Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted graduate medical education, compelling training programs to abruptly transition to virtual educational formats despite minimal experience or proficiency. We surveyed residents from a national sample of internal medicine (IM) residency programs to describe their experiences with the transition to virtual morning report (MR), a highly valued core educational conference.
Objective: Assess resident views about virtual MR content and teaching strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Design: Anonymous, web-based survey.
Participants: Residents from 14 academically affiliated IM residency programs.
Main measures: The 25-item survey on virtual MR included questions on demographics; frequency and reason for attending; opinions on who should attend and teach; how the virtual format affects the learning environment; how virtual MR compares to in-person MR with regard to participation, engagement, and overall education; and whether virtual MR should continue after in-person conferences can safely resume. The survey included a combination of Likert-style, multiple option, and open-ended questions.
Results: Six hundred fifteen residents (35%) completed the survey, with a balanced sample of interns (39%), second-year (31%), and third-year (30%) residents. When comparing their overall assessment of in-person and virtual MR formats, 42% of residents preferred in-person, 18% preferred virtual, and 40% felt they were equivalent. Most respondents endorsed better peer-engagement, camaraderie, and group participation with in-person MR. Chat boxes, video participation, audience response systems, and smart boards/tablets enhanced respondents' educational experience during virtual MR. Most respondents (72%) felt that the option of virtual MR should continue when it is safe to resume in-person conferences.
Conclusions: Virtual MR was a valued alternative to traditional in-person MR during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents feel that the virtual platform offers unique educational benefits independent of and in conjunction with in-person conferences. Residents support the integration of a virtual platform into the delivery of MR in the future.
Keywords: graduate medical education; internal medicine residency; morning report; virtual.