Edward Asumanu, Linda Tsevi


Medical education in Ghana has been affected in many ways by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the pandemic has affected both preclinical and clinical segments of medical education, the effect has been felt more at the clinical stage. Medical students on vacation who started their clinical training abroad could not return to their destination of study to complete their programmes because of COVID-19 linked travel restrictions. This qualitative study examined how COVID-19 impacted on teaching and learning at a public higher education institution offering clinical medical education in Ghana for over 200 medical students. These medical students were from three different higher education institutions with varied curriculum outcomes. Thus, for them to be considered as a single group required innovativeness on the part of administrators. Open-ended interviews were held with administrators and the outcome indicated that salient aspects of the clinical training process had been impacted. These included administration of clinical education, curriculum, student learning, student assessment and code of practice. As a result of the pandemic, student learning shifted from traditional face to face interaction to online learning at the beginning. Some of the administrative challenges that ensued included the need for reduced number of students per tutor and introduction of afternoon sessions with a limited budget. The paper concludes that COVID-19 has been disruptive to traditional medical education in Ghana. However, the novel learning processes may provide opportunities to increase access to medical education using a phased system of learning. The findings from this study should have implications for policy and contribute to the discourse on blended learning in medical education in Ghana while ensuring that quality is maintained in all instances.


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