BMC Med Educ. 2022 May 21;22(1):392. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03465-w.
BACKGROUND: Clinical experiences lie at the heart of undergraduate medical education (UGME). COVID-19 related disruptions in Medical Education impacted medical students substantially. As educators, efforts directed at developing new mediums to educate our medical students in the face of these new limitations were vital. The Virtual Ward (VW) pilot was an inaugural resident-driven, virtual educational opportunity aimed at supplement the learning of core internal medicine skills for undergraduate medical students.
METHODS: Interested medical students were paired in groups of 5-6 with an internal medicine resident tutor. The McMaster University UGME core internal medicine topic list was provided to resident tutors to teach in an open, morning-report format in which students directed content selection. Following completion of the VW series, we distributed an online anonymous survey using a 5-point Likert scale to gauge the efficacy of the intervention and compare it to existing learning modalities offered by the UGME.
RESULTS: In total, 166 medical students and 27 internal medicine resident tutors participated in the VW pilot. 46 (28%) medical students responded to the survey and 96% of survey respondents rated the sessions as being helpful to their learning. The majority rated VW superior to existing learning modalities and 94% thought VW should continue after COVID-related restrictions abate.
CONCLUSIONS: VW is a novel educational platform that was very well received by learners. We propose VW may have a continued supplemental role post-pandemic to help with translation of knowledge to clinical skills and provide an additional avenue of mentorship for students.