Journal Article
. 2020 Apr; 77(4):729-732.
doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.03.018.

Using Technology to Maintain the Education of Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Robert Connor Chick 1 Guy Travis Clifton 1 Kaitlin M Peace 1 Brandon W Propper 1 Diane F Hale 1 Adnan A Alseidi 2 Timothy J Vreeland 3 
  • PMID: 32253133
  •     8 References
  •     156 citations


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique challenge to surgical residency programs. Due to the restrictions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations, the educational landscape for surgical residents is rapidly changing. In addition, the time course of these changes is undefined.

Methods: We attempt to define the scope of the problem of maintaining surgical resident education while maintaining the safety of residents, educators, and patients. Within the basic framework of limiting in-person gatherings, postponing or canceling elective operations in hospitals, and limiting rotations between sites, we propose innovative solutions to maintain rigorous education.

Results: We propose several innovative solutions including the flipped classroom model, online practice questions, teleconferencing in place of in-person lectures, involving residents in telemedicine clinics, procedural simulation, and the facilitated use of surgical videos. Although there is no substitute for hands-on learning through operative experience and direct patient care, these may be ways to mitigate the loss of learning exposure during this time.

Conclusions: These innovative solutions utilizing technology may help to bridge the educational gap for surgical residents during this unprecedented circumstance. The support of national organizations may be beneficial in maintaining rigorous surgical education.

Keywords: COVID-19; distance learning; flipped classroom; surgical videos.

