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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > The Effects of COVID-19 on Teaching Practices in Medical Education
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Sep 2022 Issue

The Effects of COVID-19 on Teaching Practices in Medical Education

Published on Sep 20, 2022




Purpose: This study investigates the transition to online teaching modalities in U.S. medical schools as reported in publicly available datasets before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study examines the number and types of graduate medical education (GME) programs and their instructional methods that might be appropriate for continued online teaching modalities as compared to trends in higher education, and in particular, trends in health communication instruction, such as skills training in provider-patient and medical team consultations.

Materials & Method: Studies investigating or reporting trends in medical education were culled from PubMed, and additional studies regarding trends in higher education were culled from Web of Science and Communication Abstracts using search terms “COVID-19” and “education.” Publicly available data was collected from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for years 2007-2021 (latest date available).

Results: Analysis of U.S. medical programs shows a clear trend toward modification of instructional methods to online modalities as a response to COVID-19 with some intent to continue utilizing these modalities post-COVID-19. Further analysis revealed a majority of utilized instructional methods which are adaptable to online teaching and learning, with certain instructional methods not easily adaptable comprising only 5.34% of the total. Growth in the number of graduate medical education programs and medical residents in the U.S. has steadily increased over the period, whereas the number of hours core medical faculty spend in teaching activities has decreased.

Discussion: Trends in medical education mirrored those in higher education in general during the period under investigation. Advances in instructional design can be applied to instructional methods used in medical programs. The greatest area of improvement gains could be attained in redesign of didactics.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Results indicate that medical schools were trending towards certain teaching methodologies which can be readily delivered in an online format prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the development of new online teaching techniques resulting from the rapid transition to online teaching in 2020 throughout higher education institutions worldwide, it behooves medical societies and school to invest in research and development of online teaching methodologies for future-proofing of graduate medical education.

Author info

H. Leblanc Iii

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