Rising to the challenge: Qualitative assessment of medical student perceptions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Clin Med (Lond). 2020 Oct 9:clinmed.2020-0219. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0219. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Medical students internationally have volunteered and stepped up to support frontline clinical teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know very little about the motivation of those volunteering, or their concerns in deploying to a new role. We aim to establish the reasons that medical students volunteered in one Trust and understand to their concerns.

METHODS: Structured survey, thematic analysis and categorisation of volunteer student perceptions.

RESULTS: Medical students volunteered for broadly four reasons: to make a contribution, to learn, to benefit from remuneration and for an activity during the national lockdown. There were disparate concerns; however, the most common involved availability of personal protective equipment, uncertainty as to expectations and becoming infected.

CONCLUSIONS: We must recognise and applaud the motivations of our future workforce who have stepped up to support the NHS at a time of unprecedented demand. The experiences and learning gained during this period will undoubtedly shape their future medical training and careers.

PMID:33037028 | DOI:10.7861/clinmed.2020-0219