An Update from CPM Dean, Allan Boike on College Operations Amidst COVID-19
We are living in unprecedented times. I hear these six words each day around 2 p.m. as I tune in to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s daily update on the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state and the nation. The rapid progression and fluidity of COVID-19 around the world has kept us on our toes and required us to become creative in our practices. The College of Podiatric Medicine (KSUCPM) is experiencing this swell of change not only in the way we provides first-rate podiatric medical education to our students, but also in the services offered to Northeast Ohio patients at our teaching facility, Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic (CFAC).
When forced to close the doors of our physical classrooms in accordance with Gov. DeWine’s orders, our faculty 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.
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 of foot and ankle care. 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.
To stay up-to-date on CPM’s approach in dealing with COVID-19, click here.
Allan M. Boike, DPM, FACFAS
Dean, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine