Students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine struggle most with changes in social interaction and hands-on learning

The Cavalier Daily
We are working with The Cavalier Daily, the independent, student-run daily news organization at the University of Virginia, to give the greater Charlottesville community a closer look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Grounds.

By Zoe Ziff 

With classes having moved online, the virtual change has not just shifted the undergraduate experience, but also that of medical and biomedical graduate students. While some students are more used to remote learning, others have to complete alternatives to their clinical or laboratory work, as well as adjust to summer research cancellations. Students and faculty alike also struggle with lack of social interaction that is now necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike the undergraduate experience, the activities of medical students vary dramatically from year to year. In their first year, medical students are focused on classroom learning. According to Medical student Joey Michel, many professors recorded their lectures even before the switch to online learning. He said that the curriculum and schedule for first years has remained “business as usual” for the most part, but certain classes — especially involving dissections — are particularly challenging online. The biggest change for Michel has been socially.

“For me, at least, and for many of my classmates, the switch was not too disrupting,” Michel said. “It was more like not being able to go to the library and study with people. That’s the thing that’s been harder for people.”

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