As the health system prepared for COVID-19 there was a debate about medical students on placements, would they be in the way during a crisis or could they help in overwhelmed wards
In South Australia, Uni Adelaide suspended them indefinitely; “the health sector is under a great deal of pressure and we hope the removal of students will clear the way for health professionals to manage their own priorities,” the university stated. But Flinders U decided placements should continue (CMM March 19).
So how did that work out? Julie Halbert, Alison Jones (Flinders U) and Liam Ramsey (Flinders U Medical Students Society) report in a Medical Journal of Australia pre-print that so far, so good. No students withdrew and, “despite some disruption, students have benefited from witnessing the health systems approach to the challenge.”
“Our final year students are the future medical workforce and it is our job to ensure they are competent, undifferentiated, work-ready practitioners. Furthermore, the wider community has reasonable expectations that the newly graduated workforce will be prepared for pandemics in addition to the provision of routine care.”