An analysis of medical education suggestions and interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A Literature Review

Main Article Content

Abanoub Aziz Rizk
Naitik Acharya
Monica Elzawy
Kirolos Hana
George Elzawy

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Abstract

Purpose: Medical education systems were heavily impacted by the public health measures implemented due to COVID-19. This literature review serves to summarize and discuss the strengths and limitations of novel medical education interventions or proposed suggestions during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to assist medical institutions with the evaluation of various interventions prior to their implementation.


Method: The research team conducted a scoping review following the Arksey and O'Malley framework. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for publications from January 1st, 2019 to August 10th, 2020 that proposed novel medical education interventions or suggestions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The search included MESH searches, titles, abstracts, and keywords of studies. Our inclusion criteria was comprised of articles that: used quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method designs; included medical students as the primary study cohort; involved suggestions for new medical education strategies to accommodate for the COVID-19 changes; involved studies that assessed the challenges and strengths of new COVID-19 medical school interventions; were primary studies, reviews, published letters to an editor, or opinion pieces.


Results: The final number of articles included in this review was 54. Each article had one or more interventions proposed. 10 articles reported integrating medical students in the workforce. 7 articles discussed efforts to manage medical students’ stress. 5 articles described changes to the residency program application process. 10 articles discussed changes to examinations. 12 articles discussed changes clinical rotations and electives. 11 articles discussed implementing online clinical experience. 36 articles implemented or suggested online learning strategies.


Conclusions: The literature review suggests that quantitative studies to assess the efficacy of each intervention is still required given the differences in suggestions offered by different institutions across the world.