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In a recently published paper entitled ‘Status and situation of postgraduate medical students in China under the influence of COVID-19” (1) is inappropriate, as the authors have hardly described the plights of the postgraduate (PG) students during this pandemic. They have broadly discussed the impact of it on the medical students in general (including both under and postgraduate students). The PG has much different education and training than the undergraduate (UG) students. And, also the responsibilities of these two groups of students are quite different. The PG courses are designed to create experts, who would be able to deliver specialized healthcare to the community. Hence, generalizing the impact of the pandemic on these two dissimilar groups is unfair.
COVID-19 pandemic has indeed disrupted the medical PG education and training globally, mainly in the following ways:
1. Due to a substantial decrease in the number of patients attending the hospitals, the requisite clinical experience of history taking, clinical examination, and attending their surgical interventions have been cut down significantly, leading to inadequate specialist training.
2. The PG teaching is also badly affected by the pandemic, with the abolition of conventional teaching like lectures, ward rounds, inter-departmental meetings, seminars, case presentations, and other academic activities (2).
3. The PGs are finding it challenging to complete their required d...
3. The PGs are finding it challenging to complete their required dissertations and are deprived of attending any conferences or workshops for widening the horizon.
4. This pandemic has been extended for a long time; in the majority countries and no one known when would it end. Hence, many PG trainees would lose a significant amount of their PG course time, leading to inadequate training, and practical experience. Therefore, these COVID affected PGs are likely to be inadequately trained and shall not be able to provide skillful and sound treatment confidently, even after clearing the exit exams (3).
5. Due to the fear of acquiring COVID-19, the PGs to devoid of ‘face to face’ interactions with the patients leading to severe impact on their clinical teaching (4).
6. Although, virtual teaching and learning has become popular in these difficult times, still the experience of clinical examination and attending the surgical procedures physically cannot be replaced by any virtual means (5).
7. There has also been undue mental stress of the PGs for the reasons mentioned above, and also for their redeployment duties in the non-specialty areas.
1. Wang S, Dai M. Status and situation of postgraduate medical students in China under the influence of COVID-19. Post Grad Med J 2020; http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-137763
2. Lal H, Sharma DK, Patralekh MK, Jain VK, Maini L. Outpatient Department practices in orthopaedics amidst COVID-19: The evolving model [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 18]. J ClinOrthop Trauma. 2020; 10.1016/j.jcot.2020.05.009.
3. Dougherty PJ , Jain AK. Orthopaedic Surgery Education in India. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2014; 472:410–414.
4. Kumar S, Tuli SM. Orthopedic education: Indian perspective. Indian J Orthop. 2008;42 (3): 245-246.
5. Palan J, Roberts V, Bloch B, Kulkarni A, Bhowal B, Dias J: The use of a virtual learning environment in promoting virtual journal clubs and case-based discussions in trauma and orthopaedic postgraduate medical education: The sleicester experience. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2012; 94:1170-1175.