The mysterious coronavirus-related pneumonia COVID-19 – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Isabelle Karolinne Bispo Andrade and Ana Lavinia Siqueira França Gomes Silva, two second year medical students from Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju-SE, Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.
Since the World Health Organization’s first announce-ment of a mysterious coronavirus-related pneumonia the medical student has been significantly impacted in numerous ways. The medical students were found to be extremely vulnerable to the mental problems during the pandemic, which might result from a significant lifestyle change, strict confinement, disturbance in the education program  and several mental problems (i.e., depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, burnout, sleep disorder, high perceived stress, psychological distress, burnout, and suicidal ideation)  .
Medical students, as strict measures were put into place, suffered the transition from face-to-face learning, form that they really relied on, to online activities. As a consequence from the rapid changes that were implemented, dramatic educational and potential psychological disturbances took place on medical students’ lives, since they were trying to follow the substantial academic course work, while dealing with the significant emotional stress.  During the lockdown, students were sent back home developing a sense of uncertainty and anxiety. A study found that 60.9% of the students were concerned about their academic future and medical students in higher study years generally display greater stress and anxiety due to the increased work and study load. 
A meta-analysis study by Moutinho illustrated that 34.6% of medical students suffered from depressive symptoms whilst 37.2% experienced anxiety symptoms prior to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, and got worse during the pandemic. Beyond these symptoms, studies revealed the prevalence of colleague associated burnout increased, highlighting the negative impact that quarantine and online learning had on interpersonal relationships and students’ communication. 
The big problem behind this scenario is that, as future healthcare practitioners, anxiety and depression can result in long-term effects which impact the quality of care given to the greater community. These students can become less resilient among medical students which consequently results in challenging situations arising when faced with unfavorable circumstances. Furthermore, they can have bad communication skills and interpersonal relationships which leads to a decrease in the physician- patient relationship. 
If not addressed, the lower mental health of medical students creates long-term negative consequences on their overall quality of life and a longterm impact which may negatively affect the future quality of care given to the greater community. Seeing that the effects from the pandemic go beyond the expected, and can be considered reversible , it’s essential the implementation of wellbeing programs for medical students effectively contacting and trancing their mental health assessments, so the students can have access to the treatments that they enquire and need. 
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About the author
Isabelle Karolinne Bispo Andrade and Ana Lavinia Siqueira França Gomes Silva are second year medical students from Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju-SE, Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting.