A virtual emergency: learning lessons from remote medical student education during the COVID-19 pandemic

This article was originally published here

Emerg Radiol. 2021 Jan 8. doi: 10.1007/s10140-020-01874-2. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancelation of traditional on-site clinical rotations for medical students across the country. Radiology educators have had to rapidly adapt to a new, virtual educational landscape. We describe our experience restructuring a Trauma and Emergency Radiology Elective to an online format and present survey data obtained from students who completed the course.

METHODS: This elective is a 4-week course offered to third and fourth year medical students at a large Level 1 Trauma Center. Changes to the traditional rotation included assigning an increased number of self-study educational resources, independent review of unknown cases using a virtual workstation, and online interactive conferences. At the conclusion of each block, students were asked to complete post-course feedback surveys.

RESULTS: Thirteen students enrolled in this online course; 92% submitted post-course surveys. Students strongly agreed that the course was clinically relevant, with accessible, engaging material (average score, 4.92/5), and 91.7% of students were very likely to recommend this rotation to others. Students reported improved post-course confidence in ordering and interpreting imaging studies. A majority (60%) of students who had previously taken an on-site course would have preferred a course that combined traditional and online learning elements.

CONCLUSIONS: The success of our online rotation highlights the merits of self-directed learning and flipped-classroom techniques. Many of the principles incorporated into this course could be applied and/or modified to increase medical student engagement when students return to the hospital.

PMID:33420528 | DOI:10.1007/s10140-020-01874-2