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Comment & Response
September 8, 2020

Reconfiguring Medical Education—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2020;324(10):1007-1008. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.10908

In Reply My Viewpoint argued that all preclinical medical education courses will be conducted online.1 I predicted it would take years. Just weeks later, COVID-19 mandated online preclinical education.

Of course, “white-haired” educators, like Dr Stoddard, maintain that the current shift to online education is a temporary interlude soon to be reversed. I agree with Ms Connell and colleagues that this change has been forced overnight. The implementation is chaotic, but as they note, it is irreversible. Indeed, confirmation of the change is Harvard Medical School’s announcement that fall 2020 classes will be conducted online. If a second COVID-19 wave comes in the fall, the momentum will be unstoppable, as the infrastructure for online education, experience, and acceptance of it will be solidified.