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Albin Leong, Dan Benscoter, +2 authors, Robert E Wood.
Pediatr Pulmonol, 2021 Feb 10; 56(6). PMID: 33559942    Free PMC article.
Simulation-based emergency medicine education in the era of physical distancing.
Nur-Ain Nadir, Jane Kim, +6 authors, Michael Falk.
AEM Educ Train, 2021 Apr 01;. PMID: 33786408    Free PMC article.
We know the problem, now it is time to find a solution: supporting residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
D C Guven.
Intern Med J, 2021 Feb 12; 51(1). PMID: 33572008    Free PMC article.
Analytical study on the impact of technology in higher education during the age of COVID-19: Systematic literature review.
Manar Abu Talib, Anissa M Bettayeb, Razan I Omer.
Educ Inf Technol (Dordr), 2021 Apr 06;. PMID: 33814958    Free PMC article.
The Impact of Telehealth on Clinical Education in Adolescent Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Positive Preliminary Findings.
Do-Quyen Pham, Sarah A Golub, Cora Collette Breuner, Yolanda N Evans.
Front Pediatr, 2021 Apr 06; 9. PMID: 33816404    Free PMC article.
Immediate consequences and solutions used to maintain medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic for residents and medical students: a restricted review.
François Chasset, Matthias Barral, Olivier Steichen, Anne Legrand.
Postgrad Med J, 2021 Apr 03;. PMID: 33795479    Free PMC article.
Optimizing e-learning in oncology during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Monica Malik, Deepthi Valiyaveettil, Deepa Joseph.
Radiat Oncol J, 2021 Apr 02; 39(1). PMID: 33794568    Free PMC article.
The impact of COVID-19 on surgical training at a tertiary hospital in Greece: a 'hidden infectious enemy' for junior surgeons?
Michail Vailas, Maria Sotiropoulou, +3 authors, Ioannis Maroulis.
Eur Surg, 2021 Apr 15;. PMID: 33850514    Free PMC article.
Risk factors associated with physician trainee concern over missed educational opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunny S Lou, Charles W Goss, +2 authors, Thomas Kannampallil.
BMC Med Educ, 2021 Apr 19; 21(1). PMID: 33865390    Free PMC article.
The influence of the COVID-19 outbreak on European trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology: A survey of the impact on training and trainee.
Ferry Boekhorst, Hajra Khattak, +2 authors, Manuel Gonçalves Henriques.
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol, 2021 Apr 24; 261. PMID: 33892209    Free PMC article.
COVID-19 as a disruptor: innovation and value in a national virtual fracture conference.
Matthew K Stein, Matthew Loren Webb, +3 authors, Derek J Donegan.
OTA Int, 2021 May 04; 4(1). PMID: 33937721    Free PMC article.
Factors Associated With General Surgery Residents' Operative Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Amanda C Purdy, Christian de Virgilio, +16 authors, Farin Amersi.
JAMA Surg, 2021 May 01; 156(8). PMID: 33929493    Free PMC article.
One Year of Pandemic Learning Response: Benefits of Massive Online Delivery of the World Health Organization's Technical Guidance.
Heini Utunen, Maria D Van Kerkhove, +3 authors, Ibrahima Socé Fall.
JMIR Public Health Surveill, 2021 Apr 22; 7(4). PMID: 33881404    Free PMC article.
Inspired by COVID-19 isolation: Evolving educational techniques in dermatology residency programs.
Steven A Svoboda, Anna Swigert, Colton B Nielson, Kiran Motaparthi.
Clin Dermatol, 2021 May 12; 39(1). PMID: 33972050    Free PMC article.
Barriers and facilitators to online medical and nursing education during the COVID-19 pandemic: perspectives from international students from low- and middle-income countries and their teaching staff.
Wen Li, Robyn Gillies, +4 authors, Hong Sun.
Hum Resour Health, 2021 May 14; 19(1). PMID: 33980228    Free PMC article.
Mixed Assessment of Virtual Serious Games Applied in Architectural and Urban Design Education.
David Fonseca, Janaina Cavalcanti, +5 authors, Ernesto Redondo.
Sensors (Basel), 2021 May 06; 21(9). PMID: 33946868    Free PMC article.
University Students Perception of Online Education: Is Engagement Enough?
Apostolos Fyllos, Asimakis Kanellopoulos, +5 authors, Aristeidis Zibis.
Acta Inform Med, 2021 May 21; 29(1). PMID: 34012206    Free PMC article.
Experiences and Attitudes of Elementary School Students and Their Parents Toward Online Learning in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Questionnaire Study.
Shu Cui, Chao Zhang, +8 authors, Xiaoqin Zhou.
J Med Internet Res, 2021 Apr 21; 23(5). PMID: 33878022    Free PMC article.
An Imperative for the National Public Health School in Burkina Faso to Promote the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Critical Analysis.
Arzouma Hermann Pilabré, Patrice Ngangue, Abibata Barro, Yacouba Pafadnam.
