From the Dean's Desk, Spring 2020
The coming of spring in Cleveland is often accompanied by hope for better times ahead. In 2020, that rings more true than ever. The rapid progression and fluidity of COVID-19 has stopped our world in its tracks, leaving us with no choice but to comply, and hope for better days ahead: days in which we can welcome new students to campus, gather as a community, and once again answer the calling in our hearts to deliver quality foot and ankle care. As our world changes, seemingly by the minute, KSUCPM and our teaching facility, Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic (CFAC), have been required to explore creative new ways to see our mission in providing first-rate podiatric medical education to students.
When forced to close the doors of our physical classrooms in accordance with Gov. DeWine’s orders, our faculty and staff immediately jumped into action behind the scenes to shift coursework to an all distance learning format. In a matter of days, our curriculum was fine-tuned to accommodate distance learning lectures, discussion boards and virtually proctored exams. As we know, the classroom isn’t the only place a podiatry student spends their four years of schooling - a great deal rests on clinical experience, and much of that can be earned at CPM’s teaching facility, CFAC.
On March 16, 2020, in a meeting with the deans of all state of Ohio medical schools, it was decided that all students would be pulled from their clinical rotations through the end of March. This decision will be reassessed on a monthly basis. While both the Independence center of CFAC and the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio reluctantly closed, the CFAC in the Midtown neighborhood of Cleveland remains open, albeit with limited patient hours. Although most routine visits are being postponed, CPM faculty and support staff are available for post-op patients requiring continuity of care and more emergent patients (fractures, wound care etc.) on Mondays and Wednesdays.
In such difficult times, it is important we also take a breath to celebrate our victories. On March 20, we received news that the 2020 CPM graduating class achieved a 100% placement rate for podiatric medical residencies. I could not be prouder that such highly trained doctors will be moving on from CPM this spring to excel in their residency training and beyond, especially in the reality that we are now living. Throughout this spring 2020 issue, you will find inspiring ways in which alumni around the world are serving our profession and beyond.
Although we may be apart in distance for the foreseeable future, I have never felt more unified in our community as we continue to serve those in need. In these uncertain times, it is crucial that we remain focused, flexible, and certain of why we chose podiatry – to get our city, state and country back on its feet.
Allan M. Boike, DPM, FACFAS
Dean, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine
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To stay up-to-date on CPM’s approach in dealing with COVID-19, visit https://www.kent.edu/cpm/cpm-covid-19