COVID-19 and Its Impact on Undergraduate Students in an Indian Medical Institute: Learning Is in Full Swing

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

2 Department of Pharmacology, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

3 Department of Pediatrics, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

4 Department of Pathology, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

5 Department of Forensic Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

6 Department of ENT, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

7 Department of Psychiatry, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India


Background: The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic posed a serious challenge to undergraduate medical education. With the principles of social distancing in place, all classroom sessions had to be suspended during the lockdown. Therefore, tele-teaching was planned and live online classes were regularly held for all undergraduate medical students at our institute. This study was conducted to gather the students’ perception of tele-teaching through live online classes. Methods: The present descriptive cross-sectional study enrolled 680 undergraduate students in Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, India. It was conducted after two months of regular live teleteaching during April-May 2020, immediately after the lockdown was announced. The classes were held through video conference platform, Cisco WebEx software, for all medical undergraduates at our institute. Two sessions were held every day for each of the four batches of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). The students’ perception was collected at the end of two months of such teaching, through a pre-validated open-ended questionnaire using Google Form platform. Result: Majority of students [n=493, (72.5%)] found the online classes beneficial and were satisfied with the content and relevance of the courses delivered. The most common challenges were internet connectivity issues and limited interaction with the faculty, yet the students’ general perceptions reflect that they have benefitted from these online classes during the pandemic period and want them to continue even after the lockdown. Conclusion: This study described the undergraduate medical students’ response to the live online classes and the encountered challenges. It concluded that this endeavour was a welcome note for the students as well as the medical teachers, in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, when all undergraduate teaching/learning had come to a standstill.


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