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How COVID has changed medical classrooms

The pandemic has changed the way we work – but also the way our future doctors study.

For the past two years, doctors-in-training, their lecturers, and their tutors have had to overcome the challenges thrown at them by COVID-19, like medical student Vera Miao and tutor Dr Animesh Singla.

“When COVID first hit, my fellow medical students and I were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to continue our hospital placements and that graduation would be delayed.” Vera said.

 “Sometimes we just didn’t know if our placement would be changed, or if our exam was going to be moved online, or if our tutorial was still happening that day. 

It meant that we all had to be flexible and adaptable to those last minute changes
Vera Miao, medical student

Animesh said while students were often not able to fulfil traditional style placements – they remained resilient, and helped each other and the wards however they could.

“We know students learn and get the most out of being able to examine and speak to patients, they absorb more, but the restrictions meant they often couldn’t do that,” he said.

“We had to adapt to this, so we developed a good system of case-based scenarios to simulate conditions they could centre their learning around, with the help of their peers.

“Students were proactive; sometimes they would be allowed on the ward but not allowed to have patient contact, so they would spend time looking at scans and learning in any way they could.”

While some of those methods adapted to cope with COVID-19 remain, thankfully many of our trainee doctors, nurses and allied health professionals have returned to the wards for 2022.

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