COVIDReady2 study protocol: cross-sectional survey of medical student volunteering and education during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
Byrne MHV., Ashcroft J., Alexander L., Wan JCM., Arora A., Brown MEL., Harvey A., Clelland A., Schindler N., Brassett C., Allan R.
Abstract Background The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has led to global disruption of healthcare. Many students volunteered to provide clinical support. Volunteering to work in a clinical capacity was a unique medical education opportunity; however, it is unknown whether this was a positive learning experience or which volunteering roles were of most benefit to students. Methods The COVIDReady2 study is a national cross-sectional study of all medical students at medical schools in the United Kingdom. The primary outcome is to explore the experiences of medical students who volunteered during the pandemic in comparison to those who did not. We will compare responses to determine the educational benefit and issues they faced. In addition to quantitative analysis, thematic analysis will be used to identify themes in qualitative responses. Discussion There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that service roles have potential to enhance medical education; yet, there is a shortage of studies able to offer practical advice for how these roles may be incorporated in future medical education. We anticipate that this study will help to identify volunteer structures that have been beneficial for students, so that similar infrastructures can be used in the future, and help inform medical education in a non-pandemic setting. Trial registration Not Applicable.