Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on clinical practice and training of young gastroenterologists: A European survey

Dig Liver Dis. 2020 Dec;52(12):1396-1402. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2020.05.023. Epub 2020 May 23.


Background: SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) is a major challenge for the healthcare system and physicians, imposing changes in daily clinical activity.

Aims: we aimed to describe what European trainees and young gastroenterologists know about COVID-19 and identify training gaps to implement educational programs.

Methods: A prospective web-based electronic survey was developed and distributed via e-mail to all members of the Italian Young Gastroenterologist and Endoscopist Association and to European representatives.

Results: One hundred and ninety-seven subjects participated in the survey, of whom 14 (7.1%) were excluded. The majority were gastroenterologists in training (123, 67.7%) working in institutions with COVID-19 inpatients (159, 86.9%), aged ≤30 years (113, 61.8%). The activity of Gastroenterology Units was restricted to emergency visits and endoscopy, with reductions of activities of up to 90%. 84.5% of participants felt that the COVID-19 outbreak impacted on their training, due to unavailability of mentors (52.6%) and interruption of trainee's involvement (66.4%). Most participants referred absence of training on the use of personal protective equipment, oxygen ventilation systems and COVID-19 therapies.

Conclusion: COVID-19 outbreak significantly impacted on gastroenterologists' clinical activity. The resources currently deployed are inadequate, and therefore educational interventions to address this gap are warranted in the next future.

Keywords: Covid-19; Gastroenterology; Personal protective equipment; Survey; Training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • COVID-19*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • France
  • Gastroenterologists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gastroenterology / education*
  • Gastroenterology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Mentors
  • Personal Protective Equipment / supply & distribution
  • Portugal
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires