An article from the AAMC featuring first- and second-year students sharing how the lack of personal contact with peers and professors impacts them.


What is it like to attend medical school by yourself?

That’s how medical school feels for many first- and second-year students, as they live through conditions that have dragged on for nearly a year: rarely — if ever — setting foot on campus, joining online classes from the solitude of their rooms, and knowing their classmates and professors only as images on screens.

“The effect of isolation has been profound,” says Chantal Young, PhD, director of medical student wellness at Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

Ever since medical schools sent students home in the spring of 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, technology has helped to meet the challenges of virtual learning — but students’ social and emotional challenges are more difficult to assuage. The restrictions on gathering in person have left many students feeling deprived by the isolation from peers, instructors, and the physical space of school.

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