The effect of COVID-19 on medical student clinical skill practice and self-perceived proficiency

Hall, Leanne, Binks, Sophie, and Heal, Clare (2023) The effect of COVID-19 on medical student clinical skill practice and self-perceived proficiency. MedEdPublish, 13. 10.

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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic significantly impacted medical education. This study aimed to determine how COVID-19 affected students’ opportunity to practice core clinical skills across specialty rotations and their self-perceived proficiency at performing these.

Methods: Routinely administered surveys of fifth year medical student’ experiences and perceptions of medical training from 2016 to 2021 were analysed. Number of times core clinical skills were performed and self-perceived proficiency of each skill were compared pre- (years 2016-2019) and during-COVID (years 2020-2021).

Results: Data from 219 surveys showed a reduction in the opportunity to perform “a cervical screen test” (p<0.001), “a mental health assessment” (p=0.006), “assess the risk of suicide” (p=0.004) and “bladder catheterisation” (p=0.007) during-COVID. Self-reported skill proficiency was also less during-COVID for performance of: “a mental health assessment” (p=0.026) and “an ECG” (p=0.035).

Conclusions: The impact of COVID-19 on mental health skills was greatest, potentially due to a shift toward telehealth services and consequent reduced ability for students to engage in consultations. In a time of potential long-term change in the healthcare landscape, it is imperative to ensure adequate opportunity to practice all core clinical skills during medical training. Inclusion of telehealth earlier into the curriculum may benefit student confidence.

Item ID: 79184
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2312-7996
Copyright Information: © 2023 Hall L et al. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2023 03:19
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum @ 100%
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