COVID-19 and its Impact on Medical Education

Coronavirus is the recently detected virus with a large family causing illness in humans. Respiratory infections are developed in human bodies due to the attack of several coronaviruses. From a common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are observed in patients having corona disease. This disease discovered out of coronavirus is named as COVID-19.

The recent pandemic situation that has occurred due to this novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is alarming nations across the globe. Where the number of patients and deaths is increasing every day, doctors and nurses are witnessing high demands in every corner of the earth. However, the impact of this virus on medical education is still in a dubious state. Aspiring students are constantly contending with the present situation and trying to consolidate it with their future career plans. In this critical hour, a lot of changes are visible which might bring significant turns in the career development of many students. Since the impact of the COVID-19 in the future is still unknown, let us find out how the situation till now has impacted medical education.

As lockdown in almost every nation is now mandatory and with people maintaining home quarantine, medical schools, hospitals, and others are observing radical changes. Online equivalents are now the obvious and significant necessity in the replacement of in-person classes. But this again creates a lack of collaborative experiences which is a necessary aspect of medical education. Many medical students are now missing the opportunity of personal development done through conference presentations. These presentations play an important role that helps in shortlisting the residency application procedures. So, these lost opportunities may act as a disadvantage for medical students’ career planning. Therefore, the proper implementation of technology will help resolve these issues. Students now have to demonstrate the same presentations that they used to do earlier but innovatively.

Adaptability and determination at this time are the two most challenging aspects that medical students are experiencing. Every student has a unique story on how COVID-19 has an impact on their medical studies. However, the impact of COVID-19 is huge and the panic regarding the same is building confusion among many as they are in an uncertain state of how to proceed in these critical times. Over the past few weeks, COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has converted itself from an unclear study tool to an utmost concern on developing future career plans for medical students and faculties.

When COVID-19 had not spread at this violent rate, medical students did not think about how it would affect their careers. So initially, the seriousness of the situation that has occurred today was not predicted by many. But within a few weeks when health became the most significant factor across the world, medical education too adapted with the contemporary pandemic situation. Though the impact of COVID-19 in the medical education sector is still in an uncertain state, extensive studies and researches are taking place in medical education responding to the emergency and clarifying how to recover from this pandemic. Offline classes are replaced with online lectures and live streaming. Medical students of this generation are well equipped with integrated technology and webinars to share their medical knowledge and setting examples in new ways. However, COVID-19 has already made the world pause for a while now and medical students are dealing with it as well. Just as this novel virus is going to stay in every human’s lives, it would remain in the lives of medical students as well. As the medical faculties and students are balancing with the challenges and changes of this critical time, it is important to observe how COVID-19 leaves its impact on medical education and in the careers of medical students in the long run.