Adapting to the Educational Challenges of a Pandemic: Development of a Novel Virtual Urology Subinternship During the Time of COVID-19

Urology. 2021 Feb;148:70-76. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.08.071. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Abstract

Objective: To design, implement, and evaluate learner attitudes of a virtual urologic surgery clinical rotation for medical students.

Methods: Ten senior medical students at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania were enrolled. Students were administered a precourse test on their perceived confidence of their urologic knowledge, confidence in identifying urologic conditions, comfort with performing urologic evaluations, and confidence placing consults for urologic issues. Students participated in a 2-week curriculum that included both asynchronous and synchronous content. Asynchronous content included prerecorded lectures, self-paced problem-based learning modules, directed reading and video content, and an online discussion board. Synchronous content included real-time videoconferences covering case discussions, simulated patient presentations, and critical literature reviews. At the conclusion of the course, students were administered the postcourse survey evaluating changes in their ability to identify and understand urologic conditions.

Results: The postcourse survey demonstrated this course significantly increases students' scores in: self-perceived urologic knowledge, confidence in naming urologic conditions, comfort with performing urologic evaluations, and confidence placing consults for urologic conditions (P <.05).

Conclusion: Virtual medical student rotations are scalable and effective at delivering surgical material and can approximate the interpersonal teaching found in clinical learning environments. They may be a useful tool to supplement or augment clinical learning in select situations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pennsylvania
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students, Medical
  • Urology / education*
  • Videoconferencing