The Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Examinations

Main Article Content

Amer Harky
Donia Karimaghaei
Hannah Katmeh
Savini Hewage


Medical Education, Clinical Education, COVID-19, Coronavirus, OSCE


Background and aim

The coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound impact on many aspects of our lives, including medical education. The suspension of clinical placements and cancellation of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE) is likely to have an influence on students’ performance.



Using a questionnaire, a retrospective observational study was conducted. Our primary focus was 3rd year medical students following their examinations in May 2020. 



Out of 46 responses obtained, the results demonstrated over 2/3 felt they perform better in clinical OSCE compared to written examinations and the majority performed worse this year during the pandemic. On a Likert scale, a mean result of 3/5 was obtained for confidence upon returning to placement and to address this, most stated they would benefit from extra optional teaching. Additionally, a further average of 3.82 was derived to represent how greatly students believed the absence of third year clinical OSCE would negatively impact their performance in the OSCE for the following academic year. 


The results of our study highlight that the cancellation of clinical placements and OSCE due to coronavirus has negatively impacted on medical education and if we are to be faced with future pandemics, we must be better prepared to train future doctors.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 395 | PDF Downloads 159


1. CMO confirms cases of coronavirus in England - GOV.UK. Accessed July 14, 2020.

2. Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 23 March 2020 - GOV.UK. Accessed July 14, 2020.

3. Nearly 1,500 deaths in one day: UK ministers accused of downplaying Covid-19 peak | World news | The Guardian. Accessed July 14, 2020.

4. Interim Guidance on Medical Students’ Participation in Direct Patient Contact Activities: Principles and Guidelines. AAMC. 2020.

5. Arandjelovic A, Arandjelovic K, Dwyer K, Shaw C, 2020, 'COVID-19: Considerations for Medical Education during a Pandemic', MedEdPublish, 9, [1], 87,

6. Sahi PK, Mishra D, Singh T. Medical Education Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Indian Pediatr. 2020;57(7):652-657. doi:10.1007/s13312-020-1894-7

7. Patil NG, Chan Y, Yan H. SARS and its effect on medical education in Hong Kong. Med Educ. 2003;37(12):1127-1128. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01723.x

8. Mian A, Khan S. Medical education during pandemics: A UK perspective. BMC Medicine. 2020;18(1):100. doi:10.1186/s12916-020-01577-y

9. Ferrel MN, Ryan JJ. The Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Education. Cureus. 2020;12(3). doi:10.7759/cureus.7492

10. Dedeilia A, Sotiropoulos MG, Hanrahan JG, Janga D, Dedeilias P, Sideris M. Medical and surgical education challenges and innovations in the COVID-19 era: A systematic review. In Vivo. 2020;34(3 Suppl):1603-1611. doi:10.21873/invivo.11950