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Dean’s Corner

Susan Pelea Nagtalon | MD, MSPH

Statement of Dean Susan Pelea Nagtalon on Curricular Innovations During the CoViD-19 Outbreak

Following confirmation by the Department of Health of local transmission of CoViD-19, the St. Luke’s Medical Center-College of Medicine William H. Quasha Memorial (SLMC-CM WHQM) considers the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and patients as paramount. First and foremost, we are directing everyone in the community to observe strict hygiene practices and social distancing.

Recognizing its impact in all our priority areas: medical education, patient care and research, we have spent the last few months preparing for this outbreak in a deliberate and systematic way, even while we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving local, national and global situation.

As of March 9, 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has preemptively suspended classes in all levels in Metro Manila. In line with this, we are hereby activating the following resiliency measures that were put in place for this purpose:

  1. All scheduled lectures will be delivered online through our learning management system, St. Luke’s Electronic Platform for Ubiquitous Pedagogy (StEP-up).
  2. All scheduled small group discussions (SGDs) will similarly take place online, through StEP-up, WebEx, and other identified and approved online platforms. We are encouraging our faculty to modify their strategies to maximize the use of paper cases, task trainers and problem-based learning.
  3. Medical students in their clinical years are part of the health care team. In the interest of student safety, we have reassigned all Medical Interns rotating at the Emergency Room and selected outside rotations. We are also limiting direct student care for any known or suspected cases of CoViD-19 infection, until better epidemiologic data are available. Otherwise, Junior and Senior Interns are instructed to continue performing their duties as part of the health care team.
  4. While classes are suspended, we will institute measures to thoroughly disinfect and sanitize our classrooms and common areas.

We reiterate our commitment to innovation, resiliency, and the delivery of high-quality learning experiences for our students, notwithstanding uncertain times. As such, we will endeavor to utilize digital technology and online platforms with the aim of zero missed learning daysFull administrative and technical support will be provided through the Office of the Dean, the Medical Education Unit, and the Office of Teaching Innovations and E-learning.

To our students, faculty and staff, your safety and that of the community is our priority. Regardless of what lies ahead, we assure you that we have prepared for this well, and that all teaching and learning activities will continue, utilizing systems that have already been put in place.

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