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This international study used a survey administered to trainees to examine how the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the training of medical residents and fellows. More than half (55.2%) of the 504 trainees who returned analyzable surveys reported severe effects of the pandemic on training. However, trainees felt that the impact would be lower in the longer term, with 37.3%, 14.1%, and 4.2% expecting a moderate, mild, or slight long-term impact, respectively. Trainees reported substantial decreases in surgical and clinical training activity. However, trainees reported favorable impressions of web-based case presentations, web-based discussion of surgical videos, and simulation-based surgical training.
This study suggests that students are accustomed to remote learning and are comfortable with web-based techniques. Most schools offer the ability to view recorded lectures, read dictated lectures, and access similar activities, and students are increasingly familiar with simulators prior to residency. Although new technologies, including simulators, are becoming increasingly common in training, it may take time for faculty to become comfortable with using these methods of teaching.
– Raza M. Shah, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on practical activities and didactic teaching of residents and fellows. This survey aimed to propose long-term changes for ophthalmology training based on the changes experienced by trainees and their perception of new training opportunities.
An online survey was distributed to ophthalmology trainees in multiple countries. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.
A total of 504 analyzable responses were collected from 32 different countries. The current impact of COVID-19 pandemic was described as "severe" by most trainees (55.2%); however, the future perspective was more optimistic as demonstrated by the greater number of responses reporting a presumed "moderate" (37.3%), "mild" (14.1%) or "slight" (4.2%) long-term impact. The vast majority of trainees reported a decrease ≥50% of clinical activity (76.4%) and >75% of surgical activity (74.6%). Although an initial gap in didactic teaching has been experienced by many (55.4%), regular web-based teaching was reportedly attended by 67.7% of the respondents. A strong agreement was found regarding the worthwhile role of web-based case-presentations in clinical training (91.7%), web-based discussion of edited surgical videos (85.7%) and simulation-based practice (86.9%) in surgical training.
This survey, focusing on trainees' perspective, strongly reinforces the need to promptly include new technology-based training tools, such as web-based teaching, virtual surgical simulators, and telementoring, in long-term reorganisation of ophthalmology training to ensure its continuity and effectiveness, which would remain available even in the face of another unpredictable crisis within the health system.