A combined approach in prolonged COVID-19 pandemic to teach undergraduate surgery students-future primary care physicians.
Our aim during prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, is to keep the training of undergraduate surgery students rolling as they may be future GPs (general practitioners) or primary care physicians of tomorrow. World Health Organization (WHO) in its public advisory for COVID-19 pandemic has stressed on physical distancing and this has resulted in discontinuation of in-person undergraduate surgery lectures and demonstrations. Also WHO has laid out directions to deliver only essential health-care services, which has resulted in reduced patient load in didactic surgical clinics and fall in number of planned surgeries and adversely effected the teaching of undergraduate surgery students. So there is an urgent need to reschedule and revise the teaching activities for undergraduate surgery students. Therefore, with this background, we plan to propose certain web-based, distant learning novel strategies to keep the training of undergraduate surgery students rolling. These novel strategies include adopting social media platforms and flip classroom concept to replace in-person lectures, involvement of undergraduate surgery students in telemedicine consultation to substitute didactic clinics, use of multimodal computer-based programs, and use of high-end surgical videos for learning of basic surgical skills. These web-based, distance training modalities can be collaged to form training modules for undergraduate surgery students, and as they are GPs or primary care physician of tomorrow, they can use these e-technologies for patient care and patient education also. It was concluded that proposed web-based strategies may be of use to role training of undergraduate surgery students. As some of them may be future GPs/primary care physicians of tomorrow, they can use this concept of e-technology in patient care and patient education in difficult time. Although these virtual technologies can compensate for gap in learning in times of crisis, these cannot replace real-time experience of learning.