Sep 21, 2023

What the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Taught Medical Students


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed people’s lives in a significant and unprecedented way. It has brought fear, uncertainty, and heartbreak to many individuals all over the world. But in hindsight, the crisis has also ushered in life lessons people can learn from.

Here are some lessons the pandemic has taught medical students about their profession and future career.

What Medical Students Can Learn From the Coronavirus Pandemic

Medical professionals will go above and beyond the call of duty.

Doctors and nurses have always worked extreme hours with little to no rest and under incredibly difficult conditions. The pandemic has amplified this and added more layers of challenges, like their inability to go home to their families, being separated from friends, having limited time off to eat, and working on limited sleep.

But these medical professionals and unsung heroes continued to power through the tough times. And it's all because they are committed to caring for and helping heal others. They’ve made personal sacrifices to ensure that their patients receive the best treatment possible. They willingly go the extra mile for the individuals under their care.

Being adaptive is one of the best traits you can have.

During the pandemic, hospitals have been in desperate need of additional help and support. That’s why doctors have had to step up and take on various specialties. In some cases, it wasn't in their line of work.

Medical professionals and students have played key roles in triaging patients into their COVID-19 infected or non-infected groups, monitoring patients, consulting with fellow medical staff, liaising with family members, carrying out lab tests, and delivering medications. They've also taken time to call the elderly people in age care, deliver groceries through various organizations, and organize community efforts to ensure individuals are supported and taken care of during these challenging times.

Yes, you may be studying a particular field. But it’s also helpful to remain flexible and open to contribute in any way you can – no matter how big or small.

Nobody can predict the future.

One of the most important lessons that COVID-19 taught us is that sometimes, we just won't have the answers. The best we can do is listen to the science, give it everything we have, and learn to dance with the uncertainties.

Some medical professionals were deployed in COVID wards or frontline fever clinics. Others went to the emergency department or the intensive care unit. They experienced last-minute roster changes or had to pick up extra shifts to cover a staff member.

The uncertainty of what can happen next taught people that growth happens outside of one’s comfort zone. During challenging and unexpected circumstances, it’s vital to stay grounded, resilient. Remain ready to face whatever comes next to the best of your abilities.

The pandemic has truly shaken the world, particularly the medical field. Beyond the challenges, it has brought out the best in people, especially the importance of compassion, empathy, and resilience in medical practice. And for medical students, powering through your medical career – whether in your classes, internship, residency, or fellowship – will help you become a better-prepared and more well-rounded physician in the future.

If you need any guidance with your clinical clerkship or medical journey, C.H.H.A can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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