Perception of medical education by learners and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey of online teaching.Med Educ Online. 2021 Dec; 26(1):1919042.ME
COVID-19 lockdowns have deeply impacted teaching programs. Online teaching has suddenly become the main form of medical education, a form that may be used as long as the pandemic continues. We aimed at analyzing how online teaching was perceived by both teachers and learners to help determine how to adapt curricula in the next few years. An anonymous cross-sectional survey of medical students, pediatric residents, neonatal fellows, and their respective teachers was conducted between June and August 2020 to assess feelings about quality, attendance, equivalence, and sustainability of online teaching programs. 146 Students and 26 teachers completed the survey. 89% of students agreed that the offered online teaching was an appropriate way of teaching during the pandemic. Less than half of learners and teachers felt they have received or provided a training of an equivalent level and quality as in usual courses. About one-third thought that this online teaching should continue after the crisis ends. Medical school students had significantly more mixed opinions on online teaching than residents and fellows did. Attendance of learners significantly improved with synchronous online classes (p < 0.001), and among more advanced learners (p < 0.002). Our study is the first of this kind to assess simultaneously the feelings of learners at different levels (medical students, residents, and fellows) and their respective teachers of pediatric on programs taught online. It showed that online programs were perceived as appropriate ways of teaching during the COVID pandemic. Further studies are, however, needed to assess the efficacy of such teaching methods on medical skills and communication capabilities.