Breast surgeons updating on the thresholds of COVID-19 era: results of a multicenter collaborative study evaluating the role of online videos and multimedia sources on breast surgeons education and training

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Jul;24(14):7845-7854. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202007_22289.


Objective: Current trends show a rise of attention given to breast cancer patients' quality of life and the surgical reconstructive result. Along with this trend, surgical training quality and efficacy are gaining importance and innovative training methods such as online videos shared on social media portals, are becoming main updating tools. In hazardous times like COVID-19 pandemic nowadays, online communication becomes of vital importance and adaptation and innovation are fundamental to keep research and education alive. The authors aimed to investigate the role of video and multimedia sources on the daily activity and surgical training of a representative group of surgeons specifically dedicated to oncologic, oncoplastic and reconstructive breast surgeries.

Materials and methods: A survey was produced and administered to 20 major Italian Breast Centers. Collected data were analyzed with Fisher's Exact Test.

Results: From October 2019 to March 2020, a total of 320 surveys were collected. Among the responders, there were 188 trainees (intern medical doctors and residents) and 110 faculty, 72% of them belonged to a plastic surgery environment, while 28% to general surgery environment. Almost all respondents have ever watched videos concerning breast surgery.

Conclusions: The results of the study show how breast surgeons rely on videos and web platforms, mostly YouTube, when searching for training info about surgical procedures. Social media offer great opportunities for sharing knowledge and diffusion of new ideas but greater attention to their reliability is mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Education, Distance / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Quality of Life
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Media
  • Surgeons / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Recording