COVIDReady2 Study: Survey of Medical Student Volunteering and Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United Kingdom

The COVIDReady2 study is looking at the medical education of those who did and did not volunteer to work in a clinical capacity during the pandemic, and the issues volunteers and non-volunteers faced.


COVID-19 led to global disruption of healthcare and many students volunteered to provide clinical support. Volunteering to work was a unique medical education opportunity; however, it is unknown whether this was a positive learning experience.


The COVIDReady2 study is a national cross sectional study of all medical students who were enrolled at UK medical schools at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will compare opinions of those who did and did not volunteer to determine the educational benefit and issues they faced. We will use thematic analysis to identify themes in qualitative responses, in addition to quantitative analysis.

Aims and objectives

Primary outcome

The primary outcome is to explore the effect of volunteering during the pandemic on medical education in comparison to those who did not volunteer.

Secondary outcomes

To identify:

  • Whether students would be willing to assume similar roles in a non-pandemic setting

  • If students found the experience more or less beneficial than traditional hospital placements and reasons for this

  • What the perceived benefits and disadvantages of volunteering were

  • Difference in perceived preparedness between students who did and did not volunteer for FY1 and next academic year

To explore:

  • Issues associated with volunteering, including safety issues

  • Issues with role and competence


We anticipate this study will help identify volunteer structures that have been beneficial for students, so that similar infrastructures can be used in the future; and help inform the structure of non-pandemic clinical placements going forward.


Download protocol

Project Status

Protocol Development

Collaborator Registration

Ethical Approval

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Manuscript Preparation

Submission to Journal




Primary Investigator: Rachel Allan

Steering committee: Matthew Byrne, James Ashcroft, Laith Alexander, Jonathan Wan, Anna Harvey, Andrew Clelland, Nick Schindler, Megan Brown, Rachel Allan

Distribution committee: Andrew Clelland, Florence Kinder, Siena Hayes, Aqua Asif, Jasper Mogg


The study is conducted by the University of Oxford and endorsed by:

  • UK Medical Schools Council

  • Royal College of Surgeons of England

  • Royal Society of Medicine Student Members Group

  • IncisionUK

  • ADAPT Consortium