How Caribbean Medical Schools are Adapting to COVID-19

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It goes without saying that COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our world. One of the most impacted spaces is the medical field. Doctors at hospitals around the world are on the front lines and coping with a situation many hoped they would never see.

For those of you pursuing a medical degree, COVID has of course impacted your course of study. Many medical schools, including Trinity, have transitioned into distance learning protocols as a precaution and to help slow the spread of the disease. In this time of ongoing adaptation, Trinity has worked hard to continue the medical student journey and ensure that our medical school curriculum and examinations can continue. One point of particular concern has been the suspension of the Step 2 CS exams by the USMLE, which we would like to address in detail.

Step 2 CS Exams

Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which assesses a student’s ability to gather patient information, perform physical exams, and communicate key findings to both their colleagues and the patient, is a critical part of the examination process for medical students ready to transition to residency. In response to the COVID pandemic, the USMLE announced that it would be suspending in-person Step 2 CS exams for all students and graduates until June 1, 2021, at the earliest.

As this exam is essential for medical school graduation and entry into a residency program, the exam’s suspension has obviously created some consternation and worry among medical students. To this end, Trinity School of Medicine leveraged its status as a leader in the integrated deployment of new technologies in its curriculum to find and implement an immediate answer to this issue.

Trinity’s Response to the Step 2 CS Suspension

Trinity took proactive steps to ensure that our students can make the transition and qualify for the 2021 residency match. When USMLE announced it could not offer Step 2 CS examinations, Trinity was already prepared with a virtual case presentation and diagnostic technology that has been recognized by USMLE as an acceptable alternative to the Step 2 CS exam.

This process will fulfill the requirement whereby medical students can gain entry to residency. Trinity students can rest assured that, even if the suspension of the Step 2 CS Exam extends into the end of 2021 or beyond, they will have not only a viable but a USMLE-approved alternative available to them.

What the Future Holds for Trinity Students

This continues to be a time of adjustments as we wait to see how the COVID-19 pandemic will progress and whether global shutdowns can work to slow the spread of the disease. In the meantime, Trinity has worked hard to ensure that students can continue their studies.

Trinity students will continue to engage in a distance learning platform that will keep their studies on track. As the situation evolves, Trinity will re-assess the situation and communicate any changes to our students as soon as they come up.

In the meantime, we are confident that our international network of Trinity students will continue successfully to pursue their goals of achieving the degrees that will allow them to excel as doctors and medical professionals.

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