The Consequences of the Pandemic for Medical Students
Prospective medical students can take action to move on while schools are being shut down, and the global health crisis is progressing.
Future medical students are concerned about many issues regarding the circumstances due to the coronavirus. Many problems remain unsolved with no further notice. People are worried about whether they will be infected when the pandemic is over and how the application and future education will be affected by the current crisis.
Despite the fact that the situation remains unclear, it is definite that the COVID-19 health crisis will have a major impact on med school admissions. Luckily, the main parts of the application process can be conducted online. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that strict quarantine measures and school shutdowns will unfavorably influence the admission process.
The health crisis is proceeding, and the consequences are unknown yet. Here are possible implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for admissions and the life of med school entrants and precautions to stop it.
Many major colleges, not excluding those where the majority of premeds are studying, have been shut down or turned their learning process into remote online classes. Taking into account that a pivotal part of premedical education is laboratory classes, which cannot be conducted at home, distance learning will have a considerable impact on medical schools and study.
The vast majority of med schools demand that students take in-person classes. However, the current health crisis makes traditional options impossible.
The outcome of remote learning and other precautions is not completely clear yet. It is assumed that med schools will be more adaptable to the situation, social distancing rules, and other pandemic precautions and will implement more remote studying opportunities.
Moreover, considering the disorganization of the learning process, academic scores might be disadvantageously impacted. It is hoped that admission officers will pay attention to the current events as a possible reason for a decline in grades while evaluating applications.
MCAT Exam Date
March, April, and May are the most popular months for taking the MCAT. The Medical College Admission Test is a necessary exam for application to medical schools. Due to the recent events, the Association of American Medical Colleges has already taken measures and changed some testing dates.
As of today, there is no notice about what testing venues and other testing dates will be changed. It probably means that young people will not complete their application package and will not apply to med schools in 2020.
One more trouble is that the submission for the primary application through the AMCAS (the American Medical College Application Service) might be delayed. The reason for it might be postponing the MCAT dates. Med school admission candidates are usually invited to submit their applications to the university anytime within a large window. Thus, those students who will apply later because of the delayed MCAT have lower chances of acceptance.
How these delays will influence the admission cycle is unknown yet. It is to be hoped that admission officers will take into consideration all the factors and the current situation.
The process of getting a good reference letter is a vital part of the application to medical schools. A lot of students start to ask their teachers for reference letters in March and April. Since schools are being shut down, getting this kind of document might be challenging because students do not have the opportunity to meet their professors.
The alternative is getting in touch by email or phone to ask for a letter. Students need to provide important data, typically a CV or a resume, to have a letter excellently written.
Med School Interview
Students who are now applying to be accepted in the fall know that med schools conduct interviewing through April and occasionally May. Nevertheless, because of strict social distancing rules and school shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, traditional interviews are expected to be canceled or carried out by phone.
Moreover, as meeting timetables are messed up, schools are likely to remove more candidates from the waitlist with no opportunity for another interview.
Recommendation for the Applicants
Medical school candidates have to follow advice placed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and regional public health departments, which is about precautions to save your health and health of people who surround you.
Considering the forthcoming admission season, medical school applicants should remain updated on the AMCAS application and the MCAT test dates. Some adjustments are expected to be made in the following weeks. Thus, it is imperative to keep track of all the news about delays and cancellations.
Furthermore, it is crucial to communicate with professors about reference letters. Those students who are afraid that teachers will not be able to recognize them without seeing them one-to-one should provide professors with sufficient data about themselves. Moreover, students can mention certain talks to help professors identify them.
In addition, entrants have to put a lot of effort into online learning. They should be as hard-working as they were during offline classes. Undoubtedly, adaptation to remote lessons takes some time. Nevertheless, premeds have to score only good marks to have high chances of acceptance to the med school.
If you are now in the process of application, keep in touch with the schools you have chosen. Besides, you should be ready for a potential phone interview, which can be demanded by med schools. In case you are already accepted, do not miss new details on enrollment and orientation rescheduling.
There are other things to do, but first, we have to see how the situation with the pandemic will progress.
On a cheerful note, social distancing and quarantine might be good for learning to become a physician. Now we all can see how valued health care workers are. Moreover, it is beneficial not only in terms of caring about people but also in terms of information hygiene. Now, when healthcare is always in the news, it is the best time to enter the medical field.
While you are awaiting updates on your educational opportunities, stay abreast of changes, be safe and sound, and concentrate on your aspiration to study medicine.
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