How is Social Distancing Affecting Medical Students and Their Study Habits?

Nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic first made its way into the public eye, medical students around the world are still feeling the effects of the guidelines put in place to protect them. Social distancing has changed the way many of these students study, and many are gaining insight into tools and technologies they may not have otherwise considered. Here’s how medical students are coping – and even excelling – despite the social distancing guidelines in 2021.

Social Media is Now a Classroom Tool

Social distancing guidelines have meant that in many cases, students are utilizing various distance learning tools in order to attend their lectures. The inability to gather in a classroom setting has taken a toll on discussions, but medical professors have found some refuge in social media. Many are taking to Facebook, where they create community pages for their classes and encourage their students to participate in discussions, ask questions, and even schedule virtual study groups. With Facebook being so accessible, it’s a great alternative to the classroom that keeps students safe.

Virtual Study Groups

Just as professors are utilizing technology to keep the conversation going and students engaged in learning, many students have taken it upon themselves to create virtual study groups via Facebook Rooms, Zoom, and other similar tools. Whereas students used to meet up in libraries or coffee shops to quiz one another, discuss difficult topics, and even share their lecture notes, these activities have been temporarily paused by social distancing measures. Utilizing video meeting software is a fantastic alternative, however, and while it isn’t the same as an actual gathering, it’s a good tool in the interim.

More Reliance on Qbanks

Qbanks are another essential tool that students have utilized for years to help them test their knowledge, learn, and prepare for various exams. Medical students, especially, utilize qbank platforms to practice and study for their licensing examinations. Due to the pandemic, these tools have become more popular than ever before, and students are relying on them as one of their primary study tools. In fact, there’s been an uptick in the number of universities and medical schools purchasing institutional subscriptions to these question banks in order to integrate them into the distance learning curriculum.

More Self-Study Time

As you might have already imagined, aside from utilizing various technologies to participate in discussions and study sessions with their professors and fellow medical students, self-study is becoming an integral part of these students’ routines. Whether students are reading and annotating their textbooks, searching the internet for medical journals, or practicing exams from their tablets on a lazy Sunday morning, they are spending more time studying alone than ever before. Though this can be difficult for those who learn well in social situations, in other cases, it’s benefiting students a great deal by improving their focus.

There’s no doubt that social distancing has completely changed the way medical students obtain (and reinforce) the information that is crucial to their future careers, but thanks to technologies like video conferencing, social media, and question bank software, there’s plenty from which these students can choose.

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