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AMACDT and Medical College Trainees discuss the impact of COVID-19 on examination processes

AMA Council of Doctors in Training (AMACDT) and Specialist Medical College Trainee Chairs and Representatives met via video conference on 11 August 2020 to discuss College initiatives underway to allow vocational trainees to succeed with examinations and progress through training during COVID-19.

Attendees acknowledged the impact of prolonged low-level stress and anxiety on trainees and College staff because of the significant disruption to examination processes and schedules caused by COVID.

Trainees recognised and appreciated the efforts made by Colleges, supervisors, and examiners to support trainee education and progression through training during this difficult and uncertain time.

Trainees agreed that ensuring the safety of trainees, supervisors, examiners and the public, maintaining the validity of examinations and providing a consistent examination experience to the extent this is possible, were paramount when taking action to support as many trainees as possible to progress through training.

Principles to guide further action

Trainees shared feedback about the implementation of measures to support trainees to sit examinations and the wellbeing of trainees,* noting the response to COVID-19. Considering the varying level of restrictions in place across the country and the uncertainty surrounding the trajectory of the pandemic, the meeting discussed the following strategies to guide further action on examination format, delivery, progression through training and wellbeing of trainees.

  • Provisions should be made for online/virtual delivery of exams wherever possible.

  • Early, regular, transparent and effective communication about changes.

  • Ongoing collaborative work to improve wellbeing.

*Link to feedback based on a survey of trainees who attended the Forum.

Read the Communique here

Read the updates to Medical College responses to COVID-19 here.