The Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on Indian medical undergraduate students


Clinical clerkships
Clinical competence
Undergraduate medical education

How to Cite

Jindal, M., Singla, A. ., & Khan, A. M. (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on Indian medical undergraduate students. The Physician, 7(2), 1-11.


Background and Aims: With the implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown, conventional teaching had to be replaced with online teaching, to ensure the continuity of medical education. This has impacted the clinical training of medical undergraduates. We aimed to explore their perceptions and differences before and during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey using a self-administered, retrospective pre-post questionnaire, was conducted among students from pre-final and final year between December 2020 and March 2021. Agreement scores with 15-items about the various domains of clinical training were recorded. Open-ended question was asked to know about the reasons for the students’ preferences. Chi-square test and Wilcoxon signed rank test were used to compare the proportion and medians respectively.

Results: We received 1000 responses from students of 191 medical colleges {Median (IQR): 6 (2,10) per college}. Most (81.6%) opined that their experience with clinical training was better before COVID-19 lockdown, irrespective of the mode of teaching in clinical skills (P<0.001). In addition, despite being more comfortable, focused, and interactive, online clinical training could not offer interaction with patients, residents and colleagues. Students who had gone through in-person training during lockdown period also perceived disadvantages like limited exposure to patients, limited time for faculty to teach, and less time for clinical practice.

Conclusion: The learning experiences of clinical training during COVID-19 lockdown were perceived as inferior than that before lockdown by the medical undergraduate students, irrespective of the mode of clinical training.


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