Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students of clinical clerkship in South Korea: A qualitative study exploring medical students’ experiences
Background and Objective: In 2020, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, medical students were placed in a learning environment that exposed them to unsafe clinical settings. In this study, using a phenomenological approach, we analyze the experiences of fourth-year students in the Daegu area of South Korea, a region that experienced a high concentration of COVID-19 infections.
Methods: The essays of 80 students from four medical schools who agreed to participate in the study were utilized in the final data analysis. The data were analyzed using the proposed phenomenological analysis.
Results: Forty-seven condensed meaning units, twelve subthemes, and three essential themes were identified. The main theme includes the following: 1) confusion and stress due to sudden changes in the learning situation 2) learned the medical professionalism of physicians 3) reflection and internal change regarding what it means to be a physician.
Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on students who participated in clinical clerkships. This study can provide baseline data for planning educational strategies and establishing a support system for students in response to the changes that they may experience in the event of the reoccurrence of a novel infectious disease in the future.
How to cite this:
Park KH, Yune SJ, Jung MK, Kim Y, Lee GH, Kim SY. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students of clinical clerkship in South Korea: A qualitative study exploring medical students’ experiences. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(3):469-475. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.3.5031
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.