Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical training of last year medical students in Mexico: a cross-sectional nationwide study

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Jan 8;22(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-03085-w.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to medical education. However, no data are available regarding the impact the pandemic may have on medical training in Mexico. The aim of our study was to evaluate and identify the medical school students' perceptions of the changes in their clinical training due to the pandemic in Mexico.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study where a previous validated online survey was translated and adapted by medical education experts and applied to senior medical students from March to April of 2021. The 16-item questionnaire was distributed online combining dichotomous, multiple-choice, and 5-point Likert response scale questions. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed to compare the student's perceptions between public and private schools.

Results: A total of 671 responses were included in the study period. Most participants were from public schools (81%) and female (61%). Almost every respondent (94%) indicated it was necessary to obtain COVID-19 education, yet only half (54%) received such training. Students in private schools were less likely to have their clinical instruction canceled (53% vs. 77%, p = 0.001) and more likely to have access to virtual instruction (46% vs. 22%, p = 0.001) when compared to students from public schools. Four out of every five students considered their training inferior to that of previous generations, and most students (82%) would consider repeating their final year of clinical training.

Conclusions: The impact of the COVID-19 on medical education in Mexico has been significant. Most final-year medical students have been affected by the cancellation of their in-person clinical instruction, for which the majority would consider repeating their final year of training. Efforts to counterbalance this lack of clinical experience with virtual or simulation instruction are needed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Medical education; Medical students; Mexico.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical*