The recent pandemic has affected the education system across the world including medical education. The actual impact is quite unclear—medical schools and faculties are still grappling with the changes. As medical schools had to shut down or be converted into make-shift COVID hospitals, medical students were left bewildered about their future.
However, one significant change is apparent across medical universities in the USA and Canada—the interruption in clinical rotation postings and residencies. Owing to the risk of exposure to the virus, many medical universities have canceled clinical rotations and residency programs for medical students.
Replacing in-person lectures with online classes or recorded videos can cause little to no impact on the study schedules of medical students. However, canceling clinical rotations can make it difficult to replace the much-needed practical experience gained from those postings.
How has the pandemic impacted medical students in general?
Here are a few changes in the medical education system in the post-COVID world.
- Basic Sciences curriculum classes: This part of a medical degree has been the least affected by present circumstances. In most cases, the basic sciences subjects are covered through conventional classroom teaching and online videos and lectures. While the online resources have stayed the same, most medical schools have replaced classroom lectures with live online teaching or recorded lectures.
- USMLE Step 1 exams: Early in 2020, the USMLE Step 1 exam destinations were shut down and the exams were postponed indefinitely. This impacted thousands of students who painstakingly prepared for the exams. The situation is however much better at present with the exams being scheduled in the near future again.
- Clinical rotations: Although clinical rotations have restarted in some medical centers and colleges, they have extremely truncated schedules. Students are able to observe only those patients who have tested negative for COVID-19. This has proved detrimental for students interested in subjects like Emergency Medicine or Cardiology.
- Residencies: The number of residency positions across the US has gone down which has increased the competition for those seats. Hence, it has become much more difficult to secure a residency in a reputed hospital in the post-COVID world.
What is the solution?
With the pandemic receding from tropical regions like the Caribbean, it can be assumed that Caribbean medical schools would reopen their campuses soon. A medical degree from a reputed Caribbean medical school will let you continue your medical studies even during the pandemic.
The most reputed Caribbean medical schools have small class sizes that can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as well as increase the interaction time with the faculty. These schools also have rigorous curriculums that are often accredited by international health organizations and regulatory bodies.
Most Caribbean medical programs are also much affordable as opposed to MD programs in the US or Canada. This can allow students from weaker economic backgrounds to fulfill their dreams of becoming a doctor.
Invest in a suitable medical program from a reputed Caribbean medical school today to establish a successful medical career in the post-COVID world.