UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine at UMMS-Baystate

Publication Date


Document Type



Emergency Medicine | Infectious Disease | Medical Education | Virus Diseases


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.


COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus, emergency medicine, rotations, medical students, standardized letters of evaluation

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Copyright: © 2020 Katirji. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) License. See:

DOI of Published Version



Katirji L, Smith L, Pelletier-Bui A, Hillman E, Zhang XC, Pasirstein M, Olaf M, Shaw J, Franzen D, Ren R. Addressing Challenges in Obtaining Emergency Medicine Away Rotations and Standardized Letters of Evaluation Due to COVID-19 Pandemic. West J Emerg Med. 2020 Apr 2. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2020.3.47444. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32302281. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health

Related Resources

Link to article on PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.