Tales From the Trenches E03: COVID and the Medical Student Dilemma with Dr. Jazmyn Shaw

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In this episode, Tiffany talks with Dr. Jazmyn Shaw, the current EMRA Medical Student Council Chair, about the unique challenges faced by medical students during the COVID pandemic. From being abruptly pulled from rotations, uncertainty over audition rotations, virtual interviews and match to the first doses of a COVID vaccine, we cover it all! As we enter year 2 of the COVID pandemic, Dr. Shaw gives us a reminder to love ourselves more and fully appreciate all we have overcome in this past year. Take a listen!

0:00-1:05 – Introduction

Host: Tiffany Proffitt DO, Staff Emergency Medicine Physician Honor Health

Guest:  Jazmyn Shaw MD, former ER nurse, recently matched Emergency Medicine at U of Cincinnati, EMRA Medical Student Council Chair, EMRA Medical Student Council Hangouts Live Host, former EMRA Diversity & Inclusion Committee Vice Chair and the Current EMRA Medical Student Council Chair.


1:24-29:27 – Questions + Discussion

  1. 1:24 – 3:00: Dr. Shaw’s inspirational background and path to Emergency Medicine
  2. 4:04 – 6:04: Challenges of being a medical student taken off rotations at the start of the pandemic.
  3. 6:05 – 7:34: Discussion about the loss of clinical experience and disruption of medical student audition rotations because of COVID restrictions.
  4. 7:35 – 8:23: Discussion of the required adjustments of clinicals in preparation for childbirth in medical school as a positive in COVID.
  5. 8:26 – 9:24: Did any medical students have to graduate late because of lost rotations due to COVID restrictions?
  6. 9:25 – 11:58: What about students who lost audition rotations?
  7. 11:59 – 14:40: Disadvantage medical students who do not have a home site with an ER rotation, for example, predominantly black colleges and osteopathic physicians.
  8. 14:41 – 18:12: Residency interviews on a virtual platform, a chance for equity?
  9. 18:13 – 21:38: Discussion of the lack of plans for vaccinating medical students.
  10. 21:39 – 23:34: Is the lack of a plan for the vaccination of medical students another example of medicine’s abuse of medical students?
  11. 23:35 – 24:47: Discussion of the light shined on inequities in medical training by the COVID pandemic.
  12. 24:48 – 28:25: What did you gain from COVID quarantine?

29:43 – 31:02: UPDATE on changes since this episode was recorded.

Key Points:

  • Love on yourself a bit and cut yourself some slack this year.
  • The virtual platform could be an opportunity for equity in medicine.
  • The pandemic has highlighted many inequities in medical training, but this could be a jumping off point for change.
  • To ALL the medical students, residents, fellows, attendings out there, remember that you have just survived an unprecedented year, allow yourself some grace!

Produced by the CanadiEM Podcast Team

Tiffany Proffitt

Staff Emergency Medicine Physician at Honor Health
@promammadoc, Twin Mom, MedEd Enthusiast, master of toddler style dancing, Former Podcaster with EMRACAST