Forbes: How COVID-19 is Changing Medical Education Forever
Forbes recently published contributor articles on how COVID-19 is forever changing the face of medical education. Highlighting expanded uses of telehealth, remote and distance learning, and clinical simulation tools, these excerpts highlight the radical shift medical schools have had to made in 2020 to deal with residency interviews, patient training, professional development and more to overcome the damage done by the Coronavirus. How has COVID-19 changed your medical education program? Share your story by submitting an article, or by emailing us.
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Contributor Joe Harpaz writes that already “some medical students who are partially through their schooling are taking a pause to pursue an MBA or do research and are putting the clinical portion on hold. Clinical rotations went virtual with schools getting creative and using technology to mimic clinical scenarios as best as possible from virtual visits to online curriculums. While not the same as being physically present with a patient, it was the next best learning experience that reduced potential exposure to the virus for both students and patients.” He continues:
In 2013 the American Medical Association (AMA) started the “Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative” to help pave the way for medical schools of the future. Today, 37 medical schools are part of this consortium with the goal of disseminating ideas to positively transform medical education. One of the tasks of the group has been to make technology work for learning, something that the COVID-19 pandemic put front and center.
The proliferation of technology and distance learning will result in an explosion of even more healthcare simulation resources, such as watching practical videos on basic surgical techniques like knot tying and suturing. Finding the right balance of in-person learning combined with digital platforms will most likely become the norm for current and future medical students. As businesses around the globe have resorted to remote work, as long as the right technology is available and output remains consistent, it could very well turn into a winning combination for medical school students, too. The Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University embraced and swiftly adjusted to the challenge at hand.
Dr. Wood shared, “In the face of this pandemic, medical schools have had to respond with rapid and transformational change. Yet with great change comes great opportunity. There has been a steep learning curve for our medical educators but an impactful one. We exponentially increased the integration of technology and educational platforms into our curriculum in a matter of weeks. We launched virtual multidisciplinary clinical skills training sessions so medical students could enhance their history taking and telehealth skills. Students interact remotely with standardized patients online as faculty observe and provide feedback. Educators use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities to keep students engaged. I believe training in telehealth and virtual learning will remain a meaningful part of our medical education program.”
The addition and focus of telehealth curriculum will remain post-Covid-19 and will certainly be weaved into the academic and even clinical setting. Many would agree that the proliferation of telehealth in all capacities is a good change that Covid-19 brought about. Read the full article on Forbes here.
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Contributor Sai Balasubramanian, J.D. writes “In the United States, most students begin a bulk of this clinical immersion in the 3rd and 4th year of medical school, before starting residency training. However, for the past few months, students have had modified clinical experiences, with many institutions and schools switching to hybrid learning models entailing online modules, remote learning opportunities, and limited clinical experiences. Though these new ways of learning are a stark contrast to full-on clinical immersion, these measures have been instituted nationwide in order to keep students safe.
The AMA has provided guidance on a variety of issues, ranging from how medical students should navigate required board examinations during the pandemic, to how medical residents should make the best of their training experience given a variety of issues such as limited patient volumes at training sites to severely restricted patient encounters. Additionally, the AAMC has a coronavirus resource hub solely dedicated to addressing concerns around medical training. These organizations have attempted to provide as much guidance as possible amidst the constantly changing healthcare landscape in the last few months.
The push for online interviews and virtual visits has been equally propagated in other levels of medical training as well. Though many questions remain on how this will play out exactly, these moves have largely been celebrated by the medical community as a viable means to push forth medical education while still prioritizing the safety of students and trainees. It’s important to recognize that navigating the challenges unique to the healthcare landscape is widespread across all healthcare industries and training programs, including but not limited to dental school, physical therapy training, optometry, pharmacy school, and many more areas. Read the full article on Forbes here.
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Abigail in Las Vegas, Nevada.