The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of people's lives, but for some medical students, the unprecedented circumstances have given them an appreciation for the field they're pursuing. 

Dilpreet Kaur, a first-year medical student at the Jacobs School of Medicine with the University at Buffalo, said it's been an interesting journey watching the news during the coronavirus pandemic, just as she's beginning her journey in health care. 

What You Need To Know

  • Despite the change in workflow, students are adapting during this unprecedented time

  • Professors are making themselves available to help the students

  • Medical students are now studying from home

​"Just given our knowledge of things already, our exposure, it's exciting, but also daunting thinking that in just a couple of short years, it's going to be me on the frontline," Kaur said.

All of Kaur's studies are now virtual. Classes are either prerecorded or live via Zoom. All exams and labs are online, a major shift from what's considered the norm. Lastly, all patient interaction is on hold. 

"It's definitely a difficult transition watching patient interactions on YouTube. It's not how I thought I'd be doing medical school for the first year. But I think UB has done a great job integrating the programs that they had available," Kaur said. 

For those students who are working or have families, the unviersity is adapting its typically workflow. 

One of Kaur's professors is offering office hours at 10 p.m. to accommodate students with special needs during this time. 

Despite the obvious challenges, third-year medical student Mark Lawler says that there have been some blessings in disguise. 

"We're all itching to get back and work with patients. That's really what we enjoy most, but at the same time, I think this is also, at least for me, a cool opportunity to maybe take a step back and get into the classroom a little bit more than we had been. And so there have definitely been some positives... And I think when we're allowed back, it will be a more positive experience with some of the skills that we have learned," adds Lawler. 

Medical students say that the school has been encouraging them to let their family and friends know to be careful with where they recieve medical information to help curb the spread of misinormation about the virus.