COVID-19 Updates

Get the latest updates, information, and Frequently Asked Questions from Medical Education and Graduate Medical Education.


  • Classroom/lab-based Instruction and Exams Moves to Remote/Distance Learning for all Phases (Foundations 1, Foundations 2, Career Launch)
  • Clinical Medical Education Redesigned to Address COVID-19 Pandemic:

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Testing, Precautions, and PPE -  Updated April 1, 2020

What is current state of COVID-19 at UCSF Health? 

  • As of 3/28/20, there were 14 adults with COVID-19 hospitalized at UCSF Health, eight in the ICU and 5 in the clinical unit on 15 Long. Of all patients with COVID-19 cared for by UCSF Health since the start of the outbreak, one patient has died and 12 have been successfully discharged home.
  • 1700 tests have been completed, with a positivity rate of approximately 4%. This contrasts with the 30% positivity rate seen in some of the hardest hit NYC hospitals.

What is the test positivity rate among healthcare workers? 

  • As of 3/27/20, UCSF Health had identified 16 health care workers with positive COVID-19 tests. Twelve out of sixteen have been investigated and have identified community-based transmission as the cause of their infection. The remaining four are new cases and are under investigation. Three health professions students across the schools have tested positive; 2 have had no clinical contact for over one month and thus appear to be community transmission; one remains under investigation.
  • Also, as of Friday 3/27/20, UCSF Health initiated a policy of surgical masks for all employees and learners working in the clinical environments. Entrants to the hospital, including patients, will be provided with a mask. Employees and learners must wear one at all times. It will be optional for patients unless they are being ruled out specifically for respiratory infections. This follows recent strategies adopted by Partners Health to minimize the risk of employee to employee transmission, as well as to mitigate transmission to and from patients and visitors in the event of asymptomatic carriage states. This is because healthcare settings provide many challenges to maintaining physical distance.

As a reminder:

  • Surgical masks are used to protect the wearer from sprays, splashes and large droplet transmission of pathogens from others AND to prevent the spread of infectious particles from the wearer to others. The predominant mode of transmission of the COVID-19 virus appears to be from droplet transmission. As a reminder, droplets usually fall within three feet, which is why maintaining social distance in the community of six feet will work.
  • N-95 respirators are used to prevent airborne transmission of infection (like TB and measles, but not influenza). In COVID-19, they are being used for the care of critically ill COVID-19 patients where there is a risk of aerosolization of droplets (like what happens in a hairspray bottle). They are therefore particularly critical for clinicians who are working in settings where there is a high volume of secretions and in which aerosolization of secretions may occur, for example during mask-bag ventilation, intubation and surgical procedures of the airway (e.g., in the ED, ICU). For most other patients, a regular surgical mask will be OK. This includes floor persons with known COVID-19 or for whom there is a high degree of suspicion of COVID-19 as the cause of a clinical syndrome.

Do you have any recommendations regarding precautions to avoid infection when we travel for clinical rotations or for volunteer activities?

  • Public transit is aware of risks to infection and trying to minimize interaction between passengers and drivers and the number of people on each train. Pay for public transit using the rear doors to minimize contact with drivers. When you get off of public transit, use hand sanitizer and wash your hands.
  • Remember, students are considered essential members of the healthcare team so that they may continue to advance towards graduation and support the health care teams as they are. This means that they may come to campus for educational experiences that require on-campus presence (e.g., sub-internships) and also ride UCSF shuttles.
  • UCSF medical students were provided a letter, which in conjunction with your valid UCSF ID, prove that you are essential members of the care team at UCSF Health and Core Affiliates. We recommend carrying a printed copy of the letter, and your UCSF ID when you leave your residence. If you have any questions or need a copy of the letter, please contact DoQuyen Tran-Taylor.

If we experience extreme shortages of PPE will students continue to serve as essential personnel? I am worried about using PPE. What is the rationale for giving learners PPE when there is a shortage of PPE nationally?

Career Launch students will NOT be involved in the direct care of patients who have known or suspected COVID-19. We are focusing your efforts on patients who don’t require that level of PPE. We will not let students work without appropriate PPE and we will not have students use PPE that is needed by more autonomous health care workers. UCSF received a very large (hundreds of thousands) of surgical masks the week of March 30, courtesy of the UCSF donor community. This influx has allowed us to move to the universal daily mask approach outlined above. Production lines are ramping up, and we hope PPE shortages will be mitigated soon.

What do you think of guidance from CDC regarding using bandanas instead of N-95 masks?

  • We think it is suboptimal. Bandanas have not been shown to achieve the protection of the wearer or of others exposed to the wearer outlined in the question about Health Care worker exposure above.

How and when do I get tested for COVID-19?

According to the CDC, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact Student Health and Counseling Services for instructions on assessment and testing. If you are asymptomatic but had exposure they will advise whether or not you should be self quarantined and self-monitor for symptoms. Even if you are asymptomatic, if you have had an exposure, you should report it.

How confident are we as physicians in the tests being used to diagnose COVID?

There was an issue in the early tests released by the CDC, but it has been since been addressed. The CDC has also allowed other tests to be developed at other institutions (including at Stanford and UCSF). That has facilitated not only accuracy but also access, which has been a larger issue. All the tests that we are relying on now are PCR tests and next gen sequencing tests. People are working on serologic tests. Those are on the horizon, which will be helpful from an epidemiologic perspective. There has been a big upswing on institutions developing and getting approval for their tests rather than relying on test kits from CDC. The more we test, the more we’ll find out about the biological behavior of this virus.

When will be COVID-19 testing be available for students on clinical rotations?

Testing is limited and will hopefully be more available soon. Occupational Health Services prioritizes testing in this order 1) inpatient, 2) healthcare workers, and 3) then to others. For more information, please visit:

What about beards and PPEs?

People who have facial hair or facial structures that causes a N95 mask to not seal properly should use a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) which covers the entire face.

Career Launch (Class of 2020) - Updated March 30, 2020

What does my curriculum look like as of April 1, 2020?

  • Students who have a required Medicine Sub-internship left: Your sub-internship is still operational and you should report to that site on April 1, 2020, ready to work unless you have received alternative directions from your director.  Please speak with Dean Jones if you have questions.
  • Students who have a required 140 rotation that is not the medicine sub-internship have the following options
    • Continue on with the rotation if the department is still able to accommodate you
    • Participate in a Specialty Independent Study rotation to meet rotation objectives 
    • Participate in a Medical Education Rotation 
  • Students with a residual Tier 2 (elective) requirement can participate in a Medical Education Rotation to support the learning of your F2 colleagues and can also volunteer to provide COVID-19 support as needed by the health systems or complete work on your Deep Explore project.

 Career launch logistical information

If students are considered essential, how are you supporting students’ food, financial needs, and parking that staff receive?

At UCSF Health Parnassus parking is still free. Cafeterias are still open as is the food court. We understand that the city’s transportation has been more limited. We are looking into alternatives to try to reimburse you for LYFT and Uber rides. While we work with campus to determine this possibility, if you have emergency financial needs, please contact DQ Tran-Taylor.

What do we do if our Sub-I's are cancelled? What alternatives are you considering?

  • All students must complete their Medicine Sub-I (or FCM sub-I) in order to graduate. If you have another Sub-internship scheduled and it is available, you should participate in that rotation. Sub-internships in emergency medicine, ophthalmology and intensive care have been converted to intensive study remote learning experiences to allow students to complete these prior to graduation. If you are scheduled for a different sub-internship that is not available because of the pandemic, you will be contacted and offered a different approach to meeting your requirements.

What is happening with Board Exams?

Prometric sites are closed at least through April. We will be flexible – original deadlines will be adjusted as needed. Career Launch students who have not taken Step 1 will receive an email from Associate Dean John Davis about the plan going forward. Step 2 CK deadlines will be moved to December.

What is the Status of SPAN?

SPAN course director, Kate Luptop, MD, is working with ambulatory SPAN sites to determine ways students can meet remaining course objectives.

What is the plan for Coda?

Coda will be delivered online. Some sessions may be mandatory synchronous sessions.

Is the Deep Explore Symposium cancelled?

Yes, the in-person Deep Explore symposium is cancelled. However, students will still be required to submit a final poster presentation in accordance with the Deep Explore requirement. More details will be coming from the Inquiry team.

