Shift in Format of Medical School Education During COVID-19 in India, Portugal, and the U.S.
Keywords:COVID-19, medical education, india, portugal
Since March 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, medical schools across the globe have had to adapt medical student curriculums due to the burden of the pandemic on the healthcare system, social distancing measures, and limitation of health resources. The pandemic has pressured medical schools to shift from traditional in-person teaching to other formats to minimize in-person interaction. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent that COVID-19 initially impacted the format of medical school curriculums in different parts of the world. From June 12, 2020, to August 13, 2020, a survey was distributed to international medical student listservs, medical student social medial forums, and national medical student associations through Qualtrics. Currently enrolled medical students were asked to complete the questionnaire. For statistical analysis, chi-square and t-test were used at p < 0.05. The survey was completed by 112 medical students from India, Portugal, and the U.S. Medical school classes shifted from in-person to online learning after the start of the pandemic. In all three countries, over 97% of respondents reported that classes became exclusively online after the pandemic. Compared to before the pandemic, medical students had less patient interaction after the start of the pandemic in India and the U.S. However, in Portugal, there was an increase in patient interaction among medical students. The COVID-19 pandemic led to new modes of learning for medical students and required medical schools to re-design traditional class formats.
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