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Residency Program Response to COVID-19

In addition to its unprecedented societal impact, COVID-19 added another layer of complexity to resident education. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Valley Children’s pediatric residency program adapted to optimize the clinical, educational and wellness aspects of resident life.

Clinical

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents exclusively managed patients who were negative for COVID-19. Once Valley Children’s ensured adequate, appropriate PPE to care for all patients, COVID-19 patients were gradually added to resident services.

Early in the pandemic, residents on elective rotations were placed on “distance learning,” involving a combination of telemedicine, virtual rounding and virtual lectures. Since May 2020, all residents have been able to safely attend required and elective rotations in-person, even in the context of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the Central Valley.

Education

In response to the physical distancing recommendations from the CDC, IDSA and local governments, the pediatric residency program adapted the traditional in-person educational programs to virtual activities.

Below is a list of educational activities that are now broadcast to residents via videoconference:

  • Academic half day
  • Morning report
  • CME Case Conferences (hospital-wide)
  • Morbidity and Mortality
  • Journal Club
  • Grand Rounds
  • Board review
  • Scholarly activity presentations

Residents have access to a variety of workspaces within the hospital to facilitate participation while maintaining physical distancing.

Wellness

While masking and physical distancing have reduced the spread of COVID-19, the response to the pandemic has necessitated a new approach to fostering resident wellness. Program leadership is committed to ensuring residents stay as physically and mentally well as possible. Several examples include, but are not limited to:

  • CLEW (Clinical Learning Environment and Wellness) Committee discussions re: issues pertinent to resident well-being
  • Class retreats
  • Team building exercises
  • Virtual game nights
  • Encouragement to use “wellness stipend”
  • “Wellness Half-Days” – quarterly morning off for residents to use for self-care