Sep 21, 2023

The Effect COVID-19 Will Have On Medical Students


The current health crisis has rapidly changed much of the world today, particularly for the medical field. Doctors have been in high demand and on-call as coronavirus cases continuously increase. Many medical professionals who are also educators have moved to focus on patient care or virus research, to help in efforts against the pandemic. This has left some medical students – both current and incoming – to wonder what effect this will have on their education.

Let's look a little more closely at some ways COVID-19 affects medical students and how you can address them.

Different Application and Admission Processes

Following government policies on closures and restrictions, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is working closely with schools to determine if there should be changes to the current and upcoming application cycle dates. So far, there are no anticipated changes to the Application and Acceptance Protocols.

However, the MCAT Exam is canceled until May 21st. Rescheduling fees will be waived for those who have already registered. If you received a cancellation email, you may cancel your exam for a full refund of your registration fees.

Admission timelines, orientation dates, requirements, and deadlines may vary per institution, so be sure to check your school’s website for updates or directly contact them if you have queries. Also, regularly check the AAMC’s FAQ pages regarding applications and the MCAT Exam for the latest announcements.

Distance Interviews

Medical schools that extended their offers to new candidates are conducting interviews for 2020 via Zoom and GoToMeeting.

If this applies to you, no need to be afraid. Prepare for it just like it is an in-person interview. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Find a quiet and comfortable place in your house where there will be minimal distractions, so you can fully focus on the interview.

The Shift to Online

Since close physical contact has been limited, there are changes in some school activities. Second-look days where students visit the schools they got accepted to and compare their options are now online. In-person classes have been replaced with e-learning groups, online discussions, and webinars to ensure that students still get adequate learning experiences to advance in their medical careers.

The shift to online is new to many and will require a lot of adjustments. If you’re still choosing where to go, don’t let the crisis affect your decision. Go where you can work on your goals. If you’re a student, it’s essential that you maximize all the learning activities your school provides.

Canceled Medical Events

Clinical clerkships have been canceled to minimize close interactions, reduce students’ risk of exposure, and to protect the healthcare workers. Similarly, medical conferences that are essential in building students’ credentials have been put on hold.

The cancellation of events is geared toward containing the spread of coronavirus. However, it's also led to students experiencing difficulties with exam preparation and class performance, reduced time on specialty trainings, missed work opportunities, and financial losses.

As such, use this time to determine how to contribute to the medical community. Research on building your residency application, work on your school requirements, or collaborate with other medical students. School and events may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean the learning should stop.

During these uncertain times, medical students who adjust to the “new normal” brought about by the pandemic will show that they’re adaptable, innovative, and ready to take on challenges. That’s why it’s important that you use this time wisely by taking on activities that will hone your skills, improve your work ethic, develop your team and collaboration, and demonstrate your dedication to the medical field.

If you need any guidance, C.H.H.A is here for you. Contact us today.

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