Posted: April 16, 2020

Pathogenesis to Pandemic: Global Effects of COVID-19


We created a four-week elective for clinical-year students in place of their scheduled clinical clerkships. The aim of the elective was to provide students with a real-time synthesis of current knowledge about the basic science, clinical, and public health aspects of this new disease as well as the social, economic, and political fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited a multi-disciplinary cohort of instructors with expertise in clinical infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology, ethics, macroeconomics, communication and leadership, and global health to deliver this content via virtual didactics on an online platform. Didactic sessions were recorded with the goal of future dissemination within and outside our institution. Students also organized independent volunteer non-clinical activities that would allow them to engage with the local pandemic response. Assessment was based on student self-reflections focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical education and the practice of medicine.


Varun Phadke, MD, Emory University School of Medicine
Erica Brownfield, MD, MBA, Emory University School of Medicine


Learner Audience

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME), Graduate Medical Education (GME), Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Professional Development (CME/CPD), Interprofessional


Medical Knowledge

Resource Type(s)

Distance Learning - Synchronous
Self-Directed Learning

Instructional Method(s)



Global Health, Communication, Leadership, Elective, Epidemiology, Ethics, Economics, Vulnerable Populations, COVID-19