Educational Alternatives for the Maintenance of Educational Competencies in Surgical Training Programs Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development (08/24/20) El-Hawary, Hassan; Salimi, Ali; Alam, Peter; et al.

New research explores alternative options for maintaining surgical trainees' competencies as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts traditional educational programs. Cancellation of most surgical teaching sessions has prompted institutions to convert lectures to online platforms and offer a safe learning environment while promoting social distancing. Many surgical societies also have made online webinars and talks available to trainees irrespective of geographic location. Reassignment of trainees to other medical services caring for COVID-19 patients presents a unique opportunity for further professional development and interdisciplinary collaboration. Overarching educational milestones required by residents at varying levels can facilitate this selective level-appropriate redeployment. The extra time available to trainees during the pandemic can also be used to pursue alternative educational channels to reinforce medical and surgical knowledge. Residents participating in telemedicine consultations is one possible avenue. "Despite the hard times we are facing, the lessons learned from this experience will be vital to our response in the face of future pandemics," the authors conclude.

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