How is the Coronavirus Affecting Medical Education
How is the Coronavirus Affecting Medical Education

How is the Coronavirus Affecting Medical Education

The coronavirus outbreak has left the entire world at its breaking point. The government officials have no choice but to restrict large gatherings and force people to stay inside their homes to control the spread. As of April 28, 2020, the world is bearing the deaths of more than 211,000 people who lost their lives fighting with the disease. Yet, there is still no certainty of when and how long this pandemic is going to continue.

Today, not only the business sector has suspended its activities, but the educational institutions are also constrained to provide online classes to the students. Among all, especially medical students are worried about their studies as they won\\\’t be able to get clinical practices from longer. Therefore, their assessment criteria may also be revised, considering the teaching methods and time factor.

Now, if you are a medical student going through the plague, you must do the following.

Supporting Your Educators

Despite switching to the virtual learning methods to continue the academics, both the professors as well as the students are facing difficulty. While learners want their on-hand practice sessions back, the professors struggle with the technology. However, the administration of medical schools have been working tirelessly to ensure:

  • The final year students face no issues, and all their requirements and needs are fulfilled.
  • The school officials connect with the local partners to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Each of the courses whose course structure are revised is documented so that the assessment tests can be prepared accordingly.

Note that every institute\\\’s policy regarding this pandemic may be different. So, it is better to communicate with your school\\\’s administration first before you create panic and lose your chance to get good grades.

Looking After Your Health

Being a medical student, this plague can be the best opportunity to reflect your learnings and skills. While taking care of your loved ones and assisting them, you must also keep track of your health. If you are feeling unwell, you can take the online lessons later and cater assignments once in complete health.

Additionally, many final year medical students are called to the hospitals to look after the COVID-19 patients. In this case, you must practice all the preventive measures and ensure you keep your patient\\\’s health above yours. However, it is the responsibility of the medical schools and placement providers to equip you with essential tools before you risk your life treating the infected individuals. It is recommended to stay at a distance from the COVID-19 patients if you have a prior medical history of high blood pressure, asthma or other respiratory diseases.

Volunteering For Good

There are many medical schools offering volunteering chances for students who wish to experience what it feels like to be on the front-line of helping coronavirus patients. If you plan to volunteer, the institute has no right to ask you to serve the duties of a doctor. Instead, you must be given proper guidelines and supervised to be safe and sound. Furthermore, neither the staff nor the hospital has the right to stop you, or force you to continue serving when you want to leave.

If you are keen to offer your services, such volunteer students are exempted from the lessons and assessment tests. However, the top priority of the General Medical Council (GMC) of the UK is to not take final year students as a volunteer. On the other hand, the part time working medical students are allowed to work in clinical roles with proper salary and a signed terms and conditions paper beforehand. To know more about the volunteering policy, you can read out the statement of expectations written especially for the medical students in the NHS.

What’s next?

There is an official email sent to the final year students by the GMC, inviting them to accept the provisional registration. But before you accept or decline the invite, let’s learn how this department works.

Step 1:

First, you need to login to your GMC accounts and check out a few things other than your entered details.
Focus on the guides mentioned in the email to understand the requirement of the provisional registration.
Lastly, you will need to complete a fitness test and expose your health concerns to the experts so that they can assign roles accordingly.

Step 2:

The GMC assesses your request and confirm in case you are the perfect fit. There is also an option to state your queries if you have any.

Step 3:

After you have applied, your school administrators let GMC know when the prospect student has graduated and with what GPA.

Step 4:

If everything goes well, it becomes easy for the provider to give a provisional registration letter and further add your name in the medical register.

Well, if you are a prospect student aiming to get admission in a medical college, you need to understand a few pointers.

School Closures

Since all the academic institutes are asked to suspend their activities, all of the admission process is available online. Once you get into the school, all the classes will be conducted online, keeping the current pandemic in mind. You may get issues in the beginning as remote learning is far more complicated that the traditional classes.

Test Dates for MCAT

With the current global health emergency at peak, most of the colleges have rescheduled their Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to a later date whereas some of them have put testing an option so that you can get admission in your desired college and program. However, pushing the MCAT dates to a later date will not only affect your studies but you may also face delay in submitting your application.

Letter of Recommendation

Today, with people fearing for their lives, it is difficult to find an experienced professional who helps you with the letter of recommendation. The only way to communicate is via phone, email or text to get help. However, students can also get guidance from in this regard.

Medical College Admission Interviews

Even if you have cleared the first round of the admission process, the next round i.e. the admission interviews are most likely to be conducted online. In some cases, they may also get cancelled considering the current epidemiological situation. Whatever it is, you need to keep yourself ready for all the challenges and have a positive approach to every problem.

With the WHO stating this outbreak as a pandemic rather than an epidemic, countries all over the world have started halting their operations to prevent the virus from spreading. Even the educational institutes are shut down, causing trouble for the current as well as the prospect students in some ways. Yet, it is the need of the situation to maintain social distance and practise self-isolation to protect oneself from the disease.

If you or anyone around you has coronavirus symptoms, it is advised to get immediate medical assistance. This virus is not something that you can take lightly because it gets inside the human body and over takes the respiratory system resulting in death of the person. So, in this plague, stay calm, vigilant and help those who cannot help themselves.

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