LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With COVID-19 leading to the cancellation of many clinicals and hospital shifts, medical students across the country are forced to take their instruction online. But one local medical school has a unique solution, and now, they’re sharing it with the public.
When the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences moved their students online in march, professors ran into trouble with their 3rd and 4th year students, who would normally be learning in the field. “We were sort of left scrambling figuring out how are we going to do what we can virtually until we can get them back into the hospitals and clinics,” said Dr. James Graham, executive associate dean for academic affair at the college of medicine.
The solution was to teach them about the pandemic, and design a comprehensive class centered around the coronavirus. “We [designed] a virtual course to teach them everything we could teach them about COVID,” Graham said.
When the two week course first launched, it was only for more advanced students at the university. “The initial motivation,” Graham explained, “was for our seniors that we knew were about to go out and take care of patients.” But the course is now being offered to all medical students, and has even been shared across the state. Dr. Graham explained, “we then offered it to hospitals around Arkansas, to their medical staff and nursing staffs.”
One of the unique challenges of teaching a course on COVID-19 is how quickly the material can change, as we learn more about the virus every day. “Having put this together in March and April, you know, things have changed,” Graham said. “We’ve changed parts of the modules to keep it up to date.”
Now, portions of the course are available to the public so everyone can learn about this widespread disease. If you’re interested in taking the course, you can do so here.
Click HERE for the course.