Medical education next steps after COVID-19

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Hassler Stefan Macías Sánchez, a fourth-year medical student at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla in San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, México. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned of innovations needed in health systems and the health workforce to improve the community’s health care. However, this global emergency brought us situations that will increase the quality of healthcare settings and the training of physicians. These are new strategies in medical education.

COVID-19 has affected pre-clerkship and clerkship learning environments but has forever changed the training of medical students. After being based on lectures, the medical schools have moved on to an online format using an asynchronous learning strategy as the online courses of different platforms. Besides, it goes further by integrating practical scenarios with simulation-based learning allowing students to develop skills in a small-group format and create an early approach to patients care.1 

Nevertheless, after using this alarming technique, it is necessary to evaluate with research studies the benefits of this strategy to look forward changed the lecture format and keep these innovative ideas.

On the other hand, the student assessment during the pandemic brought different alternatives for medical schools that can be kept in the new normality. The move of written examinations to online platforms is one of the changes applied. But it had weaknesses in assuring a proper evaluation of students’ competencies. 2

The other was the change of the traditional Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCE) to adaptations into Clinical Workplace Examinations (CWE) during this pandemic which was no longer a feasible assessment format. The benefit of CWE over OSCE is that it provides a far more realistic scenario integrating more representative situations faced in clinical practice. But, this new format needs more standardization to be an effective assessment method. 3

In resume, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a critical period that brought many ideas to teaching and assessment methods that disrupt traditional techniques. The implementation of these methods do not must keep behind is necessary for educators to develop trials that provide evidence of the usefulness of the ideas that were tried and use it to advocate for the improvement of medical education. Also, medical students need to establish their perspectives and opinions of the learning process during this health situation to evaluate the acceptance of these new methods with a mix of the traditional ones moving to a hybrid learning environment.


  1. Rose S. Medical Student Education in the Time of COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;323(21):2131–2132. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5227
  2. Kaul V, Gallo de Moraes A, Khateeb D, et al. Medical Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Chest. 2021;159(5):1949-1960. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2020.12.026
  3. Jauhari S, Athithan A, Mehta B. How COVID-19 has pushed us into a medical education revolution. Intern Med J. 2021;51(3):462. doi:10.1111/imj.15232
  4. About the author
  5. Hassler Stefan Macías Sánchez is a fourth-year medical student at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla in San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, México. Serving as SCOME Regional Assistant for Americas for IFMSA during the term 2022-2023 and as NOME for AMMEF Mexico for the term 2022-2023.


  1. Hearing medical students’ voices on Medical Education evolution is definitely a step forward. Medical schools should take steps to set up opportunities like this.

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