Background. After COVID-19 emergence, medical education witnessed a shift from face-to-face education to digital education, which inevitably affected medical students. Globally, due to the closure of schools and universities, medical education was shifted to electronic learning (E-learning).
This paper aimed to assess the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical education and determine medical students’ knowledge, attitude, and practices towards E-learning in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Materials and Methods. An online cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 undergraduate students of seven medical colleges in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, in November 2021, to assess their state during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this affected their education.
Results. There were 50.6% of males and 49.4% of females. The mean age was 20.6 (± 1.5 SD) years. Approximately 17% of participants mentioned having financial issues, while 19.2% of students experienced health-related problems. As many as 67% of participants reported that the Internet quality was good or very good, whereas 46.8% of students disagreed that E-learning was a possible substitute for traditional learning. About two-thirds of participants agreed or were neutral that downloadable content was better than live content; however, only 19.2% of students agreed that E-learning could be used in the clinical aspect. A total of 52.2% of participants disagreed that E-testing could replace traditional learning methods. Surprisingly, 86.4% of students stated that they regularly used the Internet in their study.
Conclusions. E-learning was the main adjustment made in the educational system, including medical education. The study concluded with insights into how different circumstances could have different consequences on the efficacy of medical education. E-learning showed effective results in continuing learning until the educational system switched to a blended system. Training programs for medical education personnel are vital in effective E-learning opportunities.
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