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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on medical education

Preksha Jain, Rashmi Ramanathan, Mohan Jayapal, Sridhar Magadi Gopalakrishna, Jeevithan Shanmugam, Ramesh Moorthy.


Background: Medicine is one of the few academic disciplines that cannot be taught in the distance education mode. Hands-on practice for clinical skills and competency is critical in medical education. Although this pandemic has offered new learning modes such as teleconsultation, videoconferencing, virtual simulations, and digital podcasts, how much actual knowledge transfer and skill gain will be achieved, is unanswered.

Aims and Objectives: The present study has been planned to understand the impact of COVID on medical education and to identify the factors which promoted or hindered learning during COVID-19 pandemic.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 261 willing MBBS students from various colleges of Tamil Nadu after obtaining Institutional Ethical committee clearance using a pre-validated structured online questionnaire through Google form link in online social platforms through “Voluntary opt in” method of sampling.

Results: About 22.6% of the study participants were affected by COVID-19. About 46% of the participants family members suffered from COVID and all of them accepted that it significantly affected their academics. About 71.6% experienced anxiety/depression. About 93.5% were addicted to social media during class hours. About 88.1% welcomed “flipped/blended learning”. More than 90.8% reported that they missed skill-based learning/Primary health care training. About 80.8% positively felt that they got more duration for preparing exams. About 89.3% found that practical exams were challenging.

Conclusion: Not only have we witnessed the importance of having a robust health-care system, but the pandemic has created a critical need to transform various aspects of medical education especially to a model of blended learning of online and offline methods to enable a better academic environment so as to reflect the changing medical landscape.

Key words: COVID-19; Medical Education; Online Classes; Pandemic; Clinical Skills

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