NCMS Morning Rounds 9-1-20

Enjoy your first NCMS Morning Rounds of September!

Sept. 1, 2020

News from the NCMS Student Council

The NCMS’ Student Council offers North Carolina medical students a chance to meaningfully engage with the NCMS’ work. In turn, the council offers NCMS members the medical student’s insight and perspective. Below is an update from Duke University School of Medicine student council representative Luke Wachsmuth about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted medical students is through the closure and reduced testing capacity of Prometric centers where students must take their USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) licensure exams. State and local mandates resulted in widespread testing center closures across the country beginning in March, with some sites in North Carolina currently closed through Sept. 1.

Unfortunately, the response from both the USMLE and Prometric was lacking in clarity and personnel support, ultimately resulting in exam cancelations with minimal to no notice and a lack of clear communication regarding testing center closures, testing procedures, rescheduling, and refunds. A particular point of concern was the lack of information on testing procedures and scheduling for students who required testing accommodations.

Students at Duke University School of Medicine utilized a survey to systematically collect data on testing issues encountered by medical students at their school. Subsequently, student leadership wrote an open letter to the Presidents of both the USMLE and the NBME to present those data and outline actions to improve communication to examinees, reduce the financial burden on students, and make alternate arrangements for testing. Read the letter here

One of their suggestions was to quickly approve US Medical Schools as examination sites so that students could take their exams safely and fairly without having to further delay their exams or accrue excessive expenses traveling to distant testing sites, possibly in entirely different regions of the country. In an additional open letter to Duke SOM leadership, students called for partnership with other NC medical schools to collectively advocate to the USMLE for a minimum of one NC medical school testing site that would be open to all NC medical students, citing the large medical student population in our state.

Read the full report here.

Success Story: Offering Diabetes Prevention at a Distance

The NCMS and the AMA are part of an overall effort in North Carolina to prevent diabetes. This article from the AMANews highlights Vidant Health in Greenville’s success in offering a virtual format of their Diabetes Prevention Program. Read the article here.

Learn more about the NCMS and AMA’s initiative to achieve a DiabetesFreeNC here.

See Exactly Who Will Be on Your Ballot in November

The state Board of Elections just launched a new, revamped website making it easier to navigate to help ensure you are ready to cast your ballot in November. Access the site here.

Here are direct links to:

In the News

Why We’re Losing the Battle with COVID-19, The New York Times Magazine, 7-18-20

Learning Opportunity

The National Council on Behavioral Health offers a webinar titled ‘Systematic Racism, Health Disparities and COVID-19: Leading through Complex Trauma with Resilience and Hope’ on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 3 to 4 p.m.

How do seemingly unrelated but overwhelming global events connect to create complex trauma? How do we reckon with systemic racism, health disparities, COVID-19 and the unprecedented social and economic stress impacting individuals, families and communities across cultures, generations, genders, and racial groups? Learn about the tools for supporting individuals as they develop healing and resiliency around complex trauma. Register here.

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!


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