COVID-19: Turning a Pandemic into a Learning Opportunity for Senior Medical Students

Authors

  • John C. Garman Penn State College Of Medicine, PA, United States.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5195/ijms.2020.759

Keywords:

Coronavirus, Sars-Cov-2, Medical student, Medical education, COVID-19

Abstract

Normally, the 4th year of medical school in the United States is when students narrow down their clinical experiences to reflect their interests, and prepare for applying to residency programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this process difficult, forcing many senior students from the frontlines to the sidelines. Policy changes have forbidden students from attending some in-person rotations and participating in operational procedures. The impact that COVID-19 has had on medical curricula varies between institutions, with many being hindered significantly by the event. However, my institution is using novel approaches to patient care, allowing senior students to help. Senior students are using telecommunication to connect with patients and assist them with their medical questions and needs. They are acting as Transitional Care Providers and Patient Navigation Assistants, allowing them to use their knowledge and skills to help both the patients and the healthcare system. Other students are acting as “COVID-19 case-trackers,” attempting to mitigate the spread of infections. By allowing students to take on these roles during the pandemic, institutions like mine are making this time one of valuable experience and learning. For some senior medical students, the COVID-19 pandemic, with all of its hardships, has become an invaluable learning opportunity and a chance to serve their community.

Author Biography

John C. Garman, Penn State College Of Medicine, PA, United States.

BS, Medical Student

References

O'Connor-Terry C, Gowda T, Zuchelkowski B, Minney S, Kwon J. Medical Students Have a Powerful Role in Addressing Community Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Experience from the US. Int J Med Students. 2020 Jan-Apr;8(1):70-72.

Bonilla-Escobar FJ. Leadership and Health: The Scientific Journal’s Mission of Spreading Science in Times of Pandemic. Int J Med Students. 2020 Jan-Apr;8(1):9-10.

Găman MA, Ryan PM, Bonilla-Escobar FJ. To Stay at Port or to go to Sea: Are Clinical Clerkships a Double-Edged Sword during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Where do we go From Here?. Int J Med Students. 2002 May-Aug;8(2):92-95.

Coffey A, Mulcahy H, Savage E, Fitzgerald S, Bradley C, Benefield L, et al. Transitional care interventions: Relevance for nursing in the community. Public Health Nurs. 2017 Sep;34(5):454-60.

Lopez D, Pratt-Chapman ML, Rohan EA, Sheldon LK, Basen-Engquist K, Kline R, et al. Establishing effective patient navigation programs in oncology. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jun;27(6):1985-96.

Tho PC, Ang E. The effectiveness of patient navigation programs for adult cancer patients undergoing treatment: a systematic review. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2016 Feb;14(2):295-321.

Loskutova NY, Tsai AG, Fisher EB, LaCruz DM, Cherrington AL, Harrington TM, et al. Patient Navigators Connecting Patients to Community Resources to Improve Diabetes Outcomes. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 Jan-Feb 2016;29(1):78-89.

Grubaugh ND, Ladner JT, Lemey P, et al. Tracking virus outbreaks in the twenty-first century. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Jan;4(1):10-9.

Published

2020-12-09

How to Cite

Garman, J. C. (2020). COVID-19: Turning a Pandemic into a Learning Opportunity for Senior Medical Students. International Journal of Medical Students, 8(3), 307–308. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijms.2020.759

Issue

Section

Experience