In March of 2020, education across the world transitioned to virtual delivery and medical education was not exempt. This study explored the efficacy of virtual medical education in a pre-clerkship immunology course during the COVID-19 pandemic at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. Course delivery methods and educational resources provided to students during either 2019 or 2020 were evaluated to generate a picture of the learning environment by year. Deidentified summative exam performance data from 204 students was analyzed across 61 matched questions that did not differ between the 2019 and 2020 exams. Statistical significance was determined by unpaired t-test using GraphPad Prism. As expected, in 2020, the content delivery shifted towards remote and asynchronous sessions. The total number of integrated clinical cases decreased in 2020 compared to 2019, although a greater percentage of the clinical cases directly mapped to the USMLE Content Outline in 2020. Formative multi-attempt online quizzes replaced in-person practice questions and the overall number of available review questions increased from 2019 to 2020. There was no significant difference in student performance between the two years on matched exam questions or on exam performance as a whole. While the switch to virtual learning offered fewer synchronous sessions for student-faculty interactions, modifications to course materials appears to have counteracted any potential learning loss. This suggests that virtual medical immunology education with adequate resources can be as effective as in-person delivery, which has implications for undergraduate and medical immunology instruction and for the entirety of medical education.

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