Adapting Surgical Clerkship Curricula in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Edward Kim, Elliot Goodman, Gilbert Sebbag, Ohana Gil, Alan Jotkowitz, Benjamin H. Taragin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) impacted medical education and led to the significant modification or suspension of clinical clerkships and rotations. Objectives: To describe a revised surgery clerkship curriculum, in which we divided in-person clinical teaching into smaller groups of students and adopted online-based learning to foster student and patient safety while upholding program standards. Methods: The third-year surgery core clerkship of a 4-year international English-language program at the Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, was adapted by dividing students into smaller capsules for in-person learning and incorporating online learning tools. Specifically, students were divided evenly throughout three surgical departments, each of which followed a different clinical schedule. Results: National Board of Medical Examiners clerkship scores of third-year medical students who were returning to in-person clinical clerkships after transitioning from 8 weeks of online-based learning showed no significant difference from the previous 2 years. Conclusions: To manage with the restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we designed an alternative approach to a traditional surgical clerkship that minimized the risk of exposure and used online learning tools to navigate scheduling challenges. This curriculum enabled students to complete their clinical rotation objectives and outcomes while maintaining program standards. Furthermore, this approach provided a number of benefits, which medical schools should consider adopting the model into practice even in a post-pandemic setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-692
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume23
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clerkship
  • Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)
  • Medical education
  • Online learning
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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