Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


The impact of COVID-19 on O&G trainees; where are we now?

I. Duggan 1, R. Hablase 2, L. Beard 2, F. Odejinmi 3, R. Mallick 2

1 Conquest Hospital, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, The Ridge, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7RD
2 Princess Royal Hospital, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Lewes Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4EX, UK
3 Whipps Cross Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, London, E11 1NR, UK.


COVID-19, coronavirus, training

Published online: Apr 03 2022


Background and Objectives: Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) training continues to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in gynaecological surgical training. This follow-up survey captures the ongoing effect on O&G trainees and highlights the future recovery plan considering the historical training gaps in benign gynaecology.

Materials and Methods: an anonymised survey was emailed to all O&G trainees in Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS). Responses were collected over 6 weeks.

Main Outcome Measures and Results: 53% of trainees responded. In total, 78% of trainees agreed that the pandemic had an ongoing negative effect on their physical and mental wellbeing respectively. Trainees felt the prior negative impact on obstetric training is improving, whilst 88% still experience a negative impact on their gynaecology surgical training despite the resumption of elective services in the National Health Service (NHS). 80% continue to feel the negative impact on their educational activities and 88% felt their overall training continues to be negatively impacted. 70% were positive that they would recover from this. Responses were representative of each training year. Interestingly, 95% of trainees had accepted the COVID vaccine.

Conclusion: despite “restoration” of normal services, the negative impact on trainees particularly benign gynaecology surgical training continues. Addressing pre-pandemic training gaps whilst tackling the surgical back- log and the needs of service provision will continue for years to follow.

What is new? Future training needs to incorporate creative ways of acquiring surgical skills. It is imperative to imbed simulation training into O&G training programmes. Pastoral support is key to ensure trainees’ mental and physical well-being are prioritised and the already high burn-out rates do not worsen.