Wådell M, Örtqvist AK, Linden K, Akerstrom M, Andersson O, Carlsson Y, Graner S, Jonsson M, Naurin E, Sengpiel V, Veje M, Wessberg A, Zaigham M
BMC Med Educ 22 (1) 602 [2022-08-05; online 2022-08-05]
To outline how the training program and work situation of residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) was affected by the pandemic and to illuminate how residents experienced these changes. As part of the COVID-19 in Pregnancy and Early Childhood Staff (COPE Staff) cohort study, between January and May 2021, all participating residents were invited to answer a 28-question online Resident Survey focusing on their specialist education, work situation and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive statistics were given in percentages for categorical variables and means and standard deviations (SD) for continuous variables. Univariate comparative analyses were performed with the use of the Pearson's Chi-2-test for dichotomous data. The association between residents' worry about the quality and length of their specialist training, with extra clinical hours and transfer to other healthcare institutions were assessed by multivariate logistic regression. Free text responses were analyzed by content analysis. Of the 162 participating OB-GYN residents, 69% expressed concern that the pandemic would have a negative impact on their training. Ninety-five (95%) reported cancellation/postponement of educational activities, 70% performed fewer surgeries and 27% had been transferred to other healthcare institutions where about half reported having gained more general knowledge as a physician. Working extra clinical hours was reported by 69% (7.4 ± 5.3 hours per week) and 14% had considered changing their profession due to the pandemic. Senior residents, compared to junior residents, more often experienced cancelled/postponed clinical rotations (30% vs 15%, P=0.02) and reported performing fewer surgeries (P=0.02). The qualitative analysis highlighted the lack of surgical procedural training as a major concern for residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted the training program and work situation of OB-GYN residents in Sweden. Residents were concerned over the negative impact of the pandemic on their training program and senior residents reported more missed educational opportunities as compared to junior residents. Program directors, head of institutions and clinical supervisors can use the problem areas pinpointed by this study to support residents and compensate for missed educational opportunities. While hands-on-training and operating time cannot be compensated for, the authors hope that the findings of the study can help develop new strategies to minimize the negative impact of the current and future pandemics on resident education and work situation.