All posts by Niloofar Shahmohammadi

Town Hall Q&A 10/4/2021


Are medical students required to have a third dose of the COVID vaccine?


The interim guidance on a third dose is that those 18-49 years old who are healthcare workers or who have underlying conditions MAY receive a third Pfizer dose (booster) if it has been 6 months or longer since dose 2 of either Moderna or Pfizer.

TMC is not requiring a third dose as part of their mandate. At this time, they are offering a third dose vaccine by appointment.  Interested students should phone 816-404-CARE.

UMKC SOM Patagonias by Kansas City Miracle Makers

UMKC School of Medicine Patagonias are back and order forms are ready! The Patagonias are brought to you by Kansas City Miracle Makers and are being offered to SOM students, residents, and doctors. This year we will be offering the Micro D Pullovers, Better Sweater Pullovers, and the Better Jackets in grey, black, and navy, with up to two lines of personalized text. The merchandise has been approved by SOM Office of Marketing and Communications. Part of the proceeds are donated to the Children’s Miracle Network. We hope to have the first order of Patagonias in before the winter starts!

Please go through the google form to select which item you would like to purchase and the personalization you would like.

Here is the link to additional instructions and where you can place your order:

We will be accepting orders until October 1st. Please contact Deepa Kumar ( or Jenny Allen (jla4wb@umsystem.eduwith any questions!”

Thank you,

Kansas City Miracle Makers

Town Hall Q&A 9/7/2021


Does the school of medicine have a plan regarding COVID boosters for students? And is there any guidance on if we need to wait a certain amount of time between the flu shot and the COVID booster?


At the current time, COVID booster vaccines are only recommended for certain populations.  Those are persons with:

  • Active cancer treatment
  • Immunocompromised due to solid organ transplant, stem cell transplant, medical condition (i.e., DiGeorge Syndrome, Wiscott-Aldrich), advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Medication treatment with:  high dose corticosteroids (i.e. prednisone 20mg  or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, chemotherapeutic agents, tumor necrosis blockers, and other biologic agents that might suppress the immune system.

If you are a student with one of the above conditions, you should contact TMC Occupational Health to request a booster.  The third vaccine should occur at least 28 days after the second vaccine dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

For all other students, know that we are monitoring booster recommendations very closely.  If the CDC, ACIP, HHS and/or Occupational Health recommend booster vaccination for our workforce members, students will be instructed about how to obtain an additional vaccine.  As primary healthcare providers, students will be included in the vaccination plan for all healthcare personnel.


The SOM has told students that they need to get the flu vaccine by October 1st; however, the flu vaccine is most effective when taken in mid-to-late October so it lasts throughout flu season. With the COVID-19 booster shots becoming available on Sept 20th, what is the best way for students to navigate getting both vaccines? Should we get both on the same day. Do we need to wait 3 weeks in between them (putting the flu vaccine past October 1st)? Personally, I would like to get my COVID-19 booster 8 months after I got the 2nd dose (1/15) and get the flu vaccine in mid-October so I am protected throughout the flu season–will the school allow this?


   The incidence of flu infection begins in October, so being vaccinated and having time to develop antibodies prior to that is most helpful for healthcare workers.  Although it is suspected that flu vaccine immunity wanes after six months, there is data to suggest that it actually lasts longer.  Either way, flu infections are typically decreasing by March so your September vaccine does protect you until then (at least).

   See the above question for COVID vaccine boosters, as most people do not meet the criteria for a booster vaccine at this time.  If the CDC, HHS, and/or Occupational Health determine that a third COVID vaccine booster is needed, it can be administered along with other vaccines.  Here is a link from the CDC that addresses this question:

   For now, the flu vaccine deadline will remain October 1 as per the TMC requirement.  We certainly want all students to meet this deadline so that you can continue your clinical endeavors.  If the deadline changes, we will be sure to notify all students promptly.

Town Hall Q&A 8-23-2021

Question from year 1:   

Will we have to go online this year?


Gosh we hope not!  The University and our clinical affiliates continue to closely monitor the COVID pandemic, the rates of infection in our community and the safety of our students, staff, and faculty.   Our medical school dean is an infectious disease specialist, and she is very involved in monitoring the health of our community, state, country, and world.  We are fortunate to have a Dean who is so informed regarding public health issues.

We cannot predict the future, but we feel extremely comfortable that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe while we have in-person learning.  If we need to make adjustments, our University leadership will do so and keep us all updated.   ________________________________________________________

Question from Year 1:   

How do I find the schedule for breaks? I would like to book my flight tickets before they get expensive.


The University calendar can be located at:

Town Hall Q&A 8-9-2021

Question (from a year 1 student, but applicable to all):
Will we still be in person this semester?

Yes, classroom course work and clinical work will be in-person for the fall semester.

Question from a year 3 student:
With our classes being in person this fall, will lecture still be recorded? I’m worried about classes not having an online format option to help our transition back into normalcy.

Year 3 course directors plan to record lectures.  There are some activities such as lab experiences, case study sessions, skills workshops, and orientations sessions which will not be recorded.  Guest lecturers are being asked to give permission for their lectures to be recorded.


Curriculum Ambassadors – Application Now Open

The Council on Curriculum is now accepting self-nominations and applications for the 2021-2022 Student Curriculum Ambassadors.

As we continue to change and improve the Council on Curriculum, it is helpful and necessary to have student input in regards to their education here at the School of Medicine. While we have elected student representation on our council, it is imperative that we have open communication with students from all years of the curriculum in order to plan for change, assist with curriculum development, and provide assistance with communicating policies with their peers. All students, Years 1-6, are welcome to apply. Only 2 students will be selected from each class. This is a great opportunity as a student to make your voice heard and make a direct impact on the curriculum!

To be eligible, students applying must be in good academic standing, provide professional input, and commit to attending 75% of the monthly meetings. Meetings occur every 3rd Monday of the month at 12:00pm via Zoom with in-person attendance optional.

To apply: Please write a one page, double-spaced personal statement about why you would like to serve the UMKC School of Medicine and your fellow students in this position. Students will be selected and notified of their application status by Curriculum leadership during the second week of September.

Submit your personal statements to by August 30th. Questions can be directed to Ms. Megan Frasher, Manager of Medical Education, at

Town Hall Q&A 8/2/2021


How does the additional week of HSF 2 impact the schedule?  Where is that week taken from?  Would it reduce our breaks?

Answer from the Basic Medical Science Faculty:

The additional week was added to HSF2 based on student feedback to try and decompress the material for the course. You will still have a one week break after HSFI and a one week break after HSFII. The schedule for HSFIV is still being set, but you will still have at least a one week break between HSFIII and HSFIV.

UMKC Health Sciences Satellite Roo Pantry Update

We have added a refrigerator to the UMKC Health Science Satellite Roo Pantry in the SOM.   We are now stocking dairy products, eggs, carrots, lettuce, guacamole, hummus, Greek yogurt and bread.   We have also restocked more granola bars, coffee, breakfast food and drinks.   Please do not use the refrigerator for opened containers.  The gallons of milk are to be taken home.   If you want a single serving of milk for your coffee or for cereal, please grab the single cartons in the back.  We also have a QR code in the pantry so you can request items that you want or need.
The pantry is for all UMKC health professions students and you do not need to apply to qualify. Your UMKC ID can get everyone in the building and the pantry never closes.  Take what you need, we will get more. 

Year 6 External Elective Opportunities

UMKC has the following guidance for students considering external clinical elective opportunities during the 2021-22 academic year.

For students applying to a residency career for which UMKC or CMH does not sponsor a residency program (ENT, PM&R, Urology, Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Radiation Oncology, Neurosurgery):

  1. Students are allowed to schedule two external rotations in their clinical field of interest.

For students applying to a residency career for which UMKC or CMH does sponsor a residency program:

  1. Students are allowed to schedule one external rotation in their clinical field of interest.
  2. If a student desires a second external clinical rotation, the student must petition to the Curriculum Council for permission.

Schedule changes to accommodate an external clinical elective must be coordinated with the student’s ETC and the curriculum office.  As Docent Rotation with a student’s team is a foundational component of the UMKC education, it is optimal that the docent team remain intact.  Moving Docent Rotation will occur rarely, and general guidelines are these:

  1. The change is necessary for the student to graduate on time.
  2. Curriculum office requires it due to a unique student curriculum need.
  3. The move is required for an administrative reason (leave of absence, delay in beginning clinical rotations).

All reasons for moving docent rotation must be reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Council, but approval for a reason other than the three listed is unlikely to occur.

If you have any questions or concerns about these policies, please contact Curriculum Office staff or your ETC.


  1. The Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Work Group on Away Rotations – FAQs (The Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Work Group on Away Rotations — FAQs | AAMC).

Town Hall Q&A 7-26-2021


Can you briefly explain the clinical clerkship excused absence process?  If I have a doctor’s appointment, how do I get excused?  If I need to be absent for a mental health reason, how do I get excused?  What about a religious holiday? 


The clinical clerkship excused absence form can be accessed here:   

The goal of this form is for students to be excused when needed for their health or safety.  Patient care depends upon the provider to be present, and that is why you each carefully consider being absent and its implications on your patients and colleagues.  In addition, medicine is an education that must be experienced and the medical school accreditation body stipulates the number of hours you must be engaged in patient care activities to appropriately learn.  (Of course the pandemic forced schools to adjust the requirements, but we have now returned to pre-pandemic expectations.)  Some educational experiences are unique and difficult to repeat, so being present is an important part of your education and why we ask for advance notice so that we can build a quality educational experience for each of you around your absences.  If you are unexpectedly absent, clerkship directors may require students to make-up clinical experience missed for any excused absence if missing that activity interferes significantly with achieving the learning goals of the clerkship.  There is a request to notify the clerkship director/coordinator at least 2 blocks in advance of your rotation for approval of an excused absence.  Of course if you have an acute illness or emergency, advance notice cannot be provided and we understand that. 


If you have a doctor’s appointment, we ask that you try to schedule it at a time that minimizes ​interruption of your learning and patient-care activities.  Please contact your clerkship director or coordinator to inquire about what times might be most convenient for a health care provider appointment, when possible.  Notify your clerkship coordinator/director with as much advance notice as possible.  If you are asked to produce a note from your health care provider but are uncomfortable doing so, you can provide it to Dr. Rogers or Dr. Chelladurai and we will confirm it to your clerkship coordinator. 

If you need a mental health day, you notify your clerkship coordinator/director of your need with as much advance notice as possible.  This falls under the form’s reason # 2:  illness of self or #7:  unexpected circumstances beyond the student’s control. 

If you have a religious holiday, you should request to use one of your two annual personal days.  Those must be requested at least a month in advance of the first day of the clinical rotation, and are requested using this form:   If you are uncertain of the day, but know it will be within a range, explain that on the form.  You will be approved for the absence, and you can notify us closer to the actual day which one you will use.  Your clerkship coordinator will create a schedule that allows you flexibility so that being absent one of any of those days will not be disruptive to your education or patient care.