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Impact of cancelling foundation year rotations due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK
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  • Published on:
    Cancelled Medical School Placements: The COVID-19 Effect
    • Sophie Murdoch, Medical Student University of Manchester
    • Other Contributors:
      • Joel Hunter, Medical Student

    We thank Dr Ding and Dr Zhang for their article on the impact of cancelling foundation year rotations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (1). As two members of the future generation of doctors, we would like to present our thoughts on the difficulties and opportunities that medical students face.
    There are 35 medical schools in the UK that can award a UK medical degree with another six new schools and programmes currently under review by the GMC for approval (2). The UK medical degree is typically 5 years long with the first two years consisting of lecture-based study and the final three years being placement-based clinical teaching. Under normal circumstances in the placement years, medical students, like in the foundation programme, rotate around different medical and surgical specialties.
    Medical schools have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as they deemed appropriate – this has largely been the suspension of clinical placement, face-to-face teaching, and examinations. In making these difficult decisions medical schools will have had to take into account a number of factors: not only considering student, staff, and patient safety but also the repercussions this will have for the future generation of doctors. The enormity of these decisions is not lost on medical students, as many are left wondering what the implications will be for them.
    One of the decisions of most concern is the cancellation of placements. Similar to the foundation doctors, the r...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.