Statement on the Guiding Principles of Student-Organized Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Public Health Coalition, in organizing the Medical Student COVID-19 Action Network (MSCAN), adheres to the statement titled “Guidance on Medical Students’ Clinical Participation” (issued by the AAMC on March 17, 2020), which strongly encourages a temporary suspension of clinical activities to mitigate student exposure to infected patients and personnel. We likewise recognize that medical schools nationwide are organizing community-driven efforts to support healthcare workers and address COVID-19-related issues.

We hold that it is possible to organize such efforts while abiding by AAMC guidelines and state/federal directives. Regardless of the future direction of the pandemic, examples of activities that bear minimal exposure risk include making phone calls for screening, assisting with information services via email, and developing online tools to help combat the pandemic. As an organization committed to displaying (but not organizing) activities nationwide, we will continue supporting medical schools with the understanding that those institutions are taking every possible precaution to protect their students and follow established protocol. We are not involved in, nor do we take responsibility for, the decisions made by those institutions.

Finally, we recognize that the benefit of certain supportive activities does not outweigh the risk of disease spread. In that spirit, we will comply with all directives from state/federal institutions, medical governing bodies, and public health officials regarding our project.