Is graduation cancelled?

We will be making a decision by April 18th. While, we are hopeful, please advise family and friends NOT to make travel plans until a decision has been made. You can get a refund on regalia if the ceremony is canceled.

Will the COVID Response rotation be available for 2-week rotations for fourth years?

This is a great suggestion. Availability for the COVID-response rotation will be determined based on the needs of the health system. We will take this under consideration.

Career Launch (Class of 2021) - Updated April 1, 2020

What does my curriculum look like as of April 1, 2020?

  • We are working both locally and nationally to address your very appropriate concerns about all issues related to the NRMP and residency interviews. Stay Tuned!
  • The Student Experience Team is hard at work identifying which rotations are available in April. We will update your class on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 about this.
  • If your sub-internship is operational, you may opt in to continue in your assigned sub-internships. Recognize that the fact that it is operational means that it has sufficient PPE, patients, and physicians ready to supervise your education. Please speak with Dean Jones if you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from completing this at this time.
  • Learners whose scheduled clinical sub-internship is unavailable in April may:
    • Participate in departmentally orchestrated Specialty Supervised Rotation which will focus on the medical knowledge content of your Specialty subinternship. These are available for students who were previously scheduled for Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care, or Ophthalmology for April 2020.
    • Work on Deep Explore Projects for academic credit
    • Study for Step 2 CK exam for academic credit
    • Participate in the Medical Education Rotation for academic credit
  • We are working with individual departments to ensure that CL/4a students whose career specialty subinternship is not available in April 2020 will have the opportunity to complete career preparations prior to the submission of their residency applications in that discipline.

career launch logistical Information

How far in advance should we reach out to get information about our May Sub-Internships?

A general rule of thumb is that if it is two weeks before the start of your Sub-I and you haven’t heard anything about the Sub-I, then contact the Sub-I coordinator. You can find out who your Sub-I coordinator is by visiting here: Of course, if you have an urgent request, and the sub-I is cancelled, please let Wenia Lee know.

Will SPAN graduation requirements be decreased?

This is possible, but before we can finalize decisions, we need to know when SPAN can start. Once we know when we will be able to start up, again we will finalize this decision.

Can I opt out or drop out of Sub-Is in April?

If you already have a Sub-I, we would encourage you to continue with that Sub-I. If your question is related to having concerns about the number of patients that you see, we rely on our course directors to let us know if they have the appropriate number of patients for your Sub-I. f you want to see more of a certain kind of patient, talk with the course director about perhaps supplement with an additional elective.

How will a movement toward more virtual clinical experience impact grading?

If you are just interested in exploring a field, and the elective does not require clinical activities, those electives would be pass/fail. For example, if you are taking a rotation for a letter of recommendation, telehealth and other virtual learning still provides an opportunity for faculty to evaluate students and write letters of recommendation. The rotations we have set up as required clinical rotations, those cannot be non-clinical and will require patient-care component. We are working with the course and clerkship directors to split the rotation in two components, one component may be telehealth which will then be supplemented with an aspect of the rotation which involves in-person clinical care. The rotations we have set up as required clinical rotations must be clinical and will require a patient-care component.

If I am engaged in virtual clinical experience and I live in a studio apartment, how do I maintain HIPAA?

Utilize headsets and earbuds. Disclose your concerns with your attendings and directors to get their advice. Use your best judgment in protecting answers about our patients. 

What is the cap on the number of residency applications per students?

Every year there is a national discussion about limiting the number of residency applications for students since students did to apply to far more programs than they actually need to succeed in the match. The COVID outbreak has brought this discussion to the forefront again. However, no decision has been made yet. Here are links to the current AAMC data on number of residency applications:

Will residency programs be moving to video interviews ? Do we know what will happen with the residency selection and away rotations?

  •  We are working with our national organizations and specialty societies to explore changes to the usual NRMP application and interview processes. Our goal is to support your application to the residency programs that most interest you and to alleviate some of the stress that is accompanying the need to apply to residency programs during this pandemic. Foundations 2 is a time to try out different career options.

How can we get this same type of career exploration and exposure with limited clinical opportunities?

