This section of the Dialog is dedicated to “Consider This” articles that discuss the effects of COVID-19 on reproductive health practices.

What is a fellow to do during this "downtime"?

Started almost 3 years ago

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and all the downstream consequences it has had on all aspects of our lifes, I ask my fellow fellows, if you are staying at home "what are you doing to stay productive?"

From my point of view, all this down-time is a slippery slope. In a sense, I feel like I tend to be very efficient working under pressure and I feel very comfortable multitasking in those conditions. Everytime I have several tasks at hand, I always wonder how much more productive I could be if I had the whole day at home to devote to work. Well, this situation has provided that opportunity but I have found that unlike what I was anticipating, staying focused at home and with all that time available can ironically result in a very non-productive use of my time. I acknowledge that every person may be different but in my case, over the last few days, I have found that to be true to the point that I am about to give myself a schedule and a list of tasks to be completed.

I am sure that all of you, just like me, have many projects that need completion, board studying that needs to be done and extra-learning that you wish to do for your own interest. Therefore, I ask you "what are you doing to stay productive and how are you doing it?" In my case, the assignments I have given myself to have some structure are:

- Complete grand rounds presentation

- Continue reading for didactics

- Work on my research projects as data comes along

After these are completed I plan to watch all the grand round series in order to start preparing for boards. You can find those at

How about you fellow fellow, what will you be doing during this "downtime" to stay productive?

As a first year fellow, thesis and REI boards are still far away. I have been using the time to upload all of my ABOG OB/Gyn oral board case list. Nice discrete task to get out of the way while at home. Also, since ASRM abstract deadeline was been pushed back by another month, plenty of time to put finishing touches on those projects and maybe even get started on writing manuscripts!

Pietro, those are very good things to be working on during this unexpected time of staying at home. Very necessary tasks that can definitely sneak up on you. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on that process or if you need someone to look at your case list. It was nice to also have people outside of my program take a look and give additional input.

Luis, since we are wrapping up our fellowship training, I'm obviously on a similar track as you are. The ASRM Grand Rounds lectures are definitely on my to do list, and it's great they follow along with the ABOG guide to learning for our boards. Not all topics have lectures on the Grand Rounds section, but I'm sure you're well aware that there are TONS of good AirLearn lectures we can use in the "blank" categories from the Grand Rounds section. As I go through the topics on that site, I'm also going to read through the applicable lectures from the Frontiers course and TRY to read as much of Speroff that I can : ) This "downtime" is also a great opportunity to get as much of my thesis written/powerpoints done as possible so that I can pave the way for board studying and finishing research projects. 

The BIGGEST challenge I'm kiddos in the house asking to play with them every 5 seconds. School closure, and well...pretty much everything imaginable being closed that we would normally take them to do to get them out of the house is going to be a very interesting challenge. I'm very thankful for high quality noise canceling headphones to phase out the sound of screaming/fighting boys and loud lightsabers slapping against each other right next to my desk. This will be interesting.

Pietro, focusing on your case list for your general boards is the right thing to do. It is a daunting task but the sooner you do it, the better. Blake, I may copy your AirLearn->Frontiers course approach. FYI, I cannot even start to imagine having that same challenge as well :)

And now you can do the ASRM Embryology Certificate Course for free!  Thank you SREI Associate Chairs, Emily Barnard and Blake Evans for advocating for you!  Consider having regular online meetings to discuss modules, so that you can engage with your programs co-fellows and have accountability.

For all online meetings, turn ON your camera! Dont just have your voice present.   ASRM tries to encourage this for all their various meetings. It keeps you more engaged, connected, and interactive.