Development and Implementation of an International Virtual Didactic Series for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Graduate Medical Education During COVID-19

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Feb 1;101(2):160-163. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001926.


Coronavirus disease of 2019 presented significant challenges to residency and fellowship programs. Didactic lectures were particularly affected as redeployment of faculty and trainees, limitations on in-person gathering, and other barriers limited opportunities for educational engagement. We sought to develop an online didactic series to address this gap in graduate medical education.Lecturers were recruited via convenience sample and from previous Association of Academic Physiatrists presenters from across the United States and Canada; these presented via Zoom during April and May 2020. Lecturers and content reflected the diverse nature of the specialty. Learning objectives were adapted from the list of board examination topics provided by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.Fifty-nine lectures were presented. Maximum concurrent live viewership totaled 4272 and recorded lecture viewership accounted for an additional 6849 views, for a total of at least 11,208 views between the date of the first lecture (April 9, 2020) and May 1, 2021. Live viewers of one of the lectures reported participating from several states and 16 countries.The Association of Academic Physiatrists-led virtual didactics augmented graduate medical education during the coronavirus disease of 2019 pandemic, and data confirm that the lectures have continued to enjoy a high level of viewership after the cessation of live lectures.