Table 3

Results of survey reporting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical education and assessment of pedagogical tools

First author (Ref)SpecialtyType of participantsNb of participants/Nb invited (response rate)Main results
Rosen19UrologyResidency programmes directors65/144 (45%)
  • Patient contact time decreased from 4.7 to 2.1 days per week (p<0.001).

  • Redeployment was reported in 26% of programmes.

  • 60% of programmes had concern that residents will not meet case minimums due to COVID-19.

  • 77% reported remote clinical work and 52% televisits.

  • All programmes had begun to use videoconferencing and 60% planned to continue.

  • In states with a higher incidence of COVID-19:

    • Resident redeployment and exposure to COVID-19 positive patients were more frequent (48% vs 11%, p=0.002) and (70% vs 40%, p=0.03),

    • Concerns regarding exposure (78% vs 97%, p=0.02) and personal protective equipment availability (62% vs 89%, p=0.02) were less frequent.

Garcia27NeurosurgeryMedical students.315/875 (36%)
  • 2/3 reported indefinite postponement of clinical clerkship and most have suspended in-person didactics.

  • Many reported using unstructured time to improve neurosurgical knowledge, with increasing frequency by increasing medical school years.

  • More than half report that the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on academic productivity.

  • 1/3 MS1 reported dissatisfaction with neurosurgical career planning.

  • 1/5 MS1 are less likely to pursue a career in neurosurgery.

  • The majority of MS2 and MS3 are delaying their US Medical Licensing Examination steps I and II.

  • 3/4 MS3 reported indefinite postponement of subinternships, and most are unsatisfied with communication from external programmes as it relates to subinternships.

  • 1/3 MS4 are graduating early to participate in COVID-19-related patient care.

  • A vast majority are requesting logistical help to prepare for residency remotely: student-focused webinars, student-focused sessions at upcoming neurosurgical conferences, and finding ways to accommodate for expected changes in external subinternships are solutions frequently reported.

Guadixl32NeurosurgeryMedical students133/852 (16%, then
six excluded responses)
  • Most affected aspects of their neurosurgery residency application: conferences and networking opportunities (63%), clinical experience (59%), board examination scores (42%), subinternships (39%), clinical research experience (38%).

  • 76% MS3 reported >1 cancelled or postponed neurosurgery rotation.

  • Concerns regarding how COVID-19 would affect surgical skills acquisition increased significantly the higher the MS year.

  • Students were more likely to take 1 year off from medical school after than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, measured from 0 to 100 (25.3 vs 39.5; p=0.004).

  • Virtual mentorship pairing was the highest rated educational intervention suggested by MS1 and MS2.

  • Virtual surgical skills workshops were the highest rated educational intervention for MS3 and MS4.

Alhaj34NeurosurgeryResidents52/53 (98%)
  • 48% dealt directly with patients with COVID-19.

  • 57.7% had a session about personal protective equipment.

  • 98% perceived an impact on neurosurgery training at the hospital.

  • 80% felt daily studying hours were affected.

  • 90% believed that this pandemic had influenced their mental health.

Rose40Emergency medicineResidentsNA
(targeted audience n=1080)
  • Most residents were unfamiliar with Slack messaging platform and may have felt reserved about navigating the platform during discussion.

  • 84% of residents felt that ALiEM Connect had the same or better quality than in-person conference experiences.

  • 93% enjoyed the event overall.

Mishra52OphthalmologyResident (95.6%) and Fellows (4.4%)716/NA
(716 valid responses)
  • 24.6% had been deployed on COVID-19 duty.

  • 80.7% felt that the COVID-19 lockdown had negatively impacted their surgical training (50% or more reduction in their surgical training).

  • 47.2% noticed a negative impact on their theoretical/classroom learning.

  • 54.8% perceived an increase in stress levels during the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • 77.4% reported that their family members had expressed an increased concern for their safety and well-being since the lockdown began.

  • 75.7% felt that online classes and webinars were useful during the lockdown period.

Zingaretti51Aesthetic surgeryResident115/146 (72%)
  • 60% reported 50%–75% elective surgery activity decrease, affecting a lot their training and professional growth for 68%.

  • 66% reported an increase of learning activities compared with pre-COVID-19.

  • <5% use virtual didactic courses during COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 60% find that didactic tools during COVID-19 19 are useful but not sufficient.

Pertile64Surgery (Polyspecialistic)Residents756/NA (756 included questionnaires)
  • 61.3% experienced a reduction and 34.6% a complete interruption of surgical activities.

  • 14.8% surgery residents were redeployed to COVID-19 non-surgical units

  • General surgery residents were more frequently redeployed (p<0.01) than other surgical specialty residents.

  • Northern Italian regions surgery residents were more commonly relocated to non-surgical wards than those belonging to central and southern Italian regions (p<0.01).

  • General surgery residents did not change their professional ambitions in comparison to other specialties residents (10% vs 17.2%; p=0.02).

  • Redeployed surgery residents reported that the pandemic had a positive impact on their clinical training in 49.1% and a negative impact on surgical training in 87.5%.

  • MS, medical student’s year; NA, not available.