COVID-19 Implications on Clinical Clerkships and the Residency Application Process for Medical Students

Cureus. 2020 Apr 23;12(4):e7800. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7800.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant disruption to undergraduate medical education (UME). Although the immediate scheduling challenges are being addressed, there has been less discourse regarding how this pandemic will impact medical students in their preparation for and application to residency programs. While some historical disasters and pandemics provide a loose precedent for UME response during COVID-19, the impact of the current pandemic has surpassed any other events. COVID-19 will likely impact UME in the suspension of clinical rotations, alterations in grading, suspension or elimination of away rotations, changes in medical licensing exams, and ramifications on mental health. This review assesses governing medical bodies' recommendations regarding UME during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this may impact preparation for residency. In particular, residency programs will likely have to create new guidelines for assessing applicants during this unique cycle.

Keywords: clerkships; covid-19; medical education; residency application.

Publication types

  • Review