In the week since SARS-CoV-2 has been declared a global pandemic, healthcare workers have found themselves in the midst of an unprecedented global health emergency, amongst them are thousands of medical students. As the majority of hospitals suspend clinical placements, many medical schools are turning to distance learning with students “Working From Home” (WFH). For medical students to remain productive whilst both physically and mentally well is of paramount importance so here are 3 key tips to remember when working from home:
- Set realistic goals
- Look after yourself
- Look after others
Set realistic goals
As I write this article, sixth-year medical undergraduates at my institution, Imperial College London, have taken their final year assessments online in a world-first1 and set a precedent for online examinations at other medical schools. Keeping on top of your academic workload may thus appear important but so will ensuring proper self-care. Structuring regular breaks into your work schedule using techniques such as Pomodoro2 (working for 25 minutes, followed by 5-minute break) and Getting Things Done (breaking big projects into smaller actional items) can boost productivity by maintaining motivation and concentration. An example would be to calculate how many questions from a question bank need to be completed over the coming week and then dividing it into manageable 25-minute sessions. We are lucky to live in the digital age and so working together remains an option: Facetime and Skype to catch up with friends easy as well as more professional services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to work with colleagues can provide a level of accountability as well as help with mood.