Trainee perspectives of COVID-19 impact on medical genetics education

Genet Med. 2021 Feb 12;1-7. doi: 10.1038/s41436-020-01072-y. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic abruptly altered medical education and clinical care. This work evaluates trainee perspectives of the impact of the pandemic on medical genetics education.

Methods: A Qualtrics survey was sent to physician trainees who rotated in genetics before or midpandemic. Questions assessed patient care, didactic education, and competency in multiple domains. Number of clinic visits completed by trainees were collated through review of documentation.

Results: Twenty-three rotating residents completed the surveys. Five of the pediatric residents completed the elective during the pandemic. All residents participated in virtual care during the pandemic, and rotating residents reported an improvement in self-assessed competency in multiple domains. Potential weak areas of education midpandemic included dysmorphology and genetic counseling.

Conclusion: Residents on a genetics elective can gain crucial skills and knowledge even when the rotation is in a primarily virtual format. Supplemental dysmorphology and genetic counseling education may improve remote educational experiences. Further research across institutions may deepen understanding of the impact of the pandemic on education in genetics.