Year 2020: experiences as a starting point to continue advancing in medical education


Year 2020: experiences as a starting point to continue advancing in medical education

Año 2020: experiencias como punto de partida para seguir avanzando en la educación médica


María Elena Cobas Vilches1*


1Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.


* Author for correspondence. Email:



Submitted: 08/02/2021
Accepted: 12/02/2021



2020 meant a debacle in the world due to the appearance of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, with strong repercussions in the economic, social, political, cultural, and above all, health aspects. Millions of people have died and the numbers rapidly continue to increase, demonstrating the dangerous potential of that tiny enemy of life. The Cuban population, like others on the planet has had to adapt to new ways and life styles to avoid contagion with this terrible disease.

Health professionals, trained in Cuban medical universities have shown altruism and responsibility in its confrontation, while scientists continue to contribute with their talent and intelligence in the search for vaccines, medicines and making forecasts that help to think about a future virus removal. Among its greatest achievements is the obtaining of four vaccine candidates, currently in the clinical trials stage. The timely action of the Ministry of Public Health in terms of epidemiological information with precise data by Dr. Francisco Durán García and his work team, and the management and prevention of the disease have been meaningful, since it has already been contained the advance of the disease on several occasions.

Last year, despite the epidemiological conditions, the Edumecentro 2020 event was virtually held in Villa Clara, in greeting to the 54th anniversary of medical teaching in the central region of the country, on November 21, 2020. 150 works were presented with closely related topics to the current demands of distance education and others on medical education, contributing to the teaching-learning process quality.

Recalling this date, the board of directors of the Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences held a solemn teaching staff meeting where the first students who arrived in this province in 1966 recounted their experiences, highlighting successes and difficulties experienced in that first stage, and the teaching offered by a young but very well prepared faculty, with a high degree of commitment to the task they had to face: Santa Clara was the third university site to undertake the training of its doctors, after Havana and Santiago de Cuba.(1) These first doctors were recognized with diplomas and other gifts; Together with them, a group of teachers from all the careers of this medical university were honored for their life's work considering their dedication to the development of Cuban public health.

The unconditional work of teachers and students in confronting the pandemic through the investigation is meritorious for their contribution in prevention, health promotion and orientation to suspicious cases, training of students in primary health care and preparation and development of teachers to assume distance education, whose experiences have been shared through the pages of this journal; (2,3,4) this allowed to conclude the academic year 2019-2020 and continue into 2020-2021, already applying new methods for the in-service training and the tools offered by information and communication technologies to meet the objectives of Cuban medical education in times of pandemic, without prejudice to its nature and in close community bond, which constitutes a strength in primary health care.

The Provincial Chapter of the Scientific Society of Health Sciences Educators urges you to continue working towards eliminating this pandemic, as requested by the president of the republic and his working group. The university is open to observations, criteria and exchanges of experiences, such as those presented at the Edumecentro 2020 event, to promote the undergraduate and graduate teaching-learning process with excellence in this challenging 2021, and to continue training in all teaching institutions; let us bear in mind the responsibility that assists us in the training of future health professionals and the social and revolutionary commitment to the health and life of all.


Dr. María Elena Cobas Vilches
President of the Provincial Chapter of the Society of Educators in Health Sciences.



1. Ruiz Hernández JR, Santana Pérez I. Plan Marta Abreu y su contribución a la descentralización de los estudios médicos en Cuba. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2014 [citado 18/01/2021];6(1):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Negrin Caceres Y, Cárdenas Monzón L. Una mirada sobre la educación a distancia como opción en tiempos de pandemia. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2020 [citado 20/01/2021];12(3):[aprox. 4 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Pomares Bory ED, Arencibia Flores LG, Galvizu Díaz K. Percepción profesoral sobre una innovación educativa para mejorar la gestión docente utilizando la plataforma Moodle. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2021 [citado 05/02/2021];13(1):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Marrero Pérez MD, Rodríguez Leyva T, Águila Rivalta Y, Rodríguez Soto I. Las redes sociales digitales aplicadas a la docencia y asistencia médicas. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2020 [citado 05/02/2021];12(3):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en:



Declaración de intereses

La autora declara no tener conflicto de intereses.



Declaration of interests

The author declares no conflict of interest.



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