Last updated: March 26, 2020, at 4:53 pm
This update supersedes all previous communications.

We are sharing the following with the caveat that information impacting decision-making changes rapidly given the evolving situation involving COVID-19. For additional COVID-19 information, please reference the COVID-19 Intranet site

Dr. Freischlag and the Dean’s team have made the hard decision to transition the Wake Forest School of Medicine MD and PA hooding and awards ceremonies to an online format. While we desire to celebrate the accomplishments in-person, we believe this is the best decision to ensure the health of our community. 

The hooding ceremony signifies the scholarly and personal achievement that each of you have earned. Our plan is to preserve that spirit. To facilitate this huge online celebration, here is updated schedule:

  • MD celebration will remain on Sunday, May 17
  • PA celebration is moving to Saturday, May 16 

We will follow-up in the coming weeks on how to participate in the digital ceremony along with other ways we can stay connected around this important event. We hope you will actively engage in this online format and sense our pride in your accomplishment.

Please note that details about the Commencement Ceremony planned for May 18 will be made by Wake Forest University no later than March 30. We will provide regular updates about all graduation activities once they are confirmed.

Curriculum / Clinical Information Updates

  • Due to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the curriculum, the MD degree program has transitioned to distance education for the entire curriculum, Classes of 2020 - 2023, effective March 23. Grading related to courses provided in this modified curriculum will be Pass/Fail.
  • The UMECC has approved suspending the graduation requirement to complete the procedures involved in the Basic and Advanced Procedures Curriculum for the Class of 2020Completion of all Basic and Advanced Procedures modules remains a graduation requirement.
  • The UMECC has approved eliminating the requirement to complete Block 13 of the curriculum for the Class of 2020. Any student who has not successfully completed at least 36 weeks of rotations during the Individualization phase will use Block 13 to complete their remaining curriculum via distance education (i.e., will complete the COVID-19 Special Rotation 1).
  • Students in the Class of 2021 have been enrolled into a 4-week "COVID-19 Special Rotation 1" to replace Block 1, with additional 4-week COVID-19 Special Rotation blocks of curriculum added if needed. Student access to modify their schedules will be frozen until the impact of the pandemic on the ability to engage in clinical rotations and on travel restrictions is better understood. 
  • Students in the Class of 2022 has been enrolled in a series of nonclinical clerkship rotations (e.g., “Nonclinical Internal Medicine Clerkship”) to replace their current clerkship rotations. Given the restriction on student involvement in the clinical setting, Clerkship Directors are working with Academic Affairs to create distance learning content to allow for continued education during this time.
  • The UMECC has approved suspending the requirement to pass USMLE Step 1 to progress in the curriculum. This will be reassessed as testing center availability resumes.


  • MD Student FAQ 
  • MD Licensure Forms 
  • Effective immediately, the MD Program is shifting the pre-clinical (Foundations curriculum, years 1 and 2) to distance education; there is no requirement for those students to remain on campus.
  • The clinical curriculum (Immersion and Individualization, years 3 and 4): see the information noted above about restrictions on student participation in clinical rotations. Didactic sessions will be delivered virtually wherever possible. Additional information about testing and assessments of students will be provided soon.
  • VSLO applications will open on March 16. At this time, however, we plan to restrict outside/visiting students from beginning rotations at Wake Forest Baptist Health until the July block. Given the fluid nature of this situation, that date may be extended.  
  • Student travel for USMLE Step exam testing falls into the category of personal travel.
    • Students must follow the institutional requirements and guidance related to personal travel.
    • This is a rapidly changing situation with information changing on a daily basis, so check the COVID-19 Intranet site for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) travel guidance prior to travel and prior to returning from travel.
    • Students should also check the NBME website for assessment information and updates prior to travel to ensure your testing site has not changed.