From the pandemic's front lines: A social responsibility initiative to develop an international free online emergency medicine course for medical students

Afr J Emerg Med. 2021 Mar;11(1):1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.afjem.2020.11.005. Epub 2020 Dec 1.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted medical education and forced medical schools to shift to remote teaching. However, in many institutions, this shift was complicated by the lack of previous experience and resources as well as the decreased educational time and effort due to increased clinical load. In April 2020, the International Emergency Medicine (iEM) Education Project embarked upon a social responsibility initiative to ease and facilitate this transition for emergency medicine clerkships. A 4-week open online emergency medicine core content course for medical students covering 11 lessons and 37 topics was created. This course contains a total of 25 hours of content, 66 chapters curated from the free iEM Education Project 2018 eBook and Society of Academic Emergency Medicine curriculum website and 131 videos granted freely by the commercial medical education resources provider, Lecturio. In the first 24 hours, the website was visited 3127 times from 57 countries in 6 continents. While online teaching is not a substitute for in-person clinical teaching, such initiatives can provide resources to clinical teachers who are overwhelmed with clinical duties and an opportunity for medical students from low-resource settings to continue their training safely during the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Electronic learning; Emergency medicine; Undergraduate training.

Publication types

  • Editorial