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KHN: Med Students 'Feel Very Behind' Because COVID-Induced Disruptions in Training

stethoscopeonbooks.jpgby Julie Rovner (AUGUST 31, 2020)

COVID-19 is disrupting just about every student's 2020 education, but medical students have it particularly hard right now.

"It's a nightmare scenario for the class of 2021," said Jake Berg, a fourth-year student at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville. In March, students were abruptly pulled out of hospitals and medical offices, where they normally work with professionals to learn about treating patients. Over the space of less than two weeks, he said, medical students in "pretty much the entire country" transitioned from seeing patients in person to learning online.

"Everyone goes along with the idea that we're all in the same boat together," he said. "But , really, it's like we're all on the Titanic and it's sinking."

Both the M.D. and D.O. organizations said third-year students can still complete most of their required rotations, although perhaps not in the usual order, and schools have dramatically increased their use of online teaching of diagnostics and care.

And some educators are confident these students will catch up - eventually. "Most learning goes on during your residency," said Dr. Art Papier, who teaches dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical School. "I think it can all be made up."

Read the full article with more insight into what students are doing.

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