An approach to teaching psychiatry to medical students in the time of Covid-19

Guerandel, A., McCarthy, N., McCarthy, J., Mulligan, D., Lane, A. and Malone, K. (2021) An approach to teaching psychiatry to medical students in the time of Covid-19. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 38 (4). pp. 293-299. ISSN 0790-9667


In this time of Covid-19, life in healthcare has changed immeasurably. It has rapidly been injected with an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, to facilitate the necessary adaptations required to reduce the spread of the virus and deliver frontline clinical care. Inevitably aspects of these changes have disrupted the delivery of medical education, notably clinical placements have been cancelled and social distancing guidelines prohibit face-to-face teaching. The training of future doctors is an essential part of this effort. Indeed, the emergence of a global health threat has underlined its continued importance. For medical educators and students alike, we have been presented with a challenge. Concurrently, this presents us with an impetus and opportunity for innovation. For some time now, a transformation in medical education has been called for, with an increasing recognition of the need to prepare students for the changing landscape of healthcare systems. This has included a focus on the use of technology-enhanced and self-directed learning. As a team of educators and clinicians in psychiatry, working in the School of Medicine and Medical Sciences (SMMS) in University College Dublin (UCD), we will share how we have responded. We outline the adaptations made to our ‘Psychiatry’ module and consider the influence this may have on its future delivery. These changes were informed by direct student input.

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