  • We encourage you to utilize our Career Advising Directors - Dr. Heather Whelan and Dr. Brent Kobashi. They are a great resource as you explore different career options. They are working closely with the Career Specialty Advisors to support you as the curriculum and national landscape changes. They will be sharing regular updates with students. 
  • You can also visit our Career Advising website. It has information on different specialties, videos from all the ARCH week career advising sessions, career exploration roadmap and checklists, and a list of the Career Advisors in a variety of specialties who can answer your questions.

I want to apply in internal medicine but am not assigned to an internal medicine sub-I before residency applications are due. Is the school still planning to create sub-I spots for these students?

Yes, we are working with the Department of Medicine to address this and we will work with you and make sure you are prepared to apply for residency.

How should we be approaching away rotations/Sub-Is from a career planning perspective? 

Over the next few weeks, we expect individual specialties will provide guidelines on away rotations relevant to residency applications. Our co-directors of the Career Advising Program, Heather Whelan and Brent Kobashi, are working with clinical departments and your specialty and confidential career advisors to provide guidance. For information on contacting your specialty advisor, please visit:…. Keep in mind, many clinicians are very busy now, so when you email them, acknowledge you know they are busy with COVID-19, and that you do not expect an immediate response.

What is the status of Deep Explore and SPAN?

There will be opporrunities to change your Deep Explore projects in response to the current situation. Similar to Summer Explore, please be in touch with your Inquiry Advisor and project advisor(s) to determine any changes to your project based on available resources. We are approaching SPAN the same way as other clerkships. Participation in SPAN is limited because ambulatory settings have been converted to respiratory acute clinics, or closed so providers can be redeployed. We are considering when SPAN can be rescheduled—possibly later in the summer when the pandemic has passed.

I have questions about my ability to meet graduation requirements?

For specific questions regarding your graduate requirements, please reach out to your Career Launch advisor, Wenia Lee.

Foundations 2 - Updated March 31, 2020

Do students need to be in San Francisco between now and July 1st?

While it is possible to participate in this portion of the F2 curriculum remotely, you should be aware of the challenges of returning if clinical clerkships are able to open in May and June. If clinical clerkship sites for students open up earlier than expected, we would expect students to return to UCSF sooner than July. Therefore, if you want to leave the Bay area, and you can based on the status of travel bans, you need to think about if you will have the ability to return to the Bay area sooner than originally planned.

Are our CIEXs cancelled through July or for the whole year?

For now, the CIEX rotations are cancelled through July. We will reevaluate in July if we have the clinical sites and faculty available to bring the CIEXs back later in the year.

What is going to happen with site-based clerkships like VALOR and Model SFGH?

We are in contact with the directors of each of these programs, who are looking at options to do remote learning and asynchronous learning sessions. They will be in touch.

I am a Foundations 2 or Career Launch student and my vacation is being disrupted by the recent schedule changes. Will I lose my vacation?

No, your vacation time should not be disrupted by the changes to Foundations 2. In fact, by taking didactic material now as part of EMLR, it should minimize the didactic time in the later clinical experience rotation. If you have follow-up questions, please reach out to your F2 Advisor, Nikki Williams.

Will our Performance on the NBME self assessment impact our clerkship grade?

No, your score will not impact your grade or influence your summary clerkship evaluations. You will complete the exam requirement by taking the assessment. If a clerkship director/coordinator notices that your NBME test score is very low, they may reach out to offer resources to help you master this knowledge.

Can you take the NBME self assessment earlier if you would like?

Yes, you can choose to take the NBME self-assessment earlier in the 3-week mastery learning portion of a clerkship if you feel ready. The requirement is that you take it by the end of the three-week block.

Will the lack of standard shelf exams impact our residency application?

No, we have never reported clerkship exams in the MSPE or as part of your residency application.

What will Anesthesia be doing since there is no shelf exam?

The Anesthesia clerkship director is working with the clerkship directors in Surgery and OB to supplement learning in Anesthesia to account for this.

Is there a way to have more EMLR time for longer clerkships (8 weeks vs. 2 weeks)?

