COVID-19 changes ACOM students' curriculum

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine campus Dothan, AL (Source: ACOM / Facebook)
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- ACOM is adjusting the student curriculum to do their part to flatten the curve.

To keep ACOM students safe and healthy and to stop the spread of COVID-19, year 1 and 2 students have transitioned to a virtual curriculum with video lectures.

“So students can join in interactive lectures and contribute real-time,” says ACOM vice president of institutional effectiveness Dr. Carmen Lewis.

Third and fourth-year students were out on clinical rotations doing hands-on patient care when the crisis developed.

Now the college has stopped all patient care activities and those students have returned home.

“In the meantime, we are augmenting the curriculum to include virtual experiences where they still have hands-on activity in cases and be able to diagnose and such just using a virtual medium,” says Lewis.

In addition to continuing their curriculum, students are learning more about COVID-19 and proper personal protective equipment use.

“When they do go back into the healthcare setting and have hands-on patient experience they will be able to do so and ensure their health and the safety of their patients,” says Lewis.

But, with the number of cases multiplying by the day, there might come a time that medical students are needed on the front line.

“Once we receive that kind of feedback then we will deploy the students back out if necessary,” says Lewis.

Amid the crisis, the school does have some positive things to celebrate.

The college announced that 99% of its graduating students matched into a residency.

“Those students soon will be deployed to their residency and I know they will make us proud and help and resolving this crisis,” says Lewis.

ACOM has canceled, rescheduled or moved any pending college-sponsored events to a virtual format.

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