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How to Make the Most of Remote Learning in 2022

  • by Lauren Claus
  • Jan 20, 2022
  • Reviewed by: Amy Rontal

Although the beginning of 2022 is a time of fresh starts and renewed perspectives, some aspects of pandemic life will remain with us. One of them is remote learning. Many medical schools around the country and world are returning preclinical lectures and small group sessions back to Zoom.

Do not lose hope! We offer some tips to help you make the most of your remote medical school curriculum.

Investigate the wide range or available online resources

We know that in-person learning opportunities, including physical exams and shadowing, may be dwindling. You can still take full advantage of the vast array of online materials and videos that focus on physical exam maneuvers, procedures, and surgeries.

Your medical school library is a hidden treasure which may give you free access to online databases full of  resources.The database ClinicalKey has videos to introduce you to common procedures (such as an internal jugular approach to central venous catheterization) or specialized operations (such as an endoscopic endonasal transcribriform approach for resection of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the anterior skull base and orbit – to name just a few). Many hospitals, residency programs, or medical schools provide similar videos.

We have prepared a list of relevant Youtube channels and websites worth checking out:

Stanford Medicine 25 Video Gallery: The Stanford Medicine 25 team is a group of physicians, faculty members, and students who, in their own words, “believe that caring for the patient starts at the bedside with observing, examining and connecting with … patients.” Their videos are made to complement live, hands-on Stanford Medicine 25 sessions, and watching the videos enables you to learn about a variety of sophisticated medical procedures.

Mayo Clinic Video Series on Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Take full advantage of more than 100 in-depth videos of otolaryngologic surgeries, from peritonsillar abscess aspiration to open reduction and internal fixation for a parasymphyseal mandibular fracture, which the leading specialists of Mayo Clinic have made available. Dive into their knowledge and updates regarding clinical and research education!

University of Texas Medical Branch Pediatric Cardiology: Although surgical procedures are difficult to learn about online, some topics such as electrocardiogram (EKG) interpretation are actually perfect for learning in a remote setting. Learning from home can provide you with the extra time and space that you need to immerse yourself fully and master your skills!

Explore unique opportunities

Because you no longer need to travel to campus, pack a lunch or keep your white coat freshly washed and ironed every day (oh those pesky wrinkles!!), you may find yourself with a couple of extra hours on a weekly basis. Treat this time as a unique opportunity to customize your daily routine to best fit your goals.

Exploring an interest in cardiology? Attend the weekly Cardiology Grand Rounds on Zoom. Interested int radiology or pathology? here might possibly be opportunities to observe some of the daily Zoom conversations between residents and subspecialty attendings, such as neuroradiologists or dermatopathologists. If surgery is your passion, you can find some rope or a suturing kit and start to practice important hands-on skills. The pandemic has provided us with a large amount of new opportunities – you just need to find out where they are. 

Engage in research projects

Translate your learning into action. Just think about it – many aspects of research, such as chart reviews, statistical analyses, and online surveys,  can be developed and implemented remotely. That is why weeks and months of remote learning are the ideal time either to start research projects or to finish up all you have on your plate.  Go into action and explore different specialties, learn more about medical topics that always interested you , improve your analytical skills, and get to know members of your medical community (of course,  while following social distancing protocols!)

Keep your goals realistic

You don’t need to fill every hour of your day with productivity or responsibilities. Be mindful! In fact, pushing yourself too much is a straight path to burnout – and you don’t want to go there!. While you are increasing your productivity,  check in with yourself on a regular basis to ensure that your mental health and wellness are a priority. Pace yourself: it’s a marathon, not a sprint after all!

One more tip – use remote learning as an opportunity to catch up or get ahead on long-term responsibilities. While working from your home or apartment, you can allot and complete a realistic amount of UWorld questions per day. There’s no need to rush yourself through questions. Since you are mostly staying at home, you should have more time to study at your own pace!

Appreciate the personal benefits of distant learning

The life of a resident, fellow, or attending is filled with clinical and academic responsibilities. Once you start residency, you may never have this much time at your disposal again. You might even look back with some nostalgia (as hard as that is to believe!) When you feel frustrated that you cannot experience pre-pandemic normal experiences – sitting in a crowded lecture hall, casually grabbing a coffee before a busy study group session, or shadowing during a hectic afternoon at a clinic – just  appreciate all the personal benefits of distant learning. After all, isn’t it nice to replace a daily commute with a daily indulgence in your favorite hobby ora full eight hours of sleep at night? Every step of your medical journey is unique. By understanding and accepting this fact,  you can bring joy and motivation into your daily life while you grow personally and professionally.

Feel free to follow these tips, and reflect on other ways you can modulate your daily life. Remember, you can not only survive this period of remote life, but you can thrive in it. Regardless of whether the social distancing continues for weeks or months, you can feel confident about the  work you put in, focus on your mental health and wellness, and continue your successful medical journey! And as always, you can stay on track to achieve your goals with a personalized Cram Fighter study plan! If you haven’t already, sign up for a free trial account and create a custom schedule for your next exam now!