Clinical Learning in Medical and Health Professions Education amid COVID-19 Pandemic: A Literature Review of Various Methods and Innovations


  • Totok Harjanto Department of Basic and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Sri Setiyarini Department of Basic and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Titi S. Prihatiningsih Department of Medical Education and Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia



Clinical learning, COVID-19, Medical and health professions education, E-learning


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has caused disruption to medical education and health care systems around the world. The highly contagious nature of the virus makes it difficult for educational institutions to continue their studies as usual, thus affecting the medical and health professions education which is based on face-to-face lectures, practicum, skills laboratories, and clinical practice in health facilities.

AIM: This paper discovers clinical learning initiatives across the globe and highlights the contribution toward educational processes.

METHODOLOGY: This study utilized an integrated literature review method. A systematic search for articles published was performed in Springer, ScienceDirect, PubMed, and EBSCOHost. Primary search monetary terms were e-learning (all synonyms) and health sciences education (all synonyms), including COVID-19. Articles published within the period of COVID-19 pandemic included in this study. For the synthesis, the 20 included studies selected were coded. In this study, data were synthesized through narrative synthesis using thematic analysis (TA). To identify the recurrent themes author followed six steps when synthesizing data using TA, for example, familiarizing with the data, developing initial (sub) codes, searching for (sub) themes, reviewing (sub) themes, compiling ideas or issues, and producing final data in line with the study aims and objectives.

RESULTS: Out of records identified, a total of citations was screened, of which 20 were found to be of relevance to this study most were quantitative (14.70%) in design. Studies were published in 2020 since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic. The geographical range of papers covered mostly the moderate-income regions. On conducting TA of the included studies, it was possible to obtain two broad descriptive themes/categories: enablers or drivers of, and barriers or challenges to, under which important themes have emerged.

CONCLUSION: Study suggests that developing e-learning in effective clinical learning is needed, not only limited to moving the learning process but also needing to follow the instructional design, so that learning outcomes can be achieved by students. In addition, a learning process that promotes self-directed-learning is needed so that students have flexibility, use relevant learning styles and are able to integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes as a meaningful learning process.


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How to Cite

Harjanto T, Setiyarini S, Prihatiningsih TS. Clinical Learning in Medical and Health Professions Education amid COVID-19 Pandemic: A Literature Review of Various Methods and Innovations. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 19 [cited 2024 Apr. 12];9(T5):13-9. Available from: