Rationale and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced rapid evolution of the healthcare environment. Efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus through social distancing and shelter-at-home edicts have unintended consequences upon clinical and educational missions and mental well-being of radiology departments. We sought to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiology residencies with respect to the educational mission and perceptions of impact on well-being.
Materials and methods: This study was IRB exempt. An anonymous 22 question survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on educational and clinical missions of residencies, its perceived impact upon morale of radiologists and trainees and a query of innovative solutions devised in response, was emailed to the Association of Program Directors in Radiology membership. Survey data were collected using SurveyMonkey (San Mateo, California).
Results: Respondents felt the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their residency programs. Regarding the educational mission impact, 70.1% (75/107) report moderate/marked negative impact and 2.8% (3/107) that educational activities have ceased. Regarding the pandemic's impact on resident morale, 44.8% (48/107) perceive moderate/marked negative effect; perceived resident morale in programs with redeployment is significantly worse with 57.1% (12/21) reporting moderate/marked decrease. Respondents overwhelmingly report adequate resident access to mental health resources during the acute phase of the pandemic (88.8%, 95/107). Regarding morale of program directors, 61% (65/106) report either mild or marked decreased morale. Program innovations reported by program directors were catalogued and shared.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has markedly impacted the perceived well-being and educational missions of radiology residency programs across the United States.
Keywords: Association of Program Directors in Radiology; COVID-19; Program director; Radiology resident; Well-being.
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