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COVID-19

When COVID-19 hit our area Temple quickly pivoted and redesigned its physical space to create an entire building dedicated to the care of COVID patients. Temple quickly became the hospital in the region with the greatest number of COVID patients with a census that peaked at over 160 per day. ACGME level 3 status was declared and educational services were quickly redesigned or moved online to protect the safety of our patients, physicians, and staff. The Department of Psychiatry went to a pool deployment system with approximately half of our residents and attendings working from home at any given time. Improved cleaning, mandatory masking and face shields, spacing, mandatory temperature checks, and universal COVID screening for admissions were quickly implemented. Our external rotations were all put on hold, but as of the summer of 2020 they are all back and functioning via telepsychiatry or a mix of in person and virtual encounters. All of our educational activities, meetings, and individual supervision have been virtual since March of 2020. Fortunately only a couple of our courses had to be postponed while we adapted to our new technology, and even these are running again as of July 2020. Do we miss the in person interaction? Absolutely. The morale and team spirit of our department have always been something that we are proud of and that we feel sets us apart from other programs. However, online education and meetings have saved us all transit time, expanded our pool of potential lecturers, and, most importantly, kept us safe.