Medical teaching & COVID


It's quite sad to admit that at the moment, I'm not 100% sure who is part of my half of the year and who isn't. Apart from 8 regular faces on Teams & my clinical partner I barley see anybody from my year.


I'm not the only one concerned about the impact of COVID on medical teaching. It's generally the first thing we discuss when we catch each other in the hospital. A few things I've noticed that I don't think are good news for us...


The *almost* abolition of bedside teaching

The gold standard or pinnacle of teaching can be demanding and feel overwhelming when you're questioned on the spot, but I think you learn the most. There is a reason why this aspect of medical teaching has never died, and there is a good reason for it. Staring at a screen, trying to inhale a textbook or endlessly searching google does not stand in the same league as bedside teaching. This year I've had a sum total of 5 bedside teaching sessions, two of which were optional/additional teaching run by two very keen SHO's. I'd be interested to see what others' have found across the country.


Pouring from empty cups

Most days, I can barely find any doctors. Even when I do, they were fatigued, overworked, under-resourced and teetering on edge. To turn a phrase 'You can't pour from an empty cup'. Day in day out I see too many doctors still pouring from their empty cups. As a student, it's frightening, do I want to be like that? Is this what is in store for me? Is this why I sacrificed so many things for? I actually saw an interesting post about the potential departure of medical staff from the profession after COVID.


Microsoft team woes


& it went like this...


Tutors can't find the video call. The tutor doesn't show up. Tutors can't find the share screen button. Students can't see the PowerPoint presentation. Somebody becomes the unelected IT support for tutors (Hi that's me). You forget to log attendance. The PowerPoint get's stuck on the introductory page. The teacher can't see the students & complains about it. Three students have their videos on while the rest have video & voice off. Three students are in the firing line for the onslaught of questions the rest sit and 'ghost'. The voice goes glitchy. The video goes glitchy. Someone get's kicked out for no reason. Someone leaves their microphone on by accident. Someone tries to speak and is still on mute & you have to tell them they are on mute. Someone's laptop dies. Someone's laptop overheats & it sounds like an aeroplane is about to land. Someone turns up having completed 8/10 tasks for the day at 9am. Someone else turns up in bed.


Can you relate to any of the above?



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