Differences in medical education before, during, and in the post-peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic—exploring senior medical students’ attitudes

Bryan F. Vaca-Cartagena, Erika Quishpe-Narváez, Heidi Cartagena Ulloa, Jenny Paola Estévez-Chávez

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

2 Citas (Scopus)


Background: The burden that COVID-19 has brought to the economy, healthcare systems, and education is unmatched. Public health and social measures were implemented to halt transmission. Thus, social gathering and in-person learning, core aspects of medical education, were interrupted. Studies have documented the detrimental impact students graduating during the pandemic have had on their confidence and skills. However, data comparing pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-peak students still lack. This study aimed to identify senior medical students' attitudes regarding their education and compare them according to the three previously described periods. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the survey employed was designed based on a previous questionnaire and applied to senior medical students before graduating between January 2018 and June 2022. Answers were collected using a three-point Likert scale and Yes/No questions. Associations between variables were examined using Chi-squared, Fisher’s Exact tests, and ANOVA, employing logistic regression to calculate odds ratio (OR) when appropriate. Results: A total of 679 responses were analyzed. Most students (59%) were women. Up to 383, 241, and 55 senior medical students answered the survey before, during, and in the post-peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. There was a staggering decrease in the percentage of students in the post-peak compared to the pre-pandemic period that considered certain factors such as being taught about the doctor-patient relationship (62% vs 75%), practicing teamwork (33% vs 54%), preclinical & clinical subjects (44% vs 63%), and being taught to conduct research (22% vs 32%) as “very useful” to their professional traineeship. There was a significant difference between pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-peak students when asked if the study curriculum accomplished the goal of training a professional with integrity (89% vs 66% vs 64%, p < 0.001), respectively. In a multivariate analysis graduating during the pandemic (OR 3.92; 95% CI, 2.58–5.94) and in the post-peak period (OR 4.24; 95% CI, 2.23–8.07) were independent factors for the appreciation that the study curriculum did not meet its objective. Conclusions: The pandemic has hindered medical education. Students’ appreciation of their instruction has deteriorated. Urgent interventions that halt the negative impact on training, ensure readiness for future problems and improve schooling worldwide are needed.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo506
PublicaciónBMC Medical Education
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2023

Nota bibliográfica

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Citar esto