We appreciate that anesthesiologists face increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 as they care for patients. Some residents and fellows may be concerned that mandated quarantines or contracting COVID-19 could impact their eligibility to enter the examination system for certification.
To address these concerns, we are informing all residents, fellows and residency/fellowship programs that:
- Time spent in mandated or self-quarantine due to COVID-19 will be counted as clinical hours for residents and fellows. The ABA will defer to program directors to decide what study activities are appropriate for their residents and fellows in quarantine. This policy may not apply for residents and fellows who are quarantined because of discretionary travel to high-risk areas.
- Residency and fellowship program directors and their local healthcare teams will decide when it is appropriate for residents and fellows to enter quarantine. The ABA will award clinical credit to all residents and fellows asked to enter quarantine for the period of quarantine regardless of whether the resident or fellow eventually tests positive for COVID-19.
- Residents who miss training because they contract the coronavirus may request to have the additional absence excused per the Absence from Training Policy, which allows for 60 days away from training in the CA-1 through CA-3 years without ABA approval and an additional 40 days away from training with ABA approval. Fellows may miss up to 20 working days of training per year without extending training.
- The Board will consider special requests for excused absences on a case-by-case basis from residents and fellows who contract COVID-19 and miss training for an extended period due to severe COVID-19-related illness.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is an appropriate number of days for residents or fellows to self-quarantine when it’s unclear whether they have a common cold or COVID-19?
We support residency and fellowship programs exercising an abundance of caution to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Board is offering programs the discretion to assign academic or other activities as residents and fellows self-quarantine so that the time away may be counted as clinical hours.
- For residents who become ill due to COVID-19: If a resident becomes ill due to COVID-19 and is unable to complete academic activities, then the ABA’s Absence from Training Policy will apply.
- Each resident can miss up to 60 working days of training in the CA-1 through CA-3 years without ABA approval, and an additional 40 days away from training with ABA approval.
- Fellows may miss up to 20 working days of training per year without extending training.
- 2. What if it turns out that the resident and fellow did not have COVID-19 after a period or periods of self-quarantine?
- Our expectation is that the program will work with the resident or fellow to complete academic work during the quarantine(s). The ABA will award clinical credit to all residents and fellows asked to enter quarantine for the period of quarantine regardless of whether the resident or fellow eventually tests positive for COVID-19.
- 3. What if residents or fellows exceed the allowable absences because of illness and/or quarantine due to COVID-19?
- The Board will manage these situations on a case-by-case basis. If a resident or fellow exceeds the allowable absence due to COVID-19, the program should consult with the Board to determine if additional training will be necessary.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our Communications Center at coms@theABA.org or (866) 999-7501.