To describe the context, challenges and responses to COVID-19 public health measures for medical education in psychiatry, with an emphasis on sharing strategies for ongoing COVID-19 challenges. The rapidity of COVID-19 public health measures instituted in Australia required swift action for medical education to address lockdowns of student clinical placements. The responses included a transition to interim online learning followed by a return to truncated clinical placements renegotiated to conform to public health measures. Adjustment of formative and summative assessment has been necessary. However, further contingencies may emerge depending upon the overall progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.