I decided to make a compendium of statements and policies from the ACGME and various specialty boards pertaining to COVID-19. With many residents needing to potentially miss work due to quarantine, and with board exams coming up, this is an important topic. This is not a complete list yet, I am certain I forgot specialties, and I will be updating this thread actively. I welcome any suggestions or corrections that you all have for me (with sources, please!) pertaining to this thread.
The ACGME statements don't change much and more or less defer to specialty boards. That said they do make several statements supporting the residents. Let's look at some highlights:
Residents’/fellows’ time away from required rotations, or the program, may affect their Board eligibility. The ABMS has issued a statement that addresses potential training disruptions. Check with the relevant Board regarding eligibility requirements and with specific questions about time away from required rotations/the program related to COVID-19. The ACGME Common Program Requirements Section VI Work Hour Requirements will remain unchanged. Because safety of patients and residents/fellows is the ACGME’s highest priority, it is important that all residents and fellows receive adequate rest between clinical duties because violations of the work hours limitations have been associated with an increase in medical errors, which might lead to lapses in infection control. The ACGME also expects Sponsoring Institutions and their hospital, medical center, and ambulatory care sites to provide residents, fellows, and faculty and other staff members with adequate resources, facilities, and training to properly recognize and care for these patients, including the need to take a complete travel and exposure history in patients presenting with signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its 24 Member Boards appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our specialty medical professionals and trainees who are working tirelessly to treat and monitor those exposed to or diagnosed with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and we recognize the associated enhanced health risks and the potential for training disruptions. As with others in our community, our primary concern is for the health and well-being of these individuals and patients and the desire to maintain a strong and effective health care workforce. In most cases, specialty boards’ existing leave policies will cover training disruptions caused by quarantine, and boards are supportive of creative strategies to recognize learning opportunities that can take place during such times. In situations in which quarantine impedes completion of on-time training, boards are receptive to case-by-case discussions and do not wish to penalize trainees for situations beyond their control. We encourage those with questions to contact their respective ABMS Member Board for details and updates regarding COVID-19 related leave policies and the status of board examinations.
Pearson VUE testing center resources:
Prometric testing center resources:
|Specialty Board||Policy on COVID-19 Training Disruptions||Board Exam Disruption|
|American Board of Internal Medicine||"Specifically, ABIM does not anticipate interruptions of training related to COVID-19 adversely affecting Board Eligibility for the vast majority of otherwise competent residents and fellows."||"For any physician that is unable to take an ABIM assessment due to the spread of COVID-19, please contact us at 1-800-441-ABIM or |
[email protected], and one of our Customer Relationship Advocates will walk you through your options so you can decide what works best for you."
|American Board of Family Medicine||"Time spent by residents in mandated COVID-19 quarantine will be counted as clinical hours. These residents may work with their program to arrange to complete academic or quality improvement projects or other study activities."||"Currently, ABFM is planning to deliver the April 2020 Family Medicine Certification Examination as scheduled. We are closely monitoring developments and staying in close communication with Prometric, our testing vendor, should it become necessary to take alternative action."|
|American Board of Pediatrics||"For trainees who are affected by the COVID-19 situation, please address with your program director."||"Because of current and likely future travel restrictions, possible personal illness or quarantines, and ongoing Prometric site closures, the ABP is postponing all subspecialty initial certifying examinations that are scheduled in March… For those enrolled in the MOCA-Peds assessment platform, there will not be a break in service."|
|American Board of Surgery||No statement||"The April administration of the General Surgery Certifying Examination is cancelled. Board eligibility will be extended for this candidate group. This will not count as a missed exam opportunity. Disrupted candidates will be given advance priority to schedule for next year's exams prior to general scheduling, and will be notified of exam dates when they are available… At this time, the May 4-5 Vascular Surgery Certifying Examination and the June 1-3 General Surgery Certifying Examination will proceed as scheduled."|
American Board of Emergency Medicine
|No statement||"In recognition of travel restrictions and the potential effects on public health resulting from COVID-19, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) has decided to cancel the administration of the spring Oral Certification Examination… Physicians currently registered to take the spring ConCert Examination may be under travel or other restrictions that do not allow them to participate in the exam. Those who cannot take the exam have the option of cancelling their appointment and obtaining a refund of their exam fee, or rescheduling their appointment for any date between now and June 30, 2020."|
|American Board of Urology||No statement||No changes|
|American Board of Ophthalmology||No statement||"With regret, the American Board of Ophthalmology has decided to postpone its Oral Examination scheduled for March 19-21 in Phoenix. Several factors led to this decision… We recognize the financial investment you've made in your preparation and attendance for this exam. To help offset that cost, we will reimburse you up to $300 on the change or re-booking fee for your unused airline ticket."|
|American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology||No statement||"Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Subspecialty Certifying Exam has been postponed |
|American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology||No statement||No statement|
|American Board of Anesthesia||"Time spent in mandated or self-quarantine due to COVID-19 will be counted as clinical hours for residents and fellows… The Board will consider special requests for excused absences on a case-by-case basis from residents and fellows who contract COVID-19 and miss training for an extended period due to severe coronavirus-related illness."||No statement|
|American Board of Radiology||No statement||"The DR Core Exam scheduled for May 28-29 and June 1-2 is still scheduled as planned. Exam registration is approaching, and we will email all eligible candidates with a save-the-date message soon. We are developing plans in case there is a disruption to the upcoming Core Exam…. DR Certifying Exam Canceled… MP Oral Exam Postponed… RO Oral Exam Postponed"|
Updated at 11:38 AM CST on 3/15/2020
Source: Original link