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Table 5 Themes and illustrative quotes for medical students

From: COVID-19 pandemic partnership between medical students and isolated elders improves student understanding of older adults’ lived experience

Theme Illustrative quote
Fulfilling …she will open the conversation with oh it is so lovely to hear your cheerful voice. And I think that brightens my day as well. So, I have had a really positive experience. (Participant #03)
… it was really positive experience. I felt like it was truly beneficial, and it was a nice way to meet somebody new. (Participant #41)
Impactful But I think it kind of highlighted for me… how much of a difference…a little check-in phone call can make in someone's day. (Participant #03)
… it is not a huge time commitment, but… you are still making some difference in the lives of the people that you are calling every week. You know like it only takes like 15 to 20 min (Participant #14)
It is just like a small, little bit of energy and time on my end. I think can make a really positive difference in folks’ lives (Participant #42
Valuable opportunity … I am actually already seeing it impact my medical practice because…I didn't really truly appreciate the huge impact that social isolation can have. (Participant #09)
It is a good opportunity to help somebody else. But I think you also feel like really good about it. And you can feel like you are making a positive impact. (Participant #42)
Connectedness …I think it is good practice for building rapport with someone, like building their trust and developing our relationship (Participant #11)
I think it has been nice for myself and also just for the patient to have this weekly the check in. And see how each of our weeks have been doing. (Participant #11)
Empathy I notice that I am actively asking questions relating to social isolation. And trying to strategize ways to help seniors alleviate the social isolation in their lives (Participant #09)
… just the importance of you know keeping in touch with people who are more prone to isolation. (Participant #14)
COVID-19 isolation …social isolation is a pretty big problem pre-COVID and will continue to be one post-COVID. (Participant #42)
… One thing is how big of an impact social isolation has on health outcomes in the elderly. And I learned important strategies for how to alleviate the social anxiety and the social isolation during a pandemic setting. (Participant #09)
Career influence …with this program I am realizing that that [Geriatrics] is an area that I didn't think that I would be interested in. (Participant #41)
You know I have always loved to work with older adults but it kind of reinforces…I definitely want to work with them in the future. (Participant #14)