The Impact of Online Learning In The Internal Medicine Rotation Among Medical Clerks During The Covid 19 Pandemic and Lockdown


Background: The impact of online learning during internal medicine rotation among graduating medical students was evaluated during COVID 19 pandemic. 
Objectives: The study aimed to gauge acceptability of a self-directed learning, recognize frustrations, identify coping mechanisms, assess rate of learning,   evaluate study habits and appraise level of readiness in handling actual patients later in practice among graduating medical clerks.
Methodology: An ambispective cohort design study involving both retrospective and prospective follow-up of respondents. The retrospective component involved blended learners with clinical experience (Group 1). The prospective component included online learner with clinical experience (Group 2)  and online learner  without clinical experience.
Results: Group 1  showed that they favor pure traditional learning over pure online learning in contrast to the other 2 groups which rated acceptability of online learning high.   All groups had high levels of frustration with their inability to experience actual patient exposure, had moderate to high level of coping mechanisms, and rated high the traditional learning and blended learning methodologies. In contrary, all groups rated low to moderate contributions of online learning to their learning. Group 3 had a significantly higher mean overall readiness score compared to the two other groups.
Conclusion: The study showed the different levels of impact of online learning to the different population of medical clerks in terms of its acceptability as an alternative way of learning. Actual patient exposure is of main concern while different coping mechanisms maximize knowledge acquisition. 

Key words: Online learning, self directed, COVID 19 pandemic, Medical clerks



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