The COVID-19 pandemic: doom to international medical electives? Results from two German elective databases.

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Date: July 26, 2021
From: BMC Research Notes(Vol. 14, Issue 1)
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 1,894 words
Lexile Measure: 1320L

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Abstract :

Objective International medical electives are an essential part of medical education and popular among medical students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many students had assistantship placements postponed and electives cancelled. Educational institutions switched face-to-face campus-based teaching to virtual platforms. Although it is conceivable that international medical electives were particularly affected by this development, numerical data on this phenomenon is yet scarce. To investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the clinical elective behavior of German-speaking medical students, we systematically analyzed two large German online databases (Famulatur-Ranking and PJ-Ranking) cataloging medical elective experience testimonies. Results The COVID-19 pandemic substantially reduced the number of German medical students undertaking abroad medical electives. Between 2018 and 2020, a total of 10,976 reports were uploaded to both databases. We observed a notable decline in abroad elective reports in 2020. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 5% of reports uploaded to "PJ-ranking" covered an international medical elective. This number dropped to 1.68% in 2020. Analyzing "Famulaturranking", we observed a comparable phenomenon. While 4.74% of reports in 2019 covered an international elective, the number dropped to 2.02% in 2020. The long-term consequences of this phenomenon will be subject to future research. Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, Elective, Medical Student, Clerkship, International Health, Global Health, Public Health

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A672348061