A Family Medicine Residency Program’s Response to an Impending COVID-19 Surge.

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The University of Colorado family medicine residency watched along with the rest of the nation as the first cases of COVID-19 were being reported in the United States in March 2020. Concern grew as epidemiological models began to predict alarming hospital bed shortages for the state. Massive scheduling adjustments were needed as faculty and residents found themselves in groups at high risk for severe COVID-19 and residents found themselves dismissed from nonessential learning experiences in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment and limit exposures. A dedicated surge team was formed to tackle these issues while continuing to support our goals of maximizing patient safety, resident education, and physician wellness. The surge team created a plan that was implemented in 2 main phases. Phase 1 assumed business as usual with increased layers of backup for both residents and faculty. Phase 2 redistributed unassigned residents and inpatient faculty to increase capacity for adult medicine and COVID-19 patients on our essential services. Lessons learned from these surge efforts may help inform similar decisions being made by other residency programs presently and in the future.

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Authors: Jessica Devitt, Naomi Malam, Linda Montgomery