Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Visualising surgical training in O&G following the COVID-19 pandemic - The European view

R. Hablase1, R. Mallick2, F. Odejinmi3

1 Royal Sussex County Hospital, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN25BE, UK
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, Europe

Published online: Jan 27 2023


Background & Objectives: Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) training programmes that traditionally relied on the hands-on apprenticeship-training model, became crippled with the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Web-based anonymised survey was circulated to trainee members of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (ESGE) over 8-weeks period commencing June 2021.

Results: 213 trainees from 20 countries responded. Trainees from medium Human Development Index (HDI) countries were less represented. 78% (166/213) were in approved training programmes and 81% (174/213) had access to personal PPE. The vaccine uptake was 87% (185/213). 39% (89/213) and 55% (118/213) experienced negative impact on their physical and mental wellbeing with 36% (76/213) COVID-19 related absence. 15% (32/213) were redeployed to areas outside O&G. 25% (53 /213) had negative impact on their obstetric experience compared to 54% (114/213) reported lower gynaecology surgical exposure and 43% (91/213) failed to meet their gynaecology surgical competencies during the pandemic. 64% (137/213) perceived simulation training as an alternative training tool.

Conclusion: In the post-pandemic recovery phase, gynaecological societies and national institutes across Europe continue to develop training curricula implementing virtual and hybrid training modules. The aim is to develop a robust blueprint to safeguard the gynaecological surgical training in the future.

What is new? The ongoing impact on the training in the post pandemic era remains to be evaluated. Our pan Europe survey highlights areas that remain affected from trainees’ perspective and assesses differences in the healthcare systems across continent. We then discuss the novel initiatives taken to overcome training gaps.