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Medical School Closed Due to Coronavirus? Remote Learning Tips

7 min


Medical student learning from home.


How to keep up with USMLE material during the extended spring break.


The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted our lives in unprecedented ways. The typical stress of medical school has turned into uncertainty. Beyond the extended spring break, medical students preparing for USMLE exams are faced with shuttered Prometric Testing Centers. If you were one of the motivated students, aimed to ace the USMLE, who was forced to reschedule test day, this article will help you adapt and stay on top of the studied materials.


As a student of a closed medical school, you may ask yourself:

Will pushing back my test day due to coronavirus be a problem?

Will dealing with coronavirus in medical school cause me to fall behind?

How do I keep pace with other medical students who continue to study online?


Reasonably, medical schools are the first to show responsibility for the health of society and close operations. The main, logistical and emotional, problem for students evolves from the fact that some schools decided to go on an extended spring break, while many continue guiding online. The other issue is rescheduling the USMLE test day. 


Dealing with coronavirus in medical school is challenging, but with the online resources available there is no reason to fall behind. All you need is self-motivation and a list of top online lectures. The positive side of this situation is the unencumbered, free time to work through QBanks and practice exams. Take advantage and be more prepared for USMLE than other medical students by powering through the QBank UWorld practice exam questions. 


This supplementary materials’ list from a USMLE tutor, MD and Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident at the University of Southern California, will help you get uber-familiar with the material, layout, and question styles. 


  1. If you’ve got significant time on your hands, we recommend this comprehensive resource – Boards and Beyond.  
  2. For those who read “cliff notes” for English in high school (you know who you are,) we recommend focusing on high-yield resources, such as: Amboss, Lecturio, Osmosis, Pathoma, and OnlineMedEd
  3. Follow the list of resources step-by-step:


Step 1: Amboss, Lecturio, Osmosis, Pathoma, Sketchy Medical – Micro/Pharm

Step 2: Amboss, OnlineMedEd, Practice Shelf exams

Step 3: Do all of the practice exams and CCS cases


For a deeper understanding, Elite Medical Prep (USMLE tutoring and residency advising expert,) conducted an in-depth study of the most helpful studying resources. Resources reviews include: Amboss, Online Meded, Lecturio, Osmosis, and many more.


Now you have a list of all the available resources, but how should you deal with the test centers closure. If you had to reschedule USMLE due to coronavirus and closed Prometric centers, we recommend using your extra time wisely and to your advantage. Follow the steps to keep up with your original studying schedule:


  1. Take 1-2 days and review each topic again, focusing on incorrect questions from UWorld. 
  2. Schedule a “Mock Exam Day” where you actually do 7 blocks in a day. The first time, you do 7 blocks in a day really shouldn’t be on test day. Build that endurance and practice your break time management too.
  3. Take and review all of the practice tests you can get your hands on. The more exposure to content you get, the better!
  4. If you haven’t reset UWorld, and have 2-weeks of delay, DO IT! Go through the whole QBank again in Timed Mode and Crush it! Again, the more questions you are exposed to, the better.
  5. If you think you might have to reschedule USMLE due to coronavirus, continue your study plan/calendar as if you will take the exam on your scheduled test date. You can always revert to the above if you have to delay.


In every situation, look at the bright side. Turn the medical schools closure into an advantage by getting through the core USMLE materials with the resources above. That will put you ahead of the curve! regardless of whether you’re actively preparing for a USMLE exam or somewhere in the middle of medical school, maximize the opportunity for by getting exposure to more questions. When you are tired of studying alone, please know that there are highly-experienced USMLE tutors that can help you online. 1-on-1 focused tutoring can help you break down questions and maximize your exam day performance.


Stay well, stay healthy, and stay on top of your game!

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About the Author

Alexandra R., MD

Alexandra earned her Neuroscience degree from the University of Michigan, graduating with Summa Cum Laude recognition in 2014. She continued her education at the University…

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