We have been working with the clerkship directors on the design of the EMLR, and the clerkship directors felt that the three week dedicated study blocks are sufficient for learning didactics for each clerkship, and even longer than the time most students will need to learn the material.

In redesigning the Foundations 2 curriculum, did you consider that it is possible that the pandemic will pick-up again in the late fall?

Yes absolutely. We are considering back-up plans if the pandemic were to surge again. Keep in mind, that if clinical sites open up before July, we have every intention of getting you back into the clinical environment as quickly as possible.

How are student voices being considered in the design of the Clinical Experience Rotation?

Student members of the Medical Education Student Council are part of the working group to help design the Clinical Experience Rotation. Please reach out to MESC if you would like to be involved.

Why can’t students return to clerkships when clerkships are ready to have students?

This is a school-wide, rather than departmental decision. We need to preserve clinical sites to ensure that the rising fourth years and graduating class meet the clinical requirements they need to stay on track for graduation. For the F2 students, we have more flexibility to ensure that you will have all the clinical requirements you need to meet our graduation competencies and graduate.

Who makes the decision about bringing students back to the clinical sites earlier?

This is a decision made at the dean level in partnership with our clerkship and sub-internship directors. We want to ensure that 1) clinical environments have sufficient quantities of PPE and that student presence does not increase the risk to patients, themselves, or other healthcare professionals, and 2) that our graduating students and rising fourth year students have the opportunity to fulfill their sub-internship requirements.

Can we choose to shorten some clerkships over others to specialize in the clerkships of choice?

Our goal is to make sure that all students meet the core clinical experiences and learning objectives of the clerkships so that you can meet UCSF’s graduation competencies and graduate on time.

Clerkship directors are looking for opportunities where some clinical experiences and lectures may overlap to see if we can shorten some requirements where possible. However, we will not be shortening clerkships based on individual student specialty choice. You will have other opportunities for career exploration.

Since we will not have CIEXs, what do you recommend we do to begin our career exploration?

  • Keep in mind, COVID-19 is a national issue, and specialty organizations and their residency programs are thinking about this on a national scale and discussing possible adjustments necessary. The whole nation is figuring this out. This is not a UCSF-only issue.
  • Our Career Advising website is a good resource and has videos from all of our ARCH week career advising sessions, a list of specialty and confidential career advisors, post-match reports which includes feedback from graduating students, and career advising checklists.
  • For information on contacting your specialty advisor, please visit our Specialty Residency Information and Advising page. Many clinicians are very busy now, so if you email them, please acknowledge that you know they are busy with COVID-19, and that you do not expect an immediate response.
  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Heather Whelan and Brent Kobashi, our Co-Directors of the Career Advising Program. We encourage you to reach out to graduating MS4s who recently matched. They can tell you about how they chose their specialty, and what resources they used in the process of selecting a specialty and applying for residency.

What does my F2 Curriculum look like as of April 1, 2020?

Clerkships for Blocks 2 through 6 have all been divided into two parts to enable you to work towards mastering all F2 milestones during these challenging times.  

  • Core Clerkships Part A: Extended Mastery Learning Rotations (EMLR): Core clerkship rotations involving remote learning strategies, focused on ensuring that you master the medical knowledge and complete the clerkship exam required for that clerkship.
  • Core Clerkships Part B: Workplace Learning Rotations: Clinical rotations through departments sponsoring core clerkships, with students participating in direct patient care activities on resident and faculty teams.

 FOUNDATIONS 2 logistical information 

I am a July 2019 start F2 Student, what are my options as of April 1, 2020?

  • Because you are close to the end of your F2 year and further delay in completing your core clerkships may lead to a delayed graduation, we are prioritizing your clinical rotations along with Career Launch 4a students, that is, after the 4b required sub-internships and before the 2020 F2 students.

Is there any discussion about F2 being extended into 2021?

Not at this time, but we are continuing to monitor the situation. Our goal is to move students through the curriculum so that you graduate and match on time. We will utilize other instructional methods to help you meet your Doctor of Medicine competencies and milestones.

With these changes, will I miss valuable clinical learning activities that will make me a great doctor?

Please know that any decision your deans and clerkship directors make are based on ensuring these two key priorities 1) our students will develop the skills they need to be a great doctor. 2) our students will develop the skills they need to to be prepared for internship.

