Information for medical students

Supporting your ongoing education

We understand that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting all medical students. Teaching in clinical and academic settings and many assessments have been modified or cancelled. You, your teachers, or other staff may also be off sick or self-isolating.

Everyone recognises that the graduation of new doctors each year is of vital importance. We, medical schools and others are committed to working together to make sure that students can continue to progress and are not unfairly disadvantaged.

Now the immediate response to the pandemic is well underway, medical schools are turning their attention to minimising the disruption for students who aren’t graduating this year. 

How individual medical schools and placement providers respond will depend on the local situation, and it’s likely that each school will need to make different adjustments. We’ll keep working with all schools to ensure their courses still meet our standards and outcomes.

Looking after your health

Like the wider profession, as a medical student you must manage your own health. This means not attending teaching sessions, placements or assessments if you’re unwell, and self-isolating in line with national advice. This is particularly important in clinical settings, where patient safety should always be your priority.

If you’re in a clinical environment, medical schools and placement providers should make sure that you’re suitably equipped. For example, that you have protective clothing, and the right information to minimise the risk of transmission.

If you have pre-existing health conditions that place you at increased risk of infection, you should discuss this with your medical school or local education provider.

Volunteering

We know many of you will want to volunteer during this time. We’re also aware that some of you may be unable to volunteer for a wide range of reasons. Whether or not you volunteer will not impact your future progression.

The Medical Schools Council (MSC) has set out their expectations on volunteering for employers, medical schools and students. This stresses that you should not jeopardise your progression by taking on too many additional responsibilities.

If you want to volunteer, you must not be asked to carry out any duties of a doctor. You must be supervised to be safe and act within your competence at all times. Arrangements should be made locally, and employers should give you relevant induction, equipment and support. You can find volunteering opportunities on the MSC's website.