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Abstract

Objective: The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in medical education globally. Published reports on these changes have given some insight as to both positive and negative effects for specific medical schools though none have looked at osteopathic education. Our study attempts to examine the effect of COVID19 more formally on osteopathic medical students’ perception of their medical education in the third and fourth years of medical training.

Methods: Third- and fourth-year medical students at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) completed electronic surveys regarding their experiences with changes in medical education due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Results: 451 responses were collected from the 1095 students surveyed (41% response rate). Students identified loss of away rotations (71.4%) and concern about further disruptions to in-person medical education experiences (61.2%) as their top concerns; however, concerns about osteopathic manipulation were reported less often than all other aspects of medical education (5.3%). 56.4% of fourth year students and 44.1% of third year student respondents agreed/strongly agreed that they felt less prepared for residency. Surveys also showed higher anxiety with watching news and social media stories about COVID19 (38.7%) and that 67.4% of respondents disagreed/strongly disagreed with virtual modalities being the future of medical education

Conclusion: Osteopathic medical students felt that their clinical education has been impaired by COVID19 most in their ability to study and focus on licensing exams and participate in away rotations.

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