Explained: the Covid-19 pandemic and its transformational impact on medical education


During the period of the last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious implications in almost all aspects of human life. The global pandemic has also had a huge impact on the education system as a whole, and in particular on medical education to a large extent.

Even though the pandemic has caused significant disruption in almost all sectors, however, in the context of the medical education sector, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change where it has led to the much needed transformation of medical education. that had been brewing for the past decade.

All over the world, people have now realized the growing importance of the medical workforce for the 21st century and the need for educators to train health professionals.

As it is well known that medical education is simply not about classroom learning and much of the curriculum and learning is based on the amount of clinical exposure a student receives. However, in these unprecedented times, working as close as possible to patients and rotating between departments and hospitals can make emerging doctors potential vectors of Covid-19.

(Photo: PTI)

The Covid-19 obligation and the ensuing two-week quarantine mark a pause in the routine learning schedule that has now highlighted the need for the medical education sector to open up the need for ‘a metamorphosis in learning environments.

The current scenario offers a unique opportunity for the industry to adopt modern strategies and techniques that can ensure continuity of learning for medical students while meeting standards of social distancing.

Although pre-existing digital platforms and domains, such as courses, conferences and online discussions, have proven useful for universities of medical education during this crisis scenario, but in order to ensure that medical education As the country enters a new era in the Over the current decade, there is still a lot to be done to balance the time spent on the curriculum between the many important areas and the legacy support for traditional courses and content.

Several steps such as adopting blended learning models, making real-time changes to the curriculum, and integrating crisis management and pandemic management into the MBBS course are just a few key learnings that have emerged from the pandemic and have the potential to ensure that the health sector, institutions and communities are better prepared to manage any future crises.

Adoption of blended learning models

The covid-19 pandemic has demanded that large gatherings be completely phased out, and as a result, institutions around the world have had to move all didactics, focus groups, and assessments to remote platforms. Even though both learners and faculty members faced initial challenges in adopting new technology and had to make radical changes in their transmission of knowledge and the use of substitute learning tools of the traditional face-to-face classroom.

However, in the new era of medical education, students are now expected to go for it, needing not only traditional clinical training but also training up to the latest technology to maintain flexibility in the place. of work.

Medical educators can no longer depend on traditional learning methods and several resources such as distance online learning, mobile learning and blended learning can be used in the delivery of education during a scenario. pandemic type.

This instrument can not only be instrumental in making learning more interactive for students, but also have the ability to enhance students’ problem-solving, analytical and clinical skills by providing increased stimulation.

In the long term, such approaches can prove beneficial for the entire healthcare ecosystem and will further facilitate innovation and creativity in the sector.

Make real-time changes in the program

The covid pandemic has highlighted a range of opportunities in which students and faculty have had the chance to participate in multiple learning experiences, ranging from managing patient care to finding solutions for make health care accessible to disadvantaged people.

This form of learning experience not only highlighted physicians’ commitment to humanity to the general public, but also made it essential that we continue to make such real-time changes in the medical agenda that respond the needs of emerging and current health issues. .

Leveraging diverse skill sets and different disciplinary lenses has the ability to provide solutions to even complex health issues.

Integrate crisis management into MBBS

The emergence of Covid-19 and its rapid spread across the world has further underscored the need to develop crisis management skills among our graduates.

Such initiatives will enable medical graduates to prepare for the unknown – to be able to understand, study, treat and prevent new and emerging diseases as clinicians, community leaders and academics.

With the appropriate knowledge of the different stages of crisis management, such as the development of command centers, the planning of town halls and the adoption of disease control measures, students will be better prepared for such a crisis and will be able to Try the challenge.

What future for medical training?

The pandemic has undoubtedly brought a paradigm shift in medical education and these changes are nowhere to stay. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, several ingenious initiatives have been implemented using cutting-edge technologies and strategies, resulting in apparent changes in medical education.

The unprecedented pandemic is a learning curve for all players in the medical sector. A scientific and systematic approach must be used while restructuring the medical curriculum so that the changes induced by the pandemic constitute a pivotal moment in the history of medical science.

Written by SP Saju Bhaskar, Founder and Chairman, Texila American University Consortium.

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