Letter to the Editor Regarding "Survey among Medical Students during COVID-19 Lockdown: The Online Class Dilemma"
Neither students nor teachers were prepared for a sudden shift from traditional classroom learning to e-learning without any extensive planning and faculty training. In countries like India, the vast majority of students are underprivileged to access e-learning facilities. To overcome this, special schemes that provide free data daily to attend online classes may be considered. Medical students are also concerned about acquiring practical clinical skills that cannot be provided through e-learning. The drastic reduction in their patient contact time, time spent in wards learning clinical skills, and bedside teaching may have a negative impact on the confidence of medical students with regard to their future career skills. The indefinite extension of their courses is also a concern, as universities have failed to provide appropriate clarity in their communications. Immediate measures need to be instituted so that the efforts of online education may bear fruit. Medical students are a natural reservoir of volunteers and they offer a vast wealth of potential which can be put to use in times of crisis. To harness this potential, medical students should be prepared adequately. The inclusion of “pandemic/crisis specific” content in the medical curriculum may prove to be helpful in tackling these situations in future. This will also help the students to complete their transition from a ‘student’ to a ‘doctor’.
Thomas A, Shenoy MT, Shenoy KT, Kumar SS, Sidheeque A, Khovidh C, et al. Survey among medical students during COVID-19 lockdown: the online class dilemma. Int J Med Students. 2020 May-Aug;8(2):102-6.
Dutta S, Smita MK. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on tertiary education in Bangladesh: students’ perspectives. Open J Soc Sci. 2020 Sep;8(9):53-68.
Farooq F, Rathore FA, Mansoor SN. Challenges of online medical education in Pakistan during COVID-19 pandemic. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2020 Jun;30(6):67-9.
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):70-2.
O’Byrne L, Gavin B, McNicholas F. Medical students and COVID-19: the need for pandemic preparedness. J Med Ethics 2020 Sep;46(9):623-6.
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