The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Education: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational processes and methods. Identifying and sharing educational experiences helps policymaking and educational decision-making and planning to face similar situations at the national and international levels.


This study aimed to explore medical students' lived experiences about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their clinical education.


The main question of the research was, “what were the experiences of medical students from training in the clinical environment during the days of COVID-19?” Therefore, this descriptive phenomenological study was conducted at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Mazandaran, Iran, in 2021. The semi-structured virtual interviews were conducted with 18 medical students. Data were analyzed using Colaizz's method.


Most participants were female (N = 10), and their average age was 23.71 ± 2.06. The essential experiences were related to three themes and 20 sub-themes. Themes highlighted teaching and learning methods, educational planning and management disruptions, and assessment methods. Virtual teaching and learning included virtual journal clubs, conferences, tumor boards, case reports, morning reports, skill labs, small groups, flipped classroom methods, etc. Disruption in educational planning was mainly observed in rounds and significant rotations. OSCE, logbook, and activity in e-learning were the predominant assessments.


Based on the results, three themes were based on medical students’ experiences. According to these themes, COVID-19 was an accelerator for shifting the paradigm in Iran's medical education and students' learning and assessment strategies. Therefore, some departments used COVID-19 as an opportunity and adapted to this shift. However, several departments were disturbed in their planning and management. requiring support and training to face similar situations. 

Educational Research in Medical Sciences, Volume:12 Issue: 1, Jun 2023
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