In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual scheduling of Sub-internships, Acting-internships, and away medical school rotations in urology (Sub-Is) poses a challenge. Safety, education, and equity for students, institutions, patients, and communities, are paramount.
The Society of Academic Urologists (SAU) acknowledge the traditional importance of external rotations for medical students in the application process for 1) experiencing the full depth and breadth of urology before committing to the specialty; 2) ongoing clinical education in the specialty; and 3) obtaining additional letters of recommendation to assist programs in the evaluation of medical student applicants. COVID-19 has significantly altered medical education. Given differing levels of disease impact in different regions, many institutions are not allowing medical students to rotate in or out which disadvantages both students and the programs. In response, the Coalition for Physician Accountability, an association consisting of the AAMC, ACGME, NBME and other groups, as well as other medical subspecialties, have developed policies prohibiting away rotations this year. In accordance with this policy and to minimize health risks, financial burden, and to ensure the most equitable experience for all students and all programs during this pandemic, the following decisions have been made by the executive committee of the SAU.
- In accordance with National recommendations, all in-person external medical student rotations in urology will be deferred in 2020. Virtual external rotations (virtual sub-I’s) should be considered for applicants to gain further experience, exposure, and education at external programs.
- Given the importance of the applicant experience in urology prior to committing to a career path, each student should have at least 4 weeks (1 rotation) at their home institution, if possible. For students without a home program, an exception will be made and they should have 4 weeks (1 rotation) of urology experience at the closest ACGME accredited program in order to minimize travel and keep within regional disease demographics.
- Letters of recommendation should come from the students’ home institution (or nearest ACGME program if there is no home program) or from external institutions where virtual sub-I’s were performed.
With regard to medical student applicant interviews, all in-person interviews will be converted to video-based interviews for the 2020-21 season. Programs are working to prepare materials such as virtual tours, websites, videos, presentations and supplemental information to help students in their decision making.
Dates to Remember
ERAS will open with the preparation and release of the MSPE (Deans Letters).
Interview offers will be extended by ALL programs participating in the match. Programs are discouraged from offering interviews before this date.
Students will be able to contact each program accepting or declining each of these offers. A mechanism will be in place to fill unfilled interview slots. The SAU will provide further instructions on this new process at a later date.
Virtual interviews will occur.
Resident candidate match list due.
Match result release date.