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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Addressing Challenges in Obtaining Emergency Medicine Away Rotations and Standardized Letters of Evaluation Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


The Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) Advising Students Committee in Emergency Medicine (ASC-EM) anticipates institutional and regional variability in both the spread and response to COVID-19. Travel restrictions and host institution rotation closures will impact the number of emergency medicine (EM) rotations EM-bound medical students can complete in an unprecedented manner. They may prevent students from completing any away rotations this academic cycle, challenging the students’ ability to obtain EM Standardized Letters of Evaluation (SLOEs). EM’s emphasis on residency group SLOEs over other letter types creates an undue burden on these vulnerable students and makes the application process intrinsically inequitable. This inequity warrants a reevaluation of the current application practice. This article outlines ASC-EM's proposed recommendations for all stakeholders, including EM program leadership, medical schools, and EM-bound medical students, to consider for the upcoming EM application cycle.

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