Medical school during pandemic

Within a few months the coronavirus has led to unprecedented global disruption. Lockdown, social distancing, closure of businesses, limitation of day to day activity became the new norm. The education sector was not spared either including medical schools. To facilitate the normal curriculum and continued provision of education distance learning was implemented by the ministry of education. However, this would work just fine with preclinical years as compared to clinical which need clinical attachments to get the necessary credits.

In march, the country went into total lockdown and we went into a state of confusion since there was no clear structure on how the distance educational programme was to be conducted. Some of my compulsory blocks were pushed back which meant I had to finish them during my summer holidays in order to get the necessary credits. At the beginning of the pandemic, since seminars, lectures and clinical attachments were cancelled, over 600 students, myself included, signed up to volunteer to help with this crisis.

In June, the government allowed students of higher learning to go back to universities. Even though precautions and safety measures were implemented, things were never going to be the same again. Seminars and lectures were done online and two or days per week we had to go to the hospital for our clinical practice. Similarly, for most of the blocks, the examinations were conducted via online depending on a particular department. This was particularly hard not only for medical students but also the healthcare professionals. Medical curricular structure is lecture and clinical attachment based teaching which was transitioned to online. Given the Covid-19 pandemic this has led to a frustrating dichotomy for most medical students.

It is now August 2020 and it seems that much has not changed yet. The virus is still wrecking havoc among our communities. Some of the restrictions have been eased but the numbers are still high. Meanwhile, I am still trying to finish up the necessary blocks in order to successfully gain the needed credits in order to proceed to the final year. Hopefully by September 3rd I will be able to achieve my goal. One thing is certain for sure, Covid-19 has dramatically changed the day to day functioning for good.