The impact of COVID-19 on obstetrics and gynaecology trainees; how do we move on?
COVID-19, coronavirus, training
Published online: Mar 31 2021
Background: Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) is an evolving specialty that encompasses women’s health at its core. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant patient care challenges, however simultaneously it has resulted in the interruption of clinical training and cessation of all elective work. Our primary aim was to assess the impact of the pandemic on the experiences of O&G trainees.
Methods: An email invite was sent to all 127 O&G trainees in Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS), inviting them to participate in an anonymous 33-question survey. The survey data was collected and analysed over a 4-week period.
Results: Of the 127 trainees sent the survey, 87 responded (69%). 39% and 75% of trainees agreed that the pandemic had a negative impact on their overall physical and mental wellbeing respectively. 43% agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected their obstetric training experience whilst almost all trainees stated a significant negative impact on benign gynaecology surgical training. Reassuringly, over 80% were positive they would recover from the negative impacts of COVID-19.
Conclusions: It is evident that COVID-19 has impacted O&G trainees in several ways. Whilst we face uncertain times, we must firstly ensure the physical and mental well-being of all trainees. It is encouraging that non- emergency consultations and benign surgery are being restarted nationwide and whilst this will inevitably help with re-booting surgical training, we must also think “outside” the box and utilise other modes of teaching and training to safeguard learning whilst mitigating against the negative impacts of subsequent waves.