An Observation of Healthcare Professions Students' Perceptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Med Sci Educ. 2021 Feb 18;31(2):401-409. doi: 10.1007/s40670-021-01240-y. eCollection 2021 Apr.


This study conveys preclinical healthcare professions students' sentiments at 14 universities during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Essays about students' thoughts and experiences were thematically sorted and revealed a variety of sentiments spanning from positive (e.g., pride, respect) to the more negative (e.g., anxiety, guilt, disappointment, anger). Themes revealed respect for the healthcare profession, but also the realization of its limitations, sacrifices, and risks. Healthcare profession educators need to be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students emotionally and may have long-term effects on the global healthcare profession. This study can serve as a historic documentation of how this generation of students felt and adds to the literature on how the pandemic affected the healthcare profession.

Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare professions education; International comparison; Student emotions; Student experiences.