Michael Niederman, MD, on How COVID-19 Has Changed the Education Experience

In the final video of this 3-part series, Pulmonology Consultant Advisory Board Member Michael Niederman, MD, from Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses the long-lasting impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the future of education, research, and appeal in pulmonary and critical care medicine. 

Michael S. Niederman, MD, is associate division chief and the clinical director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Michael Niederman: On the education side, things have also changed dramatically. Most of our education of colleagues is occurring via telemedicine type of interactions. We’re doing remote learning. We’re not having as many face‑to‑faced conferences. There has been, at least temporarily in our institution, more of this shift from basic research to clinical research, but we’ve learned a lot in doing that.

We’ve incorporated video technology into education as we have throughout all of medicine. And we’ve even thought about the idea that when we interview new residents and new fellow candidates that a lot of this will be done virtually. They will be interviewed, and they will be touring in a virtual environment rather than a live environment.

Again, many of the areas of education are changing. And one of the things that remains to be determined is what will be the impact of COVID on the appeal of pulmonary and critical care medicine to future generations of trainees.

Will pulmonary and critical care really seem exciting as I think it has been and will continue to be? Or will people be somewhat reluctant to do it because they see all of the incredibly hard work that’s necessary when we have an epidemic like COVID and they see some of the personal, emotional stress and family compromises that are necessary to do all the care necessary to take care of these patients?

I think COVID has had a profound impact on the practice of pulmonary and critical care medicine. That’s certainly evident to me here in New York, which it was the initial epicenter of this disease. But I think it will be interesting to see, as this disease continues and its aftermath continues, what the long‑term impact on other areas will be of dealing with this SARS‑COVID‑19 epidemic.

Thank you once again for your attention today.