Many researchers and stakeholders have talked about many changes that the world will witness after the decline of the Coronavirus.
Among these changes is the emergence of new specializations in medical education that are expected to receive great demand after the pandemic subsides, amid expectations that the crisis will leave millions of unemployed people in the world.
It is expected that the demand for crisis management consultants and financial consultants will be high.
Experts expect that a large number of companies will move to work remotely, so the demand for programmers, in addition to specialists in the field of time management, will increase.
However, what is most remarkable is the developments that medicine and the medical education world will witness and the emergence of new specialties that mimic the future and keep pace with the changes that the pandemic has established.
Medical education and namely medical colleges have begun to pave this way and open new fields for students.
What are These Specializations in Medical Education and Have You Already Started?
After the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was proven to those who had not yet proven that medicine regained its position as the most important science for humans, as the status of doctors in the whole world rose after medicine and its world became the first and last hope in discovering the treatment and vaccine that would save the world.
The world no longer cares about any of the other sectors. The flights stopped, the factories stopped, the activities stopped, but the concern was that a hospital would not stop providing service to an injured or infected person.
Therefore, according to the opinion of many experts in the medical and educational fields, the field of medical education will move to a higher position than it was, and specializations that were not known before will branch out from it and will become essential with the great transformations left by the pandemic.
After the recorded and expected demand for medical specialties, it is expected that universities will need to expand in medical faculties of all kinds, and it will become important to develop medical sciences and institutions, to meet this growing demand.
Medical education institutions will also put the issue of saving the world from pandemics in their priorities for what we have seen in the past months, which will affect the curricula and its development, and increase the attempt to focus on implanting medical values in medical students.
The Coronavirus pandemic has proven the urgent need for cadres specialized in aspects of emergency medical sciences, respiratory care sciences, medical laboratory analysis, and laboratory research, health management and disease outbreak control, medical assistance and support experts, and biotechnology.
Post-Covid Transformations in Medical Education
Many specialists assert that epidemiology has increased in importance after the emergence of the crisis of the spread of the Coronavirus, and it is a science specialized in the study of epidemics and the analysis of their data and the extent of their impact on societies and the world.
And that after the Covid-19 pandemic and its great repercussions, this science related to medicine will be greatly stimulated. It is expected that the demand to study and research it, know its details and go deeper into it, will increase.
Epidemiology has become one of the most important sciences affected by the Coronavirus crisis, especially after it became widespread in all countries of the world.
Teaching hospitals have always played a major role in containing the sanitary isolation of Coronavirus in all countries affected by the pandemic.
This has led universities to significantly increase investment in these hospitals, which will enhance the medical education process everywhere.
It is also expected that grants in this field will increase in various universities around the world, whether to fill the gaps revealed by dealing with the virus, or to meet the demand that has recorded a rise in medical specialties, especially new ones.
Universities have begun announcing new master’s study programs related to medical sciences, which were launched in conjunction with the pandemic of the Coronavirus, such as Master of Science in Adult Intensive Care Nursing in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Master of Science in Environmental Health, Master of Science and Environmental Engineering in Faculties of Engineering in a number of well-known universities.
In addition to doctoral programs in pharmacy that are compatible with the developments imposed by the pandemic, in terms of new medicines or the development of the relationship between the pharmacy and the patient.
Multiple disciplines have emerged, representing technology as the common factor among them, developing programs that focus on applied work and not only theoretical, developing curricula for supportive healthcare disciplines, strategic planning and crisis management to deal with non-traditional developments, where the traditional framework of curricula and teaching methods is no longer effective.
Those in charge of universities and medical institutes consider that there is no alternative to creating radical changes in educational outcomes and evaluation mechanisms and the use of many methods that combine the default and the unconventional ways.
This requires special skills in teaching and the use of educational, technical and behavioral resources.
The universities say that they are in the process of updating and developing all their current specializations in the medical, administrative and information fields, especially those related to crises and disasters, in addition to preparing study programs that take into account the economic and digital transformation, reliance on artificial intelligence in healthcare, and programs on future foresight through big data analysis.
