Crisis or Opportunity? A Phenomenological Study of the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Final Year Medical Students

Min Thein Win, Su Yin Lim, Prabal Bhargava, Yin Sear Lim, Punithavathy Shanmuganathan, Pwint Phyu Khine
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Abstract


While online learning has enabled access to educational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are likely to be unrecognized challenges prompted by the unique set of circumstances currently faced by medical students in many parts of the world, especially those in the final undergraduate year, when academic pressure is most felt. The study aimed to explore the experiences of final-year medical students during the pandemic and how this has affected their learning and emotional well-being. A hermeneutically-guided phenomenological approach was used. Twenty-two final-year medical students were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis was performed on the transcribed data. Four main themes emerged, revealing prevalent feelings of anxiety and demotivation. Potentially actionable drivers behind these negative emotional experiences were identified, including worries about deterioration of clinical skills, exam unpreparedness, reduced peer contact, and fear of contagion. Distractions, excessive online time, and lack of meaningful interactions contributed to disengagement with online learning during the pandemic. The main positive aspects reported were that online learning was flexible and timesaving. Educators should re-consider their approach to online teaching during the pandemic by considering the students’ emotional state and making appropriate provisions for preserving their well-being

Keywords


COVID-19 pandemic, Medical education, Online learning, Medical student, Well-being

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References


Win, M. T., Lim, S. Y., Bhargava, P., Lim, Y. S., Shanmuganathan, P., & Khine, P. P. (2020). Crisis or opportunity? A phenomenological study of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on final year medical students. International Journal of Studies in Education and Science (IJSES), 1(2), 112-127.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijses.4

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International Journal of Studies in Education and Science (IJSES) - ISSN: 2767-9799

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International Society for Technology, Education and Science (ISTES)

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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.