It’s been over two months that many students have been engaged in online classes now, and I oddly find it to be a much different experience than the online lectures I would watch during med school didactics first year. I was a non-attender of in-person lecture and instead preferred to watch recorded lectures on my own time, because that was how I learned best. However, I have been less motivated during virtual learning during quarantine, and I think the reason why is because I know it is replacing our clinical experiences in the hospital. Especially now that we are entering our fourth year, rotations are a fundamental treat, because we are able to select what elective rotations we want based on what our career interests are. For me, I was looking forward to my inpatient medicine internship, as well as other medicine subspecialty electives. Having in mind what I am currently missing out on is drawing my attention away from online classes. There are definitely advantages to virtual learning: you can learn in the comfort of your home, the entire curriculum is conveniently uploaded to an online platform that is easily accessible, and you can move at your own pace as long as you are meeting deadlines. Disadvantages include the engagement you get in an in-person class, collaborative learning with peers, and of course, the practical application of clinical learning on the wards. While you are still sitting in on classes online real-time with a faculty member, it is clear that students are not as engaged as they would be in person, as students ask less questions and volunteer less answers. I think the accountability is not as great, and thus motivation is less. In addition, as medical students training to be physicians, I believe most of us would rather be on the wards engaged in patient care and learning directly from attendings on the job, rather than reading articles and watching videos about niche topics. While online learning is the best substitute we can get for now given the unfortunate circumstances, it is difficult to foresee anything that can measure up to learning from pure, direct clinical experiences and patient interactions.
Prime Role of Primary Care in HIV Management
Alex is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As an avid lover of the intellect and interspecialty collaboration associated with medicine, she is excited to be applying for Internal Medicine residency programs. Her interest in medicine largely stems from her volunteer work in free clinics in underserved communities and experiences growing up with a brother with autism.
Before attending medical school, Alex completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2014 and her Master of Public Health (concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology) at Yale University in 2016.
When she is not working in the hospital or studying, you can find Alex running by the lake, doing circuit workouts outdoors in the fields, drawing and/or writing, or at home spending time with her family in the suburbs of Chicago.