Medical Teaching and Assessment in the Era of COVID-19

J Med Educ Curric Dev. 2020 Oct 16;7:2382120520965255. doi: 10.1177/2382120520965255. eCollection Jan-Dec 2020.

Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant influence on medical education, most notably in terms of content delivery and provision of assessments. These unique times have facilitated the introduction of many new educational methods in medical schools globally each of which with potential merits and drawbacks. Importantly, the use of remote platforms to carry out online teaching has been especially vital in ensuring the continued training of doctors but other techniques such as telemedicine, online clinical case repositories and even virtual reality headsets are also being used to overcome these difficult circumstances. Some institutions also opted for open book written examinations raising issues surrounding this format's legitimacy and potential benefits. Practical examinations are even harder to facilitate and although most were cancelled, this crisis may result in innovation which changes their future format. For example some may include audible clinical signs played online through a computer speaker to replace clinical examination. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an overhaul of medical school orthodoxy that whilst disruptive, may serve to expose institutions to novel means of teaching and assessment which may ultimately improve medical education in future.

Keywords: COVID-19; flipped learning; medical education; open-book examinations; remote learning; telemedicine.