Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Training and Well-Being in Radiology Residency: A National Survey of Diagnostic Radiology Trainees in Saudi Arabia

Acad Radiol. 2021 Jul;28(7):1002-1009. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2021.03.019. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Abstract

Objectives: To understand and report the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiology residents in Saudi Arabia with respect to their education, clinical activities, and personal well-being.

Methods: The survey questionnaire was designed by a team of experts based on a review of the literature and was distributed electronically through the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to residents registered in all radiology residency training programs in Saudi Arabia during the academic year 2019 to 2020. Categorical variables were presented as counts and percentage. Numerical variables were presented as mean and standard deviation if normally distributed. Chi-square testing was used to compare categorical variables with the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spearman correlation was used to correlate numerical variables at the level of significance p-value < 0.05.

Results: A total of 109 residents completed the online survey during the study period, with a response rate of 32.2% (109/337). The mean age was 27.3 years (standard deviation, 1.86). The majority of respondents (71.5%, 78/109) reported either a severe or moderate negative impact on educational activities. Also, the majority (73.4%, 80/109) reported either a minimal or moderate negative impact on clinical activities. Residents training in the western province perceived a statistically higher negative impact on educational activities compared to their peers in other regions (p = 0.01). Residents in their second year of residency training perceived a statistically higher negative impact on their participation in clinical activities (p = 0.014). Less than half of the respondents (45.9%, 50/109) reported that they were redeployed to work in another department. The majority (80%, 40/50) reported a negative impact on their well-being.

Conclusion: The majority of radiology residents in Saudi Arabia reported a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their education, clinical activities, and personal well-being. Our study also identified and explored some of the innovative solutions and strategies implemented by the training programs and the SCFHS to mitigate the negative effects on trainees.

Keywords: COVID-19; Medical imaging; Radiology; Residency training; Saudi Arabia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Pandemics
  • Radiology* / education
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires