New UMB Clinical Placement Guidelines

March 19, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Throughout this unprecedented health crisis, we are continually assessing the safety needs of our community, and adapting our policies and practices accordingly. A critical requirement of the education of a great many of our students is their clinical or field placement. These are situations that must be managed with extreme care for the protection of not only our students and faculty, but also the people they serve.

Beginning Saturday, March 21 at the latest, the following policy applies to UMB students in their clinical rotations, field placements, and internships (whether in health, social work, or law):

  • All in-person experiential learning activities with patients and clients must be halted and converted to virtual or other options that do not involve in-person activities.
  • Group in-person activities with faculty for alternative experiences, inclusive of classroom simulations, formulary assessments, etc., are allowed if strict measures are taken to follow the 6-foot social distancing rule and documentation of that requirement is maintained.
  • For field placements that occur in social work and other similar programs, these experiences will be converted to remote activities.
  • Options that include activities such as distance simulation, special online resources, and online activities such as telemedicine, telehealth, and telebehavioral health and similar means of care delivery are encouraged.

Exceptions to this policy: Some UMB students have unmet graduation requirements that are critical in order to graduate on time this year. Innovative solutions should be sought to meet these needs. For example, clinical and field rotations for a small number of students that can be deemed extremely safe from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection for students may be considered. These solutions must be approved by the dean of the relevant school in consultation with the provost. Careful records must be kept documenting the decision, the safety of the situation, and explicit measures taken to assure social distancing.

Thank you for your vigilance with these critical matters of safety as we work our way through this challenging time.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President

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