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The COVID19 pandemic brought many challenges, including delivering interactive courses such as the Mindful Medical Practice (MMP) program to medical students. It also provided opportunities to trial online teaching of the program using technologies such as Zoom.
Medical educators from McGill University in Montreal and The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia in Busselton collaborated via Zoom to adapt the MMP program to an online format. This involved weekly meetings to adapt each class and debrief following its delivery. A number of adaptations were required which were implemented with ease while maintaining the program’s integrity.
The facilitator found the course relatively straightforward to teach with Zoom. In their essays at the end of the coursethe students reported that the MMP program was a valuable experience that they found to be “enjoyable”, “positive”, “interesting”, “beneficial” and “refreshing”. They reported that the online experience offered benefits over face-to-face delivery and was particularly helpful during the COVID19 pandemic.
There were a number of potential limitations: this was a relatively small group of students; the students were already well acquainted with the facilitator; the students and the facilitator were experienced in using Zoom for teaching. The major strength was a clear demonstration of the feasibility of delivering the entire program online that is particularly relevant during this time of stress and uncertainty and also expands the potential to provide this teaching to students and universities across the world.
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