Dean's Message, August 2020

Aug 18, 2020

We are off to the start of a new school year here at FSU, and life as we know it in 2020 is very different. 

  • We welcomed the newest PA Class of 2022 virtually on Aug. 18 and they will be attending class online at least until mid-October. 
  • Our first-year medical students finally joined us on campus after a summer semester online as we delayed the beginning of anatomy until now to try and maintain social distancing and safe practices. Our great student Teaching Assistants this summer had a challenge to develop the culture of teamwork and support so special here at the COM, and did a great job interacting with the new students.    
  • We welcomed our second-year M.D. class back from summer break also last week with a message from our multiple offices and divisions. We truly miss the in-person welcomes and interactions.
  • Our Clinical Learning Center has done an amazing job since COVID-19 for both the M.D. and PA classes to ensure that required skills labs and doctoring sessions take place either online or in person, with preceptors and standardized patients. Faculty have continued to facilitate small groups and provide advising.
  • Our third- and fourth-year med students, and PA students at the regional campuses, were off all clinical rotations from mid-March to July 1, but managed to stay on track with both online electives and intense didactic clinical experiences. We are still catching up with USMLE Step 1 exams for third-year med students and Step 2 exams for the fourth-year students. Step 2 Clinical Skills has been put on hold for this class – for now. 
  • Our Biomedical Sciences graduate program is welcoming the incoming students to a virtual orientation this week. The 2020 Annual Biomedical Sciences Department Retreat, organized by the graduate students, takes place Friday. It is entitled Camp Biomed Retreat 2020 in honor of it being virtually.  
  • We honored our largest doctoral graduation with an online video of our recognition of their achievement at the end of July. We have successfully moved to online courses for fall for the graduate students, but students are still working in the laboratories under Covid-19 policies for social distancing, wearing masks, and surface cleaning.

As we continue to navigate the science and politics of this pandemic, I am reminded on a daily basis what a great team of faculty and staff we have who are committed to staying on track, providing a world-class education, and maintaining a safe and quality program for our students. I am very proud of all of you and welcome you all back to our “new normal”.   


John P. Fogarty, M.D.


Florida State University College of Medicine