Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


The World Wide Web and the advancement of computer technology in the 1960s and 1990s respectively set the ground for a substantial and simultaneous change in many facets of our life, including medicine, health care, and medical education. The traditional didactic approach has shifted towards more dynamic and interactive methods, leveraging technologies such as simulation tools, virtual reality, and online platforms. At the forefront is the remarkable evolution that has revolutionized how medical knowledge is accessed, disseminated, and integrated into pedagogical practices. The COVID-19 pandemic also led to rapid and large-scale adoption of e-learning and digital resources in medical education because of widespread lockdowns, social distancing measures, and the closure of medical schools and healthcare training programs. This review paper examines the evolution of medical education from the Flexnerian era to the modern digital age, closely examining the influence of the evolving WWW and its shift from Education 1.0 to Education 4.0. This evolution has been further accentuated by the transition from the static landscapes of Web 2D to the immersive realms of Web 3D, especially considering the growing notion of the metaverse. The application of the metaverse is an interconnected, virtual shared space that includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) to create a fertile ground for simulation-based training, collaborative learning, and experiential skill acquisition for competency development. This review includes the multifaceted applications of the metaverse in medical education, outlining both its benefits and challenges. Through insightful case studies and examples, it highlights the innovative potential of the metaverse as a platform for immersive learning experiences. Moreover, the review addresses the role of emerging technologies in shaping the post-pandemic future of medical education, ultimately culminating in a series of recommendations tailored for medical institutions aiming to successfully capitalize on revolutionary changes.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Annals of Medicine