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New Colleges and Majors in Medical Education
Medical Colleges have recently started offering new programs that fit the new medical reality after the Coronavirus experience, including the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care and the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Care with the aim of diversifying medical programs in the specialties required locally and internationally and focusing on preparing specialized cadres in several medical fields due to the urgent need for specialization in scientific certificates within the medical field.
Officials of medical colleges in the GCC region believe that the medical sciences and technology majors will witness an increasing demand due to their proven importance, and the human need for them during the coming period locally and globally, in addition to the great need for specialized cadres in times of crises and disasters.
They point out that the most important disciplines that will be introduced and will witness an increase and momentum are digital crisis management, crisis logistics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and decision-making, in addition to biological engineering, medical laboratory analysis science, viral and laboratory research and supportive medical services in its various branches.
They point out that most of these specializations exist on a global level, and some of them are the result of recent developments, expecting that the pace of offering these programs in the region will increase soon during the next two years with a new perspective focusing on the global experience of the Coronavirus pandemic and with advanced technical educational methods.
This aims to prepare specialized cadres to benefit from their capabilities during crises, including bachelor’s specializations in molecular and cellular biology, a sub-track in cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence in computer engineering and computer science, as well as a sub-track in mechatronics.
Some universities have included in the programs new materials in various scientific disciplines related to crisis management, first aid, and emergency handling, because of their great role in supporting students to be active within their current specializations.
Managers and university professors suggested merging disciplines to graduate multi-skilled generations, study market needs on an ongoing basis, and focus on specializing in digital crisis management.
The GCC and Keeping Pace With Modernity in Medical Education
What the world witnessed in the fight against the Coronavirus showed the urgent need for every student to arm themselves with the knowledge related to crises of all kinds so that they possess the necessary skills to be more resilient in the future.
This is what various universities around the world have been working on vigorously, including, of course, universities in the Arab world and the GCC in particular.
In the GCC region, many universities have developed new specializations and courses for students, including what came due to the repercussions of the global health crisis “Covid-19” and the experiences witnessed by the countries of the world, and others that keep pace with the timing of the pandemic based on the needs of the labor market.
Among the most prominent of these disciplines are new programs in health sciences colleges related to clinical laboratory analysis, molecular genetics, molecular and cellular biology, specializations in crisis management, future foresight through big data analysis, a postgraduate diploma in ultrasound technology applications in the College of Medicine and sub-specialties in mechatronics as well.
Cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, a master’s degree in digital transformation and information systems, and another in healthcare management, in addition to updating the development of current specializations in the medical, administrative and information fields, especially those related to crises and disasters.
Prominent universities revealed the launch of new programs in faculties of medical sciences, namely clinical laboratory analysis, molecular genetics, nutrition, and diets, to keep pace with the current needs in light of the current health crisis as well as the future associated with the labor market, indicating that they focused their attention on the opening of these faculties in conjunction with expectations of an increase the interest of local universities in offering scientific, medical and technical specializations and crisis management.
The new colleges of engineering and health sciences programs meet the needs in the engineering and technological fields, including biomedical engineering, cybersecurity engineering and industrial engineering, all of which are very important programs and witness a great demand for enrollment in them.
New specializations are expected to open later, indicating that the market needs are continuously studied within a well-studied plan to develop and approve new programs in cooperation with the ministries of education in the GCC countries, seeking to ensure the introduction of programs that meet the needs and aspirations and attract students to study them.
In this context, introductory seminars are constantly held to introduce the currently available programs in the disciplines that are in an urgent situation, either now or in the future.
The development of a master’s degree in counseling and psychology, in response to addressing the great psychological repercussions that the Corona pandemic left in the societies that affected it.
Some of the universities indicated their intention to reintroduce the master’s program in healthcare management soon.
New master’s programs are currently being prepared and are expected to be launched in the academic year 2021-2022.
According to doctors and academics, over time, practice may show the need for other specializations in medical education, universities will not hesitate to include them in their programs to meet the demand and improve the medical and hospital level in the region.