Posted: February 13th, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on my pathway to medical school. Like many aspiring medical students, I was expecting to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and begin applications for medical schools in the spring of 2020. However, due to the pandemic my test date was postponed multiple times and I eventually decided to postpone it until summer after feeling more prepared for it. In addition, as I could not go into a laboratory to conduct research during this period, I began working from home with a mentor on an online project instead.
Moreover, due to the pandemic many of my shadowing experiences got cancelled or modified so that they were done remotely rather than in person. It was challenging at first trying to develop meaningful relationships with physicians while not being able to be physically present– but eventually I learned how powerful technology can be when used correctly! During these virtual shadowing experiences, I observed plenty of telehealth visits which allowed me gain insight into how providers are managing their patients’ chronic diseases and other non-COVID related illnesses during this unprecedented time.
In addition, prior COVID-19 volunteer opportunities such as patient transport have moved mostly online too or have been significantly limited because of social distancing measures. Therefore most volunteering activities now require less physical contact with patients; such as sorting donations or helping out over the phone in telephone counseling sessions . Though it may feel like there is a lack of hands-on experience available right now; there are still ways we can use our skillset virtually in order get involved in healthcare service work even remotely!
Furthermore, premed organizations at universities across the country had no choice but to switch completely online due pre-existing regulations regarding large gatherings during COVID-19 combined with simultaneous efforts by schools across America shifting classes online during this semester . It has been much harder for leaderships within these clubs because now all meetings are held virtually rather than face-to-face which makes mentoring new members much harder since they cannot ask questions directly or receive guidance through body language cues that would normally happen if everyone were together physically. The shift also caused issues regarding fundraising events which lead some smaller organizations without proper funds behind them unable upkeep their operations throughout quarantine months— forcing them close down altogether despite having ambitious goals before hand . Thus affecting countless premed students who counted on those resources being available each year priorly unaware off coronavirus’ potential implications beforehand .
Ultimately ,the ongoing effects of coronavirus has expanded my understanding as an aspiring physician about how we must think outside box and pivot quickly when faced unexpected obstacles along path towards success especially given current uncertain climate within healthcare industry where things seem ever changing due virus’ lingering presence worldwide . Despite all odds ,I remain confident that one day soon our world will find vaccine against this virus & return back normalcy amongst us so can continue journey towards becoming doctor & serve community best way possible !
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