Advancing Medical Education Through Innovations in Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2021 Feb 18;23(1):20nr02847. doi: 10.4088/PCC.20nr02847.


Background: Medicine relies on education of trainees for growth of the field. Medical education has benefitted from a rapid pace of innovation, but due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many paradigms underpinning the medical education of trainees shifted-rendering numerous teaching modalities unusable. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, accelerated the development of novel teaching methodologies, which our trainees are now adapting to. We sought to examine emerging teaching methodologies to understand the opportunities available for medical education to innovate our teaching practices for learners in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: In this narrative review, we drew upon the experiences of the authors as both life-long learners and educators. We then reviewed literature pertaining to novel teaching methodologies developed in medical education since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: Several medical specialties have employed novel teaching methodologies including use of telemedicine, remote teaching, online curricula, virtual rotations, virtual conferences, simulations, and learning consortia to continue engaging trainees during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a paucity of literature that addresses efficacy of novel teaching methodologies compared to more traditional teaching methodologies.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for medical education to combine new and innovative teaching methodologies to create novel, accessible, and engaging learning opportunities for our trainees.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2