JMIR Med Educ, 2021 May 11; 7(2). PMID: 33970868    Free PMC article.
An Adapted Online Family Medicine Training for House Officers Amid Covid-19 Pandemic in Egypt.
Marwa M Ahmed, Samar Fares, Asmaa A Sayed, Inas T El Sayed.
J Prim Care Community Health, 2021 May 15; 12. PMID: 33985376    Free PMC article.
Technology-mediated teaching and learning process: A conceptual study of educators' response amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kingsley Okoye, Jorge Alfonso Rodriguez-Tort, Jose Escamilla, Samira Hosseini.
Educ Inf Technol (Dordr), 2021 May 25;. PMID: 34025205    Free PMC article.
The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Service Sector Sustainability and Growth.
Shihui Xiang, Saad Rasool, +3 authors, Alin Emanuel Artene.
Front Psychol, 2021 May 25; 12. PMID: 34025507    Free PMC article.
Lived Experiences of Surgical Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Assessment.
Jad M Abdelsattar, Julia R Coleman, +10 authors, Kathryn Spanknebel.
J Surg Educ, 2021 May 29;. PMID: 34045160    Free PMC article.
COVID-19 and the medical education system in ophthalmology - Lessons learned and future directions.
Sucheta Parija, Sujata Das.
Indian J Ophthalmol, 2021 Apr 30; 69(5). PMID: 33913895    Free PMC article.
Effect of the event strength of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on potential online organic agricultural product consumption and rural health tourism opportunities.
Jie Yin, Youcheng Chen, Yingchao Ji.
MDE Manage Decis Econ, 2021 Jun 22; 42(5). PMID: 34149119    Free PMC article.
Reshaping surgical specialist training in small animal surgery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akash Alexander, Heidi Radke.
Vet Surg, 2021 May 27; 50(5). PMID: 34036591    Free PMC article.
Faculty perspectives on transitioning public health nursing clinical to virtual in response to COVID-19.
Mallory Bejster, Heide Cygan, +3 authors, Tanya Friese.
Public Health Nurs, 2021 May 30; 38(5). PMID: 34050683    Free PMC article.
Endoscopy training in COVID-19: Challenges and hope for a better age.
Chieh Sian Koo, Kewin Tien Ho Siah, Calvin Jianyi Koh.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2021 Apr 20; 36(10). PMID: 33871079    Free PMC article.
COVID-19 fear and volatility index movements: empirical insights from ASEAN stock markets.
Muhammad Sadiq, Ching-Chi Hsu, YunQian Zhang, Fengsheng Chien.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2021 Jul 11;. PMID: 34245412    Free PMC article.
Examining the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the operative volumes of US general surgery residents.
Allison M Ammann, Alexander R Cortez, +5 authors, Ralph C Quillin.
Surgery, 2021 Jul 13;. PMID: 34247838    Free PMC article.
Review of flipped learning in engineering education: Scientific mapping and research horizon.
Md Abdullah Al Mamun, Md Abul Kalam Azad, Md Abdullah Al Mamun, Michael Boyle.
Educ Inf Technol (Dordr), 2021 Jul 15;. PMID: 34257512    Free PMC article.
Digital Technology-Based Telemedicine for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Yu-Ting Shen, Liang Chen, Wen-Wen Yue, Hui-Xiong Xu.
Front Med (Lausanne), 2021 Jul 24; 8. PMID: 34295908    Free PMC article.
A Tale of Two Cities: Residents' Operative Experience in the United Kingdom and Germany During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.
Nithish Jayakumar, Sönke Hellwig, +3 authors, Surash Surash.
World Neurosurg, 2021 Jul 20; 154. PMID: 34280539    Free PMC article.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of endocrine surgery.
Toni Beninato, Amanda M Laird, +8 authors, Carrie C Lubitz.
Am J Surg, 2021 Jul 29;. PMID: 34315576    Free PMC article.
COVID-19 AND DENTAL DISTANCE-BASED EDUCATION: students' perceptions in an Italian University.
Paolo Di Giacomo, Carlo Di Paolo.
BMC Med Educ, 2021 Aug 04; 21(1). PMID: 34340662    Free PMC article.
Pedagogical Leaders and the Teaching-Learning Processes in COVID-19 Times.
Emilio Álvarez-Arregui, Eufrasio Pérez-Navío, Raúl González-Fernández, Alejandro Rodríguez-Martín.
Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2021 Aug 08; 18(15). PMID: 34360024    Free PMC article.
A Framework for Assuring the Safety, Training, Evaluation, and Wellness of Radiation Oncology Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic (ASTEROiD-COVID19).
Christopher D Goodman, Rohann J M Correa, +3 authors, Timothy K Nguyen.
Adv Radiat Oncol, 2021 Jul 27; 6(5). PMID: 34307965    Free PMC article.
Virtually Possible: Medical Student Rehabilitation Rotations During a Pandemic.
Laura Y Huang, Nathan McKenty, +7 authors, David R Gater.
Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 2021 Jun 27; 100(9). PMID: 34173775    Free PMC article.
Medical and Surgical Education Challenges and Innovations in the COVID-19 Era: A Systematic Review.
