Updated July 2, 2020
COVID-19 has created uncertainty in many aspects of our lives and medical education is no different. Medical students have seen clinical rotations cancelled, coursework shift online and classmates graduate early and join the fight on the front lines. While this resource guide is not meant to be exhaustive, it provides information and resources to frequently asked questions.
If you don't find an answer to your question within this guide, contact us.
Stories from medical students
AMA Chief Experience Officer, Todd Unger, recently spoke with two students about their experience during COVID-19 and the impact the virus has had on medical school education.
Read the transcript of their conversation, which is part of AMA's COVID-19 daily update video series.
FAQs: Impact of COVID-19 on medical education
Q: Where can I get more information on what my classes and clerkships will look like next year?
A: This is an area that is presently being reviewed. As we receive information and further guidance, we will make sure to provide the information to you as quickly and easily as possible. We encourage you to contact your medical school’s student affairs office, in the meantime, for further guidance in this area.
The AMA Ed Hub™ is a great resource if you are looking to pursue self-paced learning virtually. The AMA Ed Hub has videos on a variety of topics, including COVID-19 specific courses. Specifically, “Deploying students in alternative roles during COVID-19” (PDF) may be helpful. Additionally, this information pertaining to “Clinical education and return to clerkships in the world of COVID-19” may also be of interest.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 testing?
A: Both NBME and USMLE have provided guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on testing. We recognize the information pertaining to USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 testing is fluid. We encourage you to also contact the office of student affairs at your medical school.
Q: How will COVID-19 impact the residency selection process?
A: Currently, the AAMC recommends a virtual approach to interviews at all levels. The AMA will provide further updates as we receive more information on how this process will be impacted in the future.
Q: How does this impact my student loans?
A: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. It allows for loan flexibility in the case of withdrawal and provides continued eligibility for those schools whose coursework was moved online. Additionally, if your financial circumstances have changed significantly due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional loans for the upcoming school year. Contact your medical school’s financial aid office for more information. Check the Federal Student Aid website for updates related to COVID-19 and more detailed information on forbearance information for students, borrowers and parents.
Q: I’m graduating soon and have a lot of questions about my new residency program. Is there information available to help with this transition?
A: Discussions about the start of residency programs are active. The AMA will do our best to keep you informed as this evolves. At present, the AMA has published a Residents and Fellows Bill of Rights that you can read for more information. Additionally, ACGME has provided guidelines. These guidelines discuss accreditation status and GME during the COVID-19 pandemic, provide ACGME guidance statements, FAQs, letters to the community and other organizational guidance.
If you’re looking for some general tips about starting and making the most of your residency, check out the AMA’s “How to be a good coachee” guide (PDF).