|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 12 | Page : 6291-6292
Sharpening of medical undergraduates' minds under COVID-19 crisis
Professor & Head, Department of Physiology, Coordinator (MEU&CC), Govt. Medical College, Kathua, J&K, India
|Date of Submission||09-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||13-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||31-Dec-2020|
Dr. Sabita Yograj
31-C, Karan Nagar, Jammu, J&K -180 005
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Yograj S. Sharpening of medical undergraduates' minds under COVID-19 crisis. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:6291-2
I want to share an educational experience with the medical education faculty during these hard times. COVID-19 pandemic has put a brake on most of the routine activities going on around the world. Medical education like other higher educations has also been affected, as all over the globe most of the medical colleges have been near-total closure. By the middle of April 2020, as per UNESCO monitoring, there was a nation-wide closure in 191 countries including India and about five countries had implemented local closures. This has led to improvisation and devising of innovative ideas to keep the education going on unhindered. In most of the medical colleges all over the world including those in India, e-learning has come to the rescue of medical educators and graduate medical students. As the coordinator of the Medical Education Unit and Curriculum Committee and the head of the physiology department of a new government medical college where we have only the first batch of 100 undergraduate medical students, I considered myself responsible for their online teaching and also for their involvement in the medical staffs' combat with COVID-19 pandemic. Our undergraduate medical students reside in far-off places spread all over the difficult terrains of J&K, a union territory in India where most of the students are exposed to only 2G internet connectivity as 4G internet connectivity is not available due to some unavoidable reasons. Students were divided into ten groups of ten students each and each group was asked to prepare a competitive short video presentation on COVID-19 with few inspiratory words for frontline health workers, especially doctors. Clear-cut specifications like group dynamics, video duration, file strength and time of submission were shared with them via the students' WhatsApp groups. What was interesting about their groups was that students among groups were scattered at far-off places from each other, still maintaining the healthy group dynamics and their group leaders submitting wonderful video presentations in WhatsApp groups on time. Evaluation of their submission was done by different departmental heads using an evaluation form which was prepared to keep all the important points in consideration and then the final compilation was done (Table). It was a difficult job to evaluate these presentations as all were equally wonderful but we were still compelled to choose the best three which were appreciated nationwide. Now, you must be wondering what is there to report in this? So, let me inform you that in India, students enter the medical colleges at a tender age of 17–18 years directly from schools with no prior exposure of the foundation course. Most of the students are not even exposed to the internet and some even lack the basic computer skills; so, despite their multiple hurdles, like connectivity issues, working together in this COVID-19 pandemic times, with total lockdown and social distancing, they worked hard and did their best. This healthy competition among students during these stressful times has brought out their hidden talents and also lessened their stress with the strengthening of their teamwork skills. Pandemic stress has affected us all a lot but it has also motivated us to find ways to survive and innovate.
Presentation Evaluation Form:
MBBS Batch: 2019–20
First year MBBS
Topic: COVID-19 (with some inspiratory words to doctors)
Time: 5 min (extendable to 10 min)
File size: 15 MB
Type of presentation: Asynchronous Video presentation with background narration
I want to thank our worthy Principal, Dr Anjali Nadir Bhat and worthy Ex-Principal Dr Suleman Choudhary, for always guiding and encouraging the staff in such endeavors. I also want to thank all the faculty of GMC, Kathua involved in the teaching of the first-year MBBS students. Last but not least, a big applause and thanks to my students for their participation and efforts during these stressful times.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, education all around the world has been affected, especially in the developing countries. Despite all the difficulties faced, medical students took up the challenge and did well. This activity motivates the medical students to keep going and be a perfect frontline worker.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
“COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response”. UNESCO. 2020-03-04. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
Almarzooq Z, Lopes M, Kochar A. Virtual Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: A disruptive technology in graduate medical education. J Am Coll Cardiol 2020;75:2635-8.