Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9):623-626 (2020)

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted unprecedented global disruption. For medical schools, this has manifested as examination and curricular restructuring as well as significant changes to clinical attachments. With the available evidence suggesting that medical students’ mental health status is already poorer than that of the general population, with academic stress being a chief predictor, such changes are likely to have a significant effect on these students. In addition, there is an assumption that these students are an available resource in terms of volunteerism during a crisis. This conjecture should be questioned; however, as those engaging in such work without sufficient preparation are susceptible to moral trauma and adverse health outcomes. This, in conjunction with the likelihood of future pandemics, highlights the need for ‘pandemic preparedness’ to be embedded in the medical curriculum.
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2020-106353
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