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Impact of COVID-19 on international medical education

Cite this dataset

Goudarzi, Houman; Onozawa, Masahiro; Takahashi, Makoto (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on international medical education [Dataset]. Dryad.


Purpose: To assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the current study methods and future plans of medical students compared to those in the pre-pandemic period.

Materials and methods: Second-grade medical students reported their academic experiences, study methods, and future career plans before (between 2016 and 2019) and during the pandemic (2020) using a questionnaire-based survey at Hokkaido University, Japan (n = 534).

Results: From 2016 to 2019, we found an increasing trend for participation in short-term international exchange programs, taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), clinical training, and undertaking research abroad among the students.  However, these percentages significantly declined (35.5%) during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 for all the assessed future plans, including short-term exchange programs (-27.9%), taking USMLE (-19.8%), clinical training (-24.5%), and undertaking research abroad (-13.2%) compared to 2019, wherein 67.9% of the students wished to have at least one of these four above-mentioned academic activities.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely and significantly influenced our medical students plans to go abroad for clinical and research training. Future studies are warranted to assess the long-term influence of this pandemic on the career planning of medical students.