Finding pre-med clinical experience while you are balancing MCAT prep and studying for exams in a normal year is challenging. Doing this during COVID-19 can feel next to impossible, especially when clinical experience is extremely hard to find given extra safety and health precautions at doctors’ offices and hospitals.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical school admissions have had to make tons of unprecedented changes, including the shortened MCAT, a delayed cycle, and of course, the virtual interview.
Medical students have faced innumerable challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and international medical students (IMGs) have been greatly affected due to the unique circumstances of our journey to and through medical school.
By the time you are reading this, I hope that we are over and done with the COVID-19 surge. And I hope that it’s the only one that we will experience. However, if history is any guide, it would be unsurprising to face another pandemic in our lifetimes. The concomitant economic downturn might be new to some of us, but for others, we see the shadows of what was happening to our financial well-being in 2008-2009.
As many of you may know, the AAMC cancelled eight MCAT test dates from March 27th through May 21st due to coronavirus (COVID-19). MCAT testing will resume on May 29th; however, the AAMC has made a number of important changes to the upcoming MCAT schedule in an effort to accommodate examinees whose test dates were cancelled while maintaining safe social distancing practices. As an MCAT tutor and prior examinee myself, I understand that these changes have likely added stress to an already challenging process in a very uncertain time. For all students preparing to take the MCAT these next few months, I’d like to provide some clarity to the recent changes to the MCAT.
The grind through medical school is undoubtedly one the most challenging and anxiety-provoking times of your life, and if you’re doing it along with balancing children or a family, it can very quickly become overwhelming. And in the midst of the pandemic, with people getting serious about social distancing, universities and workplaces alike going remote, the coronavirus presents us with another twist--balancing all of our baseline responsibilities while simultaneously parenting. It’s like a series of snow days that just won’t seem to end.
COVID-19 is a new challenge that has dramatically impacted medical students, whether they were pulled from their clinical rotations or required to sit through the rest of their semesters online. For most, it is an anxiety-provoking time. Nobody feels this more so than students who would have been gearing up to apply to residency right now, packaging their USMLE scores, away rotations, and letters into an application that would be submitted in the fall. Now that COVID-19 is here, USMLE exams have been delayed, rotations have been canceled, and certain opportunities for letters may no longer be possible. Despite these seeming challenges, there are still ways to maximize during and stand out with all the extra time we have at home:
With testing season in full swing now, Prometric has finally opened some test centers amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Of course, there are some caveats: such as 50% testing facility capacity and the requirement of gloves and masks during tests.
This personal protective equipment (PPE) mandate seems to be what troubles students the most, as these articles of clothing are quite uncomfortable. Here at Med School Tutors, we decided to put together a few tips and tricks to help ease that discomfort caused by your PPE.