Alternatives surgical training approaches during COVID-19 pandemic

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2021 Feb;62:253-257. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2021.01.057. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Abstract

Importance: Coping with the COIVD-19 global-pandemic major changes in healthcare and educational operational policies, mandates the implementation of alternative surgical curriculum objects (components) to replace some of the traditional face-to-face activities.

Objective: The objective of the study is to review and discuss various alternative curriculum objects (components) that can be used to restructure conventional surgical training curricula during the Declared Healthcare Emergency surgery rotations. The goal is to identify and recommend effective alternative educational activities that are compliant with the new social physical distancing regulations.

Evidence review: Various curricular components and objects were examined. The educational value of the curriculum objects is studied and analyzed in terms of feasibility, knowledge gain/learning effectiveness, the need for facilitation or feedback, and the evaluation. Several curriculum objects were proposed with description of their value and applications.

Findings: The selected and proposed activities include scenario-based MCQ writing exercises, video-based surgical skills interactive training, online learning modules, virtual rounding, reflection assignments, surgical skills simulation training, research education, and medical education learning. Their educational value is described and scaled.

Conclusion: There is urgent and challenging need for surgical training using additional alternative curriculum objects (components). Working with the available resources and experiences is crucial to maximize the learning outcomes. Distance (online) education and educational technology tools and concepts provide a spectrum of valuable educational activities. Further work and studies are needed to optimize their utility.

Publication types

  • Review