We are modifying the existing Foundations 2/Career Launch curriculum to satisfy both of these goals. In regards to your core clerkships, it is important to recognize that it is not the length of the time on the clerkship that determines your competency. We will ensure that you have the educational experiences needed to be a great doctor and meet our milestones. In regards to your Sub-Is to help you prepare for residency, we will be working closely with your specialty advisors and Co-Directors of the Career Advising Program, Heather Whelan and Brent Kobashi, to make sure that you get the experiences you need to meet your career goals.

What is involved in the COVID 19 Rotation?

We’re talking with health systems to develop the rotation. The activities will depend on the needs of the health system. For instance, students could be acting as scribes, contacting patients coming for telehealth and interviewing them before to populate the chart with information. This is a dynamic area and as the number of patients changes, some of the services may drastically change. 

How will changes impact longitudinal integrated (LIC) clerkships?

We have been in contact with our LIC directors. The LICs have verified that they have adequate physician educational capacity and have primarily incorporated students in telehealth and other activities that do not involve direct patient contact. They will continue their schedule of activities, abiding by the same clinical parameters as for traditional clerkship students.

Will we have to make up clerkships/sessions missed?

Our goal is to develop alternatives that will help students graduate on time, meet all the graduation milestones, and minimize disruption to the match. This may include delivering didactics in advance of clinical activities and/or reducing the time of clinical activities.

In general, nationally, everyone is thinking more about competency based education. The competency-based model focuses on achieving the competency within a clerkship rather than focusing on the length of time in a clerkship. With many schools’ hiatus, there will be more variability in clerkships format and length, while ensuring that student achieve competence.

What happens if you’re in Fresno or want to go to Fresno?

The situation in Fresno is currently in flux. Infection there is less significant than in the Bay Area. We recommend that students not travel back and forth to honor the ‘shelter in place’ guidelines. If you have a rotation scheduled in Fresno, please be in touch with Nikki Williams to find out the latest update. 

Foundations 1 - Updated March 19, 2020

Will my summer explore activities be cancelled?

Contact your summer explore faculty advisor and/or Inquiry advisor for guidance. This will be determined on a project-by- project basis as it really depends on what type of research you are doing. Your advisors are prepared to respond to projects as necessary to make them more conducive. A lot of investigators are talking about how to modify research projects in general such as doing a literature review or case review.

General Curriculum - Updated March 31, 2020

What should I do if I Have Issues Connecting to Remote Learning Opportunities?

Email [email protected] or call 415-502-2800.

UCSF is temporarily moving a lot of its instruction to remote learning. Has the school given any thought to tuition reduction/reimbursement?

  • Guidance from the UC Office of the President states that for all enrolled students, tuition and fees remain unchanged as the campus remains operational. The pandemic has forced the School to redesign the instructional methods we use to help you advance to graduation on time, but we have not stopped the curriculum. The online coursework and remote learning that students are/will be receiving (shelf exams, shelf exam preparation, didactics, lectures) are required components of course/clerkships—we have simply moved them to the front of the F2 year with the expectation that we can resume clinical training soon. For 4b students, you will be finishing your curriculum with CODA, as all UCSF classes before you have done but CODA will be administered differently—on line, due to circumstances beyond our and your control.
  • Tuition and fees for medical students cover approximately 1/3 of the cost of educating a medical student. The additional expense is covered by a small contribution from the State and a large contribution from the Dean that comes primarily from taxes on clinical revenue. A sample of the way that tuition and fees are used:
    • support for faculty and staff who design, re-engineer and implement the curriculum, the coaches who guide the students, and all Deans’ activities including our terrific student experience team
    • purchase and launch technology platforms that support the curriculum and provide additional resources
    • provide resources such as U World to help prepare you for licensing exams.
  • If you have unique financial circumstances and require additional support, please contact the Student Experience Team.

Can we be reimbursed for library and gym fees since these facilities are closed?

You will not be charged for spring quarter gym fees. There are no separate library fees attributed to students. Although the library is physically closed, it is still open virtually and you able to access resources online. Students who are struggling financially should talk with Dean Jones and DQ Tran Taylor who can let you know what resources are available to help you get emergency loan help.


