leave.
• Academic appointees who do not accrue sick and/or vacation leave and who are not otherwise eligible for paid medical leave under applicable provisions of the Academic Personnel Manual will receive up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover absences as described above.
Employees and supervisors who have questions may contact SOM Human Resources at 951-827-7954 or at email@example.com.
Operations planning: All units are asked to create a continuity plan should it become necessary for more employees to work remotely to insure ongoing business operations. This may include plans for staggered hours, partial telecommuting and other social distancing strategies and applies to both our clinical and non-clinical operations.
UCR Health clinics remain open and are serving our Inland Empire community.
In addition, UCR Health has established a hotline for UCR faculty and staff who have questions about COVID-19: 844-827-6827.
If you have traveled internationally or been in contact with someone in the past 30 days who has COVID-19, plus are experiencing a fever with cough or trouble breathing contact the 24/7 Hotline.
If you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms, but have not traveled internationally or been in contact with someone with COVID-19 contact your primary care physician or healthcare insurance for more information.
CHANGES TO UPCOMING EVENTS
In line with campus guidance, the SOM has made the following changes to upcoming large events that bring visitors to campus:
Match Day – March 20: This event will still take place, but only the Class of 2020 and the select core faculty will be allowed in-person attendance at this celebration. Students are asked not to bring anyone with them to the event as they will not be allowed to enter, but will be encouraged to Facetime/share virtually their news with family and supporters. Students may also opt out of attending Match Day celebrations and receive their residency placement privately. Student Affairs will be sending out updated RSVPs in the near future.
Mol Med Conference – March 24: This event has been postponed and information about rescheduling will be forthcoming. For information contact: Pica Preston, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 951-827-6087.
Open House – April 4: This event has been cancelled. For information, contact Kate Dorff, email@example.com or at 951-827-7794.
At this time, all other regular meetings of SOM employees are not restricted by the campus directives on large gatherings and may occur in person or using video conferencing at the discretion of the unit director or manager.
Thank you again for your support and commitment to our mission.
Deborah Deas, MD, MPH
Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences
Mark and Pam Rubin Dean
School of Medicine
Dear SOM Students Faculty and Staff:
Please read these very important travel requirements that are going into effect today and until further notice.
Given the current COVID-19 matter, all UCR business travel to countries designated with a CDC Warning – Level 3 or Level 2 should be temporally avoided. If there is an absolute business purpose of why the travel must take place, then all trips will require pre-approval from the SOM Dean’s Office based on the criteria below. It is important to note that this applies to all staff, faculty, post-docs, medical and graduate students and residents/fellows. If pre-approval is not obtained, then SOM will be unable to approve the travel expenses reimbursement request.
Request to Obtain Travel Approval:
1. Submit the request through the Business Operation Ticket System firstname.lastname@example.org (with “COVID-19 Approval Request” on the subject line), at least 30 days prior to the trip date and before making the travel arrangements.
2. Include a detailed justification to explain why such travel must happen at this time. For faculty and staff, requests should be endorsed by the Chair or department heard first, and endorsement must be included with the approval request.
3. If travel is approved by the Dean’s Office, you will be notified in writing. Submitting a request for approval does not mean you can proceed with your travel arrangements, you must wait for the official written approval.
4. All travelers must register under the UC Travel Registry at UC Away. We highly encourage that you register, even if traveling for personal reasons.
If you have any questions, please direct them to the ticket system email@example.com. Please type “COVI-19 Question” on the subject line. You can also read the detailed communication from the Chancellor noted below and also continue to stay informed via the ongoing updates from the campus.
Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.
Deborah Deas, MD, MPH
Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs
Pam and Mark Rubin Dean
As a response to the current COVID 19 situation, the Office of Faculty Development is providing some additional support to our faculty.
• We changed the planned session for next week to two emergency sessions on Getting Online Fast.
• We created a guide on how to teach during disruption which includes information and resources on how to teach online. Download the PDF.
• The Office of Faculty Development is available to help you with any training you might need on how to use the various tools or any support in creating online content or getting your existing content into the learning management system. Reach out to us for whatever you need.
Consider joining us for one of the two sessions for next week. Maybe you never wanted to teach in an online environment, but you are suddenly facing that reality. Maybe the current situation is giving you an opportunity to explore something you’ve been curious about. Maybe you just want to find ways to cope that won’t overwhelm or make you crazy. The Office of Faculty Development is here to help.
Join us to for one of next week’s sessions on Getting Online Fast to help you figure out what your next moves should be.