Aikaterini Dedeilia, Marinos G Sotiropoulos, +3 authors, Michail Sideris.
In Vivo, 2020 Jun 07; 34(3 Suppl). PMID: 32503818    Free PMC article.
Systematic Review.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Urology Residents: a Narrative Review.
Johnathan A Khusid, Mahyar Kashani, +2 authors, Mantu Gupta.
Curr Urol Rep, 2021 Aug 25; 22(9). PMID: 34427779    Free PMC article.
Disaster Training Following COVID-19 for Pediatric Medical Residents: Demand and Format.
Kaitlyn Boggs, Tress Goodwin, Joelle Simpson.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep, 2021 Jun 19;. PMID: 34140056    Free PMC article.
Has 2020 been a lost year in orthopedic surgery and trauma training? Residents' perceptions.
M Vázquez Gómez, M Galipienso Eri, A Hernández Martínez.
Rev Esp Cir Ortop Traumatol (Engl Ed), 2021 Aug 23;. PMID: 34419383    Free PMC article.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Clinical Learning Environment: Addressing Identified Gaps and Seizing Opportunities.
Justin D Triemstra, Mary R C Haas, +11 authors, Herodotos Ellinas.
Acad Med, 2021 Aug 26; 96(9). PMID: 34432665    Free PMC article.
Remote Simulator Training of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Kenichiro Takahashi, Chiharu Tanaka, +6 authors, Kumiko Wada.
JTCVS Open, 2021 Aug 31;. PMID: 34458874    Free PMC article.
[Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on specialized healthcare training in a teaching center].
M I González-Anglada, C Garmendia-Fernández, +3 authors, A I Huelmos-Rodrigo.
J Healthc Qual Res, 2021 Aug 31;. PMID: 34456180    Free PMC article.
Commentary: Zoom into the coronary anastomosis during COVID-19.
Danial Ahmad, Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili.
JTCVS Open, 2021 Sep 07;. PMID: 34485948    Free PMC article.
Impact of the early COVID-19 pandemic on Breast Surgical Oncology fellow education.
Lyndsey J Kilgore, Brittany L Murphy, +6 authors, Mediget Teshome.
J Surg Oncol, 2021 Jul 31;. PMID: 34328640    Free PMC article.
Teaching and Learning Modalities in Higher Education During the Pandemic: Responses to Coronavirus Disease 2019 From Spain.
Ana Verde, Jose Manuel Valero.
Front Psychol, 2021 Sep 11; 12. PMID: 34504455    Free PMC article.
Multilevel factor analysis of flipped classroom in dental education: A 3-year randomized controlled trial.
Zuo Wang, Eiko Yoshida Kohno, +4 authors, Noriyuki Wakabayashi.
PLoS One, 2021 Sep 11; 16(9). PMID: 34506512    Free PMC article.
Advanced Trauma Life Support Course Delivery: Comparison of Outcomes From Modifications During Covid-19.
Lauren Dyer, Luis Llerena, +2 authors, Frank Whitaker.
Cureus, 2021 Sep 14; 13(8). PMID: 34513416    Free PMC article.
Challenges to the orthopedic resident workforce during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons learnt from a global cross-sectional survey.
Aju Bosco, Hui Wen Tay, +8 authors, Hwee Weng Dennis Hey.
J Orthop, 2021 Sep 15; 27. PMID: 34518748    Free PMC article.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Experience.
Devan O Higginbotham, Abdul K Zalikha, Steven K Stoker, Bryan E Little.
Spartan Med Res J, 2021 Sep 18; 6(2). PMID: 34532623    Free PMC article.
[Re: Teaching surgery in 2021: What role for simulation?]
Jean-Baptiste de Villeneuve Bargemon, Romain Léonard, Eddy Traversari.
J Chir Visc, 2021 Sep 16;. PMID: 34522238    Free PMC article.
Teaching strategies and outcomes in 3 different times of the COVID-19 pandemic through a dynamic assessment of medical skills and wellness of surgical trainees.
Fanny Rodriguez Santos, Esteban González Salazar, +9 authors, Martín de Santibañes.
Surgery, 2021 Sep 23;. PMID: 34548160    Free PMC article.
In response to "Never the same - a commentary on surgical trainee well-being in the COVID era".
Stephen Chu, Samuel Hale.
J Pediatr Surg, 2021 Sep 27;. PMID: 34563361    Free PMC article.
Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Pharmacy Education.
Clark D Kebodeaux, Vivienne Mak.
Pharmacy (Basel), 2021 Sep 27; 9(3). PMID: 34564557    Free PMC article.
Feasibility and acceptability of virtually coaching residents on communication skills: a pilot study.
Marzena Sasnal, Rebecca Miller-Kuhlmann, +6 authors, Carl A Gold.
BMC Med Educ, 2021 Sep 30; 21(1). PMID: 34583691    Free PMC article.
Design Your Exam (DYE): A Novel Active Learning Technique to Increase Pharmacy Student Engagement in the Learning Process.
Ahmad A Shahba, Ibrahim Sales.
Saudi Pharm J, 2021 Oct 06;. PMID: 34608368    Free PMC article.
Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Application Process: What Can We Learn?
Kevin Y Wang, Jacob Babu, +3 authors, Dawn LaPorte.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev, 2021 Oct 05; 5(10). PMID: 34605796    Free PMC article.