Does UCSF plan to graduate students early like NYU? 

  1. NYU students are graduating and being hired into a temporary position at NYU before they go into their matched positions as volunteers for EM and IM; the focus is on support of the surge.
  2. It is feasible for students to graduate early from the UCSF perspective but it may not be advisable to the student unless the health systems in our midst are willing to hire them to do work—otherwise, they will be disadvantaged in housing, financial aid and health insurance if they are no longer students.
  3. The Medical Board of California does not allow recent graduates of medical school to practice outside of an approved postgraduate training program.
  4. Points 2 and 3 could be circumvented if there were a surge that required the State of California to mobilize because of an overwhelming number of patients. That hasn’t been the case here yet, but it might so we know what would have to be addressed and already are working on the bureaucracy of this.
  5. At UCSF Health and ZSFG, there is already a strategy for reinforcing front line physicians using GME trainees and faculty from specialties that have not been as busy because their work usually focuses on elective surgeries and appointments rather than hospital work.
  6. Lastly, there is a school of thought that it is better to hold graduating students back so that they arrive fresh into the epidemic in Jun/July rather than starting them early. 

What opportunities exist for medical students in Governor Newsom’s Creation of a Healthcorps?

  • None at this time. The Healthcorps is looking for volunteers who have an MD.
  • For volunteer opportunities at UCSF please contact Raquel Rodriguez.


Is UCSF School of Medicine planning to enroll a new class in August?

Absolutely yes. We need to turn out the physicians our state and nation needs.

Is UCSF following the AAMC Guidelines issued on March 23?

  • We have been in close conversation with the AAMC about their guidance documents and they have expressed the view that the Dean of the School of Medicine in each medical school has the ultimate authority to make decisions about their educational programs. All of the University of California medical schools are in alignment with our approach. Each school is addressing their management of their medical education programs slightly differently, but we are all committed to the belief that continuing clinical training during this pandemic is essential to students’ education as future physicians.
  • We have redesigned our F2 clerkships and Career Launch rotations to provide third and fourth year students with options and/or alternative instructional methods to ensure that you are able to meet our graduation milestones, graduate on time, be prepared for internship, and abide by the guidance of our national bodies.

Latest AAMC Guidelines

Can students can take calls through the COVID hotline as part of the COVID Workforce? For those of us with lab tech experience, is there an option to help out in any research studies that are pushing COVID research forward?

All of these are possibilities. We’re working with a group of your peers and the health system leadership at each of the major UCSF affiliates: ZSFG, UCSF Health at Mission Bay, SFVA to coordinate opportunities for medical student volunteers. 

If the next weeks unfold with continuing or mounting uncertainty, will students be able to take a leave of absence without consequence? 

The leadership is trying to manage that uncertainty by ensuring that students have options to continue to advance their education and move students toward graduation in a timely a manner as possible. However, there are valid reasons students may decide to take a Leave of Absence.

If you choose to go on a Leave of Absence. We will waive what is known as the M+2 rule. This is a rule that you must complete your curriculum in the number of years that your program was assigned to run e.g., 5 for JMP, 4 for most programs, 6 or 7 for MSTP prog, plus up to two maximum years.  For the situation of COVID, we will waive that M+2 rule.

When would be the best time for students with non-traditional schedules, returned MSTPs, reach out to clarify unique circumstances?

Now is a good time. Reach out to your SET advisors:

F1 Advisor: Xavier Macy
F2 Advisor: Nikki Williams 
Career Launch Advisor: Wenia Lee

What if we travel outside of the Bay Area and domestic travel is banned?

Check in with phase advisor (F1, F2, CL Advisors) to confirm if there are in-person things that require you to be in the Bay Area. Remember that the curriculum is continuing and requires a significant investment of time. If travel restrictions or quarantines prevent you from returning, please contact your phase advisor and we will work with you.

How can we maintain the social distancing when our resident workrooms have such close quarters and we have shared computers?

Resident conferences have been put on hiatus. Social distancing, while important, applies primarily to public settings, less to infection control in the hospital, where we rely on the hygienic practices within the hospital. Please practice good hygiene, wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

Student Health and Student Life Questions - Updated April 1, 2020

What is being done to support our learners regarding mental health?

