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How University of Utah medical students are adapting during the pandemic

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University of Utah medical students adapt academically during pandemic (KUTV)

The coronavirus pandemic put the world on life support in 2020.

Everyone from every aspect of, life including at the University of Utah, faced a real-life course they didn’t sign up for.

“I was in the middle of an internal medicine rotation and basically received an email that said all clinicals are postponed until further notice."

Addie Brandenberger, a fourth-year medical student, said last year she had to wait two months before clinicals would resume. She and her husband decided to visit family during that time.

“We are always studying and we’re always in the hospital and we never really get breaks, and kind of to have those two months to just to sit and to reflect on what’s important to me and why did I get into medicine,” said Brandenberger.

Dr. Wendy Hobson-Rohrer is the associate vice president for Health and Sciences Education at the U. Hobson explained the university's medical curriculum moved to more virtual learning and other safe activities to keep students engaged.

She believes students are even stronger now than before the pandemic.

They’ve learned a lot about medicine that none of us ever learned," Hobson said. "When I was in medical school was...when HIV was really at its peak. And that was when we started wearing gloves for everything. Before that we didn’t. Same thing, I think for the students now. They all wear masks. It’s just part of what we do.”

Eddie Holloway, a first-year medical student at the U, said doing classes on Zoom was actually good for him.

“The U did a really good job of adapting, to where now I didn’t have to focus on being around all of these individuals and having to worry about who could get me sick, because now I’m at home and I can just focus from home,” he said.

Holloway said his experience motivates him even more to push through medical school.

“I want to work with individuals that come from underserved communities," Holloway said.

Brandenberger said the pandemic has reminded her of the importance of keeping life lessons and what she values close to her heart.

“I value my family a lot moreI value my classmates, and I’m just very lucky to be here," she said.

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