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Should fellowships defer 2020 Fellows for one year?

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Dr L Vuitton

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In the midst of Corona and the likelihood of cancelled collegiate and high school sports, should Fellowship program defer the 2020-21 Fellows and allow them to come back for 2021-22?
 

runfastnow

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Some fellowships are already offering this. I am not sure if AMSSM or ACGME made any official stances or recommendations.

A lot comes down to the fellow and how much they want/need to get into a "real" job at the end of fellowship and what they would be able to do in the "gap" year. Might be easier for FM, IM, or EM to do urgent care or a similar set up, but PM&R fellows who delay will have a harder time finding a similar type job to fill the gap.
 

TableMD

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super tough call...I think it depends on the clinic(s) volume and the coverage. Then again, learning how to deal with COVID and sports isn't going to go away after graduation (as we are all dealing with it now).

Good faculty will make it work I am sure.
 

Lurts

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While I am definitely frustrated having COVID affect my fellowship this year, it has been a really unique and valuable experience to be in on the meetings and decision-making processes for bringing the student-athletes back to campus, overseeing their quarantine/isolation, modifying their cardiac screening requirements, and ultimately trying to do everything we can to helps sports resume in a successful and safe way. Definitely not something fellows in previous years got experience in!

But, if the whole thing gets shut down, then yeah, that'll suck.
 
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Synophrys

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COVID has not completely shut down event coverage. There is also an opportunity here to look at. ACGME requires fellows to participate in mass participation event planning and coordination. Many programs fail to provide this type of experience and education for the fellows. COVID has created a unique opportunity to get more in-depth training in the realm of event coordination and planning.

Also, sports are changing and with it, so are the venues. Many things are going virtual and crowds are staying home. The injuries a fellow treats does not change just because the venue is different. More people are staying home and exercising on their own. This translates into more injuries for the average joe and less for the professional athletes.

I do not think shutting down your fellowship year due to covid will ultimately change the outcome for a fellow. We all need to learn how to move forward in the context of a pandemic. Part of moving forward is training and educating the future Sports Docs that will soon be responsible for managing teams during the next mystery disease... Burying your head in the sand because conditions are not ideal is only going to take learning opportunities away.

In my opinion, one of the greatest things we do as physicians is adapt to a dynamic environment. We do not turn our backs on a patient because things didn't work out in our favor. Imagine telling your patient "oh, sorry, I am taking a year off due to your (insert disease here) is not showing any signs of improving. We can pick up where we left off when things change in a year..." Bottom line, ANYONE CAN BE A GOOD DOC WHEN THINGS GO WELL. IT IS HOW WE ACT WHEN THINGS GO SOUTH THAT MAKES US GREAT DOCTORS.
 
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