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Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

Staci Leisman

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Staci Leisman, MD, FASN is a medical educator and nephrologist. Staci currently is an Associate Professor of Medicine/Nephrology and Medical Education and a co-director of the curriculum at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her professional areas of interest include undergraduate medical education and curricular development. Staci can be followed on Twitter.


 

Together, When Apart

On March 6th 2020, I wished our first year medical students good luck on their Physiology exam, and told them I hoped I would see them on Monday. Alas, on March 8th, the dreaded (but expected) email arrived. Due to COVID19, all in person classes were suspended immediately. With one day's notice, and with no preparation, we all moved to a world of Zoom. 

As course director, I quickly learned the basic features of Zoom, created meeting links, and began to lecture and facilitate small groups from my apartment. That, it turned out, was the easy part.  It soon became clear that there was a much bigger need to address: the mental health and well-being of our students. For many, class time is an integral part of their social life and gives their day purpose and structure. Now, as they were sheltering in place, with many returning to homes across the country, they were far removed from their study buddies and the camaraderie that infuses a medical school class. Moving lectures online is a matter of technology. How do we replace the “we’re all in this together” spirit of the lecture hall and small group room?

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