Howard Rubin and Vittorio Comelli in the medical student wellbeing program are scheduling virtual sessions now with students. Please reach out to them if you need assistance. In addition, we encourage you to continue to connect with each other has much as you possibly can through virtual zoom get together and parties. Another great resource is the Department of Psychiatry’s Resources to Support Your Mental Health site.

Finally, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, a student wellbeing task force was put together to review this issue. We received their findings and the deans will be reviewing the task force’s recommendations shortly.

How do I access the UCSF Food Security Program?

With the closure of the Medical Student Center, our Food Security Program is being managed electronically. Please email [email protected] to request a food care package.

Will parking be available?

UCSF facilities are offering free parking until April 7 and will reassess on week-by-week basis. This does NOT apply to VA or ZSFGH.For up-to-date information on parking and shuttle services please visit

Are libraries open?

UCSF libraries are closed until further notice.
Libraries website for up-to-date information

Will Students in UCSF housing be asked to leave?

Not at this time. Unlike undergraduate students, our students are in apartment/semi-permanent homes, so housing does not have any plans to ask students to leave.

Do students have access to childcare now that schools are closed?

Per campus life services, they are prioritizing spots for medical staff. If a student has childcare need, let the SET team… know so they can advocate on your behalf. They will look into alternatives to see if there’s anything we can do for you.

How do Students increase loans if they are already at the UCSF budget cap?

Students should contact a financial aid advisor, Daniel Roddick or Jerry Lopez, to discuss your particular situation. If you run into difficulty, contact DQ Tran Taylor who can advocate on your behalf.

Updates by School of Medicine Phase

Foundations 1 Students

(updated March 18, 2020)

Key Messages

  • Classroom/lab-based instruction moves to remote/distance learning through June
  • All F1 exams will be held remotely through June 2020
  • Students may leave the Bay Area if they wish, but please consider options carefully
  • Clinical activities and Kanbar activities suspended
  • We are working with course directors about ensuring content/objectives are not omitted with all the changes happening

Foundations 2 Students

 videoWATCH: Foundations 2 Virtual Town Hall  (March 30, 2020)

Download Slides

(updated March 31, 2020)

Key Messages

  • Clerkships for Blocks 2 through 6 have all been divided into two parts to enable students to work towards mastering all graduation milestones during these challenging times: 

    1) Core Clerkships Part A: Extended Mastery Learning Rotations (EMLR):  Remote learning strategies focused on mastery of medical knowledge. 

    2) Core Clerkships Part B: Workplace Learning Rotations: Students participate in direct patient care activities on resident and faculty teams.

FOUNDATIONS 2 logistical information 

Foundations 2/Career Launch Students


WATCH: Career Launch Town Hall Meeting (March 31, 2020)

Download slides 

(updated April 1, 2020)

Key Messages

  • The School of Medicine is prioritizing all available (meaning they have sufficient patients, PPE and physician supervisors to support students) clinical sites for senior students in the following order: 4b students, then 4a students then July (2019)- start F2 students.
  • Many April rotations are continuing, in which case students should attend rotations as planned.
  • If April rotation is cancelled you can:


Download Files
COVID-19: Important Information for Students (March 27, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for Graduate Medical Education (March 24, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for Students (March 23, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for F2 and Career Launch Students (March 18, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for Faculty (March 18, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for F2 and Career Launch Students and Faculty (March 14, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for F1 Students and Faculty (March 14, 2020)
COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Informational Meetings

School of Medicine Deans sponsored one-hour virtual town hall informational meetings to share the latest insights, information, and curriculum changes, and to answer student questions related to COVID-19.

Respiratory Viral Illness and COVID‐19 UCSF Stay at Home- Return to Work Guidelines for Personnel
COVID-19 Message for Graduate Medical Education (March 9, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for Graduate Medical Education (March 13, 2020)
COVID-19 Message for Students (March 11, 2020)

School of Medicine Moves to Virtual Learning Environment

Life Continuity Resources for Individuals and Families
Foundations 2 Logistical Information (March 30, 2020)
Career Launch Logistical Information (March 30, 2020)