COVID-19 Era Requires Urgent Integration of Virtual Reality Simulations in Medical Education

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Tekiner H., Kemaloğlu C. A., Ali Tsaous A.

HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine, vol.1, pp.347-350, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause an unprecedented level of disruption across every part of the globe. This disruption detrimentally affects the field of medical education; in particular, anatomical, surgical and clinical training, all which require hands-on experience. On the other hand, the pandemic not only brings new challenges in medical education but also opportunities for testing the validity of our old education paradigms and for developing the ability to embrace a rapid pace of change in better integrating new technologies in the medical curriculum. We contend that the future of medical education lies in the successful use of VR and similar technologies in medical education. Even though this does not mean it can fully replace hands-on training, at present it seems to be the best way possible to support modern medical education in times of limited physical interaction, such as pandemics. However, future studies with robust, comprehensive and culture specific designs are clearly necessary in order to determine the value and feasibility of this approach.